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Raag Raagni & Baba Nand Singh Sakhi


SURYADEV
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There is a story of Baba Nand SIngh Jin of Nanaksar In 'Anand Chamatkar'.

During evening kirtan program one of the ragi was singing in pure classical style raga. After a short while BabaJi stopped him and told him to sing in 'siddiyan dharna' because they could SEE the Raags and Raagnian dancing in front of them. Henceforth, generally, the first shabad is sung in raga and the rest of the program in 'siddiyan dharna'. It was probs down to the excellence of the ragis performance in classical style.

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Thats a strange story, and one I find hard to accept irrespective of my feeling for the great Mahapursh. Raag Raagnis are not beings of any sort - they are simply a method of raag classification that existed in medieval India that was started during the period that Persian influence starting taking affect. They are a relatively new concept which didn't lasted only around 300 years - the great Bhatkhande put this methodology to the grave with his renewed classification method based on the older Jaati framework.

What made the raag-raagni system famous (or infamous) was the romantic paintings/minatures that arose from the mughal court based on the four schools of music which extant back then i.e. Hanuman school.

The only thing I can think is that the raagis were maybe focusing on their own prowess more than the task in hand i.e. performnig the shabd with focus on Gurus sacred charan in accordance to his kirtan maryada. So it may have been a metaphoric statement, which would make more sense.

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The only thing I can think is that the raagis were maybe focusing on their own prowess more than the task in hand i.e. performnig the shabd with focus on Gurus sacred charan in accordance to his kirtan maryada. So it may have been a metaphoric statement, which would make more sense.

Probs thats right, but to my mind its not inconcieveable that they do exist as beings in some LOK or other.

In the same manner that MAYA or DEATH can be personified. (was it Bhai Randhir SInghJi of AKJ who wrote that DEATH personified as a young lady visited him?)

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"Probs thats right, but to my mind its not inconcieveable that they do exist as beings in some LOK or other."

Nothing is inconceivable, as we all create our own reality - this is what I believe Bhai Randhir Singh Ji did also. This is also how some Sufi groups understand heaven and hell to be - that reality which we create though our own personal fears and desires, the example in the Quran is exactly that in my opinion, a personal expression rather than hard fact! same goes for visions of God in his many manfiest form.

But my point is that rag ragni concept is not divinely inspired unlike the creation of the many Vedic/Puranic Gods/Godesses etc. it was an academic creation.

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One has to study the history of 'sangeet' going back to the Vedic era to understand this issue. You need to follow the sangeet evolution process starting from Rig Veda, through Natya Shastra, Dhattilam and then going through Mahabharat (Ghandarva concept) through to Sangeet Ratnakar.

The concept and usage of raag was not even in existence 2,000 years ago, the word was 1st coined in the current context in the medieval granth Brihadeshi (from memory).

Before this Jaati gayan was the extant musical system.

The application of Sangeet in its root - through it's development and evolution has always been divine (as has dance), it was only during the Sultanate and Mughal in India India that the divine art became an entertainment art i.e. raag and classical dance was taken to the coutian. There after the Indian Rajas followed suit.

Raag is an evolved tool/science used for divine purposes (only by some today). Obviously - it is a gift from Vaheguru as is everything else on Earth - but it is an important one as Guru Sahiban utilised it -but the key is this, they didn't utilise the raagnis - Aad Guru does not use raagnis as is clear by all the sirlek. Although it includes the prevailant raag classification system of the day (Hanuman school I think) to help with raag groupings and understanding of technical relationships.

Regarding links with Sarswati Devi etc, trust me, there are hundreds of versions to choose from, the most common not even involving Sarswati Devi, but rather Brahma - giving the gift of 'sangeet' directly to Narada (Muni). This to me, just shows that these stories are more metaphor/artwork/poetry, rather than hard fact.

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Sirlek = title of each shabd which includes kirtan maryada and author signature.

Veer MDS, Guru Sahiban used terminology which was understood in their day to provide a metaphoric description of Akaals Dargah (IMHO). I don't think Panch Shabd and raag have any correlation. Panch Shabd is a mystical experience whilst raag is a worldly one (this does not negate the divine duty of raag). I am aware of there is kathaa of the panch shabd raagmala correlation, but I respectfully do not agree with it.

Guru makes clear in bani the beauty, pitfalls and duty of raag.

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The below post was originally further up in the discussion:

Nice discussion so far.

Thanks for your informative reply Shaheediyan Ji.

In the Dera of Akaal Purakh Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji states that Raag was

being performed, this makes me feel that its a concept older than 2000 years old. Also do you think their is a correlation between raag and panch shabad?

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I think the taksali explanation for raagmala is that each raag appeared before Guru Arjan Dev and asked him to "save them" because the tradition was about to die... So Maharaj included a list of these raags into Guru Granth sahib in the composition called raag mala. maybe kam123 can tell more about this

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There is a story of Baba Nand SIngh Jin of Nanaksar In 'Anand Chamatkar'.

During evening kirtan program one of the ragi was singing in pure classical style raga. After a short while BabaJi stopped him and told him to sing in 'siddiyan dharna' because they could SEE the Raags and Raagnian dancing in front of them. Henceforth, generally, the first shabad is sung in raga and the rest of the program in 'siddiyan dharna'. It was probs down to the excellence of the ragis performance in classical style.

It could be a metaphorical statement.

But I also think such things like Raag/Raagnian can take form in the presence of a powerful Sage.

Just like ridhian/sidhian can appear as girls/humans , it is possible for rag/ragnian too.

There is an incident when Baba Nand Singh ji changed Baba Ishar Singh ji's previous name "Inder" to "Isher Singh".

Because everytime Baba Nand Singh ji said Inder, Inder devta would come and stand in his presence.

So I guess in the courts of powerful Sages anything is possible.

But it could be a metaphorical/symbolic statement too. Maybe the raagis were too egoistic and Baba ji wanted to teach them something.

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Amardeeps Taksali story makes more sense, albeit again being metaphoric, as raag tradition and emotional vidya has been imbedded and preserved in Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji which has re-associated this vidya with divine purpose again (after the devotional decline during the foreign rule).

And raagmala, I agree with your latter opinion.

The danger with taking everything as read or heard (literally) is that we loose the appreciation and understanding of beauty, poetry and art and become fanatics - as has happened in large parts of the Hindu, Christian and Islamic worlds - and is now happening in the Panth also.

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My brother's children learn Kirtan from a master who specialises in Raags. Whenever the children get a note wrong, he flips out in anger and slaps them. When my brother asked them why he has to slap the children over a mistake, he says that "these Raags and Raagnis are my Devte. If my students get a note wrong, that is equal to insulting them, then what face will I show them after I die?"

I guess some people really do feel these Raags and Raagnis are real entities.

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