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Bihagara

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This is an India musical raga (composition) that appears in the Sikh tradition from northern India and is part of the Sikh holy scripture called Sri Guru Granth Sahib or SGGS or short. Every raga has a strict set of rules which govern the number of notes and their interplay that has to be adhered to for the composition of a tune. The SGGS consists of 31 ragas and this is the seventh raga to appear in the series. The composition in this raga appear on 20 pages from page 537 to 557.

Bihagara is very similar to the modern and very popular raga Bihag. The resemblance is so close that many performers have trouble maintaining the significance of each. Bihagara is not given in the Ragmala. Today it is classified under the Bilaval thata. Guru Ram Das, Guru Arjan and Guru Tegh Bahadar set a total of 17 Shabads (hymns), chhants and a var to this raga. This raga is performed during the early night time between 9 p.m. and midnight, and it creates a devotional mood and has a tranquilising effect. The texts composed to this raga describes how complete peace and satisfaction comes to the person who surrenders everything to the Lord.

The following represents the order of notes that can be used on the ascending and descending phase of the composition and the primary and secondary notes:

  • Aroh: Ni Sa Ga Ma Pa Ni Sa
  • Avroh: Sa Ni Dha Pa Ni Dha Pa Dha Ga Ma Ga Re Sa
  • Vadi: Ma
  • Samvadi: Sa

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