The kriti ‘Mahaganapathim Manasa Smarami,’ is a composition of Muthuswamy Dikshitar (1775-1835). Inspired by the depictions of the elephant-headed Hindu deity on the walls of the Tiruvarur temple in Tamil Nadu, Dikshitar has written and given tune to at least 27 kritis defining and praising the various powers of Ganesha.
This kriti is set to Raag Nata in a rhythmic cycle of Ektala. Mysore A Chandan explores in depth, the rich layers of devotional emotions in this kriti. Dr. Jyotsna Srikant elaborates Raag Nata with important phrases, adding fillers and reciprocations to Chandan’s leads. Neyveli Venkatesh (mridangam) and RN Prakash give a crisp, energetic support to this hymn, setting a lively tone for the rest of the concert.
Nata is an upanga janya of the 36th melakarta Chalanata. It is a sadava-audava raga. The swaras present in this raga in ascent are sadja, satsruti risabha, antara gandhara, suddha madhyama, panchama, kakali nisadha. Satsruti dhaivata is used in the ascent in Dikshitar tradition. Its arohana and avarohana are as follows:
S R3 G3 M1 P (D3) N3 Ṡ - Ṡ N3 P M1 R3 S.
In Western music notation, if C is taken as the base or tonic note, then the scale is
C D# E F G (A#) B C – C B G F D# C
It has existed since olden times. It is a rakti raga or a raga which pleases instantaneously. It is considered to be an auspicious raga and is usually sung at the beginning of concerts.
Risabha and gandhara are ragachaya swaras. Riṣabha is a nyasa swara. G-N are vadi-samvadi svaras (consonant notes).
It can portray rasas like vira (valour) and karuṇa (compassion) very effectively, just as it can convey the feeling of devotion or bhakti bhava.
Mysore A Chandan (flute)
Dr. Jyotsna Srikanth (violin)
Neyveli Venkatesh (mridangam)
RN Prakash (ghatam)
Raag Nata, Kriti composed by Muthuswamy Dikshitar (1775-1835)