‘Deva Deva Kalayamithe’ is a kriti set to Raag Mayamalavagoula. It is set to Rupak talam and was written and composed by Maharaja Swathi Thirunal (1813-1846) who was the king of Travancore in southern India and also an acclaimed musician and composer of his time with more than 400 songs to his credit.
Unnikrishnan performs this composition with beautiful niravals, adding frills of improvisations through the lyrics. The imagination and creativity with which he weaves the phrases and expands the raga in detail, is extraordinary and deeply evocative. Jyotsna Srikanth (violin), Bangalore Praveen (mridangam) and RN Prakash (ghatam) give commendable support as accompanists.
Mayamalavagaula is a morning raga classified as the 15th melakarta raga under Venkatamakhin’s melakarta system. It uses all the 7 notes in its ascent and descent and projects emotions of peace as well as pathos. It was originally known as ‘Malavagoula’; "Maya" was prefixed to it after the advent of the scheme of the 72 melas. The number 15 was assigned to it following the Katapayadi sankhya system. Mayamalavagaula is one of the fundamental ragas that is taught to the beginners of Carnatic music. The Hindustani correspondent of this raga may be said to be Bhairav and is thus, a morning raga. Its arohana and avarohana are as follows:
S R₁ G₃ M₁ P D₁ N₃ Ṡ
Ṡ N₃ D₁ P M₁ G₃ R₁ S
The notes in this raga are shadja, suddha risabha, antara gandhara, suddha madhyama, panchama, suddha dhaivata and kakali nisadha. As it is a melakarta ragam, by definition it is a sampurna ragam, that is, it has all seven notes in its ascent and descent. It is the suddha madhyama equivalent of Kamavardhini (also known as Pantuvarali), which is the 51st in the melakarta scale.
The gamakas in the raga are unique in that conversely to the G-M relationship in Sankarabharanam, G is sung in oscillation (M,G M,G M,G) while M is held constant. There is no bold M-P gamaka as in Sankarabharanam as well. R and D are also usually sung in oscillation with S and P respectively, making the only constant notes S, M, and P. Of course, these rules are occasionally broken for effect.
P. Unnikrishnan (vocal)
Jyotsna Srikanth (violin)
Bangalore Praveen (mridangam)
RN Prakash (ghatam)
Priya Prakash (tanpura)
Raag: Mayamalavagaula, Kriti composed by Maharaja Swathi Thirunal (1813-1846)
Tags: P. Unnikrishnan, Jyotsna Srikanth, Bangalore Praveen, RN Prakash, Mayamalavagaula, kriti, Maharaja Swathi Thirunal