RARE RAGA SERIES : CHHAYATHARANGINI – JANYA OF MELA (28) RAGAM HARIKAMBHOJI

A rare janya raga of mela (28) Harikambhoji, this is not much heard in concerts also; mainly the compositions are used to be sung as fillers towards the second half. Both Thyagaraja and Dikshithar have composed krithis in this raga; the other prominent composer is Oothukad Venkatakavi. This is Dhaivatha-varja in arohanam only, keeping all notes of janaka raga in avarohanam; also M1 appears two times in arohanam, one in vakra. The ragaswaroopa can be represented as:

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

Sangeetha Sampradaya Pradarshini, SSP, by Subbarama Dikshitar, gives the lakshana sloka as:

"sampurna sagrahopeta geya chayatarangini ||"

(it is a sampoorna raga, suitable for singing at all times).

Ragapravaham by D.Pattammal gives the normal spec under mela (28) as :

S R M G M P N S // S N D P M G R S; but also,

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

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

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

(all under mela 28, Harikambhoji)

The Hindustani Raga Bhatiyari (in some pages, it is given as Bhativari) is said to be the closest to Chayatharangini.

This raga is very close to Harikambhoji in character as well, with only the SRMGM (giving a touch of Yadukula kambhoji) and PNS in the arohanam to differentiate it. Nevertheless SRG, is also possible in it and well used too, and sometimes just the handling of the G3 with kampita gamaka itself makes it look like one is playing SRMGM or even SRM, depending on

how you interpret that gamaka. The N2 is a heavy note as well, with all the possibilities of Harikambhoji. The handling of M1 is more plain in general here although a heavier M1 with kampita is also used. So SRG, and SRM, are both possible. Dikshitar's handling is a bit different from the modern renditions of Thyagaraja's compositions. Dikshitar uses SRGM and SRM, RGMG, MGRGR, and RMGR and even a very nalinakAnt-ish RP. He also uses PDN, DNDP, and PDNS also. There is also a chittaswaram for it. A tinge of Kedaragaula / Narayanagaula is sensed in it as a result of using these phrases, especially the heavy use of GR. There is an SSP version also available; by Lost Melodies.

Compositions:

Itara daivamula - roopakam - Thyagaraja

Kripa joochutaku - Thyagaraja

Panduranga vithala nama bhakti - Oothukkaad

Saraswathi chayatharangini - Dikshithar

Taghudiyana mana - Suddhananda Bharati

Kavalai neenga - Suddhananda Bharati

Pavanattanubhava (g) – Venkatamakhi

We shall take the Muthuswami Dikshithar krithi for discussion. This composition is in the first (prathama) vibhakthi – nominative and is on Goddess Saraswathi. Goddess is described as “sakala kalA svarUpiNi” (embodiment of all arts) and “sakala durita bhanjanI” (the destroyer of all sins). The raga-mudra also is very intelligently incorporated in the Pallavi itself (meaning ‘the river of Brilliance’). As a whole the composition ia very compact one with pallavi and samashti charanam only, both containing madhyama-kala sahithyam also. As usual, manu types of prasams add to the beauty of the composition.


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