|A REPORT ON THE RAGANUBHAVA SESSION ON
ANANDABHAIRAVI, HELD ON 15TH NOVEMBER, 1999:
Introduction and Historical Background (Dr. V V Srivatsa): Raga
Anandabhairavi is of indeterminate origin and has existed from medieval periods in the
folk-tradition. This raga is not referred to in texts like Sangeeta Makaranda,
Sangeeta Ratnakara, Swaramela Kalanidhi or Raga Vibhoda. There is no
reference in the main text of Chaturdandi Prakasika but a reference is found in
the supplementary passage, the anubandha. In "Raga Lakshana",
Shahji states that Bhairavi is the mela for Anandabhairavi and not that Anandabhairavi is
a derivative of Bhairavi. This, perhaps, is indicative of the fact that Anandabhairavi was
very much in vogue in folklore and that the observation by Shahji was an offshoot of an
attempt to classify this raga in the classical system.
Though structural variances can be discerned in the views expressed by musicologists, it
is obvious that this raga underwent manifold changes in course of time. There was no
uniformity, in conceptual terms, even among the members of the Carnatic music Trinity.
Originally, the Tyagaraja tradition avoided the Antara Gandhara swara, though nowadays
this swara is used in his kritis. The Dikshitar school strictly avoids the swara. The
presence of Antara Gandhara in Syama Sastri's compositions is profound in most schools.
The uniqueness of this raga is that it appears to have a Poorvanga and an Uttaranga -
ostensibly independent but inter-connected by an unseen aesthetic thread. This is also
visualized in the "sa-pa-Sa" prayoga found in two compositions of this raga.
Madhyama and Gandhara on one side and Nishada and Shadja on the other, function as the
jeeva and nyasa swaras of Anandabhairavi. It is well established that Anandabhairavi was a
musical force to reckon with, even in the pre-Trinity period.
Compositions (O V Subramaniam): The repertoire available in Anandabhairavi
is unique and specialised. It ranges from deft-touches of ranjakatva to heavy
musical passages. The Trinity of Carnatic music reveled in compositions in this raga. Two
compositions worthy of mention are "Neeke Teliyaka" by Tyagaraja and "Tyagaraja
Yoga" by Dikshitar. "Marivere Gati" by Syama Sastri is a
masterpiece. (Reference was made to Ramanathapuram Srinivasa Iyengar's kriti "Sadbhaktiyu". O
V Subramaniam rendered selected passages from the compositions, "Neeke
Teliyakapote", "Marivere Gati" and "Sadbhaktiyu
Swara structure and ornamentations (Geetha Bennett): Geetha Bennett
recalled some tips taught to her, in her formative years, by her parent-cum-teacher, the
renowned Dr. S Ramanathan. A passage taught by Dr. Ramanathan to identify Anandabhairavi,
initially sounded archaic, the value of which was well comprehended in course of
progression of her musical knowledge. She cited special sancharas of swaras found in the
Gitam in Anandabhairavi, "Kamala Sulochani", including the sanchara
Concurring with the view expressed earlier that this raga had two distinct musical halves,
she identified the intrinsic inter-relationship between the Madhyama-Gandhara and
Panchama-Dhaivata swaras. She mentioned the speciality of swarasthana that a Vainika
should appreciate when playing this raga. She stated that ornamentation stemmed from
swara-sequencing and anuswaras, while gamakas regulated the rasanubahava. An
overdose of gamakas was not welcome. Nevertheless, fragmentary felicity though fine, was
only a part of an integral whole, the effect of which was merely aesthetic excellence.
This was the guideline adopted by great composers including the Trinity, she said.
Anandabhairavi has been a subject of bioresearch, she mentioned. The importance of this
raga cannot be exaggerated. She opined that the dominance of the anya swara Dhaivata was
so great that it obliterated the presence of the supposedly original Dhaivata swara. It is
logical to construe Anandabhairavi as a derivative of Kharaharapriya, on this ground, in
Manodharma / Creative aspects (Dr. Sriram Parasuram): Dharma means to
stride on established path. The structure of the raga is inviolable and any creative
aspect had to be within that structural framework. In this raga, there is adequate scope
for creativity, though the patterns to be adopted are fairly finite. (Dr. Sriram Parasuram
expressed the view that creativity is best seen in the proper sequencing of swara-phrases.
He also mentioned that the inherent nature of a raga did influence the renditional speed,
which factor also conditioned phrase sequencing. He demonstrated some patterns of
sequencing). This is creativity at a macro-level.
Delving to the micro-level, Dr. Parasuram stated that the proficiency of a performer is
best visualized in the handling of the sub-phrases. The brevity of the sub-phrases were
such that care has to be exercised during rendition of a particular raga and only the
optimum-applicability should prevail. Sub-phrases have commonality with phrases of other
ragas. Hence, creativity should manifest with due diligence and care. He identified, on
the basis of subphrases, about sixteen proximate and allied ragas, with respect to
Anandabhairavi. Dr. Sriram Parasuram presented some special sub-phrases.
Allied ragas (T P Vaidyanathan): Dealing with allied ragas, Vaidyanathan
chose Reetigowla, Bhairavi and Huseni as the ragas closest to Anandabhairavi. He compared
and contrasted Anandabhairavi and Reetigowla, by rendition. He mentioned the limitation of
mandara-sthayi movement in Anandabhairavi as compared to Reetigowla. As regards to Huseni,
the greater element of flexibility in that raga distinguishes it from Anandabhairavi, he
said. Movements like "ma-pa-da-ni-Sa" possible in Huseni were not permitted in
Anandabhairavi. Also the rasanubhava of Huseni varies saliently from
Anandabhairavi, though they are proximate ragas.
Apropos Bhairavi and Anandabhairavi, there are finite boundaries and distinctions. The
Dhaivata in Bhairavi keeps that raga in a class apart. Many swara prayogas of Bhairavi are
inapplicable in Anandabhairavi. The alliance is distant and conditioned. He rendered a
rare composition of Mysore Sadasiva Rao in Anandabhairavi.
ANECDOTES ON ANANDABHAIRAVI:
- Tyagaraja attended a show by folk-musicians at Tiruvaiyyar and
was very pleased at their rendition of Anandabhairavi. After the show, the lead musician
prostrated before Tyagaraja and sought a boon. He requested the saintbard not to compose
any more in Anandabhairavi, which was granted. This incident is attributed as the cause
for the limited output of Tyagaraja in this raga.
- The equivalent of "Nidhi Chala Sukhama" or "Heena
maanavaashrayam tyajami" is seen in a swara-sahitya passage of Syama Sastri's
composition in raga Anandabhairvi, where he condemns ill-behaved, pompous people of power
as "Dushprabhu". Thus, "O Jagadamba" can be
considered as the "Nidhi Chala Sukhama" of the Syama Sastri tradition.
- A musician with his entourage was passing by a well-planned
and laid-out village located between Mannargudi and Kumbakonam. Residents of this village
requested the musician to stop and have the darshan of Lord Santana Rama, enshrined in a
temple of that village. The musician, Ramanathapuram Srinivasa Iyengar disembarked and was
enchanted by the idol of Santana Rama. His devotion manifested as a beautiful kriti in
Anandabhairavi, "Sadbhaktiyu galgajesi". This incident took place at
Yamunambapuri, now known as Needamangalam.
- The most widely travelled composers are Purandaradasa and
Dikshitar. During one of his travels in the Navalgund, Gadag sector, Purandaradasa saw a
fort. The big drum (Nagara Murasu) was sounded as a time signal. Purandaradasa
perceived that the drum was proclaiming the omnipresence of Vishnu "Ee
prithiviyolu vyaapakanaaghiha Sripati Purandara Vittalane paranendu". This lofty
concept can be seen in a Devaranama, "Hodi Nagari Mele", rendered in
HISTORY OF ANANDABHAIRAVI BY DR. S SITA:
The historical development of one of the prominent rakti ragas, Anandabhairavi, reveals
interesting phases in its evolution. Based on the current practice, which has been
sanctioned by the musical trinity, the present lakshana, recognises the raga as a Vakra
shadava sampoorna janya of the 20th melakarta, Natabhairavi, with the arohana and
avarohana viz. s g r g m p d p s - s n d p m g r s. The conference of the Madras Music
Academy has also decided in favour of this ascent and desent. In addition to Shadja and
Panchama, the raga with the exception of Suddha Rishabha and Prati Madhyama, takes all the
remaining notes of the gamut, namely Chatusruti Rishabha, Sadharana and Antara Gandharas,
Suddha Madhyama, Suddha and Chatusruti Dhaivatas, Kaisiki and Kakali Nishadas. Of these,
the sharp varieties of ga, da and ni, which do not occur in the parent scale are used in
Anandabhairavi for the enrichment of the raga bhava and are generally referred to as anya
or foreign swaras. Of the three anya swaras mentioned above, Chatusruti Dhaivata, far from
being a mere visiting or accidental note, is an indispensable note forming an integral
part or limb of the scale itself in both its ascent and descent. In fact, it is impossible
to elaborate the raga like the scale of Bhairavi, without resorting to Chatusruti
Dhaivata. Phrases in both the ascent and decent as in p d p s - s n d p - p d n d n p - g
m p d p make use of Chatusruti Dhaivata, which occurs in all the regular prayogas more
frequently than Suddha Dhaivata, which is admitted only in a few phrases like p d m p g r
- g m d p m g r - g m p D D m p g r. The occurrence of Antara Gandhara and Kakali Nishada
is to be found only in certain specific and rare sancharas like p m g G M - m g r G m p m
M - s n d n s r s. Very often, these phrases with Kakali Ni and Antara Ga swaras are sung
when concluding the raga alapana and thus sparingly used (alpa prayoga); these
serve to enrich the melodic individuality of the raga. The long characteristic shake
(kampita) with which the notes Sadharana Ga, Kaisika Ni and Suddha Ma are sung as in the
phrases s g r G, m g r G - P m g r G - s G r g m p p d p s N - s g r N - S s N s nd p - d
p M p s N, is typically expressive of the pleading tone of the raga. The slight quiver in
rendering Ma for instance in the phrase d p M - G m p m M is very touching. The note, Sa
is very often rendered with a characteristic downward grace from the position of Ga. While
elaborating the raga, an ideally relaxing halt is made on Sadharana Ga and Panchama notes
and most of the compositions start on Shadja, Panchama and Gandhara svaras.
The fact that many folk melodies, kummi, marriage songs like sisapadya,
padyas, unjal, nalangu and lullabies exist in this raga, proves not only the wide
distribution of the raga but also popular aspects besides its classical swaroopa. One of
the well known lullaby raga, it is considered auspicious, giving all happiness (sarvada
sukhaprada - cf. Ahobala) and is capable of evoking the feelings of karuna,
vatsalya (tenderness towards a child) and bhakti. It is interesting to note
that the Suddhangam of most of the Tiruvisaippa hymns is being rendered
in Anandabhairavi. The raga, having a profound expression of its own is immensley suited
for singing sankeertanas, slokas, viruttams and padyas and is used largely in operatic
tradition on account of its rich aesthetic feeling.
A closely allied raga, Reetigowla resembles Anandabhairavi, in having not only common
swaras but also with the identical mode of progression in the lower tetrachord viz. s g r
G m - g m p m g r s. The prayoga s n p in mandra sthayi (lower octave) is quite
characteristic of this raga image and serves to distinguish it from Anandabhairavi, in
which sancharas below the mandra sthayi Nishada are carefully avoided as evidenced in the
musical setting of the available compositions. In one of his Utsava Sampradaya keertanas
in this raga viz. Kshirasagara Vihara, the unjal song, saint Tyagaraja,
recognising the haunting simplicity of some of the folk melodies, had introduced the s n p
and s r g r s prayogas in addition to the usages of Antara Ga and Kakali Ni in the piece.
Again, the sanchara s g r g m p is common in Bhairavi also. But the mode of singing each
swara in the grouping of notes is different in each case. In Bhairavi, Ma of the above
phrase is sung with an upward grace (gamaka) from Gandhara but it is not so in the case of
Anandabhairavi, whose bhava is brought out by singing the same phrase with a stress or nokku
gamaka on Ga and the note Ma, sung plain. In Indian music though the factors like the
difference in scales, or the notes to be included or deleted do contribute to the raga
distinction, it is the swara movements, the characteristic grouping of swaras, sangatis,
the intonation of the swaras and the employment of what are known as the dynamic graces,
that fundamentally determine the nature and form of the raga. Every phrase, constituted of
characteristic notes, is thus charged with the emotion of the raga and its significance
and is an expression of the glimpse of the total form of the raga. Hence every note,
irrespective of the frequency of its occurrence in the raga, is unique as it illumines and
preserves the identity of the raga, which is always conceived in its entirety.
Anandabhairavi is considered an ancient raga and the existence of folk tunes, marriage,
songs and lullabies in the raga are supporting evidences. Strangely enough, the textual
tradition points out in unmistakable terms, to the prevalence of this raga from the
beginnings of the 17th century AD. The name Anandabhairavi is found to be absent in the
earlier treatises on music such as Brihaddesi of Matanga, Sangeeta Makaranda
of Narada (12th cen.) Sangeeta Samayasara of Parshwadeva (11th cent) and Sangeeta
Ratnakara of Sarangadeva (1212-1247 AD) Further, it is more surprising to note that
the musicologists who flourished during the medieval period in the history of Indian
music, like Vidyaranya (14th cent), Ramamatya (1550 AD) and Somanatha (1609 AD) also make
no mention of this raga. The enumeration of its lakshana followed by illustrative prayogas
is first seen in the pages of the treatise titled Sangeeta Parijata of Ahobala
(1650 AD) and later has been defined by Shahaji (1648-1712), Tulaja (1735), and Subbarama
Dikshitar in their respective works and also in the raga lakshana appended to Chaturdandi
Prakasika. According to these authors, only Suddha Dhaivata was to be used in the
raga. However, Subbarama Dikshitar has referred to the recent introduction of the
Panchasruti Dhaivata also in the post-Venkatamakhin period in certain prayogas cited by
him viz. s n d n p - s d n d p - s d n p - s d n d p - p n d p. Following mainly the anubandha,
he mentions Anandabhairavi in the list of upanga janyas of Narireetigowla (20th melakarta)
with the arohana and avarohana: S g g m p d p s n s - s n d p m m M g g r s
According to Ahobala (1650), this raga is a derivative of Bhairavi mela, having
Nishada as the udgraha, or the starting note, while Gandhara is sung with a
Bhairavi svara sambhuta nisadodgraha
samyuta Gandhara naimnapayaukta ya jneya sa anandabhairavi
The illustrative sanchara cited by him is: n s g G r r s r r
s n n s n n m m g g m m p m g g m g g g G g r s n N s s - D p m m - p m g g m g G - g g g
g G g r s n n s g g r s n n s s.
The importance of Ga is seen from the frequency of its usage
and the stress placed on it. Tulaja's description of the raga is remarkable as it bears
much similarity to modern practice. The author enumerates Anandabhairavi as a sampoorna
janya of Bhairavi mela taking Suddha Dhaivata and sung in the evening. Further, the swaras
in both the ascent and descent in an irregular (vakra) progression, which is
again a point worthy of notice. For illustrating the movement of the swaras, the following
phrases are cited: p d p m p - m m g g r s n n s - g g s - p p s s - n n d d p m p - m g g
r s - n n s m g g s - Shadja sthayi prayoga. G g r s - n n s - g r s n n s - g g m g m g s
- ta ya prayoga.
It is particularly interesting to note the emphasis on vakra gati and janta proyogas like
p p s s - g g m p - g r g r s - n n s - g g s. Further, some of the prayogas that are
quite characteristic of the raga image as delineated in present day music, are also to be
found in the sancharas cited by Ahobala and Tulaja which shows a certain amount of
continuity in the tradition of rendering the raga.
The raga with the present arohana and avarohana is described as an upanga janya of
Natabhairavi in Sangraha Choodamani of Govinda. The illustrative lakshna Gitam "Are
Raghuveera" freely makes use of phrases like s g r g m, s m m g r, p n n s s, p
p s s n d s g r g m p d p n s d - p p s s n d, p s n d, which figure in the current
renderings of the raga.
Coming to the practical or oral tradition, in addition to the folk and religious songs of
a simple nature, composers from the period of Bhadrachala Ramadas and Kshetragna, have
created all types of compositions ranging from the simple Gitam to the complex pieces like
the Pada Varnam in Anadabhairavi. To mention some of the chronologically important
comoposers in the pre-Tyagaraja period, Bhadrachala Ramadas (1620-1688), Arunagirinathar
(15th cent.), Dasakuta composers, Arunachala Kavi (1711-1788), Kshetragna (17th cent.)
Narayana Teertha (17th cent.), Matrubhutayya, Veerabhadrayya (18th cent.), Melattur
Venkatarama Sastri, Sahaji Maharaja, Tulaja I, and Ramaswamy Dikshitar (1735-1817) have
composed fine pieces in this raga.
The analytical study of the authentic version of the musical setting of the available
songs in Anandabhairavi raga by various composers reveals the following interesting
aspects of the raga:
1. The treatment of the raga without resorting to the use of Suddha Dhaivata, Antara
Gandhara and Kakali Nishada, but embodying it with out-of-date prayogas in the Gitam
"Kamalasulochana", calls for special attention. Prayogas like p p d n d
p m m n d n p d n s which are to be eliminated according to the present lakshana and
lakshya of the raga, are freely employed in this popular Gitam. Rightly have these become
obsolete now as they are suggestive of the shade or chhaya of Kharaharapriya.
2. The treatment of the raga using only the p n n and s g g m prayogas throughout, without
introducing the two key phrases p d p s and s g r g m is seen in the compositions, "Amba
ni suranamu" in Adi, by Ramaswamy Dikshitar, and "Pahi Sri Ramachandra
Kousalya" in Dhruva tala by Paidala Gurumurti Sastri. In the swarajati, "Ravemaguva"
the s g r g, p s n d p and p s n s sancharas are seen in addtion to P P N N s phrase. The
keertana of Bhadrachala Ramadas, "Paluke bangaramayana" contains the
prayoga s r g m g r s in Tara sthayi which is no more in vogue at present. Again the
emphasis on the p d p s prayoga is blatantly seen in the opening part of the chittaswara
appended to the kriti "Neemadi challaga" by Kavi Matrubutayya (18th
cent.). The p n s prayoga though rarely admitted in the singing of raga alapana, is not
used in the rendering of kalpanaswaras in the raga.
The version of Anandabhairavi as codified and accepted at present has been sanctified by
the musical trinity. The beautiful swaroopa of the raga as obtained today, was to a large
extent shaped by them, who have given a classical dignity to the raga by their exquisite
songs in it. The introduction of the anya swaras Antara Ga and Kakali Ni is
already to be seen in the Padam "Manchidinamu" of Kshetragna and the
Pada Varnam of Melattur Venkatarama Sastri. Muthuswami Dikshitar, who has composed five
sterling pieces in the raga has avoided Antara Ga and Kakali Ni throughout. The beauty of
the vadi-samvadi ralation in this raga, is fully exploited by the composer at the
beginning of all these five songs mentioned below:
1. Manasaguruguha - Tisra Eka
2. Dandayudhapanim - Roopaka
3. Tyagarajayogavaibhavam - Roopaka
4. Kamalamba - Misra Eka
5. Anandeswarena - Misra Eka
Only the following three simple songs of Tyagaraja are there in this raga and the reason
for his not attempting more pieces in it is attributed to an interesting incident in his
(a) Rama rama nivaramu - Divyanama keertana
(b) Ksheerasagara vihara - Utsava Sampradaya keertana
(c) Neeke teliyaka pote - Kriti
If Dikshitar's Anandabhairavi as embodied in his songs is beautiful without Antara Ga and
Kakali Ni, in the hands of Syama Sastri, the raga which is obviously very dear to him,
shines in all its lustre due to the introduction of these two anya swaras. In his five
songs inclusive of the Varnam 'Samini rammanave', the several idiomatic
expressions and the characteristic phrases that the raga admits of, are profusely used. No
doubt to him the raga became the most suitable medium for expressing the surging emotions
of the devout heart to the divine Mother.
NOTES ON ANANDABHAIRAVI BY DR. V V SRIVATSA:
'Ananda' symbolizes bliss and Bhairavi could be synonymous with something that could be
awesome. Anandabhairavi can superficially seem to be a paradox, as these two facets cannot
go in tandem. The word Bhairavi is only a generic nomenclature. There is virtual unanimity
on the fact that the aesthetic effects of Anandhabhairavi are blissful and ethereal. This
is a raga which is extremely popular in classical, semi-classical and folk idioms.
Aesthetic assessment, in Carnatic music, is criteria-based and not arbitrary.
Anandabhairavi is one of the select ragas that fulfill all criteria. Thus, it is one of
the foremost rakti ragas.
Anandabhairavi is of indeterminate antiquity. Here is an example of on-going
metamorphosis. It cannot be deemed that this raga originated from folk music. Textual
references indicate that in days bygone, this was an Upanga raga affiliated to the
20th melakarta, Natabhairavi. The enhancement of aesthetic value, ranjakatva, was
facilitated by the acceptance and absorption of a swara alien to the parental scale,
wherefore this raga became a bhashanga raga. The dominance of the naturalized and accepted
swara was such that some musicologists contemplated re-classification. This raga has two
visages, two images. The first is a straight-jacketed classical version and the second is
a version with a salient folklore factor.
The Antara Gandhara is another extraneous swara that was accepted in this raga and its
admittance did not in any manner, dimunitise the aesthetic value. The process of aesthetic
amelioration even led to acceptance of Kakali Nishada in this raga. Such is the capacity
of acceptance of extraneous elements and their eventual integration, as well.
The change or development of this raga has not been merely by means of an addition of an
alien swara but has been fundamental and structural. Shahaji wrote "allika
sandharbamuga vacchunu" meaning that this raga does not exhibit a regular
arrangement of swaras. Shahaji emphasized the fact that the passages
"sa-ri-ga-ma" and "pa-da-ni-sa" are not allowed in this raga.
We have summarized here the multiple structures postulated by various musicologists:
1. Venkatamakhi (Anubhanda of Chaturdandi Prakaashika)
"Aarohe Tu rishabham tyaktwa dhavakram cha samaashritaa Sampoornaam Sagrahopeta
bhaved Ananda Bhairavai".
2. Subbarama Dikshitar (Sangeeta Sampradaya Pradarsini)
3. Govindacharya (Sangraha Choodamani)
Avarohana : Sa-ni-da-pa-ma-ga-ri-sa
4. (Sangeeta Sara Sangrahamu)
5. Nadamuni Pandithar (Sangeeta Swaraprastara Sagaramu)
Divergence in view is primarily in respect of the ascending order of swaras, the Arohana
structure. Venkatamakhin omits 'ri' in the Arohana and accepts vakra at the Dhaivata.
Subbarama Dikshitar allows dwi-vakra in the Arohana accepts the sanchara 'Sa-ni-Sa' but
disallows "da-ni-Sa". Govindacharya projects vakra in the Arohana at Gandhara
and accepts dwi-vakra Arohana; he allows "pa-ni-Sa". These differences are
surreal but not conflicting.
Subbarama Dikshitar provides reference that about one hundred and seventy years before his
time, the second Dhaivata-swara was admitted into this raga. Nevertheless he brands it as
This raga was nourished and cherished in folk music. It was
accepted duly as a Desiya raga in our system. Assuming that there is no musical
aberration, the presence of Kshetragna's Padam, "Manchidinamu nede" and
Bhadrachala Ramdas' composition, "Paluke bangaramayena" show that this
raga did exist much before the era of the Trinity. Devaranamas of Purandaradasa such as
"Rama Nama payasake" and "Hodi nagari mele" are rendered
in Anandabhairavi. The musical structure of "Hodi nagari" is unique in
that all foreign swaras are used. Kanakadasa's "Muttadiro ennannu" is
in this raga. Another pre-Trinity composition remaining unsullied unto today is "Nee
madi challaga" by Kavi Matrubhootayya.
Anandabhairavi is one of the twenty eight ragas of Carnatic music in which we have
compositions by each Trinitarian. Three compositions of Tyagaraja - "Neeke
teliyakapote", "Ksheerasagara vihara" and a Divyanama keertana "Rama
Rama nee varamu" are widely accepted. A fourth one, of recent emergence, "Nee
balama" is not adequately authenticated. Syama Sastri's prolific output in
Anandabhairavi is well known and accepted to such an extent that some call this raga as "Kuttagai"
or exclusive to Syama Sastri. "Marivere", "O Jagadamba" and "Himachala
Tanaya" are very popular and frequently rendered; "Pahi Srigiriraja
sute" is occassionally rendered. The Varnam in Ata tala "Saminni
rammanave", the kritis "Mahilo Amba" and "Aa
dinamuni" are unheard of. The cumulative score of Syama Sastri in this raga is
seven. A fact seldom and hardly appreciated is that there are seven compositions by
Muthuswami Dikshitar, as well. "Kamalamba Samrakshatu", "Masasa
Guruguha", and "Tyagaraja Yoga" are famous and rendered
frequently. Seldom do we get to hear "Anandeshwarena" or "Dandayudhapanim".
The very rare pieces are the lovely "Paradevate namaste" and "Abhayamba
Vina Kuppayyar's Ata tala Varnam, "Sami neepai", is rarely heard and is
limited to the Semmangudi school. Post-Trinity composers like Swati Tirunal, Irayiaman
Thampi, Sadasiva Rao, Mysore Vasudevachar, Papanasam Sivan, G N Balasubramanyam and others
have composed in this raga. We have a lovely tillana in this raga by Tanjavur Sankara
Iyer, rendered emotively by the peerless D K Pattammal.
Anandabhairavi is one of the select five ragas which have a
Navavarna and Navaratnamalika composition (others are Sankarabharana, Khamboji, Kalyani
and Ahiri). The esoteric cum metaphysical Iyrical content of three of Dikshitar's
compositions are so lofty, that mere comprehension of the contents of those compositions
can present a picture of bliss. The Taittreya Upanishad says "Eesam
anandamayam atmanam upasankramaya" - know that the Truth is bliss. Verily, this
raga is a blissful path leading to the Truth.
The greatness, magnificience of Anandabhairavi can be stated as "Anandabhairavi
vaibhavam - asmadjanasukha pradam - rakti raga yoga vaibhavam, raga yoga vaibhavam, yoga
vaibhavam, vaibhavam, bhavam, vam". The glory of Anandabhairavi shall confer
benefits on us; it is a great rakti raga, it attracts listeners, has great spiritual
content, is majestic, is one raga for the future too. The "sa-pa-Sa" sanchara
can be effectively used only in very few ragas, of which Anandabhairavi is one.
Anandabhairavi is a classical example of a folk-oriented Raga scaling the pinnacle of
CALCUTTA K S KRISHNAMURTHI MEMORIAL MUSIC FESTIVAL -
The CAC organised a 5-day music festival at Mylapore Fine Arts Club from 1st to 5th
December '99 to commemorate the memory of Sangeetha Kala Acharya Calcutta K S
Krishnamurthi. It was a fitting tribute to a great teacher by his disciples.
The inaugural function was held on 1st December '99. The festival got off to a start with
Mangala Isai. Mohan Parasaran (Chairman CAC), welcomed the gathering and introduced the
chief guest, Honb'le Minister Nanjil K Manoharan, Minister for Revenue, Govt. of Tamilnadu
and the other dignataries on the dais to the audience. At the outset, he outlined the
objectives of CAC and its commitments to the cause of Carnatic music. The Hon'ble Minister
in his address dwelt, at length, on the services rendered by late Sri. KSK to Carnatic
music and wished the 5-day music festival a grand success. In his presidential address,
Dr. M A M Ramaswamy, Pro-Chancellor, Annamalai University, highlighted the importance of
music and how his family had been supporting the cause of music for generations. He also
stated that he was happy to note that late vidwan Sri KSK was a product of Annamalai
University. He complimented CAC on its efforts in furthering the cause of music and dance
and offered his contribution for the noble cause. The keynote address by Dr. Temple
Tuttle, Music Department, Cleveland State University, was the highlight of the evening's
function. Prof. Tuttle who seemed to have known Sri KSK intimately, brought out the
qualities of his teaching in the form of ten commandments. He showered praise on CAC for
its efforts in documenting the invaluable works of masters for the posterity.
The brief inaugural function concluded with vote of thanks by P N Muralidharan. The maiden
concert of the festival by P Unnikrishnan followed the inaugural function. It was followed
by a concert by Sudha Raghunathan. The rasikas enjoyed the feast offered by these two
On the 2nd day, V K Manimaran and S Sowmya offered their tributes to late KSK in the form
of musical concerts which were greatly enjoyed by the rasikas. The third day featured 3
concerts, one each from Vidya Sundar, T R Padmini and K N Shashikiran which were also
excellent. On the fourth day T Sudharshana and Kasthurirangan sang prior to a public
function which was primarily organised to release the compositions of Sri KSK in the form
of a book and also to release the maiden CD of veteran vocalist Sethalapathy
Balasubramaniam, comprising Viruttams and select songs of Papanasam Sivan. Mohan
Parasaran, Chairman, CAC welcomed the gathering and stated that CAC was immensely pleased
to release the compositions of KSK and the CD of Sri Sethalapathy Balasubramaniam. The
Chief Guest of the evening Hon'ble Minister Arcot. Veeraswamy, Minister for Electricity,
Govt. of Tamil Nadu, released the book of the compositions of Sri KSK, which was brought
out in time, thanks to the efforts of vocalists Sanjay Subramanyan, S Sowmya and K N
Shashikiran. In his special address, he spoke about the contribution made by Sri KSK to
the field of Carnatic music. The CD of Sri Sethalapathy Balasubramaniam was released by K
Krishnan, President, Gramaphone Co. India Limited. In his brief address, he spoke about
his organisation's commitment towards the cause of Carnatic music. Well-known
industrialist P Obul Reddy, in his key-note address, touched upon the importance of
support from patrons, well wishers and philanthrophers in preserving the rich heritage of
Jagatrakshakan, Member of Parliament, in his address, referred to the Sangam literature
and Kamba Ramayanam to illustrate the point that the ambient Tamil society was rich in
music. He expressed his happiness to learn about the active role played by CAC in
propogating Carnatic music.
Sanjay Subramanyan, a disciple of KSK, spoke briefly about his guru and highlighted the
difference in his teaching methods. He quoted several anectodes from the life of Sri KSK
for the benefit of audience. S Sowmya proposed the vote of thanks. The colourful function
was followed by an absorbing concert by Sanjay Subramanyan who brought out his best in
offering his tribute to the memory of his guru.
The valedictory function was held on the last day of the festival which was preceded by
concerts of Suguna Varadachari, Srirangachari and Uma-Gita Sisters. The glittering
function got off to a start with Mangala Isai. Mohan Parasaran in his welcome address
informed the gathering that T Mukta, a legendary figure in Carnatic music, was being
presented the first CAC award for 75 years of contribution to Carnatic music.
The Chief guest of the evening, Hon'ble Justice Sirpurkar, High Court of Chennai, in his
presidential address dwelt on the importance of traditional music in soothing the minds
and stated that its relevance is felt even more in today's context. He also touched upon
the subtle difference between Carnatic music and Hindustani music. Sangeeta Kalanidhi Dr.
Semmangudi R Srinivasa Iyer, who was graced the function, in his short address showered
immense praise on the purity of the music of T Mukta and stated that she richly deserved
the CAC award which carried a cash of Rs. 25,000/- and presented the same to T Mukta on
behalf of CAC. Smt. Mukta in her response complimented Sowmya and K N Shashikiran for
their efforts in honouring musicians during their lifetime and also stated that she was
deeply touched by the gesture of CAC. T T Vasu, President, Music Academy, released the
maiden CD of T Mukta on Padams and Javalis and paid rich tributes to her. The keynote
address delivered by V V Sundaram, Managing Director, CBSI, focussed on the richness of
Carnatic music. He lauded the efforts of CAC in bringing out the contributions made by the
masters of yester years for the benefit of future generations.
On behalf of CAC Suresh Kuppuswamy, son-in-law of late KSK, proposed the vote of thanks.
He stated that the family of KSK was deeply touched by the efforts of CAC in organising
the 5-day memorial concerts in memory of late KSK. The great finale to the 5-day
festival came in the form of a concert by N Vijay Siva who enthralled the audience.
Copies of the book are available at the Carnatica Archival Centre's offices at Chennai.