Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Hamsadhwaini..The Morning Ragha..Varsha Ragha.

What a Name!!!!!

Hamsa in Sanskrit means the swan. The slowly swimming swans attract every birdlover. The Vedhas have a special place for Hamsa Bird. It is said the word is a thathbava from the word Hamso. Go on repeating it fast. You get Soham… That is Me.
Ayam athma Brahmam.. Tells Upanishad.

It goes without saying, therefore, that Raag Hamsadwani owes its name to Vedhas.
And naturally,
any treatise on Raag Hamsadwani can start with nothing other than Vathapi Ganapathim, the illustrious Kirthana, rendered by the immortal Carnatic Singer Ms.M.S.Subbulakshmi.

This song is composed by the Great Muthuswamy Dikshithar. One is lost in tranquility as well as poetic ecstasy with which it is composed in praise and glory of Lord Vigneswara, Who, as the First of All Deities, removes all obstacles of all, grants prayers of all. He waits at the entrance of all streets, to receive the seekers of God, only to grant them what they want.

Pallavi: Vatapi ganapathim bhajeham
Varanasyam varam pradam Shree
Anupallavi: Bhutadi sam sevitha cahranam
Bhuta bowthika papancha bharanam
Kalpaswaram: Veetha raginam vinutha yoginam viswa karanam vigna varanam
Charanam: Pura kumbha sambhava munivara prapujitham -
Trikona madya gatahm - Murari pramukha dyupasthitham -
Muladhara kshetra stitham - paradi chatwari vakath makam - pranava swarupa vakra thundam - Nirantharam nitala chandra kandam
Nija vamakara vidrudekshu dandam - karabuja pasa beeja puram -
kalusha viduram bhutaharam - haradi guru guha thoshita bimbam-
Hamsadhwani bhushita he rambam

The Carnatic Raag HAMSA DWANI owes its origin to the 29th Melakartha Raaga DHEERA SHANKARABHARANAM. The Arokanam (Asendant) and the Avaraohanm (Decendant) Swaras of Raag Hamsadwani are:

Aa: S R2 G3 P N3 S
Av: S N3 P G3 R2 S

In the Five swaras, Chathusrithi Rishabam, Suddha Gaandharam and Suddha Nishadham are introduced. The Avarohanam has the same swaras.

One does not miss noticing that the swaras MADHYAMAM and also DHAIVATHAM do not find a place in this Raaga.

This Raag has been a favourite with almost all Sections of Composers, classical, folk, and western music fused with Carnatic. Right from the Trimurthy Composers down to the contemporary composers, this raag has been handled with poise, dignity and precision.
Film Music Directors especially the Scholar Composer ILAYARAJA and the doyen amongst the Music Directors Dr.M.S.Viswanathan handle this raag with precision.


Almost all songs under this Raag are not only popular and evergreen in the minds of music lovers. :

aarabhimaanam (anupallavi)
abheeshhTa varada
aruL purivaay
caaruvikrama - HB
caladaa hari naama - AC
centa deercci - TT
en taay vaazhgavE - SNB
gajavadanaa bEDuvE
gam gaNapatE
jaya mahishaasura - HB
karuNaanidhiyE - SNB
mulaa dhaara moortee
namaami vighna vinaayaka - KSA
paahi shreepatE
paraashakti jananee
raghunaayaka - T
saa sapaa nabOnipaa - PS
shree raghukulamandu - T
vaaraNa mukhavaa

We are now presenting a superb presentation by Dr. Kamala Shankar (shankar-guitar), Romain Loyer (sitar - France), Smt. Vijaya Shankar (tanpura), Toth Szabi (sitar - Hungary), Rajeev Janardan (sitar) play Raag Hamsadhwani in Dr. R. Shankar`s house in Varanasi.
Dr.Kamala Shankar is a genius. Her Contribution to classical music will live for ever.
Please visit:

Indian classical music genius late Pandit Kumar Gandharva's very old ('60s) video telecast in 2006 featuring a
varsha geet (rainy season song) (more) (less

I am also presenting Raag Hamsadwani in different instruments, sung solo by versatile musicians. Most of these are audio files, and kindly retain this window, while opening the same in a different window in your desktop. If you have a real player, you may have a perfect quality sound.

Please be patient enough to listen to all the musical instruments in Raag HamsaDwani. Only then will you be able to absorb the genius of ILAYARAJA, whose video is at the end of this essay.

To start with Jalatharangam. I do not know who invented this instrument. Pots made of clay or china clay, filled with varying levels of water, when hit with sticks produce such swaras as one normally expects only in Indhra Loka, presided by Lord Indhra. Since you and I would hardly go there, let us listen to the jalatharangam by

Anayapatti. Vaathapi Ganapathim
Click Below; (Retain the present window, and open this in a different window) OR
The giant of a musician

Kadri Gopinath.plays in Saxophone.
Vathapi Ganapathim is his favourite one too.
Now a couple of North Indian classicals on this Raag.

Kumar Gandharva Hamsa Dwani

Hamsadwani on Harmonium by
Palladam Venkataramana Rao

This Raag has been fused with Western Music also.
You may listen to:
Dr.T.K.Pattammal a veteran erudite scholar from South India sings on Hamsadwani..
Also, by G.N.Balasubramanian.

I can hardly forget film music lovers.
Film songs set in Raag Hamsadwani are: legion. A few among them are:

mayilE mayilE un tOgai (kaDavuL amaitta mEDai)

Please Wait for 10 seconds more to click on the film video to listen to ILAYARAJA

ayyar aatu poNNu sonna
kaalam maaralaam (vaazhkai)
malargalE naadaswarangaL (kizhakkE pogum rayil)
mazhaikkalamum pani kaalamum (saavitri)
nyaala mudalvanE naayakanE (seerkaazhi gOvindaraajan)
paaTTu talaivan (idhaya kovil)
poomuditu poTTu vaita vaTTanilaa
ragunaayaka nee paadayuga (tyaagaiyaa)
ragupatiyE unadaDiyE (T.K. raamanuja kaviraayar)

shree raam ragukula naayakaa (navajeevanam)

And NOW,

that is raag Hamsa Dwani. IN FILM MUSIC.
A Raag that rejuvenates you makes to fresh all the day. Like a mouth refreshener, Raag Hamsadwani, to say the least, is a soul Refreshener.

“Mayile Mayile” in Raag- Hamsadwani springs
by veteran Music Director ILAYA RAJA.

(I am grateful to Mr. M. KumarPalani who has posted this video in the youtube.)
T amil song Mayile mayile un thogai inge from Kadavul amaiththa medai
Music Ilaiyaraaja
Singers : S.P.Balasubramaniam & Jency

May I end this thesis with my own composition set to Raag Hamsadhwani.

Ra...Ma....Nin Naamam Ninaindhen.
Ra...Ma....Nin.padham Panindhen.


Anonymous said...

Malargale song is not based on pure hamsadwani, although it has strong traces.

manipayal said...

Sir, excellent post. Here are a few more film songs in Hamsadvani - pl correct me if I am wrong as I dont have carnatic music knowledge but only by hearing repeatedly I am associating one song with another and so terribly wrong lot of times but over the last 2 yrs I have improved a lot and blogs such as yours will surely be helpful in that case.

1. வா வா வா வா கண்ணா வா - வேலைக்காரன் - இளையராஜா
2. இரு விழுயின் வழியே நீயா வந்து போனது - சிவா - இளையராஜா
3. பால் பொங்கும் பருவம் - படம்????????
4. செவ்வானமே பொன்மேகமே
- some sivaji movie?????