Raga Sahana

   About Raga Sahana

Raga Sahana or Shahana Kanada

Sahana is a popular raga in Carnatic music. It is a janya ragam associated with the 28th Melakarta ragam Harikambhoji.

The Hindustani music ragam Sahana is an upper-tetrachord-dominant Kanada-anga raga, from the Kafi thaat, also allied with Bageshree and Bhimpalasi. The shuddha Dhaivat is an important rest note (nyaas swara).

It is a Ubhaya Vakra sampoorna ragam. Vakra means crooked. Ubhaya Vakra means that the notes in both ascent and descent follow a zig zag pattern. The notes in ascending and descending scale do not follow a strict progression. Hence the note phrases contain such vakra phrases, lending a unique beauty to this ragam. Though it is a sampoorna ragam (contains all 7 notes), the vakra scale means it is not considered a melakarta, as melakarta ragams must have strictly ascending and descending scales. It is also classified as a rakti raga (raga with high melodic content).

In raga Shanana Kanada, Dhaivat is very prominent and is a resting note along with Pancham. The Raag Vachak combinations are: g m D ; D n P ; n D n P ; D m P S' ; D n P ; g m R S.

This raga is very near to raga Bahar, which has resting note as Madhyam (n D n P m) whereas in raga Shahana Kanada the resting note is Pancham (n D n P ). This is a Uttarang Pradhan raga which is sung mostly in Madhya and Tar Saptak. Following are the illustrative combinations for raga Shahana Kanada :
n S R g m ; m P m g m D ; D n P ; g m P D n S'; S' n D n P ; D m P S' ; n S' R' S'; S' n D n P ; m P g g m ; R S;

Its characteristic phrases are (R2 G3 M1 P),(P M1 D2 N2), (N2 S D2), (G3 M1 R2). Sahana has a distinct mood due to these phrases and characteristic gamakams and is rarely confused with other ragams.

Sahana has a close relationship to Malavi and to some extent Dwijawanthi or Jujavanti. While the use of Anthara Gaandharam in R2 G2 R2 makes it different from Dwijawanthi, since Dwijawanthi uses Saadharana Gaandharam, sahana has a closer relationship with Malavi which has an identical Vakra scale formation as Sahana.

On listening to Sahana, the emotions that one experiences include compassion, pleading, fervent appeal, helpless surrender, and piety. A breathtakingly beautiful raga, Sahana gives peace to the inner self and soothes the artiste as well as the audience. This is a vakra raga and has notes in zig-zag patterns in the arohana and avarohana. The prayogas are given more importance than the mere scale itself, since ragas like Sahana live through their jiva prayogas (characteristic phrases).

The notes in this raga apart from Sadja and Pancama are Chatusruti Rishabha, Antara Gandhara, Suddha Madhyama, Chatusruti Dhaivata and Kaisiki Nishada. The oscillations in the Rishabha, the long pauses in the Gandhara and the majestic glides from the Sadja to Pancama and then the Rishabha, all these are the stamps of Sahana. It is one of the most easily identified ragas, even by a lay listener of music; such is it's power to permeate the hearts of people.

In classical music Sahana has been used widely by Thyagaraja and Dikshitar. The well-known 'Sri Kamalambikayam' is a splendid navavarana by Dikshitar. Thyagaraja's 'Vandanamu' has a simple charm as does his Kovur Pancaratna 'E Vasudha', while 'Giripai' has a majestic grace. 'Rama Ika Nannu' of Patnam Subramanya Iyer and 'Chittam irangaada' of Papanasam Sivan are melting pieces.

In Tamil film music Sahana raga first made its appearance in the film 'Kannagi' with P. U. Chinnappa soulfully singing 'Pathiniye Unpol Itharaimeethinil'. The song, set to music by S. V. Venkataraman, is conservative in framework and its appeal lies in the plethora of sangatis that bear the signature of Sahana.

Credits :

   Raga structure of Sahana

Thaat : Kafi

Jati : Sampurna - Sampurna Vakra

Arohanam : S R2 G3 M1 P M1 D2 N2 S'

Avarohanam : S' N2 D2 P M1 G3 M1 R2 G3 R2 S

Vadi : P

Samvadi : S

Vishranti Sthan : S; P; D; - S'; D; P; R;

Mukhya Ang : P m g m D ; D n P ; S' D n P ; D m P g m R S;

Swaras : Gandhar and Nishad Komal. Rest all Shuddha Swaras.

Time : Third Prahar of the Night (12Night to 3AM)

   External Videos of Raga Sahana

   Songs based on Raga Sahana

There are a large number of popular songs composed in this ragam in Carnatic Music as well as Tamil Film Music. Here are some Carnatic music compositions.

1) Raghupate rama rakshasa bhima,Ee Vasudha,Giripai nelakona, dEhi tavapada bhaktim, oorake kalguna, Emana Dichevo and Vandanamu raghunandana composed by Thyagaraja

2) Rama ika nannu brovara by Patnam Subramania Iyer

3) Manamu kavalannu by Muthiah Bhagavatar

4) Sri kamalambikaya by Muthuswami Dikshitar

5) Inkevarunnaaru nannu in Adi thalam by Annaswaami 

6) Saravana Bhava in Adi thalam by Thanjavur Sankara Iyer

7) Sri Vatapi Ganapathiye in Adi thalam by Papanasam Sivan

8) Kavave Kanyakumari by Mangalampalli Balamuralikrishna

9) Karunimpa, Varnam by Tiruvottiyur Tyaggaya 

10) Chittam Irangada by Papanasam Sivan

11) Shanti Neelava Vendum by Sethumadhava Rao

12) Bada Khyal: Birhan Baithi Angna by Acharya Vishwanath Rao Ringe 'Tanarang'

13) Bada Khyal: Kaliyan Phooli Sakal Banrai by Acharya Vishwanath Rao Ringe 'Tanarang'

14) Chota Khyal: Bari Umariya Beetee Jat Ri by Acharya Vishwanath Rao Ringe 'Tanarang'

15) Chota Khyal: Milan Kaise Jaun Re by Acharya Vishwanath Rao Ringe 'Tanarang'

16) Chota Khyal: Kaisee Phooli Phulwari by Acharya Vishwanath Rao Ringe 'Tanarang'

In television Series
1) Thamarapoovil Vazhum by Berny -Ignatius (Chandralekha - Malayalam)

2)Chentharmizhi by M. Jayachandran (Perumazhakkalam - Malayalam)

3) Nadha Nee Varumbol by Alex Paul (Vasthavam - Malayalam)

4) Indha Veenaiku Theriyadhu by V.S. Narasimhan (Rail Sneham - TV Serial) (Tamil)

5) Aanmaavin Raagam by Rajesh Vaidhya (Sahana - TV Serial) (Tamil)

Tamil Songs in Raga Sahana

1) Thamiyen Painthamizh (Sivakavi)

2) Pathiniye Unpol Itharaimeethinil (Kannagi)

3) Paarthen Sirithen (Veera Abhimanyu)

4) Ennamellam (Thirumanam)

5) Nee Engey En (Mannippu)

6) Engo pirandavaram (Bommai)

7) Aadhi nathan ketkindran (Ganga Gowri)

8) Rukku Rukku (Avvai Shanmughi)

9) Poothene (Eera Nilam)

Malayalam Songs in Raga Sahana

1) Chentharmizhi poonthen mozhi (Perumazhakkalam)

2) Ennodenthinu Pinakakm (Kaliyattam)



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