RARE RAGA SERIES : RAGAM AMRITAVAHINI – JANYA OF MELA (20) NATABHAIRAVI RAGAM

Amritavahini is a raga which is too popular through the Thyagaraja krithi, “Sree Rama padama”, though there are some other compositions also. This raga lacks G2 in arohanam and Panchamam in avarohanam of the Janaka ragam, so that the notes: S R2 M1 P D1 N2 S // S N2 D1 M1 G2 R2 S

Still, Amritavahini gives you the pleading of Saramathi, with a devotion of Nagagandhari and a soothing effect of Kharaharapriya, all in one. The first reference of this raga is found in Sangraha choodamani. While there is no mention of this raga in SSP, Ragapravaham by D.Pattammal confirms the same ragaswaroopa. There is no scope of an elaborate Raga alapana, though Dr. Balamuraleekrishna has given a fairly good detailing. Kalpana swaras are also limited for few minutes only. The First and most prominent composition in this raga was written by Sadguru Thyagaraja; “Sree Rama Padama”, while none of his forerunners nor any of the other two Trinities wrote in this raga. For quite a long time, this composition held the title of Eka-Raga krithi, till a few krithis were composed in this raga by some 20th century composers. But still none of the other krithis are heard much in concerts. Compositions: Sree Rama padama - Thyagaraja Mahaganapathim bhajeham – HH JC Wodeyar Sadguru neeve – Ambujam Krishna Sarvantharathmudavu – Annamacharya Valachiyunna manini chala nedu - Tana varnam - Koranadu Natesa Pillai The Thyagaraja krithi ‘Sree Rama padama’ falls in the category ‘Padasevanam’ in the Nava vidha Bhakthi, the worship of the Lord’s feet in particular is a devotional mode exemplified by Bharatha and the adoration of Rama’s Paduka. Lord Rama’s feet had two great exploits to their credit: the re-creation of Ahalya from her accursed stone state and through their sandals ruling over the kingdom of Ayodhya. Sadguru composed two songs to adore both these exploits of Rama’s feet. Both are cast in Ragas of appropriate names, Amritavahini (Sri Rama Padama), the feet that bring immortality and ambrosial bliss and Ramapriya (Sandehamunu Dirpumayya), Rama’s beloved sandals. The meaning of the Amritavahini composition: “Oh feet of Rama your mercy is sufficient for me, please come and occupy my mind. Oh feet of Rama worshipped by Brahma , Sanaka, Sananthana, Indra , Narada and others. Oh hero, who saved Ahalya who as a stone, unable to bear the sorrow was always shedding tears, and in the same way make this Thyagaraja also blessed”. We shall listen to a very detailed rendition of the Thyagaraja krithi by Dr. M.Balamuraleekrishna; The swarakalpana is at ‘paadama’, the legend uses it in swarkshara prayoga – MaPaDhaMa…also, in thristhayee….Pranams to the great genius of the creator and singer !!


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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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