There is a story in the Hindu mythology, in which, Lord Krishna, the eighth incarnation of Lord Vishnu, was brought to the Earth. He took the form of an idol in the holy city of Mathura, which, till date, is believed to be the place where ‘Kanha’ resides. But, what were the forces which urged lord to come to the terra? What could have been the element which had a reach till eternity?
The forces were of devotion and the purest form of piety, which paved the path for the Lord to our abode. And, the main element of the story was a raga named ‘Brindavani Sarang’. This raga is an Audava-audava raga, which means that its aarohan, as well as avarohan, contain 5 notes. The aarohan of the raga goes as follows -:
Sa Re Ma Pa Ni Sa’
The Nishad (Ni) is shuddh in the raga’s aarohan.
The avarohan of this raga goes as follows -:
Sa’ ni Pa Ma Re Sa
Ni is Komal in the raga’s avarohan.
The notes Gandhar (Ga) and Dhaivat (Dha) are omitted from this raga, which makes it a pentatonic raga.
The Vadi of this raga is Re and the Samvadi of this raga is Pa. A very interesting fact about this raga is that this raga, and raga Megh Malhar have same notes, but the difference lies in the fact that Megh Malhar is a Dhrupad Anga Raga, which requires a serious rendition, with a lot of gliding between the notes of the raga.
Raga Brindavani Sarang was created by Swami Haridas, a renowned figure in the history of Indian classical music. He was not only a classical musician but also the teacher to classical legends like Tansen and Baiju Bawra. This raga is regarded as the ‘raga of summers’. This raga is known to express the devotion of the singer, with the creation of a romantic, and a spiritual mood. This is why the rasa of the raga is Shringar rasa i.e. the rasa of romance. This raga portrays the Love of Krishna and Radha.
The songs composed on this raga are mainly Vishnupadas, which are renditions to Lord Vishnu and his popular eighth avatar, Lord Krishna. So, the compositions based on this raga create a mystic aura, with an essence of love. These are further complemented by lyrics which metaphorically represent such feeling through words like ‘Two beams of light playing, which have sunk themselves in the ocean of raga.’ Moreover, being very similar to raga Megh Malhar, there have been some compositions on this raga which extend welcome to rains, some of them being ‘Ghata ghanaghor Ghor’ from the movie ‘Tansen’ (1943), and ‘saavan Aaye ya na aaye’ from the movie ‘Dil diya dard liya’ (1966), which was sung by Asha Bhosle and Mohd. Rafi. Some other famous works based on this raga are ‘Hai re hai’ from the movie ‘Kashmir Ki Kali’ (1964), and ‘Jhooti mooti batiyaan avan bole’, sung by Lata Mangeshkar, for the movie ‘Rudaali’ (1993).
This raga lies at the point, which remains the maxima of the feeling of devotion, and pious romance. This raga portrays the ardency of a feeling of the devotee towards his/her idol. If you wish to listen to masterpieces based on this raga, listen to compositions on this raga by Ustad Rashid Khan, Pt. Bhimsen Joshi, and ‘Jhooti mooti batiyaan’ from the movie ‘Rudaali’. So, just give it a listen, for an aura of pentatonic heaven all around you.