Thursday, June 13, 2024

Lahiri Lahiri Lahirilo…

  • Sree Ragam-9

What a soulful melody….The lyrical and tonal beauty of this song continues to resonate in our hearts even after six decades from the Timeless Classic Telugu Movie ‘Mayabazar’. The song captivates the listeners through the rich portrayal of Mohanaragam. Visualization of the soothing moonlight (recreated with exquisite craftsmanship of Marcus Bartley with his Mitchell camera), cool breeze, entrancing voices of Ghantasala and P Leela transports us to the land of ‘Mayabazar”


Mohana, the enchanting, vibrant and colourful raga is a janya raga of 28th MelakartaHarikambhoji.

Also Read : Understanding Music

It is known as Bhoopali in Hindustani Classical music. Historically, Mohana is known as one of the oldest ragas. Its ancient name is Regupti or Raghupati.

Mohana raga has a universal appeal as it widely seen in other forms of music across the globe. Similar scales of Mohana are observed in Oriental tunes like Chinese, Hungarian, Japanese, Sweden and Gypsy music. The national anthem of Thailand is set in Mohana raga.

Also Read : Salalitha Ganasudharasapanam…..

Mohana is a symmetric, pentatonic raga which has a vast presence in a diversity of musical forms like operas, orchestra, dance ballads, and also in fusion music.

In music therapy Mohana raga is used to treat chronic headaches, depression, blood pressure and indigestion


ArohanaS R2 G3 PD2S

AvarohanaSD2PG3 R2S

Swaras are; Shadjam, ChatusrutiRishabam, Antara Gandharam, Panchamam, Chatusruti Daivatham

Ma and Ni are absent in Mohana as they are the varjaswaras. As it contains all five swars in the Arohana and Avarohana, it is known as Owdavaragam. 

Also Read : Nada Yoga – Therapeutic power of music


Mohana is a versatile raga that emanates emotions like Sringara, Karunya, Veera, Bhakti rasas. A feeling of happiness, celebration, joy arouse as we hear this majestic raga. Mohana is an auspicious raga and is suitable for an elaborate alapana. Whether it is an invocation at the beginning of the concert, Varnam or a main piece of detailed exposition, a tillana or a mangalam at the end of the concert, Mohana suits every genre. The gamakas or oscillation of swarasin Mohana enhance the beauty of the raga.

Lahiri Lahiri Lahirilo…

We can find an array of compositions in the repertoire of Carnatic Classical music contributed by our vaggeyakaras or composers. With reference to the contribution by the Musical Trinity, Tyagaraja, Deekshitar, Syamasastry;

Tyagaraja composed 11 Kritis in this raga. Deekshitar has six Kritis. Interestingly, SyamaSastry did not employ this raga in his compositions.

Also Read : Ragas for Relief

‘Nanu Palimpa Nadachivachitivo..’ is a widely popular Tyagarajakriti in which Tyagaraja expresses his happiness when once his wait for his disciple culminates with the appearance of a portrait of Lord Rama in the hands of his disciple. He bursts in delight and renders this soulful Kriti in Mohana raga.

Other mesmerizing compositions of Tyagaraja include ‘EetavunuraNilakadaneeku’, ‘endukobagateliyadu’, ‘Bhavanutanaahrudayamuna’, ‘Mohana Rama’


Kadambari Priyaye is an invaluable composition of Deekshitar in praise of Goddess Lalitha

Narasimha Agachha’ is a composition in which Deekshitar ardently welcomes Lord Narasimha, extols his various divine attributes and pleads for mercy

‘Pahimam Parvati Parameshwari’ is another Devi Kriti of Deekshitar

Also Read : Raga and Rasa

‘Ra rarajeevalochana’ is a popular Kriti by Mysore Vasudevachar. It is one of the most popular Kritis in praise of Lord Rama.

Mohana in Film music

Mohanaacquires a distinct flavour in film music as the music composers incorporate anyaswaras (other swaras) to enhance the flavour of the raga and instil freshness to the tunes.


‘Giridhara Gopala’ from the epic movie ‘Meera’, by MSSubbalakshmi is cherished even today for its enchanting appeal.

‘Pankh Hoteto udatire’ an evergreen song from the Old Classic movie ‘Sehra’ regales our hearts with the pleasing voice of Lata Mangeshkar.

‘Sayonara O Sayonara’ is anscintillating classic number from the film ‘Love in Tokyo’.

In Telugu films, there are sizeable number of songs based on Mohana raga

‘Ghana GhanaSundara” from Bhakta Tukaram evokes Bhakti and devotion

‘Siri MalleNive” from Pantulamma is a soulful romantic melody

Also Read : How ragas were classified

‘Challagalilo Yamuna Tatipai…’a light music lingering melody of SaluriRajeswar Rao

PoralePonnuthaayi is a popular Tamil film song by AR Rehman. It has two version; happy and sad. It is interesting to note that the happy version is based on Mohana raga and to create pathos, AR Rehman just uses a different Ga. The change of one swara completely alters the mood of the song.

The list goes on and on for the Effervescent Mohana. As the name suggests, Mohana captivates our hearts with the inherent shades of love, beauty, joy, romance and devotion.

Also Read : Raga: the soul of Indian Classical music

Sreelakshmi Avadhanam
Sreelakshmi Avadhanam
Sreelakshmi Avadhanam is a journalist, content writer, freelance translator and is trained in Carnatic classical music. She also holds a Master’s degree in music. Playing the Veena and singing have been a part of her life since childhood. She also performs on stage whenever an opportunity arises. 



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