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Gurbani Raags - 1 Siri Raag


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The first raag organised chapter in Maharaj is Siri Raag.

For a beautiful and haunting introduction to the raag and the mood by Bhai Balbir Singh Ji, please click here for:

http://rajacademy.org/ramgen/asm/HarBinJio....ra?usehostname

Siri is thunderstrike of realisation. The relevant shabads portray a message of unadulterated truth, a sudden awakening of our mind. The raag therefore invokes feelings of a serious and thought provoking nature. Those listening feel a strong urge to heed the advice given and feel empowered, blessed and very grateful.

A perfect example is "mere mun eikas sio chit lai" by Sri Guru Arjun Dev Ji. This shabad popularly and incorrectly known as "lakh kushian paatshahian" shows Guru ji's approach in communicating with their mind, educating and awakening it to the truth. It educates us on how to prioritise in life and the importance of self realisaion and having love for the timeless one.

Some more examples:

http://www.keertan.us/files/Classical%20Ke...a%20bina%20.mp3

http://www.gurmatsangeetproject.com/Record...alli%20paya.MP3

http://www.bcsikhyouth.com/gallery/audioal...id=5&dl=107

Indian Classical devotional style example by Pandit D V Paluskar:

http://rajacademy.org/ramgen/aim/vocal/PDV....ra?usehostname

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To listen to the beautiful kirtan of Sri Raag, click on the below link and click on the shabad links at the bottom of the article.

Vaheguru

http://www.gurmatsangeet.org/index.php?opt...8&Itemid=36

Siri Raag

Sunday, 27 February 2005

The bani in Siri Raag reflects this. The first shabad in Siri Raag takes the reader on a journey, they see a huge and glorious marble laden mandir, the nobleman living within has commissioned for diamonds and jewels to be embedded in the structure, musk, saffron and sandalwood fill the air. The reader is transformed into an emperor, he raises a huge army and sits on a throne issuing commands. But in comprehending this awe inspiring sight, the reader is told not to forget God.

Siri Raag

"The vast terrain of Indian Ragadari music has nourished and nurtured a teeming web of melodic life of every conceivable level of complexity and aesthetic measure. The very high end of this spectrum is a nest for an aristocracy of Ragas that represents the acme in human melodic thought. To this exclusive commonwealth belongs our Raga-du-jour, Shree, at once recognizable for its forbiddingly haunting and deeply meditative mien. For the musician, it is among the most difficult Ragas to master. For the rasika, it is a fulfilling emotional purchase."

Although general hindustani musicians refer to this raag as raag shree, in the gurbani it is referred to as 'siri raag', sometimes as 'raag siri raag', this method of naming is quite unique in comparison with the other 63 major raags. Siri Raag is the first raag in the bani. It belongs to the Poorvi thaat and its sur notation is as follows:

S r G m P N S'

Its' arohi/avrohi is as follows:

S r m P N S':S'N d P (G) r G r S

The vadi sur is R and samvadi is P and particular emphasis is made on the r G r S combination. Further important emphasis is made on the r P and P r combinations. The Niyaas of the raag is brought about by the meend that takes place when the P (G)r is played.

The use of the r and d would normally make such a raag neo-tragic in mood. However, although the r is vadi, the d isn't, hence it is not very dominant. Whereas the 'teasing' nature of a vadi d would encourage feelings of longing, they don't in siri raag, with P being the samvadi, the singer homes in on this sur briskly therefore removing any such feelings in the listener. In the same way, the m being so close to the P should raise similar feelings, it does not in this raag for the same reasons. It is left to the r to bring this feeling subtly to the listener. The transitional gaps in this raag bring a feeling of almost helplessness, yes there is some longing-ness, but coupled with helplessness resulting generally in awe and amazement.

Siri Raag is a very complex raag, it is considered to be one of the most complex raags by kirtanis. It is rarely heard today, to sing siri raag is making a tremendous statement of the ability of a kirtani. It is commonly believed that coupled with the complexity of the raag, the harmonium is responsible for the demise of this raag. One unique characteristic of Siri Raag is that the rishab is ati komal, i.e. it is flatter than a komal rishab. This sound is impossible to produce on a harmonium and only possible on the instruments on which Kirtan was done in the time of the Gurus - the tantee saaj. The use of ati komals or ati tivars has become so rare that kirtanis even when equipped with tantee saaj still find it difficult to produce such a note, they are so used to and conditioned to the kharaj (S) and the komal rishab and the ati komal rishab sounds out of tune.

Another reason for the complexity of Siri Raag is the restrictions placed on the structure of notation. For instance, the arohi goes S r m P N S". The transition from r to m is generally quite rare amongst Sangeet, the gap is 4 surs, mastering this transition either vocally or on a stringed instrument requires practice; furthermore, the transition from P to N is also rare. The transition from r P and vice versa is a 5 sur transition - difficult further still! In the avrohi, the m G combination is avoided for fear of converting the raag into Puriya Dhanasari - a raag with an identical notation. To return from m or P, r is the sur to approach, this again is an awkward combination to master. The m P d combination, coupled with the n.Sr combination is identically difficult. Three surs in this adjoining combination is again difficult to play and to sing. Note, Jaitsiri is a similar raag (in terms of surs), however, this is discussed later. In the wrong hands however, Siri Raag could sound just like Puriya Kalyan or Jaitsiri.

Siri Raag is considered a 'meend pardhan' raag, i.e. the transitions between two surs (e.g. (G)r) is dragged. There are numerous prevalent meends within Siri Raag, note that this has to be in the mind of the kirtani at all times (along with the various other restrictions placed on this raag!)

Hence, it can be seen that Siri Raag does not have a single complexity, but numerous complexities! It is no surprise that it is considered one of the most senior of all raags. Siri Raag is not a raag for amateurs: "In the hands of a master Shree can lead to an ennobling experience. Lesser hands given to playing ducks and drakes ought to be persecuted to the highest extent allowed by the law of the land."

Siri Raag has often been described as an emperor raag, an awe inspiring raag. It drives home an appreciation of mans' numerous limits and shortcomings. The feeling is of a peasant invited to meet the king of the land, this is unchartered territory, here we have protocols that are alien to the pheasant, he is a bag of nerves as he approaches his King. How those Sikhs felt having travelled 100s of miles to meet the Guru that they had heard so much of, then to walk in to that magnificent darbar, surely they were also a bag of nerves. How Makhan Shah Labana must have felt when his vessel was saved and he searched for the Guru. These feelings are portrayed magnificently in this raag. How we should feel when visiting the darbar of our Guru, how ever so fitting it is therefore that the Guru chose Siri Raag as the first raag in the bani, this is that first contact with the Guru, during the akhandpaat, it is Siri raag that we heard first after the japji and the rahiras.

The bani in Siri Raag reflects this. The first shabad in Siri Raag takes the reader on a journey, they see a huge and glorious marble laden mandir, the nobleman living within has commissioned for diamonds and jewels to be embedded in the structure, musk, saffron and sandalwood fill the air. The reader is transformed into an emperor, he raises a huge army and sits on a throne issuing commands. But in comprehending this awe inspiring sight, the reader is told not to forget God.

This first shabad is very characteristic of Siri Raag, it is indeed a tremendous raag reflected so matchingly in the bani.

Avtar Singh, Baljit Namdhari,

Siri Raag Pubri Ang, Roopak

Har Bin Jio Jal Bal

Balbir Singh

Raagan Vich Sri Raag Hai

Raagan Vich Sri Raag Hai

Balbir Singh Ji

Balbir Singh Ji

Hau Jeeva Nam - Siri Raag

Bhai Avtar Singh Ji

Siri Raag Purabi Ang - Dhamaar

Raagan vich siree raag hai

Bhai Bakhshish Singh & Crew

Guru Nanak Foundation Quincent

Bhi Teri Keemat Na Pavai

Bhai Balbir Singh Ji

Siri Raag

Jis pyarea sio neho

Jis pyarea sio neho - siri

Bhai Dharam Singh Zakhmi

Bhai Dharam Singh Zakhmi

72_02 Hau Doondendhee Sajna (Siri Raag)

Bibi Ajit Kaur

Quincentenary Shabad Recording

Mat Dekh Bhula Veesrai

Bibi Geeta Kaur

Adutti Gurmat Sangeet Samellan

Rang Ratta Mera (Sri Raag)

Dr Gurnam Singh Ji

Dr Gurnam Singh Ji

01 Har Bin Jio Jal Bal Jao (Siri)

Principal Baldev Singh

Adutti Gurmat Sangeet Samellan

Tohi Mohi Mohi Tohi (Sri Raag)

Siri - Jhaptaal

Bhai Avtar Singh Ji

Tohi Mohi Mohi Tohi Antar Kals

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