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Raga CDs of the Months (06/11): CHANDRA – Moon Ragas.

Posted by ElJay Arem (IMC OnAir) on June 17, 2011

Humans in a multiplicity of cultures (Western, Eastern and Asian) award the moon mystic strength. The satellite circles the earth in 29,53 days from full moon to full moon at an averaged distance of 384.401 km. The gravitation of the moon and sun explain the tides ( ebb and flood).

Vedas, Hinduism…

Chandra (Source:

Already in the Vedas (Sanskrit: वेद, véda, “knowledge”), in the pre-Christian time of India the moon was referenced to the daily and week calendar. In the Vedas the moon was the divinity Soma, the sap. The moon is thus ruler over all plants and the vegetation. Also Soma determines itself over ‘Monday,’ like it is reflected in the Nava Graha-s (nine planets) : seven (7) main planets + two (2) shaddow planets (decreasing and increasing moon), see below ‚Indian Astrology’.

In the Hindu self understanding the moon is a planet (Graha) and a divinity as well: Chandra. Chandra means “shining”. We find this word for moon in the old scholar language Sanskrit, in Hindu and national languages of different Indian Federal States (Ref.: Beside Chandra exist further names: “master of the night” = Rajanipati; “That, who illuminates the night” = Kshuparaka or “the bright shining drop” = Indu (see below Melakarta system).)

In Hindu mythology the moon personifies same positive as negative characteristics. The Queen of Moon can be as well the Demon of the Moon.

Chandra, the moon, is represented in figurative paintings and sculptures as a beautiful four-armed young man. Chandra drives a chariot nightly over the sky, pulled by 10 white horses or an antelope. (Note: In some exposures Chandra is illustrated also with a hare as Chandra is the patron saint of all hares.)

Indian Astrology… Nine Planets (Nava Graha-s)…

The vedic Astrology, the ancient Astrology of India interpreted the moon regarding the human body as brain and intellect. The moon is emotion, abilty of perception, gentleness, imaginative power, queen and mother.

In the Panchangam, the almanac of Hindu Astrology the year is divided into 12 months. The moon movement (Tithi) plays a crucial role (moon calendar “Chaitra “). The month of the moon consists of two halves: the first full moon phase and second new moon phase. The brightly waxing moon is regarded as benedictional and the covered, waning moon is malicious, harmful.

Beside the moon as one of the seven (7) main planets exist two divinities for the waxing and waning moon, so called shadow planets: Rahu symbolizes the waxing and Ketu the waning moon. Rahu & Ketu are demons of large power (see IMC radio show: “Ragas for Nine Planets (Nava Graha-s)“).

6 Seasons…

The time cycle of Indian Ragas or reference to seasons (e.g. spring ragas, monsoon ragas) have direct influence on the human consciousness and its emotional sensation. In Indian classical music one defines six (6) seasonal references, the so called rithu-s. Every rithu refers to one time period which is linked with a special event. Everyone of the six (6) rithu – takes two (2) sun months.

Chakra Svadhisthana (Source:

Chakra Svadhisthana (Source:

The exact beginning of a rithu is calculated from 30 degrees of sun movement with reference point to the equinoxes (day and night) and the summer and winter solstices – in relation to the earth rotation and inclination of the earth.

The season Varsha is assigned to the planet moon and sun. If sun & moon are located in the zodiac signs of Gemini and Cancer it is rainy season in India (Monsoon: 20th May – 20th July). In the Hindu moon calendar Chaitra these are Yeshta and Ashaadha.

The first day “Mahalaya” of the Durga feast, which is the most important ceremony for Hindus, falls on the new moon day and celebrates the return of the married daughter Durga to her father Himalaya (see IMC radio show: “Mother Durga – Ma Durga“).

Also the number of Chakras (body, spirit and soul) are twelve. The six lower Chakras are activated by the six seasons. The chakra Manipura is being activated by the bright moon light in the season Sarad Rithu. Manipura is mentioned as the third primary chakra (behind the solar plexus), also named as “the seat of the jewels”. The second chakra Svadhishthana is in relationship with the element water and the moon. Svadhishthana is being activated by moon and monsoon ragas like Raga Megh (see IMC broadcasting: “Ragas in the Indian Monsoon (rainy season ragas)”).

date of broadcasting…
20th June 2011 – 11:00 p.m. (CEST)
(premiere broadcasting: 19th October 2010 – 09:00 pm @ Tide 96.0 FM)

broadcasting plan | streaming (Internet Radio & Mobile Radio) | podCast

Ragas of North Indian Classics (Hindustani)…

The mood of the moon and its special atmosphere is recflected in the late evening raga Chandrakosh (or Chandrakauns). Kauns marks this moon raga in the ascending and descending scale as 5 note raga (pentatonic scale). Chandrakauns existed in its old form till the 19th and early 20th century as a popular Raga for recured melody forms, the Lahara-s (or known as ‘naghma-s’). This moon raga also was selected as an accompanying form for Tabla solos and for dance performances of Kathak (North Indian dance).


old (left) and new (right) scala form of raga Chandrakauns (source:

The Sarode legend Ali Akbar Khan died at the age of 87 years, on 18 June 2009. This exceptional musician of North Indian Classics created the moon raga Chandranandan. It can be counted as one of the outstanding compositions of Ali Akbar Khan. Chandranandan is a mix of four traditional Ragas: Malkoush, Chandrakauns, Nandakoush and Kaushi Kanada. (see IMC radio show: “Tradition & Modernity – A Tribute to Ali Akbar Khan“.)

Another variant of a moon ragas is ChandraDhwani. A blend between the moon raga Chandrakauns and night raga Kaushik Dhwani. Both are 5 notes ragas (pentatonic). For Kaushik Dhwani the 2nd pitch Re (Rishabh) and 5th pitch Pa (Pancham) are omitted. All notes are played as “suddha” (natural).

South Indian Classics (Carnatic)… Ragams of Melakarta system…

Same as in Indian Astrology in South Indian Classics (Carnatic) there exist 12 groups (chakras) with each six Ragams. Altogether exist 72 Ragams in the the classification system of Carnatic music, called Melakarta system (see diagram). Ragams are the South Indian form equivalent to the North Indian Ragas. The first group is Indu, beside Chandra a second name for moon. There is only one moon, therefore Indu is the first group, the first Chakra in the Melakarta system. The color red (similar to Chakra Svadhisthana) is assigned to this Melakarta Chakra. Singing of these moon ragas makes the heart feels relieved. We feel the gentleness and pleasant effect of the full moon.

The following diagram shows all Ragams: 1st till 6th Melakarta Ragams (Kanakangi, Ratnangi, Ganamurti, Vanaspati, Manavati and Tanarupi) of the 1st Chakra Indu (Source:

Elements of Nature…

polished moon stones (source:
polished moon stones (souce:

The element of the moon is water (see above: six seasons – varsha ritu). The moon regulates the months of rain (monsoon) and the water for the harvests while Mercur prevails over the period of growth and ripeness of fruit and Jupiter over the frosty months, in which leaves fall and the cold season begins. Chandra’s influence appears also in the food. The moon determines the structure of the rice.

In emotional colours the moon is understood as white, metal-silver. In India it is represented by pearls and moon stone which belongs to the group of the feldspars. The moon stone is a mineral variety of the Orthoklas. As genuine gem stone one finds it however very rarely as Cabochon – nearly translucent with tender-bluish gloss. The moon stone’s typical country of origin lies in direct neighborhood to India, on Sri Lanka.


Chand phir nikla
(movie: Paying Guest – vocalist: Late Mangeshkar – composer: S.D. Burman)

The Moon has came out again but you still not came
My heart is burning. What can I do now?
This night is telling me that those good old days are gone.
My heart is telling me that you are no longer mine.
Even then, I am still waiting with my eyes wide open
(with the hope that someday you will still come back to meet me).
I do not know what to do since thoughts of you come to my mind.
The smoke is coming out of fire burning inside my heart.
I feel choked now, please come back to me.
The shadow from spring has burnt my whole body.
I do not know what to do since thoughts of you come to my mind.

chaand phir nikla magar tum na aaye
jala phir mera dil karoon kya main haay
chaand phir nikla
yeh raat kehti hai woh din gaye tere
yeh jaanta hai dil ke tum nahin mere
khadi hoon main phir bhi nigahein bichaye
main kya karoon haay ke tum yaad aaye
chaand phir nikla magar tum na aaye
jala phir mera dil karoon kya main haay
chaand phir nikla
sulagte seene se dhuaan sa uthtaa hain
lo ab chale aao ke dam ghuthta hain
jala gayi tan ko baharon ke saaye
main kya karoon haay ke tum yaad aaye
chaand phir nikla magar tum na aaye
jala phir mera dil karoon kya main haay
chaand phir nikla


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