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Gurbani Raag Dhanasri


Raga Dhanasri appears in the Ragmala as a ragini of Malkaunsa and currently is a member of the Kafi thata, It closely resembles Bhimpalasi in musical content but the vadis and moods are different. Dhanasri is performed in the early afternoon and presents a cheerful, happy mood. It provided the setting for hymns by Guru Nanak, Guru Ainar Das, Guru Ram Das, Guru Arjan and Gurfi Tegh Bahadur for a total of 101 hymns. These texts stress that man reaps what he sows. Only in the Lord may be found the riches that dispel fear and ignorance and thus cause man to realize his true self. This raga is very appropriate for worship and supplication. Guru Nanak many Bhagats have composed Aarti in this raga. The Guru has described the adoration of God by the objects of nature:

“What other worship can be compared to Nature’s own Festival of Lights,
While the Divine Music resounds within!”[9].

Ravidas, Sain, Pippa and Dhana have composed Aarti-hymns in this raga.

Aroh : Sa Ga'Ma Pa Ni Sa

Avroh : Sa _Ni Dha Pa   Nla P a Ga Re Sa

Vadi : Pa

Samvadi : Sa

Pa is given considerable emphasis and _Ni and Pa receive sliding approaches, a characteristic of this raga. The pentatonic ascent provides some of the melodic features of this raga.

Introduction

According to one school of Music this raga is a ragini (consort) of raga Malkaus. It is made up of a mixture of Todi, Asawari and Marwa ragas. It is sung in four different forms: Kafi form, Multani form, Puria form and Bharvi form This raga is included in the Ragamala listed at the end of Guru Granth Sahib. The scale and notes of the four forms listed above are the same and are as follows:

Arohi (ascending scale) - sa ga ma pa ni sa

Avrohi (descending scale) - sa ni dha pa ma ga re sa

The vadi (most popular) note is 'pa' and samvadi (second most popular) note is 'sa'.

This raga is sung at the third part of the day i.e., from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. The season of its recitation is winter (shisher) i.e., during December and January.
In Guru Granth Sahib it has hymns from pages 660 - 695 (36 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 Bhadur

Bhagats:

  • Kabir
  • Trilochan
  • Namdev
  • Ravidas
  • Sain
  • Pipa
  • Dhanna

The Structure:

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

Guru bani:

  • Shabads (2,3,4 and 5 padas)
  • Shabads - ( 8 padas called Ashtpadis)
  • Shabads-Chhants'
  • Var

The word 'Shud' is written at the end of the var. For the explanation of this comment please refer to page.

Bhagatbani:

  • Shabads ( 2-6 padas)

Matrix

VISUAL ANALYSIS

Count of the use of Managals:

Placement and count of rahau verses:

All shabads and ashtpadis of the Sikh Gurus, except Guru Tegh Bahadur, have rahau verses in them, some with numeral '1' and some without numeral '1' (page 663-665). All rahau verses have been placed at the end of the first padas of the shabads.

In Guru Tegh Bahadur's shabads, all rahau verses have numeral '1' with them and all verses have been placed in the beginning of the shabads.

In the Bhagat Bani all the shabads have rahau verses in them, some with numerals and some without numerals (page 694), and most of them have been placed at the end of the first padas of the shabads. In the last shabad of Bhagat Ravidas (page 694), it is placed in the beginning of the shabad.

Diversification of headings/subheadings in this raga:

Page number

Heading/Subheading

660

Dhanasri Mehla 1 Ghar 1 chaupadas

666

Raga Dhanasri Mehla 3 Ghar 4

687

Dhanasri Mehla 1 Chhant

690

Dhanasri Vhhant Mehla 4 Ghar 1

Composers Structure of Bani

 

Padas

 

 

 

 

Ashtpadis

Specialist

 

Chts

Specialist

Var

Sloaks*

Gurus

2

3

4

5

6

8 (padas)

untiled

Titled

 

 

 

 

Nanak

 

 

7

2

 

2

 

1 titled

'Art y (4

padas)

included

in the

total of

4 padas

shabads

3

1=4

pds

2=5

pds

 

 

 

Amardas

 

1

8

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ramdas

6

 

7

 

 

 

 

 

1=5

 

 

 

Arlan Dev

33

5

18

2

 

1

 

 

1=4

 

 

 

Tegh

Bahadur

4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bhagats

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kabir

1

1

3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Namdev

1

1

2

1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ravidas

2

 

1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Trilochan

 

 

 

 

1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sain

 

 

1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pipa

1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dhanna

1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • There is no var in this raga
  • Chts = Chhants

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

 



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