Mela raga #15

Raga: Mayamalavagowla
Chakra: Agni
Uttaranga: Go (3)
Swaras: Sa Re1 Ga3 Ma1 Pa Dha1 Ni3 Sa

This raga is traditionally the first raga taught to students of Carnatic music. This is because it is constructed in pairs of of notes only a semitone apart, i.e. there is only a semitone between the Sa and the Re, the Ga and the Ma, etc. The raga has symmetry: it consists of two symmetrical tetrachords separated by a major tone.

The Ga and the Ni are the jeeva swaras (literally, life-notes) of the raga; they are dominant in the raga and give it its distinctive "feel", and any manodharma (improvisation) in this raga would be built around them.

Mayamalavagowla was originally just Malavagowla, but when the Melakartha system was being codified, the "Maya" prefix was added so that the raga would fit into the Katapayadi Sutra as number 15.

This is an auspicious raga that evokes shanta rasa (peacefulness) and pathos. It is suitable for singing at any time of day; and it is best when sung at dawn.

Back to The Melakartha ragas.