Ragam Durga is a very prominent raga in Hindustani music, belonging to the Bilawal that, corresponding to Sankarabharanam. It is an oudava raga and is quite similar to Suddha Saveri. But when we consider the carnatic raga with the same name, this again is an oudava raga and not so prominent one; but according to our classification system, this ragam is a Janya of mela (22) ragam Kharaharapriya. However it bears close resemblance to Suddhasaveri ( janya of Shankarabharanam ) as revealed in the notes used in both the ragams; the difference is only a minor variation in the arohanam.
Suddha Saveri S R2 M1 P D2 S // S D2 P M1 R2 S
Durga S R2 M1 D2 P D2 S // S D2 P M1 R2 S
(We can see that technically, Suddha Saveri also can be obtained from Kharaharapriya; but certain janyas are referred similarly due to the usage of notes, gamakas etc.)
It can be seen from the various audio / video clips of songs in this raga, that though the notes are almost similar, how and why the two ragas differ in the distinctive prayogas. There are not many compositions available in this raga, but those available are seen sung by various musicians. The main difference to be noted is that while Suddha Saveri raga can be elaborated extensively, while Durga does not permit the same, or musicians have not taken it seriously. Anyhow a detailed alapana is not available; the songs are usually sung as ‘fillers’ in concerts.
Gayathi vanamali - Sadasiva Bruhmendra
Ramam bhaje - Dayananda Saraswathi
Dharma sravana - Purandaradasar
Jaya jaya devi - Swathithirunal
Thillana (tanOm tata dhiranA) – Lalgudi G. Jayaraman
Thillana - Dr. Nagavalli Nagaraj
The Purandaradasar krithi, ‘Dharma sravana’ is a very philosophical one; as seen in the lyrics, the meaning as given by Sri. P.R.Ramachander:
What is the need of hearing about Dharma for a fool.
For those who do not do their duties and rituals,
What is the need of being born as a Brahmin.
1.What is the need of music of Veena to the deaf one,
What is the use of costly gem to a monkey,
What is the use of gem studded necklace ,
For the lady whose strength has been lost.
2.What is the use of tasty food for the saint,
If a donkey shouts , the dog cannot bear,
Do not try o make love to a woman,
Who is punishing her body with strong penances.
3. What is the need of lamp for one who is born blind,
What is the use of caste dharma to one who is banished from it,
What is the use of desire that you would Pray,
Only after you are able to touch Purandara Vittala.
Now, we shall listen to the veteran carnatic musicians, The Hyderabad Brothers, (vidwans. D. Raghavachari and D. Seshachari), singing the Dasaru krithi , clearly showing the difference with Suddha Saveri.