EKA-KRITHI RAGAS: PRATAPAVARALI – JANYA OF MELA (28) RAGAM HARIKAMBHOJI

Pratapavarali is another very rare raga, owing its existence to the only composition of Sadguru Thyagaraja. Even the only composition is rarely heard in concerts. Sadguru has given us some ‘vinta ragas’ (vichitra ragas), about 83 in numbers, Pratapavarali is one among these. There is no evidence of existence of these ragas before Thyagaraja’s times. Either he created them or he got a clue about them from Svararnava or raga lexicons like Vyasakatakam or Hanumathkatakam.

This raga is a vakra-oudava, shadava janyam of mela (28) raga, Harikambhoji; losing Kakali Nishadam, N2 in both directions; in addition, losing G3 in arohanam only. Panchamam appears in vakra in arohanam only; thus the ragaswaroopa can be found as:

S R2 M1 P D2 P S // S D2 P M1 G3 R2 S

It can be seen that Pratapavarali has very close similarity to another ragam, ‘KApi nArAyani’, which is also Harikambhoji janya and has the notes:

S R2 M1 P D2 N2 S // S N2 D2 P M1 G3 R2 S

(The only difference is the N2; hence care has to be taken not to slip into this raga when singing. There are so many Varalis like : Kusuma varali. Kuntala kusuma varali, Kanaka varali, Gana sama varali, Kuntala varali, KokilavaraliI, Chalanavarali, Chithra varali, Subha pantu varali, Tali varali, Dhira varali, Naga varali, Nama varali, Bhinna varali, Poorva varali and Varali itself; but like the other Varalis, Pratapavarali also does not have any relation or similarity to Varali).

Ragapravaham by D.Pattammal places it under melas (28) and (41).

Under mela (28) ragam Harikambhoji:

S R M P S // S D P M G R S

S R M P D N D P N D S // S N D P M G R S

S R M P D S // S D P M G R S

S R M P D P S // S D P M G R S

And under mela (41) ragam Pavani:

S R M P S // S D P M G R S

Compositions:

As we have seen the only composition known is the Thyagaraja krithi, “vina nashakoni”

In this composition, the Saint asks Lord to let him also hear the sweet words spoken in the conversation between Him and Seetha.

“O Lord of Universal Form! O Lord of ayOdhyA well-praised by this tyAgarAja!

I am eager to listen to (those) sweet words, to my heart’s content, as a feast to my ears.

In the same manner as heard by AnjanEya and bharata,

I am eager to listen to the words said in the conversation (between You and sItA),

with true love, looking at each other, understanding that feeling (in each other’s heart),

immediately after winning the game Omana-guNTalu with the beautiful sItA”.

(The charanam has a anecdote of Rama and Sita playing ‘Omana-guntalu’ (vamana-guntalu), which is the common game of Pallanguzhi)


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