Raga Bairagi or Bairagi bhairav
Bairagi raga, also known as Bairagi bhairav, is a Hindustani classical raga.
Bairagi Bhairav, or Bhairav, or Bhairon, is a raga in Hindustani classical music that was for centuries considered to be the most important raga. Its modern form with an important komal rishabh is, however, very different from that described in the old texts. Bhairav has its name from Bhairava, an incarnation of Shiva, and was historically associated with glory and awe, but became identified with peace and devotion.
There is a tribe of people in India known as Bairagi, who are basically devotees of Vishnu. The word Bairagi is likely an alteration of the word Vairagi which means one who has let go of worldly desires. Many people of this sect perform pujas and other priestly duties in temples. Many saint poets of India have been from this community. One famous example is Swami Haridas, Guru of Tansen. Considering this background, and many shlokas that are chanted in raga Bairagi.
Today it a well developed raga, presented in many classical concerts. Some classifications put raga Bairagi under the Bhairav family. Let us briefly look at it. Bhairav’s notes are Sa re Ga ma Pa dha Ni while Bairagi’s notes are Sa re ma Pa ni. As you can see, Bairagi excludes Ga, dha and utilizes ni when Bhairav Ni.
This raga is said to be introduced by Pt. Ravi Shankar. It is a very melodious raga and appropriate for devotional songs. This raga is very simple in its framework and discipline so artists have full liberty to sing in all the three octaves. This raga belongs to Bhairav Thaat. Following are the illustrative combinations:
,n S r m P n ; m n P ; n P m P m r ; ,n S ; r m P n P ; m P n n S' ; n P n S' r' S' ; r' S' n r' S' n P m ; P m r S ; ,n S r S ;
This raga corresponds to Mayamalavagowla in Carnatic music, which is the first raga taught to beginners.
Bhairon appears in the Sikh tradition from northern India and is part of the Guru Granth Sahib. Bairagi Bhairav was an important raga at the time of Guru Nanak and has continued to retain its significance and popularity. Today it is the head raga for one of the ten thatas. The 'Raga Sagara', a journal of circa 8th century, describes this raga as awe-inspiring and as expressing the 'fulfilment of the desire to worship'. Mesakarna (1509) calls this morning melody of the autumn season one of awesome grandeur. Performed before sunrise, this raga was used by Guru Nanak, Guru Amar Das, Guru Ram Das, and Guru Arjan for 99 hymns.
Raga Bairagi inculcates the emotion of ‘enjoying with renouncement' or to take care of everything with an attitude of ‘nothing is mine' into a person, which provides self-satisfaction and ‘ananda'.
More than words, mantras are thoughts of great power. Ashit and Hema Desai's double cassette set called Shanti Mantra has incantations of peace from the Atharva Veda in raag Bairagi (the morning raga) and raag Yaman (the evening raga).