SearchGurbani.com

Gurbani Raag Bilaval


BILAVAL (ancient name Velavali) Bilaval had become the basic scale for North Indian music by the early part of the 19th century. Its tonal relationships are comparable to the Western C- major scale. Bilaval appears in the Ragmala as a ragini of Bhairava, but today it is the head of the Bilaval thata. The Ragmala gives Bilaval as a putra (son) of Bhairav, but no relation between these two ragas is made today. Bilaval is a morning raga to be sung with a feeling of deep devotion and repose, often performed during the hot months. Over 170 hymns were composed to this raga by Guru Nanak, Guru Amar Das, Guru Ram Das, Guru Arjan and Guru Tegh Bahadur.
Literally, Bilaval means ‘delight’ and therefore this raga is often sung in the spring season. Guru Arjan sings of the bliss which spiritual fulfilment brings:

“I am blessed with great destiny for my God is my Bridegroom.
In His court plays the spontaneous celestial strain.
Night and day, I abide in bliss, listening happily to musical instruments;
Disease, sorrow and pain harass not here, nor is there birth or death”.

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

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

Pakar : Ga Re, Ga ~la Dha Pa, Ma Ga, Ma Re Sa

Vadi : Dha

Samvadi : Ga

Introduction :

This raga is a popular raga of Bilawal thaht. It has many forms e.g., Yamni Bilawal, Shukal Bilawal, Sarparda Bilawal, Dkumb Bilawal, Devgiri Bilawal and Nut Bilawal etc.

This raga is mentioned as a son of rag Bharav in the Ragamala listed at the end of Guru Granth Sahib.

The scale and notes of the raga are as follows:

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

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

The vadi (most popular) note is 'dha' and samvadi (second most popular) note is 'ga'.

This raga is sung at the first part of the day i.e., from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. The season of its recitation is spring (basant) i.e., during February and March. In Guru Granth Sahib it has hymns from pages 795 - 858 (64 pages).

The Composers:

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

Gurus

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

Bhagats:

  • Kabir
  • Namdev
  • Ravidas
  • Sadhna

The Structure:

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

Gurubani:

  • Shabads (2,3,4, and 5 padas)
  • Shabads (8 padas Ashtpadis)
  • Shabads (Chhants)
  • Shabads (Specialist compositions)
  • Shabads (var)

Matrix

VISUAL ANALYSIS

Count of the use of Managals:

  • Complete Mool Mantar = 1 at page 795
  • Ik-ongkar Satgur Prasadh = 30

Placement and count of rahau verses:

First 80 shabads of the Gurus have numbered rahau verses placed at the end of the first padas of the shabads; next 52 shabads (including 3 shabads of Guru Tegh Bahadur) have numbered rahau verses in the beginning of the shabads.

The ashtpadis which follow have numbered rahaus both in the beginning of the first padas and at the end of the first padas of the ashtpadis.

Specialist compositions 'Thithe' and 'Var sat' have one verse of numbered rahau at the end of the first pada.

The Bhagat Bani has rahau verse with numerals and is placed both at the end of of the first padas of the shabads and the beginning of the shabads.

Diversification of headings & subheadings in this raga:

Page number

Heading/Subheading

795

Raga Bilawal Mehla 1 chaupadas Ghar 1

806

Raga Bilawal Mehla 5 Ghar 4 dopadas

820

Raga Bilawal Mehla 5 chaupadas dopadas Ghar 6

830

Raga Bilawal Mehla 5 Ghar 13 Partal*

Where tal is changed again and again during singing.

Composers Structure of Bani

 

Padas

 

 

 

 

Ashtpadis

Specialist

 

Chts

Specialist

Var

Sloaks*

Gurus

2

3

4

5

6

8 (padas)

untiled

Titled

 

 

 

 

Nanak

 

 

4

 

 

2

 

Thithe

2

 

 

2

Amardas

 

 

5

1

 

1

 

war sat

2 shbds

 

 

 

24

Ramdas

 

 

7

 

 

6

 

 

2

 

1

1

Arjan Dev

73

 

54*

2

 

2

 

 

5+1

(Chhnat

mangal)

 

 

13

Tegh

Bahadur

2

1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bhagats                        
Namdev 1                      
Ravidas   2                    
Sadhna     1                  
  • Pds= padas
  • Chts = Chhants
  • One chaupada shabad of Guru Arjan has a recommended tune for its singing, page 802 shabad 4/1/4.

 

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

 



Printed from https://searchgurbani.com/raags/raag_bilaval
© 2004 - 2017. Gateway to Sikhism All rights reserved.