Explanation for 'SaDja'

S Krishna mahadevasiva at HOTMAIL.COM
Fri Sep 26 17:42:14 UTC 1997

S.Palaniappan writes:
>I have seen two explanations for the name of the musical note
>'SaDja'.According to one, 'SaDja' means 'the note born as the sixth'.
The otherexplanation is it means 'the note which gives birth to six'.
Can anybody givethe linguistically correct explanation? Thanks in

I had the same doubt some time ago....A perusal of V.S.Aptes
Sanskrit-English dictionary told me the following:
Shadja:- the fourth( or first according to some) of the seven primary
notes of the Indian gamut;so called because it is derived from the six
nAsAm. kaNThamurastAlu jihvAm. datAnzcha(?) samspr~zan.h|
shaDbhya: sa~njAyatE iti yasmAttasmAt.h Zadja iti smrta:||

I think that the use of shaDbhya: sa~njAyatE( from the sixth
, {it} is born) would make it close to your "note born as the sixth".
The reason why I put a question mark after "datAnzcha" is because I
think it should be "dantAnzcha" i.e. to the teeth,pls feel free to make
appropriate suggestions...

As far as I can tell,"ShaDja-first note" here is the prevalent way in
which music is taught now( and possibly then), but what is this "fourth
note" thing? In this case, I think "panCama" would be the base
note...i.e. panCama-1,dhaivata-2,niShAda-3,ShaDja-4...was there a
time/reason when panCama was the base note? I know that there are rAgas
in Carnatic music where all the notes are between the mandara sthAyi
panCamam and the madhya sthAyi panCamam- "navarOj" is a good example of
this, I think- this is atleast the impression I got after listening to
deekshitars "hastivadanAya" and a rendering of bhadrACala rAmadas's "nee
samkalpamu eTuvaNtidO ghana", but then is navarOj an ancient rAga? I
think it is of more recent origin....So, can anybody please tell me as
to what is being refered to when he says "SaDja is the fourth note"?

IT is also supposed to resemble( according to Apte) the note of peacocks
i.e. nArada is quoted here as saying: "ShaDjam rauti mayUrastu" ...not
sure if this means that this was derived from the note of the

I have a question for the music gurus here : Is there a unified theory
of the derivation of all the notes- some seem to take their name from
an animal with a similar calling note i.e. riShabha from v.rShabha(
bull) and others seem to take it from their position in the ascending
order i.e. panCamam...can somebody please post all the correct
derivations of the notes?


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