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Gurbani Raag Bihagaraa


Bihagara is very similar to the modern and yen , popular raga Biliag. The resemblance is so close that many performers have trouble maintaining the significance of each. Bihagara is not given in the Ragmald. Today it is classified under the Bilaval thata. Guru Rain Das, Guru Arjan and Guru Tegh Bahadur set a total of 17 sabdas, chhants and a var to this raga. The performance time is between y p.m. and midnight, and the mood is devotional and tranquil. The texts composed to this raga describe the complete peace and response that come to man when he surrenders all to the Lord.

Aroh : Ni Sa Ga Ma Pa Ni Sa

Avroh : Sa Ni Dha Pa Ni Dha Pa Dha Ga Ma Ga Re Sa

Vadi : ga

Samvadi : Ni

Introduction :

Raga Bihagra is made up of ragas Kedara, Gauri and Siam. There is no mention of this raga in the Ragamala listed at the end of Guru Granth Sahib. In the Kali Nath School of music it is listed as a consort of raga Bhairav, whereas in the Bharat School it is listed as a son of raga Deepak, and in the Hindi Shabad Sagar it is listed as a son of raga Hindol. In Nad Binod's school it is titled as 'Bihag, and Chhaya Bihag'. According to Bhai Kahn Singh it is a form of raga Bilawal.

The scale and notes of the raga are as follows:

Arohi (ascending scale) - ni sa ga ma pa ni sa (omitted notes are -ga, ni)
Avrohi (descending scale) - sa ni dha pa na-dha-pa ma-ga-ma ga re sa
The vadi (most popular) note is 'ga' and samvadi (second most popular) note is 'ni'

This raga is sung at the second part of the night i.e., from 9 p.m. to 12 a.m. The season of its recitation is winter (hement) i.e., during November and Decembe. In Guru Granth Sahib it has hymns from pages 537 - 556 ( 20 pages).

The Composers:

The composers of bani (hymns) in this raga are:

Gurus

  • Guru Nanak Dev
  • Guru Amardas
  • Guru Ramdas
  • Guru Arjan Dev
  • Guru Tegh Bahadur

Bhagats:

There is no Bhagat bani in this raga.

The structure:

The sequence of the structure of compositions in this raga are:

Gurubani:

  • Shabads ( 3 and 4 padas)
  • Shabads Chhant
  • Var

Matrix

VISUAL ANALYSIS

Count of the use of Managals:

Complete Mool Mantar = 1 at page 537
Ik-ongkar Satgur Prasadh = 5

Placement and count of rahaus in this raga:

In this raga there are only two shabads, one of Guru Arjan Dev and one of Guru Tegh Bahadur, rest of the compositions are chhants and a var. Both shabads have rahau verse in them, in the first shabad of Guru Ramdas, it is placed after the first pada, whereas in the second shabad of Guru Tegh Bahadur it is placed in the beginning of the shabad.

Diversification of headings & subheadings in this raga

Page number

Heading/Subheading

537

Raga Bihagra chaupadas Mehla 5 ghar 2

537

Raga Bihagra Mehla 9

537

Raga Bihagra Chhant Mehla 4 Ghar 1

541

Bihagra Mehla 5 Chhant Ghar 1

Composers Structure of Bani

 

Padas

 

 

 

 

Ashtpadis

Specialist

 

Chts

Specialist

Var

Sloaks*

Gurus

2

3

4

5

6

8 (padas)

untiled

Titled

 

 

 

 

Nanak

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2

Amardas

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

40

Ramdas

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6

 

1 (21

pauris)

2

Arjan Dev

 

 

1

 

 

 

 

 

9

 

 

2

Tegh

Bahadur

 

1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

***In addition to the above sloaks, there are also three sloaks titled as of Bhai Mardana. Many scholars argue that these sloaks are of Guru Nanak Dev rather than of Bhai Mardana.

***All sloaks are included in the Var of Guru Ramdas. The comment'Shud' is stated at the end of the var.

Excerpts taken from:
Guru Granth Sahib: An Advance Study
Dr Sukhbir Singh Kapoor
Vice Chancellor World Sikh University, London

 



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