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Positions of swaras:

Position: 1


2 R 1

Simpler R1 view: Simpler RNotation** Low Table 1

3 R 2 G 1 R2 RHigh

4 R 3 G 2 G1 GLow

5 G 3 G2 GHigh

6 7 Ma 1 Ma 2 M1 M1 M2 M2

8 Pa Pa Pa

9 D 1 D1 DLow

10 D 2 N 1 D2 DHigh

11 D 3 N 2 N1 NLow

12 N 3 N2 NHigh

Melakarta ragas have exactly 1 Ri-Ga-Da-Ni each. Ri has to be lower than Ga. Da has to be lower than Ni. This is the only requirement. So, Ri can take 3 positions - 2, 3 or 4 in table 1 referred to as R1, R2 and R3. Ga can take 3 positions - 3,4 or 5 - referred to as G1, G2 and G3. This means positions 3 and 4 can be either Ri or Ga depending on the raga. Ri in R1 can have Ga in G1, G2 or G3 for Ri-Ga pairs. i.e. (R1,G1) or (R1,G2) or (R1,G3) these are 3 possible combinations. Ri in R2 can have Ga in G2 or G3 for Ri-Ga pairs. i.e. (R2, G2) or (R2,G3) - these are 2 combinations. Ri in R3 can have Ga in G3 for Ri-Ga pair i.e. ( R3,G3) - this is 1 combination. So, Ri-Ga pairs have 3+2+1 = 6 combinations. A similar idea applies to Da-Ni combinations - ( D1,N1), (D1, N2), (D1, N3), (D2, N2), (D2,N3), (D3,N3) for a total of 6 combinations. Positions 10 and 11 can be either Da or Ni depending on the raga. So there is a total of 36 combinations of Ri-Ga and Da-Ni combinations i.e. 6 Ri-Ga combinations paired with each of the 6 Da-Ni combinations. Since there are 2 Ma positions we have 36 x 2 = 72 combinations of Ri-GaMa-Da-Ni combinations resulting in 72 Melakarta ragas.

With this set of combinations, positions 3 and 4 may be a Ri in one raga but will be Ga in another raga. Similarly positions 10 and 11 may be Da in one raga but could be Ni in another raga. Raga Arohanam Mayamalava Gowla Shankarabharanam Kalyani Hari Kamboji Karaharapriya Table 2 ** In the simpler notation we ignore the 3 positions of Ri and Ga. We only consider the 2 lower positions of Ri and 2 higher positions of Ga ignoring the overlap of Ri and Ga in positions 3 and 4. Similar idea is applied in Da-Ni combinations. Only 2 lower Da positions D1, D2 and 2 higher positions of Ni i.e. N2, N3 are considered ignoring the overlap in positions 10, 11. This gives us Ri-L, Ri-H, Ga-L, Ga-H ( positions 2,3,4,5) and Da-L, Da-H, Ni-L, Ni-H ( positions 9, 10, 11, 12). For Shriyas easy reference: Raga Arohanam Mayamalava Gowla Shankarabharanam Kalyani Hari Kamboji Kharaharapriya 1 S S S S S 2 RLow RHigh RHigh RHigh RHigh 3 GHigh GHigh GHigh GHigh G-Low 4 M1 M1 M2 M1 M1 5 Pa Pa Pa Pa Pa 6 D-Low D-High D-High D-High D-High 7 N-High N-High N-High N-Low N-Low 8 S S S S S 1 S S S S S 2 R1 R2 R2 R2 R2 3 G3 G3 G3 G3 G2 4 M1 M1 M2 M1 M1 5 Pa Pa Pa Pa Pa 6 D1 D2 D2 D2 D2 7 N3 N3 N3 N2 N2 8 S S S S S

Table 3

Of the 72 combination Melakarta ragas Mayamalavagowla has the greatest distance between Ri and Ga (i.e. 3 notes) and between Da and Ni (i.e. 3 notes). There is only 1 other raga with Prati madhyama which has the same distance between these notes. Kharaharapriya has the Ri-Ga and Da-Ni adjacent to each other.

The 72 Melakarta ragas are divided into 2 groups of 36 based on the Ma. Within each group of 36, ragas are divided into 6 groups of 6 ragas. Each group of 6 ragas belongs to a Chakram. Within each Chakram group of 6 ragas, the 6 combinations of Da-Ni are cycled through with the RiGa combinations remaining fixed. For example, both HariKamboji (28th Mela) and Dheera Sankarabharanam (29th Mela) belong to the 5th Chakram (with R2-G3) but have different Da-Ni pairs. Harikamboji has (D2-N2) and DheeraSankarabharanam has (D2-N3) with their Melakarta numbers 28 and 29 reflecting their swara closeness.

Position 1 2 3 3 4 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 10 11 11 12 Shadja


Short name Notation Mnemonic Sa Ri S R1 R2 G1 R3 G2 G3 M1 M2 P D1 D2 N1 D3 N2 N3 sa ra ri ga ru gi gu ma mi pa dha dhi na dhu ni nu

Shuddha Rishabha

Chatushruti Rishabha Ri Shuddha Gandhara Ga

Shatshruti Rishabha Ri Sadharana Gandhara Ga Antara Gandhara Ga

Shuddha Madhyama Ma Prati Madhyama Panchama Shuddha Dhaivata Ma Pa Dha

Chatushruti Dhaivata Dha Shuddha Nishada Ni

Shatshruti Dhaivata Dha Kaisiki Nishada Kakali Nishada Ni Ni