EKA-KRITHI RAGAS: PRIYADARSHINI – JANYA OF MELA (27) RAGAM SARASANGI

Priyadarshini is a very rare raga of recent origin, that there are no composition found written by the Trinities or composers of 19th and early 20th centuries. This raga is said to be created by the great violin maestro, Sri. Lalgudi G.Jayaraman, though there is no confirmatory evidence. The raga evokes Bhakthi rasa and hence is found mostly in Bhajans and rarely in concerts. Priyadarshini is an oudava raga, janya of mela (27) Sarasangi raga, losing Gandharam and Panchamam of the janaka raga; the pancham varjya and the stress on the note Nishadam adds beauty to this raga. Sri. Thanjavoor Thyagarajan had once given a very elaborated raga alapana of this raga for a Narayana teertha tharangam song. Dr. Nagavalli Nagaraj has used this raga in a Sri Krishna Sthuthi. Vid. Vasudha Ravi had sung this raga in last year’s Margazhi Utsavam concert.

The Ragaswaroopa can be found as:

S R2 M1 D1 N3 S // S N3 D1 M1 R2 S

No much reference is available regarding the specification; Ragapravaham also confirming the same notes.

There is a Hindusthani raga in the same name Priyadarshini created by the great sarod Maestro Ustad Amjad Ali khan, who composed it for his albums "raga-priya-darshini-a-tribute" released in memory of Late PM Mrs. Indira Gandhi (Indira Priyadarshini). The Hindusthani raga Priyadarshini has traces of Yaman Kalyan/Behag and does not have any resemblance with the carnatic raga Priyadarshini.

Compositions:

Karunai ganapatiye ezhai en maru - (Kedaranathan)

Rukminipate shri krishnamurte - Guru Surajananda

Sannadhiye sada vendinen - K.Ramaraj

Shri vasudeva prabho palayamam - Narayana Theertha

We shall consider a composition on Goddess Kamakshi, by Sri. K. Ramaraj, ‘SANNIDHIYE SADA VENDINEN’. I have taken this composition, due to one more reason, that it contains many ‘swarakshara’ prayogas – the notes themselves becoming part of the lyrics. The Pallavi starts like: SannidhiyE (SA NI DA NI ) sadA veNDinen SA DA MA DA NI SA DA NI SA); it can be noted how the swaraksharam fits in with the sahithyam. And the next line mAtA nin(MAA DAA NI ) SANNIDHIYE and so on........

Here is a brilliant rendition of the Ramaraj composition, by vid, Raji Gopalkrishnan.


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