EKA-KRITHI RAGAS: SIDDHASENA – JANYA OF MELA (22) RAGAM KHARAHARAPRIYA

This raga is another rarest of the rare and never found used by anyone other than Sadguru Thyagaraja. This is a vakra-shadava vakra-sampoorna raga, with N2 missing in Arohanam; so that the structure can be written as:

S G2 R2 G2 M1 P D2 S // S N2 D2 M1 P M1 R2 G2 R2 S

It can be noted that the purvanga of Arohanam (SGRGM) goes along Ananda bhairavi and Reethigoula, while the uttaranga of Avarohanam (PMRGRS) is similar to Shriragam descend; still, it is a wonder that this raga does not give a considerable similarity to any of these ragas, but keeps its own identity. Siddhasena is a very sweet raga, worth listening number of times like the ragas mentioned above.

It seems to be, as mentioned above, introduced by the Saint only and his is the only composition available. If we were to look at the three main schools that have carried forward Thyagaraja keerthanas — Umayalpuram, Walajpet and Thillaistanam — we would find artificial first time scale-raga Thyagaraja keerthanas in all three streams. For example, in the Umayalpuram patantharam we find keerthanas in ragas such as Chandrajyothi and Simhavahini, in the Walajahpet collection — Gowrikalyani, Amrithavahini — and in the Thillaistanam group, ragas such as Bindumalini and Siddhasena. There are other nouveau scale-structure keerthanas that are common to all three patantharams.

Ragapravaham by D. Pattammal gives an additional specification also for this raga, but still keeping the shadava – sampoorna structure, as:

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

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

Compositions:

Evaraina lera peddalu – Thyagaraja

(Often, when using a new raga, Thyagaraja Swami employs the arohana and avarohana in the opening phrase itself. For example, The opening phrase in Evaraina lera peddalu (Raga: Siddha Sena), the notes are Sa Ga Ri Ga Ma).

In this krithi, Saint Thyagaraja asks whether there is no competent persons to tell Lord about the miserable state in the kali yuga. The poet asks:

“Are there no elders in this World to protect the hapless?

Are there no elders in this World to convey to SrI rAma about the terrible distress existing in the Ocean of Worldly Existence?

Are there no elders in this World now with unruffled mind, to convey to SrI rAma – the Lord praised by this tyAgarAja - in detail about (a) the actions of the base people of this kali yuga, and (b) the deeds of those given to desire (or lust) and envy etc?”


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