Raagmala literally means a beaded string of musical melodies. "Mala" means "a beaded string" and "Raga" is a "musical composition". It is the name given to the last composition in the Guru Granth Sahib Ji appearing after the Mundavani (The Royal Seal) and a Salok by Guru Arjan Dev. Like the Japji Sahib, which appears at the beginning of the Guru Granth Sahib Ji, this composition has no heading to show the name of the author. However, unlike Japji Sahib it has no mention of 'Nanak', the serialization of the stanzas does not follow any order, and there is no universal consensus within the Sikh community since its inclusion in Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji over who its author is.
Sikh scholars differ in their opinion about the inclusion of Raagmala in the Granth. It must be noted that Kavi Santokh Singh (1783–1843) was the first Sikh scholar who publicly challenged in writing that Raagmala is not Gurbani but the composition of the poet Alam. Kavi Santokh Singh was a renowned Sikh poet and historian who wrote the infamous Gur Prataap Suraj Granth. Kavi Santokh Singh writes in Gur Prataap Suraj Granth: Raas 3, Ansu 48 that Guru Arjan Dev Ji is the author of Mundavani and that Raagmala is not authored by the Guru. He goes on to write that Raagmala is part of Kavi Alam's novel of 'Madhav Nal Kaam Kandla'. The next famous historian recorded to have raised controversy on the inclusion and authorship of was Giani Gian Singh (1822-1921). He writes in ‘Panth Sevak’ (edition: 10/04/1918) that a large assembly of the Panth was held in 1853 to discuss the authenticity of Raagmala, after which it was decided that Raagmala is not Gurbani.
The prevalent position amongst Sikhs and the official position of the SGPC is as described in the Sikh Reht Maryada booklet that Sri Akal Takhat Sahib follows and propagates:
"The complete reading of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji (Sadhaaran or Akhand) may be concluded with the reading of Mundavani or Raagmala according to the local practice observed at the concerned place. (Since there is a difference of opinion within the Panth on this issue, nobody should write or print a copy of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji excluding Raagmala)."
Raagmala is not recited at Sri Akal Takhat Sahib, and no Sikh is deemed as commiting any religious offence (deemed for Tankhaah) if they do not read Raagmala at the completion (Bhog) of the recital of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji. That is the stand that is taken here (SlkhiWiki), as well.
Please do not add any disputed points to this page - Use the Discussion Page to voice your views if they differ from the above.
Raagmala & Raags in SGGS
The Adi Granth contains the following thirty-one ragas (in the serial order):
Sri raga, Manjh, Gauri, Asa, Gujri, Devagandhari, Bihagara, Wadahans, Sorath, Dhanasri, Jaitsri, Todi, Bairari, Tilang, Suhi, Bilaval, Gond (Gaund), Ramkali, Nut-Narayan, Mali-Gaura, Maru, Tukhar, Kedara, Bhairav (Bhairo), Basant, Sarang, Malar, Kanra, Kalyan, Prabhati and Jaijawanti.
It should be noted the following raags are mentioned in the section before Sri raga (pages 9 to 13).
- Raga Gujri (page 10)
- Raga Gauri dipaki and Asa (page 12) "dipaki" means "of light"
- Raga Dhanasri and Gauri purbi (page 13) "Purbi" means "eastern"
Ragmala given at the end of the SGGS gives the following eighty-four melodies.
Six are male (parent) ragas; the thirty raginis are their wives and the remaining forty-eight are their sons. The list is as follows:
- (1) Bhairao raga
Wives: Bhairavi, Bilawali, Punyaki, Bangli, Aslekhi.
Sons: Pancham, Harakh, Disakh, Bangalam, Maadh, Madhava, Lalat, Bilaval.
- (2) Malkaus raga
Wives: Gaundkari, Devagandhari, Gandhari, Seehute, Dhanasri.
Sons: Maru, Mewara, Parbal, Chand, Kausak, Ubara, Khokhat, Bhuranad.
- (3) Hindol raga
Wives: Telangi, Devkari, Basanti, Sindhoori, Aheeri.
Sons: Surmanand, Bhasker, Chandra-Bimb, Mangalan, Saras-baan, Binoda, Basant, Kamoda.
- (4) Deepak raga
Wives: Kachheli, Patmanjari, Todi, Kamodi, Gujri.
Sons: Kaalanka, Kuntal, Rama, Kamal-Kusum, Champak, Gaura, Kanra, Kalyana.
- (5) Sri raga
Wives: Bairare, Karnati, Gavri, Asavari, Sindhve.
Sons: Salu, Sarag, Sagra, Gond, Gambhir, Gund, Kumbah, Hamir.
- (6) Megh raga
Wives: Sorath, Gond, Malari, Asa, Soohou.
Sons: Bayra-dhar, Gaj-dhar, Kedara, Jabli-dhar, Nut, Jal-dhara, Sankar, Syama.
Raags in Guru Granth Sahib
If we compare the above scheme with the ragas of the Guru Granth Sahib, we find that only two major ragas - Sri raga and Bhairav have been included in the Scripture. The remaining male parent ragas, namely Malkaus, Hindol, Deepak, and Megh have been excluded. Sri raga is the first raga in the Scripture instead of Bhairav raga of the Ragmala. Asawari used in the Scripture as a part of Asa raga is, according to ragmala, the wife of Sri raga. The following eleven wives (raginis) and eight sons of the parent-ragas are included in the Scripture:
23 raags that are utilised in the SGGS are mentioned in the Raagmala.
- Mali-Gaura is not included in Ragmala but Gaura is. "Mali" means gardener.
|Kirtan:||Raga · Taal · Ragmala · Classical Music · Sangeet · Dhuni · Divan · Asa di Var · Jatha · Simran · Shabad · Tuk · Rababi · Dhadhi|
|Ragas:||Asa · Bairari · Basant · Bhairon · Bihagara · Bilaval · Devagandhari · Dhanasari · Gauri · Gond · Gujari · Jaijavanti · Jaitsri · Kalian · Kanara · Kedara · Maajh · Malaar · Mali Gaura · Maru · Nat Narain · Prabhati · Ramkali · Sarang · Sri · Sorath · Suhi · Tilang · Todi · Tukhari · Vadahans|
|Ragis:||Harjinder Singh · Maninder Singh · Amolak Singh · Darshan Singh · Balwinder Singh · Harbans Singh · Anoop Singh · Niranjan Singh · Amrik Singh · Avtar Singh · Snatam Kaur ·Kamaljit Kaur · Dileep Kaur · Joginder Singh · SS Maskeen|
|Saaj:||Harmonium · Tabla · · Tanpura · Taus · Rabab · Sarangi · Dilruba · · Saranda · Sarode · Sitar · Santoor · Pakhawaj · Dhadh · Dholak · Dool|