RARE RAGAS (EKA-KRITHI RAGAS): UMABHARANAM – JANYA OF MELA (28) RAGAM HARIKAMBHOJI

Updated: Sep 11, 2020

EKA-KRITHI RAGAS: UMABHARANAM – JANYA OF MELA (28) RAGAM HARIKAMBHOJI Umabharanam is a very pleasing raga; melodious and very beautiful listening. The meaning is found elsewhere as “ornament (Abharanam) for Goddess Parvathi (Uma)” (whether the meaning is correct or not, the name suits the raga). It is a janya of mela (28) ragam Harikambhoji; having all notes of the janaka ragam in arohanam, but losing D2 in avarohanam – with Madhyamam and Rishabham appearing in vakra – that the structure can be found as: S R2 G3 M1 P D2 N2 S // S N2 P M1 R2 G3 M1 R2 S This is a very rare raga, introduced by Saint Thyagaraja; still the Thyagaraja composition retains the ‘Eka-krithi’ status, as there is no other popular composition heard still. Ragapravaham gives the following three specifications for this raga under mela (28); except the last one, the others are more or less the same as the one given above. S R G M P D N S - S N P M R G M R S S R G M P D S N - S N P M R G M R S S R G M P D N S - S N D M R S

Compositions: Hayagreeva agastya – Dr. Muthaiah Bhagavathar Nija marmamulanu - Thyagaraja Udaja gopa sundara - Oothukad Venkatakavi UmA maheshvaratmajam - Oothukad Venkatakavi Being the only popular composition, we shall discuss on the Thyagaraja krithi. In this composition, the Saint asks why the Lord is deluding even those who are devoted to chanting His names. Meaning: “O Lord rAma! O Lord who has stolen the heart of lakshmI - praised by this tyAgarAja! I know not why You make even those who have understood (Your) true secrets languish? I know not why You make even those languish who have understood Your true secrets - who created the grand sport of differences of deities of brahmA, vishNu and Siva? I know not why You make even those languish who have understood the true secrets of Your joy in deluding - (a) those learned in vEdAs, SAstra, epics etc., (b) those dedicated to six-fold forms of worship, (c) those devoted to chanting of Your names, and (d) the kings?


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