A Garland of "Ranjani"s


P. P. Narayanaswami

(This article appeared in SRUTI RANJANI, Vol 8, No. 1 (Dec. 1998)
published by SRUTI, the Indian Music and Dance Society of
Philadelphia, Delaware, and New Jersey)
*Reproduced with the author's permission on this web site*

Last year, in a Toronto concert, the talented young karnatik singer,
Smt.S.Sowmya rendered a beautiful ragam, tanam, pallavi exposition in
the ragam Ranjani. After an elaborate delenation of the ragam, and
singing the tanam segment, she embarked on the pallavi line, rendering
the trikalam (three speeds), followed by kalpana svarams. The
highlight of the entire pallavi was that Smt. Sowmya topped the
cake with icings consisting of ragamalika svara "mala" in nine
(since it was navarathri season!!) additional Ranjani-suffixed ragams,
namely, sriranjani , srutiranjani, manoranjani, karnaranjani,
mararanjani, sivaranjani, janaranjani, megharanjani, and sumanesaranjani.
She also mentioned the name of the particular Ranjani, during each
svara kalpana. It was one of a kind, and a rare treat indeed.

During the 1970s, in the Krishna Gana Sabha in Madras (Chennai),
the (late) S.Kalyanaraman embarked on a ragamalika pallavi in four
Ranjani-suffixed ragams, and the lyric of the pallavi ran as follows:

"ranjani, bhaktamanoranjani, rasikajanaranjani,
ni varamarulvay sriranjani".

The violin accompaniment was by none other that the maestro,
M.S.Gopalakrishnan, and it was a sheer delight to listen to these
stalwarts, doing ragam elaboration, tanam, and kalpana svara
exercises in all these four Ranjani's, effortlessly and with
razor-sharp accuracy, and speed.It was indeed a marvellous feat.

The famous "ranjanamala" ragamalika composition by Thanjavur
Sankara Iyer, starting with the phrases
"ranjani, mrdupankajalocani",
is set to four Ranjanis, namely, Ranjani, sriranjani,
janaranjani, and megharanjani, with beautiful citta svarams,
built into the text. This composition is popularized by the
D.K.Pattammal/Jayaraman school, and is frequently heard in
concerts these days, often rendered by their disciples.

These observations prompted me to look into the various
ragams that have the suffix "ranjani", and to my surprise,
I found a vast number of them, exceeding 50.

The word "ranjani" literally means something that "pleases"
(ranjayati). Certainly, it is a very pleasing ragam. There
are numerous ragams in karnatic music with the suffix Ranjani.
All of them are very pleasing, some very popular, some very
rare, and some only of theoretical interest, and not currently
in vogue. Of these, srianjani enjoys more popularity,and
has the maximum number of compositions.

Appropriately, this article is appearing in this journal, whose
name is "srutiranjani".
 

Some popular Ranjanis

 

Ranjani


janaka melam: 59, Dharmavati
arohanam: sa ri ga ma dha sa
avarohanam: sa ni dha ma ga sa
 

Ranjani is an upanga, audava-audava (five in the ascending,
five in the decending) ragam; but the noted omitted in the
arohanam and avarohanam are not the same.
The notes pa and ni are omitted in the arohanam, and
the notes pa and ri in the avarohanam.
It is a very pleasing ragam, and usually preferred in the
ragamalika compositions, ragamalika svara segment of a
pallavi exercise, or as a light popular song.
Among the musical trinity, only Tyagaraja composed in Ranjani.
Madurai Mani Iyer was responsible for the popularity that this
ragam enjoys in concert platforms. Rasikas eagerly awaited for
his taking up Ranjani, either in the form of the famous Tyagaraja
composition, "Durmarga chara", or during the kalpana svara section
of a pallavi. He was capable of fully briging out the beauties
of this ragam. The following compositions in Ranjani are popular.

Durmarga chara (Rupakam) Tyagaraja
Ranjani Niranjani (Adi) GNB
Ambhoruha Padame (Adi) GNB
Bhavaye sri Janakikantam (Adi) Swati Tirunal
Pranamamyaham (Tripu ta) Mysore Vasudevachariar
Kaikoduppaye (Adi) Periyasami Thuran
Sodanai seyyade (Rupakam) Neela Ramamurthy
Sri Sabarisam (Adi) Thulaseevanam
 

Sriranjani


janaka melam 22, Kharaharapriya
arohanam: sa ri ga ma dha ni sa
avarohanam: sa ni dha ma ga ri sa

It is a shadava- shadava, upanga ragam with symmetrical
tetrachords. It is a gamaka pradhana rakti ragam, in which the
ragachaya svarams are ri, ga, dha, and na. The nyasa svaram
is ma. A tristhayi ragam, well suited for detailed alapana.

Of the ranjani ragam cluster, srianjani has more
popular compositions, It is said that this ragam is supposed
to please Goddess Lakshmi. The following are some compositions in
sriranjani.

Compositions

Sami ninne (Varnam) (Adi) Ramaswamy Dikshitar
Svami ni (Pada var nam) Papanasam Sivan
Sogasogamridanga (Rupakam) Tyagaraja
Marubalka (Adi) Tyagaraja
Brocevarevaru (Adi) Tyagaraja
Sariyevvaro (Adi) Tyagaraja
Bhuvini Dasudana (Adi) Tyagaraja
Ni sati daivamu (daru) (Rupakam) Muthusvami Dikshitar
Parvatarajakumaram (Adi) Muthusvami Dikshitar
Balambikaya (Ekam) Muthusvami Dikshitar
Sri Dum Durge (Khanda Ekam) Muthisvami Dikshitar
Sriramacandro (Misra chapu) Muthusvami Dikshitar
Bhavaye Sri Janakikantam (Adi) Swati Thirunal
Sharakananan (Adi) Subbarama Dikshitar
Vande Sada (Adi) Ambi Dikshitar
Gajavadana (Rupakam) Papanasam Sivan
Kana vendamo (Adi) Papanasam Sivan
Nambum Ambaraiya (Adi) Papanasam Sivan
Ramam bhajata manuja (Adi) Papanasam Sivan
Sami ni manam (Adi) Papanasam Sivan
Iniyoru ganam (Adi) Papanasam Sivan
Ullam Ariyada (Adi) Kotiswara Iyer
Dayaleki Brathiki (Adi) Mysore Vasudevachariar
 
 

Janaranjani


janaka melam 29, Dhirashankarabharanam
arohanam: sa ri ga ma pa dha pa ni sa
avarohanam: sa dha pa ma ri sa

A vakra sampurna- audava ragam. This ragam shines well
in madhyama kala renditions,
ni and ri are rendered as dirgha kampita svarams.
A minor ragam, that is very appropriate for kalpana svarams.

Compositions

Vidajaladura (Adi) Tyagaraja
Smarane sukham (Adi) Tyagaraja
Nadadinamate (Adi) Tyagaraja
Pahi mam Sri (Adi) Maha Vaidyanatha Iyer
Sri chakravara (Adi) Muthiah Bhagavathar
Nannu brova pada (Triputa) Syama Sastri
Sritajanaranjani (Adi) Lalitadasar
 

Manoranjani


janaka melam 5, Manavati
arohanam: sa ri ma pa dha ni sa
avarohanam: sa ni dha pa ma ga ri sa

There are three varieties. The first one, and more popular,
is the janyam of melam 5, manavati.
that omit ga in arohanam.
This is an upanga ragam. This is popularized by
the Tyagaraja composition, "Atu kadara" in Adi
talam.

The Dikshitar school, treats manoranjani
as an asampurna mela ragam,
with arohanam : sa ri ma pa dha ni sa, and
avarohanam: sa ni dha pa ma pa ma ri ga ri sa.
The Dikshitar Krti " balambike pahi" in
Matya talam belongs to this catergory.
There is a lakshya gitam in Triputa talam by
Venkatamakhin (" Ujalita rajata saila"), and a
sanchari in eka talam by Subbarama Dik sitar.

There is yet a third version, a janyam of
Kharaharapriya (a shadava vakra sampurna, with
arohanam: sa ri ga ma pa dha sa, and
avarohanam: sa ni dha pa dha ma ga ri sa.
 
 
 

Mararanjani


melam 25
arohanam: sa ri ga ma pa dha ni sa
avarohanam: sa ni dha pa ma ga ri sa

According to Dikshitar school, this ragam is known as
Sharavati. The arohanam is
sa ma ga ma dha ni dha sa, and the
avarohanam is sa ni dha pa ma ga ri sa.
( ri, ga are omitted in arohanam, and, ga, ni are vakram).
There is a laksya gitam in rupakam by Venkatamakhin ("ripuchapa"),
and a sanchari in triputa by Subbarama Dikshitar.

Compositions

Manasa Sri Rama (Adi) Tyagaraja
Sharavati tata vasini (Tisra Ekam) Muttusvami Dikshitar
Mal aginen (Kotiswara Iyer)
Ramapatina (Triputa) Balamuralikrishna
Manathirkku (Adi) D. Pattammal
Nira gajaakshi (Rupakam) Cuddalore Subrahmanyam
Asrayami Devim (Capu) Bangalore Mukund
Sivasakti yutam (Adi) Ashok Madhav
 

Srutiranjani


janaka melam 61, Kantamani
arohanam: sa ri ga ma pa dha ni
avarohanam: ni dha pa ma ga ri sa
 
 

This is a Nishada antya ragam.
The only composition that one can think of is
" Yedari samcerintura (Adi) by Tyagaraja.

There is a second version of srutiranjani that
is derived from melam 36, chalanata that
omits ma in the arohanam, and avarohanam omits ni, dha, ri.
 

Chittaranjani


janaka melam 22, Kharaharapriya
arohanam: ni sa ri ga ma pa dha ni
avarohanam: ni dha pa ma ri ga ri sa

A nishadantya ragam. Some authors attribute it to
melam 19 Jhankaradhwani.
This ragam has been immoralized by the sole Tyagaraja krti,
" Nadatanum anisham chintayami" in Adi talam.
 

Guharanjani


janaka melam 28, Harikambhoji
arohanam: sa ri sa ma pa dha ni sa
avarohanam: sa ni dha ni pa ma ga sa

A shadava- shadava ragam, with vakra sancara
in both arohanam and the avarohanam, with the note
ga omitted in the ascending, and the note
ri in the descending. It is believed to be the
creation of Harikesanallur Muthiah Bhagavathar, and
he has the following two compositions in this ragam:
Ikane tala (Adi), and Navavarana svam pujye (Adi).
 

Megharanjani


janaka melam 15, Mayamalavagaula
arohanam: sa ri ga ma ni sa
avarohanam: sa ni ma ga ri sa

Some authors place this ragam under melam 13,
Gayakapriya. This ragam is supposed to produce rain, just like
ragam Amrtavarsini. The following compositions
are in vogue. This ragam is also known as megharanji.

Venkatesvara yadava (Adi) (Dikshitar)
Smara bhumisutapalam (Adi) (Mysore Vasudevachariar)
Parama Pavanane (Rupakam) (Muthiah Bhagavathar)
Manasukaragi (Adi) (Muthiah Bhagavathar)
Karunatho nannu (Adi) (Ramnad Srinivasa Iyengar)
 

Karnaranjani


janaka melam 22, Kharaharapriya
arohanam: sa ri ga ma ga pa dha sa
avarohanam: sa ni dha pa ma ga ri sa

A vakra shadava-sampurna ragam, in which the
aroha na alone is vakra. This ragam s again
a creation of Harikeshanallur Muthiah Bhagavathar. Once
considered as a rare ragam, recently,
it has gained lots of popularity, and numerous compositions
are springing up. These days, karnarnjani can be heard
in ragamalika svaram segments, and recently, Smt. Charumathy
Ramachandran started giving ragam, tanam, pallavi in
this ragam. Some popular compositions are

Vanchatonuna (Triputa) Muthiah Bhagavathar
Om Namo Narayana (Ambujam Krishna)

T.N.Seshagopalan has set the Kamba Ramayana verse
" Namam allatu kel " in this ragam.
 

Shivaranjani


janaka melam 64, Vachaspati
arohanam: sa ri ga ma dha pa ni sa
avarohanam: sa ni dha pa dha ma ga ri sa

An ubahaya vakra sampurna ragam, which is getting
very popular in karnatic music, especially in the
post- pallavi segments. These days, shivararanjani
can be heard in ragamalika svarams, slokams, and even
there are tillanas.

The following are some compositions:

Andavan anbe (Adi) Papanasam Sivan
Tharunam idayya (Rupakam) Papanasam Siva
Raghunatha Nannu (Adi) Ramnad Srinivasa Iyengar

There is a ragam, by name japani, modelled after the
Koto music of Japan (created by V. Ramanathan). It resembles
shivaranjani, except that the dha is of a komal type.
 

Dayaranjani


janaka melam 28, Harikambhoji
arohanam: sa ri ma pa dha sa
avarohanam: sa ni dha ma ga ri sa
 

Mayuram Viswanatha Sastri has to his credit the composition
" Sarava na Bhava" in this ragam.
 

Srimanoranjani


janaka melam 22, Kharaharapriya
arohanam: sa ga ma dha ni sa
avarohanam: sa ni dha ma ga sa
 

N.S.Ramachandran is the creator, he has composed the song " Inta bharamu"
in this ragam.
 

Lokaranjani


janaka melam 52, Ramapriya
arohanam: sa ga ma pa dha ni sa
avarohanam: sa ni dha ni pa maga ri sa

Tiruvottiyur Tyagarajan has composed the krti " ennadu"
in this ragam.

Some rare Ranjanis
 

Amrtaranjani


A janyam of melam 19, Jhankaradhwani;
arohanam omits pa;
avarohanam is vakra sancara
sa dha ni dha pa ma ga ri sa.
This ragamis also known by the name
Amrtatarangini.
 
 

Asritaranjani


Derived from melam 67, sucharitra;
arohanam omits dha, and
avarohanam is krama sampurnam.
 

Bhagyaranjani


janaka melam is 22, Kharaharapriya;
omits pa in the ascent, and ni and dha in the
descent.
 

Bhogaranjani


Parent scale is melam 7, Senavati;
arohanam omits ga, and ni.
{slf avarohanam is krama sampurnam.
 

Bhuvanaranjani

janaka melam is 14, Vakulabharanam;
The note ri is omitted altogether.
 

Devaranjani


Derived from melam 15, Mayamalavagaula
and omits ri, ga entirely.
There is another version, that is placed under
melam 22, Kharaharapriya with vakra
ascent and descent. Yet another version is placed
under Harikambhoji.
 

Dhamaranjani


Also, derived from melam 15, Mayamalavagaula
arohanam is vakram, and omits ga.
avarohanam is also a vakram with ni omitted.
 

Gaganaranjani


janaka melam is 66, Chitrambari;
arohanam omits ri dha ni, and
avarohanam, though sampurnam has a vakram.
 

Gayakaranjani


Derived from melam 29, dhirashankarabharanam
that avoids ni in ascent and descent.
 

Gopikamanoranjani


janaka melam 67 sucharitra;
omits dha in both ascent and descent.
 

Jivaranjani


Derived from melam 2, Ratnangi;
by omitting ni in the descent only.
 

Jyotiranjani


A ragam derived from melam 61, kantamani, and
has a vakra sancara in avarohanam
 

Kaisikaranjani


Derived from melam 21 Kiravani by omitting
dha altogether.
 

Kamaranjani


Generated from melam 45 Subhapantuvarali.
A vakra ragam that omits pa in the descent.
 

Karnikaranjani


Derived from melam 20, Natabhairavi,
with a vakram in arohanam.
 

Khararanjani


A janyam of melam 28, Harikambhoji;
an ubhaya vakra ragam with ri absent in the descent.
 

Kumararanjani


Results by omitting the note pa completely
from melam 25, Mararanjani
 

Kuntalaranjani


There are two versions, one derived from
melam 60 Nitimati with
sa ma ga ma pa dha ni sa -- sa ni pa dha ni pa ma ga sa;
another is derived from melam 68
Jyotisvarupi ni, and has the scale
sa ri ma pa ni dha ni sa -- sa ni dha pa ma ga ri sa.
 

Kusumaranjani


Derived from melam 37, Salagam
by omitting ga in the ascent; has a vakra
sancaram in the avaroha na.
 

Lilaranjani


Derived from melam 4 Vanaspati
with scale sa ma ri ga ma pa sa --
sa ni dha pa ma ga ri sa.
 

Mitraranjani


This ragamis obtained by omitting
ni in the ascent only, from the
melam 25, Mararanjani
 

Nayanaranjani


Derived from melam 27, Sarasangi
with krama arohanam, and the
vakra avarohanam sa ni pa ni dha ma ga ri sa.
 

Niranjani


A janyam of melam 10 Natakapriya, with the note ni
omitted in the ascent.
 

Rasikaranjani


Derived from melam 16, Chakravakam
by avoiding ma and ni in both
arohanam and avarohanam.
Sumanesaranjani

A janya raga derived from
melam 56, Sanmukhapriya.
Resembles Madhukauns, and employs both ma,
and avoids ri, dha.
 

Sujanaranjani


an vakra ragam derived from melam 63, Lathangi, with scale
sa ga ri ma pa dha ni sa --
sa ni dha pa ma ga ri sa.
 

Suraranjani


Obtained from melam 36, chalanata
by deleting ma, dha in both ascent and descent.
 
 

Svararanjani


An ubahay vakra ragam, derived from
melam 22, Kharaharapriya,
where the arohanam omits pa, and the
avarohanam skips dha.
 

Varidaranjani


Obtained by omitting ga, dha completely
from melam 72, Rasikapriya
 
 
 

Ranjani's in Hindusthani Music

 

 

Atmaranjani

An invention of Narayanrao Patwardhan, that has
shades from Kalavati, Puriya Kalya n,or
Ahir Bhairav. The fusion of Malayamarutam
and Purvi Kalyan results in this ragam.

Gouranjani

Belongs to the Purvi th t, and omits ri, dha in the
aroh.

Kamalaranjani

Belongs to the Bilaval that. Both ri, and ma
are omitted in the aroh, and ri from the
avaroh.

Kusumaranjani

Placed under Purvi that, by deleting ga in the
aroh.

Madhuranjani

Generated from Kafi that, and omits
ri, dha.

Pusparanjani

Obtained from Purvi that by avoiding dha.

Rasaranjani

Belongs to Bilaval that, and omits ga, ri
in both ascent and descent.

Ragaranjani

This belongs to the Kafi that, and is an
audava-sampurna ragam, where in
the aroha, ri and pa are omitted.
It is the creation of Baburao Kaslikar.
Vadi is ma, and samvadi is sa.

Sarasvatiranjani

Obtained from Kafi that by omitting
ri, dha from the aroh.

This listing is obviously incomplete, and there may be
many more Ranjanis that already exist, or may be invented in the
future!! Also, there is no shortage of beautiful prefixes for the word
"Ranjani" in Sanskrit Language.
 

References


"Ragas in Carnatic Music" by Dr. S. Bhagyalekshmy
(CBH Publications 1990)

"Raga Nidhi" (Vol I, II, III, IV) by B. Subba Rao,
Music Academy, Madras (1964-1966)

"The Ragas of South India" by W. Kaufmann,
Indiana University Press (1976)

"Janaka Janya Raga Lakshanangal" (in tamil)
by K. Ramachandran, Sudarsan Publications, Madras (1971).