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Gurbani Raag Vadhans


Little has been written about this rare raga. It is not in the Ragmala, and today it is ascribed to the Kafi thata. Fifty-three sabdas plus numerous slokas represent the total number composed to this raga by Guru Nanak, Guru Amar Das, Guru Ram Das and Guru Arjan. Vadahans is considered suitable for the cold season and is assigned to the afternoon hours. Its mood is quiet and tender. Texts set to the raga explain how the Guru alone can lead one to the Lord. Without the Lord one is likened to a woman without the love of her spouse.

Aroh : Sa Re Ma Pa, Dha Ni Pa, Ni Sa

Avroh : Sa \i Pa, Dha Nla Ga Re, Sa Ni Sa

Vadi : Re

Samvadi : Pa

Introduction :

Raga Wadhans is a complete raga of Khmaj (thath) School of Music. It is sung in two different forms:

  • Aurav (raga of five notes), in this form note ga and dha are omitted,
  • Khaurav sampooran (where arohi has 6 notes (ga is omitted) whereas avrohi has 7 notes).

This raga is not included in the Ragamala listed at the end of Guru Granth Sahib.

The scale and notes of first form are as follows:

Arohi (ascending scale) - sa re ma pa dha ni pa ni sa

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

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

The scale and notes of the second form are as follows:

Arohi - sa re ma pa dha ni pa ni sa

Avrohi - sa ni pa dha pa ma re sa

This raga is sung at the fourth part of the day i.e., from 3 p.m to 6 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 557 - 594 (38 pages).

The Composers:

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

  • Guru Nanak
  • Guru Amardas
  • Guru Ramdas
  • Guru Arjan Dev

Bhagats:

There is no Bhagat bani in this raga.

The structure:

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

Gurubani:

  • Shabads ( 1,3,4 and 5 padas)
  • Shabads ( 8 padas called Ashtpadis)
  • Shabads (Chhants- including verses titled 'Gorian' sung at marriage (happy) ceremonies)
  • Specialist compositions titled 'Alajnian' sung at death (sad) ceremonies
  • Var

Matrix

VISUAL ANALYSIS

Count of the use of Managals:

Complete Mool Mantar = 1 at page 557
Ik-ongkar Satgur Prasadh = 14

Placement and count of rahaus in this raga:

There are one rahau verse in all shabads composed in Ghar 1, placed after the first padas. Shabads composed in Ghar 2 have no rahau verse in them. All Ashtpadis have rahau verse in them placed after the first pada.

Diversification of headings and subheadings in this raga:

There is no diversification in the title of the heading. On page 582, after title 'Wadhans Mehla 3, Mehla teeja (third) is also added.

Composers Structure of Bani

 

Padas

 

 

 

 

Ashtpadis

Specialist

 

Chts

Specialist

Var

Sloaks*

Gurus

2

3

4

5

6

8 (padas)

untiled

Titled

 

 

 

 

Nanak

1=20

tuka)

 

 

2

 

 

 

 

2

1=8

pds

Titled

Allah nian

3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5 (4 =

chaupads,

1=

ashtpadi)

 

 

Amardas

 

 

 

8

1

 

2

 

6

untitled

4=

chaupadas

40

 

Ramdas

 

 

1

1

1

 

 

 

4 plus

2 titled

'Gorian'

1 (21

pauris)

 

 

Arjan Dev

 

 

1

7

1

 

 

 

 

3

 

4

  • Sloaks of Guru Nanak and Guru Amardas are included in the var of Guru Ramdas whereas the sloaks of Guru Arjan are included in his own Chhants. The comment 'Shud' is recorded at the end of the var.
  • In this raga there are two specialist banis: titled Gorian and Allahnian. Guru Ramdas's Gorian are counted in his Chhants, whereas Guru Nanak's Allahnian are counted as separate compositions.

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

 



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