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Understanding Raag

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Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh !!

This is a file i found on my pc a while ago about the moods each Raag creates...i often wondered what the mood af a shabad was meant to be when im listening to it..and people always told me that each Raag has its own purpose but until i found this i never knew what they were...so i thort id post it for everyone to read.

..Becuase i dont have any knowledge of Raag i appolagise if anything in the following post is inaccurate.

p.s..I'll try to attatch the full file soon :)

Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh !!


Siree Raag

The basis of this Raag is steeped in the traditions of mainstream Indian Classical music. Siri Raag is serious and thought provoking in its nature and creates an atmosphere where the listener is led to heed the advice given therein. The listener is made aware of the truth of the message and with this 'education' is given the strength to face the future with both humility and the 'gained' knowledge.

Raag Maajh

Raag Maajh was composed by the fifth Sikh Guru (Shri Guru Arjun Dev Ji). The Raag's origins are based in Punjabi Folk Music and its essence was inspired by the Majha regions traditions of 'Ausian'; the game of waiting and yearning for the return of a loved one. The feelings evoked by this Raag have often been compared to that of a mother waiting for her child to return after a long period of separation. She has an anticipation and hope for the child's return, although at the same moment she is painfully aware of the uncertainty of their return home. This Raag brings to life the emotion of extreme love and this is highlighted by the sorrow and anguish of separation.

Raag Gauree

Gauree creates a mood where the listener is encouraged to strive harder in order to achieve an objective. However, the encouragement given by the Raag does not allow the ego to increase. This therefore creates the atmosphere where the listener is encouraged, but still prevented from being arrogant and self-important.

Raag Aasaa

Aasaa has strong emotions of inspiration and courage. This Raag gives the listener the determination and ambition to put aside any excuses and to proceed with the necessary actions to achieve the aim. It generates feelings of passion and zeal to succeed and the energy generated from these feelings enables the listener to find the strength from within to achieve success, even when the achievement seems difficult. The determined mood of this Raag ensures that failure isn't an option and motivates the listener to be inspired.

Raag Goojaree

If there is a perfect simile for Raag Goojaree, it would be that of a person isolated in the desert, who has their hands cupped, holding water. However it is only when the water begins to slowly seep through their joined hands that the person comes to realise the real value and importance of the water. Similarly Raag Goojaree leads the listener to realise and become aware of passing time and in this way comes to realise the precious nature of time itself. The revelation brings the listener to an awareness and admission of their own death and mortality, making them utilise their remaining 'life time' more wisely.

Raag Dayv

Dayv-Gandhaaree conveys the feeling of satisfaction that comes from making an achievement. These emotions make the listener feel empowered to do more and diminish any feelings of laziness. This state of satisfaction is that of extreme happiness and contentment, and leaves the listener with the feeling of being in paradise.

Raag Bihaagraa

The mood of Bihaagraa is that of extreme sadness and pain, which gives rise to the need to find peace and understanding. The heightened emotional state of sadness is only harnessed by the craving for truth and meaning.

Raag Wadahans

Wadahans is based on Punjabi Folk music and is set in the traditions of Ghoreea, Suhag and Alohnian. The feelings instilled by this Raag can be compared to those of a bride on the day of her wedding; she is happy and sad. Although she is going to her groom, who fills her with hope and joy, she is also sad to be leaving her family.

Raag Sorath

Sorath conveys the feeling of having such a strong belief in something that you want to keep repeating the experience. In fact this feeling of certainty is so strong that you become the belief and live that belief. The atmosphere of Sorath is so powerful, that eventually even the most unresponsive listener will be attracted.

Raag Dhanaasree

Dhanaasree is a sense of being completely carefree. This sensation arises from a feeling of contentment and 'richness' from the things we have in our lives and gives the listener a positive and optimistic attitude towards the future.

Raag Jaitsaree

Jaitsaree conveys the heartfelt emotion of not being able to live without someone. Its mood is preoccupied with feelings of dependence and an overwhelming sense of desperately reaching out to be with that person.

Raag Todee

Todee consists of both wisdom and humbleness. It is throught these sentiments that the Raag takes a simple approach to explain things that we may be aware of but fail to ponder upon. The Raag draws the attention of the listener to contemplate these things and gives an explanation with such conviction, that we are compelled to agree.

Raag Bairaaree

Bairaaree stimulates the feeling of improving and continuing with a task, which has already been accomplished. It is an unmoving belief that what has been achieved is true and positive, which leads to a hunger and desire to progress to the next stage. Although there is immense confidence in the achievement, there is no conceit or vanity in the accomplishment.

Raag Tilang

Tilang is full of feeling of having tried hard to impress, but the feeling that the effort made has not been appreciated. However, the atmosphere is not of anger or upset, but of brooding, as the person you are trying to impress is very dear to you.

Raag Soohee

Soohee is an expression of such devotion that the listener experiences feelings of extreme closeness and undying love. The listener is bathed in that love and genuinely comes to know what it means to adore.

Raag Bilaawal

Bilaawal conveys the emotions of great happiness that come from having attained a goal or achieved an aim. It is an overwhelming feeling of fulfilment, satisfaction and joy, that is experienced when the accomplishments are very important and dear to you. The happiness felt is like laughing out loud, there is no planning or any ulterior motive; it's just a natural expression of heartfelt happiness arising from a sense of achievement.

Raag Gond

Gond is an expression of triumph, however these feelings are balanced and in perspective ensuring that there is also an aspect of humility. Therefore, although there is a sense of knowing and understanding the achievement, there is not a feeling of becoming obsessed or getting lost in the achievement itself.

Raag Raamkalee

The emotions in Raamkalee are like those of a wise teacher disciplining their student. The student is aware of the pain of learning, but is still conscious of the fact that ultimately it is for the best. In this way Raamkalee conveys the change from all that we are familiar with, to something we are certain will be better.

Raag Nat Naaraayan

Nat Naaraayan consists of feelings of hastiness and impatience, however simultaneously there is stability and control. Although there is control in the Raag, there is still the impression that it is unbalanced and prone to topple at any time.

Raag Maalee

Maalee Gauraa conveys the confidence of an expert, whose knowledge is self-evident in both their outlook and actions. This knowledge is learned through experience and therefore creates an air of 'coolness'. However, this sense of 'coolness' is an aspect of true happiness because you have learned how to manage things with expertise and skill.

Raag Maaroo

Maaroo was traditionally sung on the battlefield in prepartion for war. This Raag has an aggressive nature, which creates an inner strength and power to express and emphasise the truth, regardless of the consequences. Maru's nature conveys the fearlessness and strength that ensures the truth is spoken, no matter what the cost.

Raag Tukhaari

Tukhaari conveys the soul's strong ambition to highlight the greatness of The Creator to the mind. This goal is of paramount importance to the soul and it will therefore, not give up even if the stubborn mind is unresponsive. This Raag illustrates the soul's focus on its goal, by conveying its message to the mind directly and then adopting a softer approach. The feelings of this Raag are dominated by the soul's burning desire to convince the mind to follow its plan of enlightenment and hence becoming one with Akaal (God).

Raag Kaydaaraa

Kaydaaraa expresses and makes the mind aware of the true character and nature of the soul. It conveys the emotions of honesty, integrity and truthfulness in a practical and caring way. This approach highlights the soul's character and is memorable, so that the mind is made aware, without arousing cynicism.

Raag Bhairao

Bhairao embodies the soul's faith and heartfelt devotion towards the Creator. It is a kind of fanaticism, where there is a feeling of not being aware or caring about anything else. The emotions conveyed are those of contentment and of being absorbed in a steadfast belief or faith. In this Raag, the soul is relaying the happiness that the mind could potentially experience if it joined in with this devotion.

Raag Basant

Basant denotes the changing of the season and the newness of spring. This Raag encourages the mind to brush away its selfishness, just like spring-cleaning removes all the cobwebs and creates a fresh start. There are feelings of hope and expectation of a new beginning and the start of a new cycle. However, these emotions are not dependent on the physical change of the season, but are an encouragement of an internal effort to change.

Raag Saarang

Sarang's character is soothing and has the ability to extinguish the mind's smouldering selfishness and negative nature. The emotions of Sarang quench the mind's burning desires, by expressing and highlighting the soul's pure and true thoughts. This is a positive and fulfilling change.

Raag Malaar

Malaar is a communication of feelings from the soul, to show the mind how to become cool and refreshed. The mind is always burning with the desire to reach its goals quickly and without effort, however the emotions conveyed in this Raag are able to become composure and fulfilment to the mind. It is able to bring the mind into this calmness, bringing a sense of satisfaction and contentment.

Raag Kaanraa

Kaanraa envokes feelings of being overcome by a personality, which is so impressive that its character is difficult to stop thinking about. The personality conveyed has a magnetism, which makes you think of them as your own and is able to win you over with its remarkable qualities and outlook.

Raag Kalyaan

Kalyaan has a forceful, yet flexible nature. It conveys a desire for something and a resolve to attain it, by whatever means possible. Although determined in its desire, Kalyaan sometimes uses an accommodating approach and at other times has an aggressive approach, in order to reach its goal. This Raag has a determined, forceful, yet persuasive character, through which it fulfils its desire.

Raag Prabhaatee

The emotions conveyed in Prabhaatee are those of extreme devotion; there is an intense confidence and love for the entity that it is devoted to. This affection arises from knowledge, common sense and a detailed study. There is therefore an understanding and a considered will to devote itself to that entity.

Raag Jaijaavantee

Jaijaavantee expresses the feeling of happiness and satisfation of achievement, however it simultaneously conveys the sadness of losing. An apt simile for this Raag is that of a king winning a battle, however he is then told that his son has perished on the battlefield. This Raag conveys a sense of having to put your duty first, no matter what your inner feelings may be. The duality of the emotions of joy and sorrow help to keep you stable and prevent you revelling in your own achievement.

Raag Maalaa

Index of Raags

Poetry (the form in which Gurbani is written) and music (raags) are two sides of the same coin. They are independent and yet complement each other. Music versifies and provides melody, uniformity and cadence to poetry. The factor that binds music and poetry is their metrical-form (ghar or beat). Music (Raag) is based on sound (swar - notes) and a combination of notes produce distinct musical effects. Poetry is determined by Word (Shabad), which communicates a message to the mind. Music (Raag) on the other hand conveys a feeling to the heart and is therefore universal. Spirituality, after all, is striking the right balance between mind and heart. Therefore, when the poetic Gurbani is complemented with raag (music) and bound by ghar (beat), the resulting effect on mind and heart can become a catalyst for spiritual transformation. The raag conveys a feeling and Shabad a message. Every raag is capable of touching the heart with feelings like joy, sorrow, detachment, etc. Upon studying the structure of Guru Granth Sahib it can be seen that Shabads relating to common themes are generally placed under each raag. When the broad themes of Shabads are overlaid with feelings conveyed by these raags, there emerges a reason behind grouping of Shabads under a broad classification of thirty-one raags.

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Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh Ji !!

Another section of the file explains Raag timings and even seasons!!...

Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh Ji !!


It's clear that the Gurus used raags to increase the delivery power of shabad to our mind by invoking complementary feelings in our hearts through usage of the prescribed raags.

Another interesting aspect of raag and Gurbani classification is understood by studying daily time-cycles. A raag has a preferred timing associated with it. There are some morning raags, evening raags, afternoon raags, etc. The timings of raags also complement the changes in human moods and heart during a twenty-four hour time cycle.

Upon classification of thirty-one main raags used in Guru Granth Sahib based on the prescribed raag timings, we find that no raags fall under the time zone 12 AM - 3 AM. It is interesting that the Gurus chose not to use any raag with a time cycle of 12AM – 3 AM, because one would normally sleep between 10PM - 4AM.

Timings of Raags:

6 AM - 9AM: Bhairaagi, Devgandhari

9 AM - 12 PM: Saarang, Suhi, Bilaaval, Gujri, Gond, Todi

12 PM - 3 PM: Vadhans, Maru, Dhanasari

3 PM - 6 PM: Maanjh, Gauri, Tilang, Tukhari

6 PM - 9 PM: Sri, Basant, Maali Gaura, Jaitsree, Kedara, Kalyaan

9 PM - 12 AM: Bihaagra, Nat Narayan, Sorath, Malaar, Kaanra, Jaijawanti

12 AM - 3 AM: No Raags from Guru Granth Sahib

3AM - 6AM: Aasa, Raamkali, Bhairav, Parbhati

Some raags also have seasons associated with them as seasons also denote feelings.

Seasonality of Raags:

1. Basant raag can be sung at any time in Basant season. Shabads with the theme of happiness are clustered under this raag in Guru Granth Sahib.

2. Malaar raag can be sung at any time in the rainy season. Shabads with the theme of separation are clustered under this raag in Guru Granth Sahib.


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12 PM - 3 PM: Vadhans, Maru, Dhanasari

Vaheguroo Jee Ka Khalsa Vaheguru Ji Ki Fateh

i know little about raag sad.gif , but i remember in a performance of nusrat fateh ali khan, he was singing in raag dhanasree and he addressed it as an evening raag... whcih brings me to the following questions: is the measures of raag and the time they are sung the same across india?... or do various indian cultures and communities have different interpretations of raag ie same name for the raag but variations of measure / styles... or any other variations?

i dont know if i presented my querry clearly, if not just ignore this post...

Vaheguroo Jee Ka Khalsa Vaheguru Ji Ki Fateh

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same raags vary all over india. oringally raags were for Naat - dancing, as dancing was a form of worship to Shiv Ji, and 1 of the 14 types of knowledge.

i also wanna share sumthing amazing wiv y'all. About 1992 when the Blakan conflict was at iots peak, i was watching a documanetary about Serbia. There in the program there was a Serb soldier playing a sarangi to one of the 6 tunes that is used in dhadhi waran. He was playing it and singing a serbain song to inspire serbs to defedn thier land. I coundnt beleive it as it was exactlty the same tune that we use or hear in the gurdwaras.

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same raags vary all over india. oringally raags were for Naat - dancing, as dancing was a form of worship to Shiv Ji, and 1 of the 14 types of knowledge.

i also wanna share sumthing amazing wiv y'all. About 1992 when the Blakan conflict was at iots peak, i was watching a documanetary about Serbia. There in the program there was a Serb soldier playing a sarangi to one of the 6 tunes that is used in dhadhi waran. He was playing it and singing a serbain song to inspire serbs to defedn thier land. I coundnt beleive it as it was exactlty the same tune that we use or hear in the gurdwaras.

aww wkdd!!!...AKAAAALLLLL!!!! .....thanks for that bahji :D

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