RARE RAGA SERIES: RAGAM AHIR BHAIRAVI – JANYA OF MELA (16) RAGAM CHAKRAVAKAM

Chakravakam is the 16th in the mela raga system; the corresponding raga in Dikshithar system being Toya Vegavahini, with same notes. Ahir Bhairavi has its origin from the Hindustani raga, ‘Ahir Bhiarav’, a combination of Ahiri (some say Kafi) and Bhairav. It is considered a morning raga, having the notes: Aarohan : S r G m P G m D n S’ - Avarohan : S’ n D P m G r S. It evokes devotion, love, separation, longing and dejection. In the Carnatic music, it is considered a janya of Chakravakam; it is a sampoorna ragam, with vakra prayogas; the notes being: S R1 G3 M1 P N2 D2 M1 P D2 S // S N2 D2 P M1 P G3 R1 S (some internet sites show it is a janya of (17) suryakantham, which is wrong). Though this raga is said to be equivalent to Chakravakam, it can be easily identified due to the emphasis placed on the different notes and the vakra prayogas.

In Music Therapy, Ahir Bhairavi is supposed to sustain chords which automatically brings down blood pressure. Also, it is used in relief for Arthritis,Rheumatic disorder,Muscular & Joint pain. Gives free relaxed feeling and mitigates dust allergies and skin diseases. The raga Chakravakam also finds the same applications; it is a sampoorna melakarta raga, and suitable for singing in the morning hours (6 am to 9 am preferably), Chakravakam conveys the emotions of pity and dejection, a hint of sadness and drenches one in bhakthi bhava. This raga is popular all over India. The notes that occur in this scale are Shadja, Suddha Rishabha, Antara Gandhara, Suddha Madhyama, Panchama, Chatusruti Dhaivata and Kaishiki Nishada. The glide from the Madhyama to the Rishabha is often dramatic and contributes to the appeal of this raga. The famed Maha Vaidhyanatha Iyer is said to have got the title “Maha ” by singing this raga prodigiously at the age of 12.

The Hindustani raga Ahir Bhairav has found great applications in film music (eg: Poocho na kaise), as also in bhajans. The carnatic raga also has caught up and found somewhat a prominent place in Film music and bhajans (Ullatthil nalla ullam – pick of the lot)

Compositions: Pibare Ramarasam - Sadasiva Bruhmendra Sri Jagadeeswari - Lalgudi G.Jayaraman Raghuvar tum ko - Tulasidas Emi nato vata - Madurai G.S.Mani Ethanai koti inbam – Sudhananda Bharathi Na diru diru dhim Tanana – Thillana (BMK)

As ‘Pibare Ramarasam’ is a very popular song, popularized by Dr. BMK; the song ‘Sree Jagadeeswari’ may be taken for discussion. This song appears in the maestro's dance drama 'Jaya jaya devi”. and is addressing the Goddess Durga (Sambodhana vibhakthi). The lyrics:

P:Shri JagadIshwari DurgA - MathA SwAgatham SuswAgatham C1:RAja rAjeshwari rajIva nethri Shiva manOranjani bhava bhaya bhanjani C2:Shrishti sthithilaya kArini devi Dushta nigraha srishta palini - mAthA C3:Vishwa rUpini vishwa dhArini PAlayamAm sarva pApanAshini


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RARE RAGAS IN CARNATIC MUSIC - INDEX

(Please check the name of the Raga and search using the search button) Ahir bhairaV Amrita vahini Andhali Andolika Ardra Desi Bangala Bhairavam Bhushavali Bindumalini Chandrajyothi Chhaya goula Chhaya

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