RARE RAGA SERIES: VASANTHI – JANYA OF MELA (27) RAGAM SARASANGI

There are some ragas, which are not so prominent, nor there are many compositions out of which any has been considered as an Eka-raga krithi – Ragam Vasanthi is one such. This raga is not so popular and not much heard in any concert platform. Also, none of the compositions are popular; still the raga finds its own place among others. VAsanthi is a janya of mela (27) ragam Sarasangi; it is an oudava ragam, without Madhyamam and Nishadam :

S R2 G3 P D1 S // S D1 P G3 R2 S

Here, the main point to be noted is its resemblance with one of the most popular oudava ragas – Mohanam, the structure of which is S R2 G3 P D2 S // S D2 P G3 R2 S. The only difference is the change of Suddha Dhaivatham (D1) in VAsanthi to Chathusruthi Dhaivatham (D2) in Mohanam. Now the question arises, as to why this raga is so rare, while Mohanam is so popular? Also, on listening to the raga, one can find that there is seldom any relation between the two; it does not give any taste of Mohanam at all or the rasas it evokes. Still, therapeutically, both ragas are effective in the treatment of indigestion and depression. While Mohanam finds application in the treatment of high blood pressure, Vasanthi can effectively be used for treatment of migrane (a type of headache).

Ragapravaham by D.Pattammal places this raga under three mela ragas, (11) Kokilapriya, (16) Chakravakam and (27) Sarasangi, as:

Under (11) Kokilapriya,

S R G P N S // S N P G R S

Under (16) Chakravakam,

S M D N S // S N D P M G P M R S

And under (27) Sarasangi

S M D N S // S N D P M G P M R S (27)

S R G P D S // S D P G R S (same as the current spec in use).

In Hindustani, the Raag Bhoopkali or Bhoopesri is the equivalent raga.

Compositions:

Mayilmeedu vilaiyadum - Sattur Karpagam

Namo Parvathi pathi - Vyasa Theertha

Thillana -Lalgudi G.Jayaraman

As can be seen from the pallavi, the composition of Sattur Karpagam is on Lord Murugan. The composition, ‘Namo Parvathi pathi nutha’ is on Lord Siva, the lyrics of which :

“P:-namah parvati patinuta janapara namo virupaksha |

AP:-rama ramanali amala bakutikodu namo visalaksha |

Charanam:

nilakantha trisula damaru hastalankruta raksha |

pala netra kapala runda mani malavruta vaksha |

sila ramya visala suguna sallila suradhyaksha |

srilakumisana olaisuva baktavaligala paksha | 1 |

vasavanuta haridasa isa kailasa vasa deva |

dasarathiya aupasaka sujanara poshipa prabava |

basisutihudu asesha jivarige isanenba bava |

srisanalli kilisumanava girijesa mahadeva | 2 |

mrutyunjaya ninnuttama padayuga brutyano sarvatra |

hattira karedu apatyanante poreyuttiro trinetra |

tettiganante kayuttihe banana satyadi sucaritra |

kartru udupi sarvottama krushnana pautra krupa patra | 3 |

Sharing a superb rendition of the above composition by vid. Nandini Rao Gujar


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