Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Jaiajaiavanti, Dvijavanti and Dikshitar

Hindustani and Carnatic raagas are often easily distinguishable. While Carnatic raagas use all kinds of gamaka (kampita, jaaru and flat notes without gamaka), Hindustani music has more of jaaru gamaka and flat notes. This difference in the nature of the raagas itself, however, has not prevented Carnatic musicians from adopting Hindustani raagas and viceversa.

Muttuswami Dikshitar, a revered name in Carnatic music, belonged to a family of glorious experimenters, whose creations thrive even to this day. His brother, Baluswami Dikshitar, brought violin to Carnatic music as a side-instrument (pakkavAdya). His father, Ramaswami Dikshitar, created Hamsadhvani, an extremely popular raga. Muttuswami Dikshitar's erudition in Sanskrit, Shrividya, Vedas, Astrology and many other branches of knowledge, resulted in some of the finest compositions in Carnatic music. 'akshayalinga vibho' of Shankaraabharana, 'maanasa guruguharUpam bhaja re' in Anandabhairavi, 'mInAkshi me mudam dEhi' of pUrvikalyANi and a few other kritis of his are my favorites. And I added a new favorite to my list just today. 'chetaH shrI bAlakrishnam bhaja re' is a very beautiful kriti by Dikshitar. It is set in Dvijaavanti, the Carnatic adaptation of the Hindustani raga Jaijaivanti.

When I heard the name 'jaijaivanti', I could not place it immediately. Then a google search told me that the song 'manmohana bade jhoothe' from the movie 'Seema', was set in the same raaga. (Is it coincidence that today is Krishnajanmaashtami, and all the songs I come across are related to Lord Krishna? Incidentally, 'manmohana...' is also one of my favorites.) It is a night raaga, born from the Khamaj thaat. The scale is (from http://www.surdhwani.com/mus_raga.html)
Sa Ri2 Ga2 R2 Sa Dha2 Ni2 Pa Ri2, Ga3 Ma Pa, Ni3 Sa
Sa Ni3 Dha2 Pa, Dha2 Ma, Ga3 Ri ga2 Ri2 Sa

The modern Dvijavanti is a direct derivative of the raaga jaijaivanti. However, Dvijavanti (named thus because of two 'jai's in the name) as conceived by Dikshitar, though said to be derived from Jaijaivanti, resembles not only jaijaivanti but also sahana in some places, and yadukulakaambhoji in some others. The result is a mellifluous melody which leaves one with longing for the divine child of Yashoda. (I could not find the scale for Dikshitar's Dvijavanti. Will post as soon as I find it.)

In the kriti 'chetaH shrI balakrishnam', Dikshitar has used the mood from all the three ragas in a masterly way. The first line of the charaNa, 'navanIta-gandhavAha-vadanam' (= one whose mouth smells of butter), the svaras are arranged in such a way as to remind one of cold breeze. Not a wind, not a tempest or a storm, but just pleasing, soft and cool breeze. In fact, this is the greatness of Dikshitar. The mood of his music always enriches the mood of the sahitya, and viceversa.

My salutations to Dikshitar and his Dvijavanti on the day of Gokulashtami.


Aram said...

As usual, a nice, informative post.

Jaijaivanti is a beautiful melody, to be relished late in the night.

My favorite renditions are those of late Ustad Vilayat Khan (74 minutes) on his sitar and old AIR recordings of vocalists Gangubai Hangal and Basavaraja Rajaguru.

Nice to know that this was adopted from Uttaradi.

Healthy exchange of good things enriches both systems. Imitation is the best form of admiration.

parijata said...

I love Hindustani music, especially the voice culture that they undergo and the intense practice and dedication for their art, which, IMO, is sadly lacking in carnatic musicians.

Yes, healthy exchange of good things enriches both systems of music. We have madhuvanti, kalaavati, Hamir kalyani, kaapi and so many other raagas, which sound only slightly different from the traditional Carnatic raagas.

I find it especially soothing to listen to Hindustani music, mainly because my knowledge is very limited there. When I listen to Carnatic, I almost always, unfortunately for myself, think that with a bit more of practice, I can do better than the musician. This takes away all my peace of mind :(

Aram said...

The last line is funny.

It is natural for the listener to compare one artist with another ( in this case yourself) but that takes away all the pleasure, as experienced by you yourself. Maybe, one should even control one's curiosity and refrain from knowing what raga is being sung also, if one is to truly enjoy music. Prejudice affects pure enjoyment.

It is nice to discover a Hindustani enthusiast in you.

Recently, I enjoyed an old foreign recording of Hariprasad Chaurasia's Malkauns. Lots of his different Malkauns recordings are available. But this one was memorable as the entire CD was unaccompanied by tabla.

Legend has it that Ustad Amir Khan once sang Abhogi for an hour(?) so well that even after elapsing of such a lengthy period it was as if he had just started!

Bhimsen Joshi once said that he and other artists sang for the masses but Amir Khan Saheb sang for artists like Joshi.

Vilayat Khan's Yaman and Darbari are also something I never tire of listening again and again.

His brother Ustad Imrat Khan's Bageshree, Rageshree, Gavati, Kalavathi, Shree, Puriya Dhanashri are my all time favorites.

Funny that we have to thank the rulers and people of the true faith for the development of Hindustani music even though the Holy book decries music as h aram.

I believe that the excess of gaana, naach, and other pleasures was what led to their ultimate downfall.

I built up two separate, extensive collections of recorded music over a period of some decades starting with LPs, then Tapes, then CDs, and now DVDs.

I wish I could learn how to upload these gems onto the net so that you could download them, the way you did with the Mary's Lamb story.

But then, as Nilagriva once asked, do you really have the time to listen?

Jaijaivanti snippets


Thanks to you, I also learnt that DV Paluskar's memorable song, Thumak Chalata Ramachandra is based on Jaijaivanti.

parijata said...

"Prejudice affects pure enjoyment".
How true!
I used to love Shashank's flute, but these days I find his music a little too enthusiastic. Even about musicians I respect a lot, I have something to criticize, and this takes away most of the enjoyment.

After seeing you talk about Abhogi, I did a google search (I was under the impression that it was exclusively a Carnatic Raga). Though the swaras are all the same, they sound so different in the two music systems.

After listening to 'Thumak chalat raama chandra' by DV Paluskar on musicindia online, I had bought his CDs (only a couple of them were available) at the AIR festival. It is very enjoyable.

Do you listen to Rashid Khan? According to my old teacher, he is a phenomenal musician. I listened to him and felt that he was really good.

Aram said...

I see that Hindustani music truly moves you - moves you enough to comment after comment.

Yes, I love Rashid Khan - especially his duet with shahid parvez's sitar. Rag Bageshri is a pure delight. The same tape also has Desh which is another of my favorite Raaga.

Rashid's yaman and multani are my evergreen favorites. Rashid has also very successfully experimented with fusion music - the CD is simply enchanting.

Rashid is the nephew of Ustad Nisar Husain Khan and was groomed at the gurukula of ITC Sangeeth Research Academy of Calcutta

Aram said...


(sorry, Rashid was the grand nephew and disciple of Ustad Nissar Hussain Khan who was a master of Taranas).

parijata said...

Thanks for the information on Rashid Khan. I really enjoy his music.

These days, I am totally sucked into Carnatic music. I'm not complaining, indeed I am enjoying it.

Actually I want to start writing a series on Music. Dunno when, but soon...

kansen said...

thanks for the writing and dialogue on hindustani. in the early days of cassette recorders, i began taking a deliberate interest in hindustani to wean away from voracious reading habit (but failed, like the drunkard who wanting to give up drinking started yoga, but found himself drinking in sheershasana mode). i started recording radio programmes which were from 10 to 11 PM, ideal for a hindustani baithak. one silent night, my elders had retired to their bed rooms and i was recording rag yaman by hangal mother and daughter duo - mother dominant rough male voice and daughter sweet melodious. "merA mana bAndha leno.. vilambit cheez saw me completely immersed in the gAyan. 25 minutes later when the drut cheez "AjA bajAye kAnA bAnsuri" began it was the height of ecstacy and i felt as though i was wandering in brindavan mathura gardens. my elder in the nearby bedroom came out from sleep, sat till the end of the baithak, and made me break the erase tab of the tape which is still there with us; but that day's unique experience for the two of us could never be duplicated. hindustani musiqi has the capacity to completely enchant the listener, transport him to a different world altogether. my friend and artist, prof. shankar patil had also felt listening to mallikarjun mansoor's hindol as if he was swinging ( hindol in marathi meaning jhoola). i also listen to karnatik flute, violin, etc., but such out of the world experiences have never happened. maybe karnatik is more of an aesthetic, intellectual exercise, pleasurable, but not ecstatic, bhakti pradhana as contrasted to hindustani's romantic shringara rasa.

Aram said...

"Actually I want to start writing a series on Music. Dunno when, but soon..."

Hope it will contain something on Hindusthani too - maybe the influence of each on one another.

By the way, there are lot of Daakshinaatyas in Uttaradi, but almost nil the other way round. Eg. Lakshmi Shankar ( one of my favorites), Dr. N. Rajam, M.S. Gopalakrishnan, etc.

Another strength of Hindustani is it has borrowed heavily from folk music. Especially Kumar Gandharva. Also, sahitya is gouna.

What is the title of your book going to be? Sangeetha Rasaaswaadaney? Hope you will publish the chapters in these pages.

The 'Ekaangi' said...

Sorry ... this really is un-related...
Sangeethada gandha nanagilla, but I jus know to enjoy some pleasant music...
Saw yer comment in my blog (Malnad XP), so checked this out ... well ...thanks...
Is parijata yer real name ? Its very different ... nice
Tk cr

Aram said...

Wonder why the Dakshinaadi Paddhati does not observe timings of Ragas the way Hindustani system does. Hindustani way of presentation of the khayals builds up the appropriate mood of the Raga suitable to the time of the day or night. Is there anything similar in Dakshinaadi?

Aram said...

You might want to enjoy this Jaijaivanti sung by Ustad Raashid Khan..... http://www.esnips.com/doc/793501f2-b96e-4c3e-b9fe-92e013a8437f/Rashid-Khan---Mercy-Rain---Jaijaivanti---Daras-Deo-Balama

The same site also contains another Jaijaivanti by Veena Sahasrabuddhe.

Thanks to your post, I have now started searching and enjoying music from the net.

neelanjana said...


Nice article about dvijavanti

You wrote:
"The modern Dvijavanti is a direct derivative of the raaga jaijaivanti. However, Dvijavanti (named thus because of two 'jai's in the name) as conceived by Dikshitar, though said to be derived from Jaijaivanti, resembles not only jaijaivanti but also sahana in some places, and yadukulakaambhoji in some others. The result is a mellifluous melody which leaves one with longing for the divine child of Yashoda. (I could not find the scale for Dikshitar's Dvijavanti. Will post as soon as I find it.) "

Wanted to clarify couple of points:

Looks like as MD conceived it, the rAga name is jujAvanti. Even the rAgamudre in akhilAnDEshwari raksha mAm also shows it as jujAvanti. I am not sure if the name dvijavanti came about because of the two ja s in jaijaivanti.

Yes, jujAvanti is a very nice chAyAlaga rAga (showing the shades of more than one rAga - in this case yadukula kAmbhOji, and shahAna.)


parijata said...

Many ragas even in Carnatic music are supposed to be sung at specific times. For example, Bhauli is supposed to be a morning raaga. And Ahiri should be sung much later. I don't know why we stopped following that rule.

Do you listen to Shashank? His music is just out of the world! Mysore Nagaraj and Manjunath are great musicians too. Embar Kannan is one of my favorites.

And hey, I was not thinking of a book! I just wanted to post a series of blog-posts about Music. About the various granthas like 'chaturdandi prakaashike', 'nATyashAstra', 'sangItaratnAkara', etc... I have to read a lot to be able to write about them, so that's going to happen slowly.

Thanks for the links. Will listen to them soon.

Our guru, Dr.T.S.Satyavati reckons that the dvijavanti of 'chetaH shrIbalakrishnam' is different from that of 'Akhilandeshwari'. The latter is a direct derivative of the Hindustani raaga. Therefore, according to some scholars, 'akhilanDeshvarI' is not a kriti of Dikshitar. Even the Ahiri navaavaraNa kriti is not Dikshitar's. I will, however, ask her again about the name 'jujAvanti'. Surprisingly, 'chetaH shrIbAlakrishnam' does not have a raagamudre!

Thanks for visiting. Parijata is just my blog-name.:)

neelanjana said...

I know about the difference of opinion about akhilanDEswari; More than the different face of the rAga, it is considered spurious because of some grammatical constructions (AFAIK). But any it sure is lighter than the heavy chetaH shrI

This is the first time I heard that Ahiri navAvaraNa is spurious. It is given in the SSP too - and normally most of the kritis in the Sampradaya pradarshini are considered authentic ( except perhaps the rAmakali kriti, which is mentioned as a composition of MD in one edition, and that of Subburama dikshita in the other. Do you have more information, for coming to this conclusion?

Muttuswami dikshita has not given the mudre in all compositions. So it's absence in chetah shri is not an anomaly IMO.

Convey regards from this blogger to vidushi Satyavati - I do not know her personally, but know her sister and guru Vidushi Vasantamashavi quite well.


Aram said...

The irreverent in me could not help but bring the issue of caste and religion in classical music too!

One remarkable thing in Hindustani music is the Muslim vocalists sing bundishes praising Rama and Krishna and Hindu singers praise Allah!

The great Ustad Amir Khan Saheb's cheez in Malkauns, "Jina Ke Mana Raama Viraaje..."

Begum Parveen Sultana's favorite Bhairavi piece, "Bhavani Dayani" and Khamaaj Thumri "Tuma Raadhe Bano Shyaama,"

Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan's "Hari Om Tat Sat"

Ustad Rashid Khan's Kedar song, "Kaanhaa Re Nanda Nandana Hey Dukha Bhanjana Parama Niranjana..:

Similarly, Bhimsen Joshi singing in Miya Malhar, "Kareema Naama Tero" or in Suha Kaanada, "Too Hai Muhammada Shah Darabaarey Nijaaamudeen Auliyaa..." and

Pandit Jasraj's "Mero Allaha Meherabaana."

Curiously, among the Hindu singers themselves there was a bias against each other amongst Brahmin and Lingayat musicians in Karnataka. For example: Bhimsen Joshi never sang Vachanas and Mallikarjuna Mansur never sang any Haridasa or Purandaradasa's bhajans.

Exception was Basavaraja Rajguru whose "Guruvina gulaamanaaguva tanaka doreyadanna mukuti" was a classic.

However, the credit for inspiring the lingayat Mansur to sing Vachanas goes to the brahmin (?) Aa.Na. Krishnaraya, the Kannada novelist of yore.

I suppose such peculiarities and personal prejudices of artistes is not there in Carnatic musicians. Or is there?

turanga said...

Check the url

for a verse based on the assumption that akhilAMDEShvari is composed by MuttusvAmidIkShitar.