Explanation for 'SaDja'

Sudalaimuthu Palaniappan Palaniappa at AOL.COM
Sat Sep 27 04:32:02 UTC 1997

In a message dated 97-09-26 21:40:46 EDT, mahadevasiva at HOTMAIL.COM writes:

<< It is true that the most popular meaning of the ending "-ja:/jA" is
 :birth/to be born from....but the ending can take on other meanings
 including exotic ones like swift,victory etc. One of the lesser used
 meanings of this ending is :prepared from,made of....In this context, if
 we translate "ShaDja" as prepared from (six) organs, it would make
 logical sense i.e. note produced with the help of six organs which are
 listed by Prem Lata Sharma in part (c)....This is also said by Tyagaraja
 in his "Sobhillu saptasvara"( rAgA jaganmOhini) where he says in the
 anupallavi: "nAbhi hrd-kaNTHa rasana, nAsAdula entO"..."sobhillu sapta
 ( the first 5 words are Skt based are need no translation, nAsAdula is
 just the Teluguised version of "of the nAsAdi", entO is "a lot of")
 Sobhillu is I think, derived from Skt "ZObhA" sapta svara is from Skt>>

I think 'being born of , prepared from, made of' are all semantically very
close. So the basic logic could work. But, my understanding is that the
theory of musical scales with the concepts of the relationship between
'SaDja' and 'pancama' etc., and the octave were derived with the help of
instruments. Given that, the six places of production is not really relevant
to define SaDja. I am sure other notes are produced from equal number of
places. I think ThyAgaraja was just using a conventional description/cliche
in the song.

 <<AFAIK, the word Saptaka is just a word for seven notes i.e. an octave
 /karnatic sthAyi...the meaning, I think that is being implied here( this
 is a long shot and could be the result of the same phenomenon
 , not the causative factor-It is possible for any note to take the place
 of the ShaDjam and allow for the generation of a new rAga i.e.
 isn't this the basis of graha bhEdam?; for example, if the Rishbham in
 the rAga mOhanam is made the ShaDjamam, then we get the rAga
 madhyamAvati....It is therefore possible that the authors had this in
 mind i.e. the ShaDja being generated from all the six notes one at a

Even when you begin the grahabhedam/modal shift of the tonic, you start with
a basic scale with SaDja already in it. It does not appear only in the
shifted scales. Further, at least in Tamil musicological texts, the basic
scale was described as "kural kural Ayatu cempAlai" or "harikAmpOti is the
one where SaDja is SaDja". Even the base scale was considered as the first of
the possible shifted scales. I think we are still not anywhere near a

So, will the Sanskrit specialists jump in and give a reasonable explanation?
Thanks in advance.


S. Palaniappan

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