RARE RAGA SERIES : “ARDRA DESI” – JANYA OF MELA (15) RAGAM MAYAMALAVAGOULA

‘Ardradesi’ is one of the rarest of the rare janya ragas. Only because of the Muthuswami Dikshithar krithi, “Sree Ganeshatparam”, it still survives; but even this composition is not heard much in concerts. This raga is a janya of mela (15) ragam Mayamalavagoula, without N3 in the avarohanam only. The notes will be: S R1 G3 M1 P D1 N3 S // S D1 P M1 G3 R1 S In all the books of Dikshithar compiled by various authors, the raga for 'Sri Ganeshatparam' has been mentioned as 'Ardradesi'. In some books the name Ardradesi has been mentioned, with 'Veenavadini' in brackets. Both these two ragas are not same. Veenavadini is a janya of mela (28) Harikambhoji; it is an oudava ragam, with notes: S R2 G3 P N2 S // S N2 P G2 R2 S (As an oudava ragam; in Veenavadini, the song may give more listening pleasure; it is the great misfortune of our music system that 'eminent' musicians deviate from the paths shown by the great legends). The reference in the charanam - umA rudra darSitAt – gives the soochitha (indicative) raga mudra.

While SSP by Subbarama Dikshithar describes it as a sampoorna janya of MMG, Ragapravaham by D. Pattammal gives two specifications under the same MMG; the first being same as the one given above. S G M P D N S // S D P M G R S S R G M P D N S // S N P D P M G R S

Dikshithar has composed 9 kritis in praise of the deities in Vaitheeswaran Koil. They are: 1. Sri Ganeshath param – Ardra Desi; 2. Angarakam Ashrayamyaham - Suruti; 3. Sri Kumara Swaminam – Asaveri; 4. Sri Vaidyanatham – Atana; 5. Balambikayai Namasthey – Nattakurinji; 6. Ganalole Bale – Nagavarali; 7. Balambikaya Katakshithoham – SriRanjani; 8. Bajare re chitha Balambikam – Kalyani; 9. Balambikaya Param – Kanada Vaitheeswaran Koil is one of the very important kshethras of Tamil Nadu. It is known as “Pullirukku Velur” in Tamil. It is located between the famous towns of Sirkazhi and Mayavaram. It is one of the Navagraha sthalas. Angaraka Kshethram. The presiding deity is Sri Vaidyanatha Swamy, Thaiyal Nayaki – Easwar’s consort. Lord Vinayaka, and Muddukumara Swamy. This sthalam is sung by various devotees like, the composer of Thevaram, Arunagiri Nathar (Tiruppugazh) Kumara Gurupara Swamigal, Ramalinga Adigalar, Kalamega Pulavar, Padikkasu Tambiran, Ramaswamy Sivan.

Compositions available in ragam Ardradesi: Sri Ganeshatparam – Muthuswami Dikshithar Neeve Dikkani - Tiruvottiyur Thyagaiah.

(only the Dikshithar krithi is heard sung by many musicians). (Meaning of the song : Who is there to compare with Lord Ganesha, embodiment of 36 thathwas beginning with Siva. Whose heart is devoid of the five kinds of activities like speech etc. Whose form is fully established and is worshipped by sages. The elephant faced one visualised by Uma and Rudra. His form is worshipped by living and non living beings. He is adorned with white flowers. He outshines the Sun and is decked in yellow silk. Venerated by Brahma whose lotus feet are revered by 5 elements. The son of Lord Siva., who adorns the crescent moon and elder brother of Lord Guruguha).

A few renditions are available in youtube and other sources; by Vid. Brindha Manickavasakan, the Rudrapatnam Brothers, vid. Suryaprakash Ramachandran, Sri. K.J.Yesudas etc.


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