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

Ragam Suddha Bangala seems to be created by Saint Thyagaraja only; as there is no reference to this raga found anywhere before his period. Again it seems that only the Saint has composed three krithis in this raga; so could not be grouped under Eka-krithi ragas. Suddha bangala is a very sweet raga; mostly evoking bhakthi, karuna, devotion etc. Unlike many other ragas like Hindolam, Dhanyasi, Saveri etc., for which there are ragas prefixed with ‘suddha’ and having some similarities with the counterparts, the ragas Suddha Bangala and Bangala have no claimable similarities. Here is the ragaswaroopa:

S R2 M1 P D2 S // S D2 P M1 R2 G2 R2 S

Though SSP shows no reference to this raga, Ragapravaham gives the same specification; in addition, it gives another specification under mela (54) Vishvambari as:

S R1 M2 P D3 S // S D3 P M2 R1 G3 R1 S

Now, we come to a very interesting point. Please look at the notes for the two ragas, Suddha Bangala and Shriragam.

Sud. Bangala : S R2 M1 P D2 S // S D2 P M1 R2 G2 R2 S

Shriragam : S R2 M1 P N2 S // S N2 P M1 R2 G2 R2 S

(Though there is another avarohanam for Shriragam, this was the type used by Venkatamakhi in his Geetham, also by Saint Thyagaraja (Endaro mahanubhavulu) and Dikshithar (Sri Varalakshmi). We can see that the only difference is the D2 and N2 being interchanged in the two. So, like the Madhyamavathi group, we can formulate another similar group of Suddha Saveri, with D2 in place of N2 as:

(A) Madhyamavathi : S R2 M1 P N2 S // S N2 P M1 R2 S

Manirangu : S R2 M1 P N2 S // S N2 P M1 G2 R2 S

Shriragam : S R2 M1 P N2 S // S N2 P M1 R2 G2 R2 S

Similarly,

(B) Suddha Saveri : S R2 M1 P D2 S // S D2 P M1 R2 S

Lokendrini : S R2 M1 P D2 S // S D2 P M1 G2 R2 S (also called Lokottharamani)

Suddha Bangala: S R2 M1 P D2 S // S D2 P M1 R2 G2 R2 S

(the above is only a theoretical approach; in practice the members of the second group may differ due to their origin, as well as other properties).

Compositions:

Ramabhakthi samrajya – Thyagaraja

Toline jesina – Thyagaraja

Tappagane vacchuna – Thyagaraja

Aaro vandennai – Sudhananda Bharathi

Nannu brovasamayamu (V) – NCH Krishnamacharyulu

We come to the discussion part, taking the Thyagaraja krithi, ‘Ramabhakthi samrajya’. In this composition the Saint describes the ecstasy he experiences. This song is addressed to his mind.

“O Mind! Who are the blessed souls who have attained the Kingdom of devotion for Sri Rama? The mere sight of those sublime souls who have been blessed with the kingdom of devotion to Rama is capable of conferring Supreme Bliss, here and hereafter. This Bliss is beyond words. It can only be experienced by those who endear themselves to Him by unswerving devotion to Him. He has created the three worlds for His diversion”.

We shall listen to a superb rendition of this composition by the legendary Sri. Madurai Mani Iyer.


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