Explanation for 'SaDja'

Kowshika Ramaprasad kvram at HOTMAIL.COM
Fri Sep 26 18:57:12 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

>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
>samkalpamu eTuvaNtidO ghana", but then is navarOj an ancient rAga? I
>think it is of more recent origin...

       Yes,  navarOj spans between mandra sthAyi panchama to
       madhya sthAyi panchama. I have some notes about the
       history of this rAga , whicjh I will post in a da day or two.

>.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
>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

       The amara kOs'a goes like

       "nishAdarshbha gAndhAra shadja madhyama dhivatAh
         panchamashEtyamI sapta tantrI kaNThOttitAh svarAh "

        In the order of mentioning Shadja comes fourth, but I do
        not know if it is of any consequence.

>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?

         The few pAdas that follow the above mentioned shlOka are

         shadjam mayUrO vadati gAvO rishabha bhAshiNah
         ajA vikantu gAndhAram krounchah kvanati (?) madhyamam
         pushpa sAdhAranE kAlE pikah kUjati panchamam
         dhaivatama hasato vAji nishAda bruhmatE(?) gajah ....

         These assign shadja to peacock, rishabha to bull, gAndhAra
          to sheep, madhyama to kroucha pakshi, panchama to koel,
          dhaivata to horse and nishAda to elephant.

           These assignments have been probably quoted from
           Bharata's nATya shAstra.


            Ramaprasad K V

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