Raga Ahir Bhairav

   About Raga Ahir Bhairav

Raga Ahir Bhairav

Ahir Bhairav is a Hindustani classical raga. It is a mixture of Bhairav and the ancient, rare raga Ahiri or Abhiri,or perhaps a mixture of Bhairav and Kafi. It is a pleasing blend of raga Bhairav in Poorvang and raga Kafi in Uttarang. The chalan of this raga is like raga Bhairav in Poorvang where Rishabh oscillates (G m P G M r r S), however in Uttarang the oscillation of Dhaivat is skipped.

This raga can be expanded in all the three octaves. This raga creates an atmosphere full of Bhakti Ras. 

This is an old raga.  It is characterized by the use of Komal Re and Komal Ni.  This mode does not belong to any of the 10 thats put forward by Bhatkhande; however for some inexplicable reason, he ascribed this raga to Bhairav That.   Often times, this raga is referred to by its south Indian name of Chakravaka.  This is an early morning raga.  For those who are still inclined towords the Vadi / Savadi theory it has been suggested that Ma is its vadi and Sa as its samvadi.

Ahir Bhairav is very well known through old film songs such as 'Pucho Na Kaise' and 'Meri Bina Tum Bin Roye Sajana'.  There are actually so many film songs in Ahir Bhairav that it is not really possible to go over them here.

There are two approaches to this raga (Rao 1980).  The first type omits Ni in the arohana, it is therefore shadav - sampurna.  The second approach does not omit any note; therefore it is sampurna - sampurna.  However, since no other raga shares the same modality, one need not worry too much about impinging upon a different raga.

Music Therapy :

Talking of  the 'Ahir Bhairav raga', Dr Madvi Mohindra a PHd in music therapy tells us, it is well known for it's calming and relaxing effects. Music can be enjoyed on various levels- one can just 'hear' music for enjoyment and entertainment or one can 'listen' to music with rapt attention. Listening in this manner helps your concentration power and also develops patience in the listener. One can listen to music and also hum along with it though you may not be a trained singer. The humming will have a greater positive effect on your mind. Certainly if you play an instrument and sing the proper melodies the therapeutic benefits will increase.  

Ahir Bhairav is a morning raga and as the word 'Ahirs' are cowherds and milkmen and this raga has developed from the tinkling of the cow's bells early in the morning as they are being milked. What a calming effect that has on an individual early in the morning needs no imagination. Little wonder then that Bhajans are often based on the raga Ahir Bhairav.

Some well known Hindi film songs based on this rag Ahir Bhairav are, 'Poocho Na Kaise Maine Rain Bitaaee' sung by Manna Dey and 'Albela Sajan aayo Re' sung by Ustad Rashid Khan.

Carnatic music : 

Chakravakam, the 16th Melakarta raga of Carnatic music, which is a sampurna scale (all seven notes in ascending and descending scale), closely resembles Ahir Bhairav. However, in the modern times Ahir Bhairav raga has been used in a few Carnatic music compositions and many South Indian film songs as well.


   Raga structure of Ahir Bhairav

Thaat : Bhairav

Jati : Sampurna-Sampurna

Aroh : S R_ G M P D N_ S'

Avarohv : S'  N_ D P M G R_ S

Vadi : M

Samavadi : S

Pakad or Chalan : S, r G M, G M r, ? ?, ? r S

Vishranti Sthan : S; r; m; P; - S'; P; m; r;

Mukhya Ang : G m P ; D n D ; P D P ; S' n D ; n D P m G m ; G m P m r r S ; ,n ,D ,n r r S

Swaras : Rishabh and Nishad Komal. Rest All Shuddha Swaras.

Related ragas : Bhairav, Nat Bhairav, The Carnatic music equivalent to this raga is Chakravakam.

Time : 1st prahar of the Day (6AM to 9AM)

   External Videos of Raga Ahir Bhairav

   Songs based on Raga Ahir Bhairav

Songs in Raga Ahir Bhairav

1) Albela Sajan Aayo Re - Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam (1999)

2) Man Anand Anand Chhayo - Film - Vijeta (1983)

3) Meri Veena Tum Bin Roye - Film - Dekh Kabira Roya (1957)

4) Puchho Na Kaise Maine Rain Bitai - Film - Meri Surat Teri Aankhen (1963)

5) Ram Teri Ganga Maili Ho Gayi Film - Ram Teri Ganga Maili (1985)

6) Solah Baras Ki Baali Umar ko Salam - Film - Ek Duje Ke Liye (1981)

7) Waqt Karta Jo Wafa Aap Hamare Hote - Film - Dil Ne Pukara (1967)

8)  Zindagi Ko Sanwarna Hoga - Film - Alaap (1977)

9) Main To Kab Se Teri Sharan Mein Hun - Film - Ram Nagari (1982)

10) Mai Ri Main Kase Kahoon - Film - Dastak (1970)

11) Lagan Lagi - Film - Tere Naam (2003)

12) Dhire Dhire Subah Hui He Jag Uthi Zindagi - Film - Haisiyat (1984)

13) Chalo Man Jayen Ghar Aapne - Film - Swami Vivekananda (1994)

14) Apne Jeevan Ki Uljhan Ko Kaise Me Suljhaun - Film - Uljhan (1975)
15) Ab Tere Bin Ji Lenge Ham - Film - Ashiqui (1990)

16) Aur Ho - Film - Rockstar

17) Jay Shankara Gangadhara (Marathi)

18) Teertha Vithala Kshetra vitthal - Abhang (Marathi)

19) Hari bhajanavin kal ghalavu nako re (Marathi)

20) Hirawa shalu hirawi choli (Marathi)

Some of the most important traditional compositions in Raag Ahir Bhairav are:

Man Rangeele 
Shankara Mhaarare popularised by Nagaraja Rao Havaldar
Mohe Chedo Na Giridhaari  popularised by Parveen Sultana



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