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JAYASRILAPRABHUPADA

BASICMRIDANGAHANDBOOK
November2008
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Sri Mridanga Pranama Mantra


Namo Jagannatha sutayo Namo mrdanga namah Labanga rasa madhuri Sahasra guna samyuktang Namo mrdanga namo namah Namo baladevayo namo namah I offer my respectful obeisances unto the son of Sri Jagannatha Misra (Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu). I offer obeisances unto the mrdanga from which sweet and necterean sounds emanates. I offer my obeisances again and again unto the mrdanga who has thousands of good qualities. And I offer my obeisances unto Lord Baladeva who assumes the form of the mrdanga to serve Lord Chaitanya.

IMPORTANTNOTES Mridangaisalsoknownasthekhol Thesoundofthekholcreatesauspiciousnessexactly likethesoundoftheconchshell ThemridangaisthedirectexpansionofKrishnas flutefromGolokaandalsoofLordBaladev, thereforeitisconsideredandrespectedlikethe Lordsparaphernalia Mridangaplayingisconsideredatypeofyogaand everydaypracticeof30minutesormoreisrequired Themridangathatproducesthebestsoundis2223 inchesinlengthwith4and8inchdiametersonthe smallandbigheadsrespectively Themantrasusedinthisbookarefromthe Garanhatimusicsampradayaoriginatingfrom NarottamadasThakura Beforeplayingonemustofferobeisancestothe mridangawiththemantraabove. Itisveryimportanttosaythemantraaloudwhen onepractices.Onewillnothavedifficultyinsinging andplayingatthesametimeafterwards Smallheadcalleddayan Bigheadcalledbayan Putstrapoveryourrightshoulderandunderyour leftarm(forrighthandedpeople)

Generally,bigendgoeswithweakerhand.Small endgoeswithstronghand Nowadaystherearedifferentvarietiesof mridangas: Claydrumswithleatherstrapsandleatherhead. Metaldrumswithleatherstrapsandleatherhead. Fiberglassdrumswithleatherstrapsandleather heads. BalaramMridangasFiberglassbodyandplastic heads Claydrumsproducebestsound Dontputdownmridangaswithleatherheads standingupwhenthesurfaceiswoodorceramic (whereitabsorbscoldormoisture).Thiswillruinor tightenthebighead

Vocabulary Tehairepetitivefinishingpercussiontriad(3)composition playedinapleasantmetertocoincidewiththeopening meter(sam)iscalledtehaithefinishingtriad. Hatutiapleasantandcarefullysetuprhythmiccomposition playedonaMridangainstrumentwiththeaccompaniment ofcymbals(kartals)heraldingtheauspiciousadventofLord SriCaitanyaMahaprabhuandtofocustheattentionofthe audiencebeforecommencingkirtanaperformance.

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HAND PRACTICE I HASTA SADHANA


(very important to loosen the hands)

Mantra 1. BIJA MANTRA. Explanation.

tere kheta. te right hand four fingers closed sound re right hand with thumb in middle of the small head of mridanga (open) khe left hand closed sound ta right hand with four fingers open sound.

Mantra 2.

tere kheta tere tere kheta

Explanation. same as previous. Mantra 3. tere kheta tere kheta tere tere tere kheta

Explanation. same as previous. Mantra 4. tikhi takhi tere kheta, kheta takhi tere kheta ti same as te. khi same as khe. ta right hands four fingers open sound khi same as khe. tere kheta all ready you have khe left hand close sound ta this is special with thumb same as re ta right hand four fingers open sound khi same as that. tere kheta all ready you have.

Explanation.

Mantra 5.

tere kheta tere kheta tere tere tere kheta ; tikhi takhi tere kheta, kheta takhi tere kheta

So now try to play everything together as 5. Please practice this mantra for a long time, and your hand will become powerful. Mantra 6. ghene nere ghena geda, khene nere khena kheta ghe left hand open sound ne right hand with thumb like re nere same as tere non different ghe left hand open sound na right hand four fingers open sound same as ta ge left open sound but it is not strong sound da right hand four fingers close sound like te but it is more stronger than te khe left hand close sound or flat sound ne right hand with thumb same as re nere same as tere. all ready you have. khe all ready you have. na same as ta khe all ready you have ta right hand four fingers open sound.

Explanation.

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**Extra Credit: Mantra 7. Ghene nere ghena geda, ghene nere ghena, ghene nere ghena khene nere khena kheta, khena nere khena, khena nere khena.

Explanation. see mantra 6. This mantra requires serious concentration Mantra 8. tere kheta tere tere kheta tere tere tere kheta khete tete tete kheta tete kheta khete tete kheta tak tere kheta tikhi takhi tere kheta, kheta takhi tere kheta. tere kheta tere tere kheta tere tere tere kheta same as before khe with left hand flat sound te right hand with thumb like re tete same as tere tete same as tere khe left hand flat sound ta right hand four fingers open sound. tak right hand four fingers close sound tere kheta all ready you have ti same as te khi all ready you have ta right hand four fingers open sound khi same as before tere kheta all ready you have. khe same as khi ta same as re with thumb; this ta is special ta right hand four fingers open sound. khi same as khe. tere kheta all ready you have.

Explanation.

Mantra 9.

ghene ne ghene ne ghene nere ghena, ghene nere ghena tak tere kheta, khene ne khene ne khene nere khena, khene nere khena tak tere kheta. ghe left hand open sound ne right hand with thumb ne right hand with four finger open ghene ne same as before. ghene left hand open sound and right hand with thumb nere the same as tere ghena left hand open sound and right hand with four fingers open. tak right hand four fingers close sound it is stronger than te tere kheta all ready you have khe left hand close sound ne right hand with thumb ne right hand four finger open sound khene left hand close and right with thumb nere same as tere khena khe left hand close sound and na same as ta tak right hand four fingers same as te but it is stronger then te tere kheta all ready you have before

Explanation.

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HAND PRACTICE I HASTA SADHANA MANTRA SHEET


Click on mantra to view video Mantra 1. Mantra 2. Mantra 3. Mantra 4. Mantra 5. tere kheta. tere kheta tere tere kheta tere kheta tere kheta tere tere tere kheta tikhi takhi tere kheta, kheta takhi tere kheta tere kheta tere kheta tere tere tere kheta ; tikhi takhi tere kheta, kheta takhi tere kheta ghene nere ghena geda, khene nere khena kheta Ghene nere ghena geda, ghene nere ghena, ghene nere ghena khene nere khena kheta, khena nere khena, khena nere khena. tere kheta tere tere kheta tere tere tere kheta khete tete tete kheta tete kheta khete tete kheta tak tere kheta tikhi takhi tere kheta, kheta takhi tere kheta. ghene ne ghene ne ghene nere ghena, ghene nere ghena tak tere kheta, khene ne khene ne khene nere khena, khene nere khena tak tere kheta.

Mantra 6. Mantra 7.

Mantra 8.

Mantra 9.

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KIRTAN SECTION I
***IMPORTANT NOTES: The official mrdanga course is divided into four parts with the practice, hatuti, kirtan, and bhajan mantras. So far we have only covered some practice mantras. There are many many hatuti mantras which are the foundations of kirtan. We dont have the time to go through all of them, so we will only learn the first part of the first hatuti mantra (which has many parts). This mantra is the foundation for kirtana mantras throughout this section and beyond. Kirtana etiquette: While playing mridanga it is important to follow the kirtana leader not lead him. It is also important to play softer than the song itself. The mridanga sound should not be so loud that it buries the song. In a garland, for example, the strings hold the flowers together. It is not possible to make a garland without strings, but it is not possible without flowers either. Both the flowers and strings are equally important. The flowers are compared to the song and the strings that hold it together is the mridanga. But just as in a garland the strings are not the most prominent thing, the mridanga is less prominent than the song itself. To play louder than the song is only disturbing to the song. This is the basic understanding according to the Acariyas. One must be especially careful to play properly for Krishna. Use bonafide mantras coming from a bonafide Goudiya vaishnava music Sampradaya. It is very important that junior mridanga players follow behind more experienced mridanga players. *Mantras marked with an asterisk are not bonafide mantras so to speak. They are just there to help as introduction. Vocabulary Review: Tehai - repetitive finishing percussion triad (3) composition played in a pleasant meter to coincide with the opening meter (sam) is called tehai the finishing triad. Hatuti - a pleasant and carefully setup rhythmic composition played on a Mridanga instrument with the accompaniment of cymbals (kartals) heralding the auspicious advent of Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and to focus the attention of the audience before commencing kirtana performance.

HATUTI MANTRA 1
FOUNDATION OF KIRTAN HATUTI MANTRA 1 (part 1 only). jha ghenere ghena, jha ghenere ghena, jha ghena da guru gur, da guru gur, da gur

Explanation.

jha both hands open ghe left hand open nere same as tere ghe left hand open sound na right hand four fingers open like ta jha both hands open sound ghe left hand open sound na same as ta

You play jha ghenere ghena but you have to say da guru gur. Saying is as important as playing, because afterwards you can lead kirtana while playing mridanga. So, for that reason, you have to make it a habit in the beginning. When you get da guru gur da guru gur da gur you should forget the jha ghenere ghena jha ghenere ghena jha ghena. At first, from the beginning, all the mantras should be played very slow and clear. Then gradually increase the speed. It is the basic system of playing and learning Mridanga.

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KIRTAN MANTRAS
ALL KINDS OF AROTI MANTRAS FIRST SPEED MANTRA. Explanation. khik khi neda gida gida dhei / ta uru tete ta "khik" left hand only, closed strong sound "khi" left hand closed sound "neda"- ne right index finger up, closed sound; da both hands open sound; "gida"- 'gi' left hand, open; 'da' both hands, open; "dhei" like "jha" but stronger; "ta" right four fingers "uru" like "terete" - 'te right four fingers; re thumb; te same; tete first te is right hand four fingers closed; second te is like re thumb "ta" right hand four fingers open

If playing uru is too difficult at first, you can skip it and leave a pause for it. Instead of uru pause for a split second. Eventually you should learn it the proper way. MANTRA. Explanation. khik khi neda gida gida dhei / tak ta tak thini thini ta "khik" left hand only, closed strong sound "khi" left hand closed sound "neda"- ne right index finger up, closed sound; da both hands open sound; "gida"- 'gi' left hand, open; 'da' both hands, open; "dhei" like "jha" but stronger; tak - right three fingers closed ta right index finger open thini first thi is right index finger closed, second ni right three fingers closed ta right index finger open

This mantra has many variations. You will usually start the kirtan with this beat. SECOND SPEED These mantras are played a little faster than the first speed ones. There are also many variations to these. MANTRA. Explanation. da <SP> tete take dhena da like jha <SP> slight pause space tete te small hand index finger; next te both hands, big side like khe (flat) and small hand 3 fingers take ta small hand four fingers and ke big hand open (special) dhena dhe like jha and na like ta ta <SP> tete take dhena ta small hand four fingers open Others are same as previous mantra.

MANTRA. Explanation.

MANTRA. Explanation.

daghi tete take dhena daghi da like jha, ghi big hand open Others are same as previous mantra.

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THIRD SPEED The first four mantras in this section are usually called double because they are played at double the speed than the second speed mantras. You will notice that some of the mantras are the same from the last section. But this time the mantras are played a little differently to accommodate the faster speed. MANTRA. Explanation. ghe <SP> tete <SP>ke dhena ghe big hand open tete te both hands, big side like khe (flat) and small hand 3 fingers next te small hand index finger ke big hand open (special) dhena dhe both hands, big like ghe (open) and small hand 3 fingers na small hand index finger daghi tete take dhena daghi-- "da" both hands-Ieft, open sound; right, index finger; "ghi" only left hand, open; tete - "te" right hand, three fingers close sound; "te" both hands-left like "khe" (flat), right, index finger; take - "ta" right index finger, open sound; "ke" left open, not strong (special) "dhe" both hands-right, 3 fingers open; left,open sound; "na" right index finger, open.

MANTRA. Explanation.

This third speed mantra has to be played with twice the speed of the second speed "daghi tete take dhena". MANTRA. Explanation. ta <SP> tete take dhena ta small hand index finger open Others are same as previous mantra. da <SP> tete take dhena da both hands-Ieft, open sound; right, index finger Others are same as previous mantra.

MANTRA. Explanation.

TRANSITION FROM SECOND TO THIRD SPEED MANTRA1: Explanation: kheta kheta khe "khe" both left hand closed, right hand open like ta "ta" right hand open 4 fingers khe khe khe khe kheta kheta khe same as above take take tak "take" 'ta' both hands closed like 'khe'; "khe" left hand open; "tak" both hands closed--Ieft like "khe"; and right, four fingers open; tak tak tak tak take take tak

MANTRA 2: Explanation: MANTRA 3: Explanation:

MANTRA 4:

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These next two mantras can be played during madhur madhur madhur baje during gaura arotik and in some Hare Krishna kirtans that follow the same beat. Put emphasis on dhei MANTRA.* Explanation. dhei te te, ta te te, ta te te, ta da da dhei both hands, big hand open, small hand three fingers te small hand index finger ta small hand three fingers da like jha

MANTRA. Explanation.

dhei ta thei, tak ta thei, tak ta thei, tak da da da "dhei" same as "jha" but louder "ta" right hand four fingers "thei" both hands-left like "khe" (flat), right like "ta" (open); "tak" like "te" but with a strong closed sound; "da" both hands open.

The next mantra is a very simplified version of what you can play at nitai gaura haribol You play ta at the first bol in haribol and then continue eight times before it comes back to the first haribol and repeat. MANTRA.* Explanation. ta da da ta- small hand three fingers open da- both hands small hand index finger open, big hand open

Or you can also play this for "Jaya Prabhupada", "Jaya Nrsirnhadeva" Nitai Gaur Haribol MANTRA: Explanation: dhei da dheita kheta kheta "dhei" both hands, loud sound; "da" both hands but not strong; "ta" right hand, four fingers open; "kheta" 'khe' left hand closed; 'ta' right four fingers open.

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TEHAIS A Tehai (ending) is often the repetition of a mantra played three times. Notice the last repetition of the three is missing a sound at the very end. That last sound is actually the sound from the next kirtan mantra you are going to play. For instance, you can play first speed khik khi neda gida gida dhei / ta uru tete ta. Then end with tere kheta jha, tere kheta jha, tere kheta. After this last kheta go back to dhei / ta uru tete ta. and so on. Same for other tehais. This is the basic system for connecting beats. These next tehais are played from hare hare end of Hare Krishna mahamantra. TEHAI 1. TEHAI 2. TEHAI 3. tere kheta jha, tere kheta jha, tere kheta kheta kheta jha, kheta kheta jha, kheta kheta kheta guru gur dhei, kheta guru gur dhei, kheta guru gur

These next tehais are played from rama rama last four syllables of Hare Krishna mahamantra. TEHAI 4. Explanation. dada gade ghine jha, dada gade ghine jha, dada gade ghine "dada" both hands open twice; gade - "ga" only left hand open; "de" same as "te" very closed sound; ghine - "ghi" only left hand, very strong open sound; "ne" same as "ta" open sound; tere kheta gade ghine dheiya, tere kheta gade ghine dheiya, tere kheta gade ghine "dheiya" - 'dhei' like jha' but stronger; 'ya' like ta'.

TEHAI 5. Explanation.

**EXTRA CREDIT. Kot tete geghe tete kota kota geghe tete Kot tete geghe tete kota kota geghe tete tere kheta gade ghine dheiya tere kheta gade ghine dheiya tere kheta gade ghine Kot tete geghe tete kota geghe neta kheta Ta klanta tete kota gade ghine Khi guru gur da da jha Khi guru gur da da jha Khi guru gur

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KIRTAN SECTION I MANTRA SHEET


HATUTI MANTRA 1 (part 1 only). jha ghenere ghena, jha ghenere ghena, jha ghena da guru gur, da guru gur, da gur

MANTRA. MANTRA. MANTRA. MANTRA. MANTRA. MANTRA. MANTRA 1: MANTRA 2: MANTRA 3: MANTRA 4: MANTRA. MANTRA. MANTRA. MANTRA: TEHAI 1. TEHAI 2. TEHAI 3. TEHAI 4. TEHAI 5.

khik khi neda gida gida dhei / ta uru tete ta khik khi neda gida gida dhei / tak ta tak thini thini ta da <SP> tete take dhena ta <SP> tete take dhena daghi tete take dhena ghe <SP> tete <SP>ke dhena kheta kheta khe khe khe khe khe kheta kheta khe take take tak tak tak tak tak take take tak dhei te te, ta te te, ta te te, ta da da dhei ta thei, tak ta thei, tak ta thei, tak da da da ta da da dhei da dheita kheta kheta tere kheta jha, tere kheta jha, tere kheta kheta kheta jha, kheta kheta jha, kheta kheta kheta guru gur dhei, kheta guru gur dhei, kheta guru gur dada gade ghine jha, dada gade ghine jha, dada gade ghine tere kheta gade ghine dheiya, tere kheta gade ghine dheiya, tere kheta gade ghine

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