On Friday morning, when I knew that there is vocal concert of Vid. Bharat Sunder, I tuned in, to my surprise, he started singing the famous “Darini Thelusukonti” in Suddha Saveri, by Saint Thyagaraja. The raga is one of the most pleasing one to listen; so are the compositions – ‘Kalaharana melara hare’ by the Saint himself or ‘thaye tripurasundari’ by Periyasami Tooran. This raga has the notes SR2M1PD2S // SD2PM1R2S and is a janya of mela (29) Dheera Sankarabharanam. Why I have written this is that we are going to see a raga which is just the ‘Prathimadhyamam’ equivalent of this (if the M1 in both arohanam and avarohanam are changed to M2) raga, called “Vandanadharini”; obviously, it should be janya of mela(65) Mecha Kalyani and the notes : SR2M2PD2S // SD2PM2R2S. Also anyone can imagine how melodious the raga will be.
Ragapravaham by D.Pattammal also gives the same specification under mela (65).
Still there is only one popular composition in this raga, “Sudha madhurya bhashini”, said to be a composition by the legendary GNB. (The reason for putting ‘said to be’ is that many musicologists have disputed as the style of the kriti does not conform to that of GNB. Besides, GNB seldom sang his own kritis in his concerts as a matter of personal conviction. But he seems to have rendered this kriti a few times in his concerts. It is likely that the kriti may not have been composed by GNB. Also, Sri. Lakshman Ragde says: “This song is by Calcutta Krishnamurti (not by GNB as it is generally believed) and is in the rAgA vandanadharini. It is not found in any of the printed books of GNB's compositions. I got confirmation of this from GNB's son”. Though this is a very sweet raga, none of the major composers have written any krithi in this. There are about 18 compositions and a Varnam (Bhuloka – SRJ) known in Vandanadharini, as per the details by Sri. Lakshman.
Anbu sheivai maname adanal amaidiyum-Adi-K.S.Krishnamurti Avai arindu pesha vendum arignyar-Rupaka-Dandapani Deshikar Ayyar enai aluginrar arutperum jyotiyinar (a)-Adi-Ramalingasvami Devi nan unnai sharan adainden-?-K.R.Radhakrishnan Devi nityam bhavayamyanisham kalatitam-Adi-Kollegal R.Subramaniam Gauripate pashupate kripanidhe kailasapate-Adi-S.Maralingam Idukku tunaiyai-Adi-V.S.Gomatishankara Iyer Ini agilum maname ayyanai ni ninaiyayo diname-Adi-Vedanayakam Pillai Maname unakk-hitamayoru vartai-Rupaka-Gopalakrishna Bharati Muruganai ninai-Adi-Minakshisuta Muruganin namattai parugiduvai nanje mudu marai-Adi-C.V.Padmanabhan Nandavadana virajite-?-Bangalore S.Mukund Pahi rama-Rupaka-Bangalore S.Mukund Sarathiyai varuvaye kanna shamar tannile-Adi-Periasami Tooran Sarva devatmakam vande sarvada-Adi-C.S.Shivaramakrishna Bhagavatar Shri maha lakshmim-Rupaka-R.K.Suryanarayana Sudha madhurya bhashini-Adi-G.N.Balasubramaniam Varam taruvai ni varalakshmiye-Adi-Ashok R.Madhav
(There is a Thyagaraja krithi with similar Pallavi, ‘Sudha madhurya bhashini’, but it is in ragam Sindhuramakriya – not to get confused; discussed separately).