RARE RAGA SERIES : RAGAM ANDOLIKA – JANYA OF MELA (22) RAGAM KHARAHARAPRIYA

(It has to be remembered that Kharaharapriya has 350 and odd janya ragas; so also mela (28) Harikambhoji. These two mela ragas share the first position in the number of janyas; the number given is from the listed 7000 ragas known. Ragapravaham by D.Pattammal gives the specifications fro 266 janyas of Kharaharapriya and 291 janyas of Harikambhoji !!!)

Andolika is one of the most beautiful janyas of Kharaharapriya. The name Andolika translates to 'swing'. Though it may not always be accurate as it depends upon the context. It is said that the raga was a favorite of the great Vidwan, Kanchipuram Naina Pillai, who is said to have sung it elaborately on many occasions. Unfortunately, we do not have any recordings of his. This is an oudava raga, with unsymmetrical scale; losing G2 and D2 in arohanam and G2 and Panchamam in avarohanam: Aroh: S R2 M1 P N2 S // Avaroh: S N2 D2 M1 R2 S Since there is no Gandharam in both ways, this can also be obtained from mela (28) Harikambhoji (Kharaharapriya has G2 and Harikambhoji has G3, the only difference between them). This raga is a creation of Saint Thyagaraja; also he was the first to compose in this raga – as he did in several scores of other melodies unheard of till his time. The raga’s evolution seems to have two possibilities, and either or both could have happened in course of time. 1) Andolika was previously called Mayuradhvani – SG Kittappa’s rendition of “Raga Sudha Rasa” sounds exactly like how we sing today, and the record has Mayuradhvani written on it. 2) Raga Sudha Rasa is mapped to Mayuradhvani in the Thyagaraja literature – meaning it was sung in Mayuradhvani and somehow came to be sung in Andolika in the recent past.

“Ragapravaham” by D.pattammal gives Mayuradhwani notes same as Andolika; also she gives both names for the raga. She also puts this raga under mela (28) Harikambhoji (same notes as Andolika); (44) Bhavapriya, (45) Shubha panthuvarali and (62) Rishabhapriya as: S R1 G2 M2 P D1 N2 S // S D1 N2 D1 P M2 P G2 R1 S – (Bhavapriya janya) S R1 M2 P D1 N3 S // S N3 D1 P M2 R1 S – (Shubhapanthuvarali janya) S R2 G3 M2 P D1 N2 S // S N2 S D1 M2 R2 S – (Rishabhapriya janya) It is to be noted that these are only theoretical explanations; practically there are no compositions in these. Sudhananda Bharathi has composed in Mayuradhwani, but not heard sung so far. There are some ragas having the ascending (arohanam) scales of Andolika; for example, Madhyamavathi, which keeps the same scale for descending : S R2 M1 P N2 S // S N2 P M1 R2 S. Kedaragoula has same arohanam, but in avarohanam, it keeps Harikambhoji scale : S R2 M1 P N2 S // S N2 D2 P M1 G3 R2 S. Though there are some compositions available in Andolika, the raga is alive only because of the Thyagaraja krithi, “Ragasudharasa panamu jesi”, it is one of what is generally termed as a “apoorva raga kriti” of Thyagaraja. There is a very interesting story about this composition and the great G.N.Balasubramaniam. When a young G.N.B started with a raga alapana at a concert in Thanjavur, some of the vidwans in the concert hall walked out appalled at the vocalist who “did not even sing Madhyamavathi phrases correctly”. But still, captivated by his voice, they could not help themselves hanging around outside the hall to hear the vocalist start off a hitherto unknown (for them) composition starting with the words – “Ragasudharasa”.

Compositions: Ragasudharasa panamu jesi – Thyagaraja Mahishasuramardini (varnam) - Dr. Muthaiah Bhagavathar Vajreshi mathe - Dr. Muthaiah Bhagavathar Nee Dayarada (varnam) - GNB Karanamemi kanane - GNB Velanai nee - M.M.Dandapani Desikar Aravinda Nayanam - Ashok Madhav

Sevikka vendum aiya - by Muthuthandavar was originally composed in Abhogi ragam (cf: Seerkazhi Govindarajan); it is now being sung in Andolika; Semmangudi Swami has sung this in Kalyani !! “Ananda sayi nata Andholikam samarpayami” – is an RTP in this raga by the great MLV; also there is another RTP in the raga by Sri. TVS.

“RAGASUDHARASA” : Sadguru Thyagaraja states that great musicians attain jeevan mukthi. O My Mind! Exult by drinking the nectarine juice of music which bestows all the benefits that accrue through vEdic sacrifices, through practice of yOga, through renunciation and through worldly enjoyments;(OR) O My Mind! Exult by drinking the nectarine juice of music which bestows all the benefits of transcendental bliss that accrue through vEdic sacrifices, through practice of yOga, through renunciation. This tyAgarAja knows that those well-versed in the sapta svara, emanating from praNava nAda, which is of the nature of the Supreme Lord - parabrahman, are indeed the living-liberated.

We shall listen to the HMB composition, “Mahishasura mardini”, a Tana varnam in this raga; here is the lyrics, since it is a very rare composition: P: mahishAsura mardhini mahAbalAdri vAsini AP: mahipati nAlvaDi shrI krishNa mahA rAjEndra paripAlini C: shrI harikEsha jAyE gauri

Here is an exemplary rendition of the composition by Dr.T.S.Sathyavathi; which clearly shows the notes in the arohanam and avarohanam. :


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