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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 galgajesi").

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 "ni-da-ni-Sa".

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 her view.

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.

  • 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 Anandabhairavi.


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 stress.

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 life.

(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.


'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 day’s 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".

Arohana: sa-ga-ma-pa-da-pa-ni-sa
Avarohana: Sa-ni-da-pa-ma-ga-ri-sa

2. Subbarama Dikshitar (Sangeeta Sampradaya Pradarsini)

Arohana: sa-ga-ga-ma-pa-da-pa-sa-ni-sa
Avarohana: Sa-ni-da-pa-ma-ma-ga-ga-ri-sa

3. Govindacharya (Sangraha Choodamani)

Arohana: sa-ga-ri-ga-ma-pa-da-pa-ni-Sa
Avarohana : Sa-ni-da-pa-ma-ga-ri-sa

4. (Sangeeta Sara Sangrahamu)

Arohana: sa-ga-ma-pa-da-pa-sa
Avarohana: Sa-ni-da-pa-ma-ga-ri-sa

5. Nadamuni Pandithar (Sangeeta Swaraprastara Sagaramu)

Arohana: sa-ga-ma-pa-da-pa-sa-ni-da-ni-sa
Avarohana: Sa-ni-da-pa-ma-ga-ri-sa

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 "Panchasruti Dhaivata".

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 Nayaka".

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 classicism.


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 popular artistes.

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 Carnatic music.

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.


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