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

When I selected this raga for today, I had so many questions in front of me. There is a Carnatic raga by this name, which is almost extinct; the one which is popular is the Hindustani type; so which one to be discussed? Secondly, how can I call this a rare raga? It is one of the most popular raga in light and devotional music; same time seldom heard anybody singing a carnatic composition in this raga except the ragamalika ‘Kurai onrum illai’, though there are almost very near to 80 compositions available – can it be considered as a rare raga? A real puzzle; at last decided to treat it only as a rare raga.

The Shivaranjani as a carnatic raga is a janya of Mela (64) ragam Vachaspathi; a vakra-sampoorna raga. This raga is seen only in the books, could not find any compositions, the notes being S R2 G3 M2 D2 P D2 N2 S // S N2 D2 P D2 M2 G3 R2 S

The next is the Hindustani raga, which has been adapted to carnatic music as a janya of mela (22) Kharaharapriya ragam, with notes:

S R2 G2 P D2 S // S D2 P G2 R2 S

On a close look, we can see that if the Sadharana Gandharam (G2) is replaced by Anthara Gandharam (G3), it is one of the most popular and beautiful oudava raga, Mohanam. Similarly, if the R2 and D2 are replaced by R1 and D1 respectively, it becomes the beautiful morning raga, Bhupalam. Again, if the Panchamam is replaced by M1, it becomes Abhogi. Shivaranjani is not seen in SSP; but Ragapravaham by D.Pattammal gives both the types (Kharaharapriya and Vachaspathi janyas).

Shivaranjani raga is known for the pathos it carries. In addition, it conveys Bhakthi and Karuna rasas; hence numerous bhajans and devotional songs are tuned in this raga. The sadharana gandharam brings the feel of anguish or pain. This is a very light raga, no possibility of expansion or gamakams; also all the notes are plain, only the D2 can oscillate a little. The ragas Vijayanagari and Neelamani also carry the same emotions. Addition of Anthara Gandhara (G3) alongside with the G2, makes it Misra Shivaranjani; it gives an entirely different flavor (the Thillana sung by Sri. Maharajapuram Santhanam is too famous). Thus Shivaranjani, though a Classical raga, it is used widely in lighter genres of music such as devotionals, bhajans and film music and has great recall value among lay listeners, making it populist.

Coming to its therapeutic value, Shivaranjini is said to be very useful for memory problems. It is said that the raga proves good for diseases related to excess heat and is good for general health and removes sadness. While listening to Sivaranjini the mind that is stressed with sadness, releases the pressure with tears dripping like raindrops. Here healing comes through tears relaxing the neurons. This raga is a good ante dote for depression. It makes a listener cry out ( can be vocal crying or sobbing or emotional tearing) pouring out the suppressed feelings and emotions. A good cry helps to soothe our minds, makes you feel better and reduces stress. Chemicals that build up during emotional stress may be removed in our tears when we cry; hence it has a better survival effect on man.

Compositions :

Amba parameshvari - K.Ramaraj

Amma amma amma - Nila Ramamurti

Andavan anbe shakti tarum - Papanasam Shivan

Aparimita karuna samudram - R.K.Suryanarayana

Chintanai sheivom sendur - Rukmini Ramani

Cintaiyil uraiyum - Lalita Venkataraman

Devi dayapari shankarai - Mangalam Ganapati

Devi ki mahima Balasai

Ellaiyilla perum nidhiye - Lalita Venkataraman

Ellorum varungal - N.Viramani Iyer

Enakkenna bhayam kalki bhagavan - V.Girija

Engo or kuzhal olikka ketkinradu - S.Vembu

Ezhu kadal alaigal en dishai - Mangalam Ganapati

Govinda govinda - Chitravina N.Ravikiran

Guruvayurappa unai - Kamalasulochana

Indira ramanu dechchi - Annamacharya

Izhaikkum vinai vazhiye - Abhirami Bhattar

Janani janani janani Keharva - B.Ramamoorthy Rao

Janani niyirukka pirajanattai - Indira Shrinivasan

Jaya jaya dattaraja yogi - Dattatreyasvami

Jayatu jayatu sairama - R.N.Doresvamy

Jnana margam Adi - ?

Karumbu villai - N.Viramani Iyer

Karuttil angum - N.Viramani Iyer

Kayal vizhittenai sheyalazhitttai - Arunagirinathar

Kridati vanamali - Sadashiva Brahmendra

Kuralinai taruvai - T.N.Bala

Kuzhal oshai ketkudamma - Shuddhananda Bharati

Madhavan mayanigi - Chitravina N.Ravikiran

Maha prabho mahadeva - Rukmini Ramani

Makara kundalam adudu - ?

Malai midu vazhum shri shrinivasa - Bharati Ganesh

Mamava parameshvari - Madurai G.S.Mani

Manava shodisha beku nichchadina - ?

Manavi chaya radate - Sriramachandra Murti Sistla

Mantralaya vasi brindavana - V.Shrinivasa Rao

Moham ariyadu pole enmele (p) - Vasudeva Kavi

Mok khobbak kripakaranavaste - Natanagopalanayaki

Nambinen ayya nataraja - Shuddhananda Bharati

Nanu palimpa rava (p) - Sriramachandra Murti Sistla

Nijamuga nikidi mera - Calcutta K.S.Krishnamurti

Nilabadi yunnanu - Madurai G.S.Mani

Ninaiye ninaindullen (tv) - Tirupur R.Subramaniam

Niyunnasta varamunundi - Sriramachandra Murti Sistla

Orulevvaru - Sriramachandra Murti Sistla

Padam maraven devi - Nila Ramamurti

Pittan enbadum - S.Kalyanaraman

Radhika krishna radhika (Sthanavini) - Jayadeva

Raghavendra raghavendra japisuvase - K.S.Raghu

Rudra devane rakshisu - R.K.Padmanabha

Sadguru krpaya Adi - ?

Sendil padiyonai - Nagpur Srinivasan

Shakti shankaram inra - Ashok R.Madhav

Shivashakti rupini shivakama - B.Ramamoorthy Rao

Shri guru shridhara venkatesha - Venkatesha Ayya

Shri raja rajeshvara ni rajanamuche - Balamuralikrishna

Shridhara shriguru - Madurai G.S.Mani

Tam dhim tom (t) - Madurai N.Krishnan

Tarunam idayya dayai puri - Papanasham Sivan

Tillana - M.S.Balasubramania Sharma

Tillana - Maharajapuram Santhanam

Tillana - Madurai R.Muralidharan

Tiru mayilai karpakame - Nila Ramamurti

Tom dhru dhim (t) - Maharajapuram Santhanam

Un padam vidamatten ezhu malai iraiva - S.Vembu

Va va velava tamayeni azha - S.Ramanathan

Vande sharanam pughum - Abhirami Bhattar

Varuga varuga - Chitravina N.Ravikiran

Vasanta ninaivu sevikka - Appadurai

Vasiso vadiraja - R.K.Padmanabha

Vayalur muruga vadivel muruga - Rajam Sharma

Vendada vambu - Nila Ramamurti

Vinaro ghanamaina - Sriramachandra Murti Sistla

Yamanelli kananendu - Purandaradasa

Yar enna shonnalum unnai - Nila Ramamurti

(indebted to Sri. Lakshman Ragde for the list)

Let us listen to the Papanasam Sivan composition, “Andavan anbe shakthi tharum”, beautifully sung by vidushi. Nithyasree Mahadevan.


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