Raga Mohanam is the Carnatic equivalent of the Hindustani raga Bhoop or Bhopali. Its radiant disposition evokes joy and devotion that Aruna Sairam brings to life in her elegant presentation in this video. She is accompanied by Patri Satish Kumar on the mridangam and RN Prakash on the ghatam. Commendable melodic support has been provided by Jyotsna Srikanth on the violin.
Sairam portrays the raga in a rhythmless, short verse of Thirugnana Sambandar (644 AD – 650 AD), the 7th century poet saint from south India who has composed more than 16000 hymns in complex metres in just 16 years of his life.
Then she embarks on a composition by Papanasam Sivan (1890-1973), ‘Kapali’, which is a kriti dedicated to Lord Shiva and brings to mind, the magnificent Kapaleeswarar temple in Mylapore, south India. The verse trots in a beautiful gait in Adi talam that is complimented beautifully on the mridangam by Kumar. Sairam’s sonorous voice and dramatic presentation is reinforced in a combined effort between the ghatam and mridangam while Srikanth’s euphoric replication and profound improvisations enhance the beauty of the recital.
She delivers the swarakalpanas in rapturous combinations of tight rhythmic clusters spread over the 8-beat time cycle. The recital ends with Srikanth’s dazzling solo followed by a neatly-woven tonal flourish by Sairam.
Mohanam is an upanga janya of the 28th meḷakarta Harikambhoji. It is an auḍava raga. The swaras present are ṣaḍja, chatusruti riṣabha, antara gandhara, panchama, chatusruti dhaivata. Its arohaṇa and avarohaṇa are
S R2 G3 P D2 Ṡ - Ṡ D2 P G3 R2 S.
Mohanam is an ancient raga, earlier known as Regupti. It corresponds to Raag Bhup or Bhoopali of Hindustani music. This scale is found in the music of many countries. It is a rakti raga (a raga which pleases instantaneously) and a major raga that offers ample scope for improvisation. It depicts universal peace and can be found in many South East Asian Music traditions.
Riṣabha, gandhara and dhaivata are ragachaya swaras. All the swaras are nyasa swaras. R-D, R-P, G-D are vadi-samvadi swaras (consonant notes).
It can portray rasas like karuna (compassion), sringara (romance), adbhuta (wonderment), santa (tranquility), vira (valour) very effectively, just as it can convey the feeling of devotion or bhakti bhava.
Aruna Sairam (vocal)
Jyotsna Srikanth (violin)
Patri Satish Kumar (mridangam)
RN Prakash (ghatam)
Priya Parkash (tanpura)
Kriti in Raga Mohanam in Adi talam