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

Janasammodhini is one of the rarest heard raga in concerts, though few renowned musicians have sung few compositions in this raga. When I came across this raga, I was totally confused, whether this is to be included in the Eka-krithi ragas or Rare Ragas. As there is no specific composition to be marked as Eka-raga krithi in this, finally thought of including it in the Rare ragas; but could not miss this very interesting and beautiful raga at all.

There are two different ragas with similar name, Janasammodhini. The first one is a raga created by Dr. M.Balamuraleekrishna; it is a janya of mela (25) ragam Mararanjani. This raga is quite similar to ragam Vasanthi, and appear to be a hybrid of Mohanam and Revagupthi (the notes are S R2 G3 P D1 S // S D1 P G3 R2 S). The Jayadeva Ashtapadi, ‘Radhika Krishna’ was being sung in this raga by Dr. Balamuraleekrishna.

The second one is the popular form, again called Janasammodhini (many references show Janasammohini; but there are no separate details available for the same, so seem to be one and same. Also, there is a Hindustani raga by same name, having no resemblance). This raga is a janya of mela (28) ragam Harikambhoji and is represented by the notes:

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

If we look at the notes, it can be seen that it is similar to ragam Valaji (Valachi, janya of mela (16) ragam Chakravakam), with R2 added (ie. when the Valaji scale is augmented with the suddha rishabha, it yields Malayamarutham; the addition of chatusruti rishabha results in the rare and lovely raga called Janasammodhini). So, in singing, it shows too much resemblances to Valaji raga – unless carefully listened, we may get confused between these ragas.

SSP does not give any detail, only Ragapravaham is found to give details about this raga; places it under mela (25) Mararanjani as:

S R G P D S // S D P G R S (same as the Dr.BMK creation).

also under mela (28) Harikambhoji as:

S R G P D S // S D P G R S (not showing any N2 in the notes).

Compositions:

gOvindaa ninna - aadi - Purandara Daasar

jnAna paNDitA - m/rUpaka - Periyasaami Tooran

Karuna sagarane-Adi-Shuddhananda Bharati

karadare barabarate - kamalesha vittala (in praise of sree Raghavendra swami)

We shall take the Purandaradasar krithi for discussion. The lyrics:

P: gOvindA ninna nAmave candA gOvindA ninna nAmave candA

A: aNurENu trNa kASTa paripUrNa gOvinda nirmalAtmakanAgi iruvude Ananda

C: shrSTi sthitilaya kAraNa gOvinda I pari mahimeya tiLiyuvude Ananda

parama puruSa shrI purandara viTTalana intaha dAsara neneyuvud Ananda

In this composition, Purandara Dasar describes the pervasive and seamless presence of the Lord Govinda. Purandhara Dasar says the greatest joy that a Jeeva can experience in this lifetime is the realization of Hari's presence in everything around us. The understanding of this principle of all-pervasive omnipresence of the Lord is a step in the direction towards salvation.

Meaning: P: Govinda your name itself is beautiful.

A: Govinda exists in the smallest of things, in grass and wood, living with clear conscience. Is happiness in itself.

C: Govinda creates, sustains this world, and also merges it with himself. Knowing this mahime is itself happiness. Remembering this kind of dasas of purandaravithala is itself happiness.


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