. Gurbani Raag Ramkali Raamkali :SearchGurbani.com
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Gurbani Raag Ramkali


Ramkali is not given in the Ragmala but is one of the most important rdgas of the Guru Granth Sahib. All Gurus, including Guru Tegh Bahadur, have composed verses to this rdga. The total number of sabdas comes to over three hundred. Ramkali is a morning rdga performed after sunrise usually during the hot season. The mood is such as to inspire lofty thoughts. In the Guru Granth Sahib, a number of hymns in Rainkah expound True Yoga and other spiritual issues. Some celebrated compositions such as Sidha Gosti, Anandu, Sadd, Oarikdr and the Vdr by Satta and Balvand are composed to this raga. Some of the verses also contain analogies to music and musical instruments. Four forms of this raga are recognized, although only two are in general use today. The raga belongs to the Bhairav thata.

Ramkali is popular with Yogis, and therefore Guru Nanak has composed Sidh-gosht in this raga. The third Guru has also referred to the paraphernalia of Yogis and particularly the harp (kingri) used by them:

“Strike such strains on your harp, O Yogi, that it may produce the celestial strain and you may remain absorbed in God’s love....
Fix the fear and love of the Lord as the two gourds of your harp and make your body its frame.
If you become virtuous, then shall the string play. In this way your desire shall de part”

Aroh : Sa Ga Ma Pa Dha Ni Sa

Avroh : Sa Ni Dha Pa, M'a Pa Dha Ni _Dha Pa, Ga Ma Re Sa

Pakar : Dha Pa, Ma Pa, Dha Ni Dha Pa, Ga, Ma Re Sa

Vadi : Pa

Samvadi : Re

 

Introduction :

According to one school of thought this raga is a ragini of Bhairav thath. This raga is not mentioned in the Ragamala listed at the end of Guru Granth Sahib.

The scale and notes of the raga are as follows:

Arohi (ascending scale) - sa re ga ma ga pa dha sa

Avrohi (descending scale) - sa ni dha, ni dha pa, ma ga, re sa

The vadi (most popular) note is 'pa' and samvadi (second most popular) note is 'sa '.

This raga is sung at the first part of the day i.e., from 6 a.m. to 9 a..m. The season of its recitation is spring (basant) i.e., during February, March. In Guru Granth Sahib it has hymns from pages 876 - 974 (99 pages).

The Composers:

The composers of bani (hymns) in this raga are:

Gurus

  • Guru Nanak
  • Guru Angad
  • Guru Amardas
  • Guru Ramdas
  • Guru Arjan Dev
  • Guru Tegh Bahadur

Bhagats:

  • Kabir
  • Namdev
  • Ravidas
  • Beni

Other Devotees:

  • Satta & Balwand
  • Baba Sundar

The Structure:

The sequence of the structure of compositions in this raga are:

Gurubani:

  • Shabads (2,3,4, 5 and 6 padas)
  • Shabads (8 padas, Ashtpadis)
  • Specialist compositions
  • Var

Matrix

VISUAL ANALYSIS

Count of the use of Managals:

  • Complete Mool Mantar = 1 at page 876
  • Ik-ongkar Satgur Prasadh = 25

Placement and count of rahau verses:

First 54 shabads have rahau verses with numeral, placed at the end of the first padas (except shabad 53); rest all the shabads have rahau verses at the start of the first pada. In Ashtpadis, the rahau verses, with numerals are placed at the end of the first padas of the ashtpadis. In the specialist banis the position is as follows:

  • Anand Shib - no rahau verse
  • Sadh - no rahau verse
  • Dakhni Onkar and Sidh Ghosht - one rahau verse at the end of the first pada. In Bhagat Bani there are rahau verses, with numerals placed at the end of the first padas of the shabads.

Diversification of headings & subheadings in this raga:

Page number

Heading/Subheading

876

Ramkali Mehla 1 Ghar 1 Chaupadas

886

Raga Ramkali Mehla 5 Ghar 2

901

Raga Ramkali Mehla 5 Partal Ghar 3

Composers Structure of Bani


 

Padas

 

 

 

 

Ashtpadis

Specialist

 

Chts

Specialist

Var

Sloaks*

Gurus

2

3

4

5

6

8 (padas)*

untiled

Titled

 

 

 

 

Nanak

 

1

10

 

 

9

 

 

 

Dakhni

 

19

 

 

 

 

 

 

1-3,5,6= 8

 

 

 

Onkar

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

padas;

 

 

 

=54 pds,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4=9 pds

7=12 pds

 

 

 

Sidh

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

8=10 pds

 

 

 

Ghost=

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

9=25 pds

 

 

 

73 pds

 

 

Angad

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

7

Amardas

 

 

 

 

1

5

 

Anand,

 

 

1, 21

24

 

 

 

 

 

 

1=12 pds

 

40

 

 

pauris

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2=27pds

 

pauris

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3=21pds

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4=30 pds

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5=21pds

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ramdas

 

 

5

1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Arjan Dev

4

1

53

2

 

8*

1-5,7,8

=8pds

6=21pds

 

Ruti, 8

sub

chhants,

16 sloaks

6

(inclu-

ding

Ruti)

3=no

cloak 4th

Chhant

has four

further

;hhants

within

this

.hhant.

Each sub

chhant

precedes

with a

cloak. A

further

hymn

of two

line

'ollows

the

chhant

and is

: punted

as a

chhant

 

1, 22

pauris

44

Tegh

Bahadur

 

3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bhagats

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kabir

2

4

2

2

1

1**

 

 

 

 

 

 

Namdev

 

1

3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2

Ravidas

 

1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Beni

 

 

 

 

 

1***

 

 

 

 

 

 

Others

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Satta &

Balwand

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1, 8

pauris

 

Baba

Sundar

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sadh, 6

padas

 

 

 

 

  • Pds= padas
  • Chts = Chhants

* 7th Ashtpadi opens with a sloak.

** 9th shabad is of 8 padas, and is counted as an ashtpadi.

*** This shabad is of a 9 padas and can be counted as an ashtpadi, though there is no such title given in the Granth

* Long compositions have one 'Tuka' (single line) padas

Excerpts taken from:
Guru Granth Sahib: An Advance Study
Dr Sukhbir Singh Kapoor
Vice Chancellor World Sikh University, London