Can we include Ragam Mandari in Rare ragas? This was a doubt, since, with so many compositions in this raga, which prevents it to be called so, only a handful of krithis are heard – even among them only a couple heard in concerts. Still, it is not that much popular also, mostly the krithis are sung as fillers in gaps. The next question is that different books quote this raga as from different origins. Let us see the various definitions.
Mandari is said to be a Dhaivatha-varja janya of mela (50) ragam Namanarayani, with following specification in many books: S R1 G3 M2 P N2 S // S N2 P M2 G3 R1 S Invariably, it should contain Kaishiki Nishadam (N2). But many of the musicologists and books prefer it to be called a Dhaivatha-varja janya of mela (51) ragam Kamavardhani (Panthuvarali); so that it contains Kakali Nishadam (N3) in place of N2. S R1 G3 M2 P N3 S // S N3 P M2 G3 R1 S Hence for all the uses, this specification is chosen by many.
Out of the Trinities, only Saint Thyagaraja has composed in this raga; but this was used earlier by composers like Oothukad Venkatakavi. There is no reference found in SSP, but Ragapravaham by D.Pattammal places it under three mela ragas, Under mela (50) Namanarayani : S R G M P N S // S N P M G R S S R G M P N S // S N P M R G R S Under mela (51) Kamavardhani as: S R G M P N S // S N D P M G R S And under mela (52) Ramapriya as: S R G M P N S // S N P M G R S
It can be seen that the difference between the currently followed specification of Mandari is quite close to ragam Amritavarshini, a janya of mela (66) Chitrambari; only short of Suddha Rishabham (R1), the notes being S G3 M2 P N3 S // S N3 P M2 G3 S. The well-known musician and musicologist, Prof. S.R.Janakiraman is of opinion that “Amritavarshini can be considered Janya of any of these melas: 51,53,54,63,65,66,69,71,72 -can be fitted into as a Janya of 9 melakarthas. However, as per convention the earliest number is to be accorded ie.,51-Kamavardhani”. In any case, the difference between Amritavarshini and Mandari is the presence of R1 in the latter.
Compositions: Anagham akhilanda - Dr. Muthaiah Bhaagavathar Athishaya vara - Dr. Muthaiah Bhaagavathar Ennalloo tirugunu - Dr. Muthaiah Bhaagavathar Sree jatadhara - Dr. Muthaiah Bhagavathar Endukitu poojaphalamu - Patnam Subramanya Aiyyar Ninnu jeppa - Patnam Subramanya Aiyyar Para Vasudevam bhaja - Oothukkad Venkatakavi Sonnadai kel - Oothukkad Venkatakavi Paraloka bhayamu – Thyagaraja Pahi samira - Dr. BalamuraLikrishna Shuddha tatvamasi - Suddhananda Bharati Sree peruga jayam - Suddhananda Bharati Tiruttalagado - Suddhananda Bharati Vadakkum terkkum - Suddhananda Bharati Bhaja mAnasa - Mysore Vaasudevacharya Dinai meyum - Periyasami Tooran Padha bhajaname - Meesu Krishnaiyer Neeve maa dhanamu - Ashok Madhav Yadavakula Devam - Ashok madhav Tiruveragam urai gurupara - Kovai Subri Karuna thonu ninne kori (v) - Mysore Vasudevacharya Vanajaksha (v) - Mysore Vasudevacharya Neevegani verevarunnaru (V) - Lalgudi Jayaraman Lokavana Chathura - Veena Raja
The most popularly heard compositions are the Patnam krithi, ‘ninnu jeppa karanamemi’ and the Thyagaraja krithi, ‘paraloka bhayamu’, Let us listen to the Patnam composition.