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Raga Vachaspati


Raag Description: This Raag has been adapted from Carnatic Music. By using Nishad Komal in Raag Maroo Bihag, Raag Vachaspati comes into existence. This is a very melodious Raag but not very much in vogue.

#21-Vachaspati-The Raga that Exhilarates the Mind,Body and Soul
Vachaspati is the 4th raga in the 11th Chakra- the Rudra Chakra. The Rudra Chakra marks the 11 Devas headed by Lord Siva (Aja, Dwasha, Ekapada, Triambake,Aparajita, Isana,Tribhuvana, Sambhu, Hara, Rudra and Ahirputniya). It is the 64th Melakarta ragam in the 72 melakarta ragam system of Carnatic music.

The name Vachaspati literally means Lord of Speech. The name is applied especially to Brhaspati, the lord of eloquence. This raga is the pratimadhyama counterpart of Harikamboji-the 28th mela. This is a Gana rasa pradhana raga and a sarva-kalika raga or all time raga. The raga has a totally relaxing and meditating effect. Vachaspati offers interesting mix of emotions, primary bhava being Sringara. This raga has a distinctive melodic entity which is most pleasing for the ear. A very delightful soul stirring raga, Vachaspati comes alive with vibrant emotions and spiritual energy. The raga is addressed as a high energy raga as it invokes a sudden rush of energy flow in the mind of listeners, capable of removing fatigue and promoting relaxation.

It is named as Bhushavati according to the asampoorna mela scheme.

Slokam by Venkatamakhi
|”bhusavati sada geya sagraha gayakottamai:” |

In Mind, body and soul Chakra – Chakra 11 is the Face Chakra – a very special chakra that houses our ability to become what we wish to become. We have the ability to reshape our bodies, reshape the energies that each of us take in.

Arohana : S R2 G3 M2 P D2 N2 S
Avarohana: S N2 D2 P M2 G3 R2 S

(Shadjam, Chathusruthi Rishabham, Anthara Gandharam, Prathi Madhyamam, Panchamam, Chathusruthi Dhaivatham and Kaisiki Nishadam)

Click Play to Listen Arohanam and Avarohanam of Vachaspati below

Amsa Swaras : P, G
Nyasa Swaras : R, M,D
Graha Swaras : S and P
Tri-murchchanakaraka mela : R as shadja gives 26th mela Charukesi
P as shadja gives 23rd mela Gaurimanohari
D as shadja gives 10th mela Natakapriya

This is a sarva swara gamaka vaika rakthi raga. Vachaspati is a tristayi raga. All forms of Jantai, Dhattu and Pratyahata gamakas(SN ND DP PM ..) feature in this raga. Pratyahata Gamakam lends colour to the raga. The dhattu prayoga PRSNNDDPPM is a prominent sanchara.

Related Ragas

Vachaspati is closely related to Kalyani and Lathangi. Interestingly they all belong to the 11th chakra. Lathangi is 63rd mela, Vachaspati is 64th mela and Kalyani is 65th mela. When compared to Kalyani, the only note that differs is Nishadam. Vachaspati has Kaisiki Nishadam and Kalyani has Kakali Nishadam. When compared to Lathangi, the differing note is Dhaivatham, where Vachaspati has Chatusruthi Dhaivatham and Kaisiki Nishadam and Lathangi has Suddha Dhaivatham and Kakali Nishadam.There are not many compositions in this ragam like Kalyani by the trinity. But composers have used this ragam for composing atleast one song each.The most popular janya raga of Vachaspati is Raga Saraswati. The raga is most melodic in middle octave.

Sancharas and Prayogas

p,dn,dp..m- ddpmgr-gmppdn, dpm- mpdnS- dnSRG,RS,n – RSSnnddp pmpdn,dp-gmpd,pmgr-rgm,grsssndn,s- p,pm-pdndpm-pdndnns-snnddppm-pdnsRR-GMPMGGRRS-SSndnSRS-Snnddppm- pdnddppm-ppmmggrrs-ssndnsrs..

This is a majestic raga offering elaborate scope for alapana as it has a bright rishabham, gandharam and tivra madhyamam. The dhaivatham in this raga is plain without any oscillation. The very next note is nishadam with a soft and swaying gamaka. The notes dhaivatham and nishadam complements each other with their steady/plain and oscillating rendering respectively. The notes Chathusruthi Rishabham and Chathusruthi Dhaivatham are Vadi-Samvadi pair in the Shadja Panchama Bhava (Technically
called S-P cycle-The Cycle of 5th). Similarly Antara Gandharam and Chathusruthi Dhaivatham are Vadi-Samvadi pair in Shadja Madhyama Bhava (Technically called S-M Cycle-The Cycle of 4th). The above two pairs that naturally features in this raga is the essence of its melodic identity.

Immortal Compositions

There are numerous compositions in Vachaspathi. Sri Lakshman Ragde has estimated 152 carnatic krithis in this raga. Only a few famous compositions can be seen are sung in concert platforms.Paratpara Parameswara by Papanasam Sivan, Pahi Jagajjanai by Maharaja Swathi Tirunal and Kantajudumi okapari kre by Saint Tyagaraja are hot favorites of musicans. Raga Vachaspati seems to be the favourite of instrumentalists and expecially North Indian Singers and Instrumentalists have really taken up this raga to astonishing heights of popularity. Like Charukesi and Simhendramadhyamam, Vachaspati has also found a prestigious place among the ragas presented by Hindustani musicians.

Mahavaidyanatha Sivan in his krithi “Bhoomishu Vachaspathi Sambandha Swamine Jnanam Dhattavatheem” addresses Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvathy who blessed Thirujnana Sambandhar. Sambandhar is considered as the Brihaspati of this planet, a great scholar. Incidently let us remember the story of Sambandhar who was fed by Mother Parvathi with the milk of divine wisdom when he was a kid. It was after this incident he began to sing soul-stirring songs in praise of Lord Siva. Mahavaidyanatha Sivan in his krithi makes a mention of the story of Sambandhar and states that to obtain Lord Siva’s grace and divine knowledge, the grace of the Mother is necessary.The great composer has aptly chosen Raga Vachaspati to highlight the spiritual divine wisdom attained by Thirujnana Sambandhar.

Carnatic Songs composed by great musicians are always a true blessing for the singers and listeners. But quite a few compositions will haunt us forever due to the melody of the raga and lyrical excellence. Raga Vachaspati is one such raga and Paratpara by the Tamizh Tyaggayar Sri.Papanasam Sivan is one such krithi.

Tyagaraja Krithi-‘kaNTa jUDumI oka pAri’- A Brief Commentary

In the kRti ‘kaNTa jUDumI oka pAri’ Tyagaraja tries to fathom the ecstasy experienced by Lakshmana when SrI Rama praised him for the service rendered. ” That day, when Lakshmana- the son of sumitrA – was exultingly performing service at Your feet, having mentioned (in appreciation of his craftsmanship) to SIta, the moment You looked at him, the way he attained state of horripilation(goosebumps), deign to look at this Tyagaraja also at least once by a side glance. “(TKG’s Book)

An illustration of lyrical excellence by Tyagaraja can be seen in the Pallavi. The first four words have the following meanings: Kanta = with an eye; Judumi = please look; Oka Paari = once. Together, the sentence thus means “Please look at me once”.The last and the first words can join together, becoming a new word: Kri_Kanta, meaning “from the corner of an eye”.

The meaning of the charanam is quite interesting in its own right. It refers to an incident in Ramayana, wherein Lakshmana is performing ‘paada seva’ to Rama. Impressed by it, Rama mentions it to Sita, and looks at him (affectionately) with a sidelong glance. At this, Lakshmana is thrilled and Tyagaraja asks Rama to look at him in the same way.

Major Krithis

Sri.Lakshman Ragde has estimated 152 krithis in this raga .

Click Here for the List of Compositions in Vachaspati

Favourite Filmy Raga

I could come across only two film songs namely Nikkattuma Pogattuma Neela Karunguyile from the movie Periya Veettu Pannakkaran by the one and only Ilayaraja and the second one is Ni Sa Ga Ma Pa Ni….from the movie Anand Mahal(Hindi) rendered by Yesudas and composed by Salil Chowdhary. If any of the visitors could bring in more film songs, please mention.

Featured Composition

Paratpara Parameshwara
Talam : Desadi
Composer: Papanasam Sivan


parātparā paramēśvarā
pārvati patē hara paśupatē


sura asura tozhuṃ pāvanā
sundara caraṇa-aravinda ānanda


hari ayanum kāṇā aṟiya jyōti
ādi antaṃ illā pazhama nāḍi
puraṃ eṟitta mukkaṇ karumbē (endan)
puṇya mūrtti subrahmaṇyanin tandayē

Meaning :O the supreme Lord,Shiva ! husband of parvathi!Lord of the Nandi I bow down to you.you are the blemishless one worshipped by celestrials and demons ! You are beautiful ! worshipping your feet gives bliss ! you are the immortal and un – ending one (anatha). You are the flame that has no beginning or end.Even Hari and Brahma who tried to search for it could not find your limits.You r the ancient,ageless one. You burnt and reduced to ashes,Kamadeva ! You are the one with three eyes,you are the father of the auspicious Lord Subramanya!

Concluding this review by humble salutations to this great Raga Devatha who bestows a stable state of mind and generates a state of well being or sowkhya bhava.

The raga is addressed as a high energy raga as it invokes a sudden rush of energy flow in the mind of listeners, capable of removing fatigue and promoting relaxation. Bestows a stable state of mind and generates a state of well being or sowkhya bhava.


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