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Gurbani Raag Gauri


Gauri has the largest number of composition which cover about 14 per cent of the total number of pages of the Scripture. It contains two important compositions of Guru Arjan, Sukhmani and Bavan-akhri (acrostic). As it is a serious raga, the Gurus have given herein the exposition of profound concepts like fear, consciousness, soul and salvation.

Gauri is one of several Gauri ragas and appears in the Ragmala as a ragini of Siri Raga. This is an evening raga assigned to autumn and its mood is contemplative. The composition in Gauri is very voluminous. Gauri was used by Guru Nanak, Guru Amar Das, Guru Ram Das, Guru Arjan and Guru Tegh Bahadur. Several forms of Gauri exist historically and this probably accounts for the large number of variants: Gauri Cheti, Gauri Bairagan, Gauri Dipaki, Gauri PurbiDipaki, Gauri Guareri, Gauri-Majh, Gauri Malava, Gauri Mala, Gauri Sorath, Gauri Dakhani.

Aroh : Sa Re Ga Re Ma Pa Ni Sa

Avroh : Sa Ni Dha Nfa Pa, Dha Pa IIa Ga, Ga _Re Sa Ni Sa

Vadi : _Re

Samvadi : Pa

Occasionally Re is performed with a vibrate as in Siri Raga which has the same vadis. Ni is given prominence through either stopping or lingering on this note.

Introduction :

The literal meaning of Gauri is 'style' i.e., the style and mode to remember God and sing his glories. According to the Indian school of Music Gauri is a ragini (female raga). Its roots are in the eastern thaht, and it is a consort of raga Sri. In Guru Granth Sahib maximum compositions are composed in this raga. There are 22 forms of Gauri tunes according to the Indian School of Music, whereas in Guru Granth Sahib there is a mention of 12 of such forms, they are:

  • Gauri (refer page 151)
  • Gauri Gurareree (refer page 151)
  • Gauri Dakhni (refer page 152)
  • Gauri Cheti (refer page 154)
  • Gauri Bairagan (refer page 156)
  • Gauri Deepki (refer page 156)
  • Gauri Purbi Deepki ( refer page 167)
  • Gauri Purbi (refer page 168)
  • Gauri Maj (refer page 172)
  • Gauri Malwa (refer page 214)
  • Gauri Mala (refer page 214)
  • Gauri Sorath (refer page 330)

The above forms of Gauris were developed by mixing pure Gauri with other regional tunes, notes and tals. The thaht of Pure Gauri is Bhairo. The notes are: Arohi (ascending scale) - sa re ma pa ni sa (omitted notes are ga dha) Avrohi - sa ni da pa ma re sa (omitted note is ga)

The most popular note is 're' soft (komal) and the second popular note is 'pa'.

The recommended time of its singing is the third part of the day, 12 noon - 3 p.m., and the season of its recitation is winter (shisher), December -January. In certain forms of Gauris the time of its singing is different from the pure Gauri, e.g., the popular time of singing Gauri Mala is the first quarter of night rather than third part of the day.

In Guru Granth Sahib this is the third raga, whereas in the Ragamal it is listed in the last lines as Gavri, rather than Gauri, and is classified as a wife of Sri raga.

In Guru Granth Sahib the hymns recorded in this raga are on pages 151 -347 (197 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:

  • Kabir
  • Namdev
  • Ravidas

The Structure:

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

Gurubani:

  • Shabads (divine songs) (2-6 padas (stanzas))
  • Shabads - Ashtpadis ( divine songs of 8 padas)
  • Shabad - Chhant (divine song of special praise)
  • Specialist compositions titled 'Bawan Akhri' (52 letters of the Sanskrit alphabet), 'Sukhmani'( divine song of peace), and 'Thithe' (15 days of the lunar calendar)
  • Var (ode/ballad)

Bhagatbani;

  • Shabads of various padas
  • Shabad - Ashtpadi
  • Specialist compositions titled 'Bawan Akhri', 'Thithe' and 'wars' (seven days of a week).
  • Shabads of various padas.

Matrix

VISUAL ANALYSIS

Count of the use of Mangals:

Mool Mantar = 1
Ik-ongkar Satnam Kartapurkh Gurparsadh = 7
Ik-ongkar Satnam Gurparsadh= 40

Placement and count of rahau verse/s:

All shabads from pages 151 - 220 have rahau verse in them. The shabads on pages 151 - 202 have rahau verse placed after the first pada, whereas the shabads on pages 203 -220 have rahau verse placed in the beginning of the shabad.

All ashtpadis have rahau verse in them, some placed in the beginning of the hshtpadis and some placed after the first padas.

Specialist compositions are analysed as follows:

  • Karhale on page 234 has one rahau verse placed after the first pada,
  • Bawan Akhri on pages 250 -262 has no rahau verse in it.
  • Sukhmani on pages 262 - 296 has one rahau verse in the first ashtpadi, placed after the first pada.
  • Thithe on pages 296 - 300 has no rahau verse in it,
  • In Bhagat bani the situation is as follows:
  • Kabir's Bawan Akhri -no rhau verse
  • Kabir's thithe - one rahau verse placed after the first pada,
  • Kabir's war- one rahau verse in the beginning of the war.'

Diversified heading and subheadings used in this raga

Page no

Heading

Page no

Heading

151

Raga Gauri Guarareree Mehla 1

Chaupadas dopadas

241

Gauri Mehla 5

163

Gauri Grarareree Mehla 4

chautha chaupadas

262

Gauri Sukhmani Mehla 5

220

Raga Gauri Ashtpadi Mehla 1

Gauri Guarareree

296

Thithe Gauri Mehla 5

229

Raga Gauri Guareree Mehla 3

Ahstpadi

346

Gauri Bairagan

Composers Structure of Bani

 

Padas

 

 

 

 

Ashtpadis

Specialist

 

Chts

Specialist

Var

Sloaks*

Gurus

2

3

4

5

6

8 (padas)

unified

Titled

 

 

 

 

Nanak

 

2

15

3

 

18

 

 

2

 

 

 

Amardas

 

 

18

 

 

9

 

 

5

 

 

4

Ramdas

 

 

30

2

 

2 titled

karhale

(10 padas)

counted in

Ashtpadis

 

 

 

 

1(33)

51

Arjan

Dev

13

6

146

7

 

15

 

 

4

Bawanakhri

(55 sloaks,

55 pauris)

Sukhmani

(24 slokas

24 ashtpadi

Thithe

(17 sloaks

17 pauris)

1(21)

75

TeghBhadur

7

2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bhagats

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kabir

11

25

32

3

2

1

 

 

 

Bawanakhri

(45 padas)

Thithe

(1 sloak,

16 padas)

Wars (days

of the week)

(8 padas)

 

 

Namdev

1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ravidas

 

3

1

 

 

1

 

 

 

 

 

 

Please note that no where in Guru Granth Sahib, any var composed by the Sikh Gurus has any rahau verse in it. This is not a var (ode). But a specialist composition titled 'war' which means seven days of a week.

*All sloaks are included in the vars, Bawan Akhri and Thithe. At the end of Guru Ramdas's var comment 'Shud' is written, whereas at the end of Guru Arjan's var comment 'Shud kechay is written.

* in Guru Ramdas's var 5 pauris, out of a total of 33 pauris are composed by Guru ArjanDev

Readers please compare the structure of the two Bawan Akhris and their lengths Where ru Arjan's Bawan Akhri is composed of Sloaks and Pauris, Kabir's Bawan Akhri is ,posed of padas.

Secondly, where the Guru Arjan's composition has 110 verses (sloaks plus pauris) Kabir's composition has only 45 padas.


pds= padas

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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