What are the common themes & emotions conveyed in the 31 main Raags in Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji?

Raag conveys a feeling and Shabad a message. A Raag is capable of touching the hearts with the feeling 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 Raags, there emerges a reason behind classification of Shabads under a broad classification of 31 Raags.

Common Theme of Shabads placed under Raags of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji

1. Soohi – Being away from Home. The soul being away from the House of Lord & the joy of meeting the true husband.

2. Bilaaval – beautification of Soul, Happiness.

3. Gaund – Separation, union, surprise.

4. Sri – Maya and Detachment

5. Maajh – yearning to merge with Lord, giving up of negative values.

6. Gauri – Principles, Serious, thoughtfulness, composed

7. Aasa – Hope

8. Gujri – Prayer (Pooja)

9. Devgandhari – Merging with spouse, Self – Realization

10. Bihaagra – Yearning due to separation of Soul and happiness due to meeting the Lord.

11. Sorath – Merits of God

12. Dhanasari – Mixed Theme

13. Jaitsree – Stability

14. Todi – Maya, Separation

15. Bairagi – motivation to sing praises of Lord

16. Tilang – many words from the vocabulary of Islamic origins are used, sadness, beautification.

17. Raamkali – to give up the life of a wandering Jogi.

18. Nat Narayan – Joy of meeting the Lord

19. Maali Gaura – Happiness

20. Maaru – Bravery

21. Tukhari – Separation and union with Lord

22. Kedara – Love

23. Bhairav – Mans’ state of Hell

24. Basant – Happiness

25. Sarang – Thirst to meet God

26. Malar – State of separated and united Soul

27. Jaijawanti – Vairag (Detachment)

28. Kalyan – Bhakti (Prayer) Ras

29. Vadhans – Vairag (Detachment)

30. Parbhati – Bhakti (Prayer)

31. Kanra – Bhakti (Prayer)

Feeling communicated by the music of Raag

1. Soohi – Joy & Separation

2. Bilaaval – happiness

3. Gaund – strangeness, surprise, beauty

4. Sri – satisfaction and balance

5. Maajh – loss, beautification

6. Gauri – Seriousness

7. Aasa – making effort

8. Gujri – satisfaction, softness of heart, sadness

9. Devgandhari – No specific feeling but the Raag has a softness

10. Bihaagra – beautification

11. Sorarth – motivation

12. Dhanasari – inspiration, motivation

13. Jaitsree – Softness, satisfaction, sadness

14, Todi – this being a flexible Raag it is apt for communicating many feelings

15. Bhairagi – sadness, (Gurus have however used it for the message of Bhakti)

16. Tilang – this is a favourite Raag of Muslims. It denotes feeling of beautification and yearning.

17. Raamkali – calmness

18. Nat Narayan – Happiness

19. Maali Gaura – Happiness

20. Maaru – giving up of Cowardice

21. Tukhari – beautification

22. Kedara – Love and beautification

23. Bhairav – Seriousness, brings stability of mind

24. Basant – happiness

25. Sarang – sadness

26. Malar – seperation

27. Jaijawanti – Virag

28. Kalyan – Bhakti Ras

29. Vadhans – Vairag, Loss (that is why Alahniya is sung in this Raag when someone passes away)

30. Parbhati – Bhakti and seriousness

31. Kanra – Bhakti and seriousness

Its clear that the Gurus used Raags to increase delivery power of shabad to our mind by invoking complementary feelings in our hearts through the usage of prescribed Raags.

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One Response to “What are the common themes & emotions conveyed in the 31 main Raags in Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji?”

  1. Thanks for finally writing about > What are the common themes & emotions conveyed in the 31 main Raags in Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji?
    | Sikh Answers < Loved it!

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