RARE RAGA SERIES: POORNACHANDRIKA – JANYA OF MELA (29) RAGAM SANKARABHARANAM

Poornachandrika is a janya raga of Sankarabharanam mela; it is a vakra-shadava ragam, losing N3 in the arohanam and D2 in avarohanam. Due to the vakra prayogas, this raga has a very special flavor, very beautiful to listen at a medium to medium-fast pace. There are few compositions from two of the Trinities, Thyagaraja and Dikshithar, as also from many of the later composers; thillanas and varnams in this raga – still, this is treated as a Rare Raga, as only very few compositions have seen the concert arena. The ragaswaroopa can be seen as:

S R2 G3 M1 P D2 P S // S N3 P M1 R2 G3 M1 R2 S

Subbarama Dikshithar quotes the Lakshana sloka by Venkatamakhi, in his book Sangeetha Sampradaya Pradarshini, as:

"sampurnassagrahopeto ragoyam purnacandrika |

avarohe dhavarjyassyat gavakrassarvakalikah ||"

(sampoorna – vakra-shadava raga as: SRGMPDNS // SNPMGMRS)

Ragapravaham by D.Pattammal puts it under mela (29) Sankarabharanam and gives six configurations:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Also she puts it under mela(41) Pavani,

S R G M P D P S // S N P D P M G M R S (the main difference being only the Prathi madhyamam.

Compositions:

Telisi Rama chinthanatho - Thyagaraja

Palukavemi na - Thyagaraja

Sree Rama Rama jagadatma - Thyagaraja

Chandra mandala – Dr. Muthaiah Bhagavathar

Chandram bhaje – Dr. Muthaiah Bhagavathar

Maha Tripurasundari – Dr. Muthaiah Bhagavathar

Shashishekhara – Dr. Muthaiah Bhagavathar

Tudikkaikuriya Adiye - Dr. Muthaiah Bhagavathar

Ne jesina neramu – Patnam Subramanya Iyer

Panchanadeesha pahimam – Patnam Subramanya Iyer

Paripoorna chandra – Tanjore Sankara Iyer

Shanka cakra gada paanim – Dikshithar

Sri Rajarajeswari - Dikshithar

Sri Ranganatham upasmahe - Ambi dikshithar *

Sreekara mamava – Tulaseevanam

Palayamam deva - Swathithirunal

Ramachandra pahi - Swathithirunal

Narayana namosthuthe - Mysore Vasudevacharya

Koriyinru - Periyasami tooran

Paadame thunai - GK bharathi

Varada nipuna - GNB

Thillana - Poocci Srinivasa Iyengar

Shri raja raja raja mana(v) - Subburama Dikshithar

Palayamam deva parvathijane(v) - Swathithirunal

Karuna juda (v) - M.D.Ramanathan

Ikanela neva (v) - Patnam

Ela nanne chevu (v) - Ramaswamy Dikshithar

(* this composition is wrongly attributed to Muthuswami Dikshithar in some sites)

Today, I am taking a not-much-popular composition of Sri. Dikshithar, “Shankha chakra gada panim” for discussion; this is on Lord Venkatesha of Tirupathi, as mentioned by the composer ‘vEnkaTa varada kshEtram’. Dikshithar has composed this in the second (accusative – destination of action) vibhakthi; there is a reference of Padmavathi amman as ‘padmAvatI ramaNaM’. There are some references about Gajendra moksha, Ajamila moksha etc., the whole lyrics is beautified by prAsams and anuprAsams, which is a common style of Dikshithar krithis. The raga mudra is incorporated very wisely and meaningfully, as “pUrNa candrikAnga -guru guhAntaHkaraNaM” (the one dear to Guruguha, whose limbs have the radiance of the full moon’s rays). The composition is fairly large, with Pallavi, Anupallavi and Charanam (both AP and Charanam having Madhyama kala sahityam).

Here is a beautiful rendition of the Dikshithar krithi on Lord Venkatesha, “Shankha chakra gada panim aham vande” by Sri. Vijay Siva.


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