“The specialty of Raga Bhairav is that it is known to have been created by Lord Shiva Himself, who I am a firm believer in. It is quite serious and somber in nature and ideally, it is to be performed at the end of concerts. Bhairav is one of the few ragas that can be performed during any season,” says today’s expert Bollywood music director, lyricist and singer Rahul Seth, who has a semi-classical background.
History: Raga Bhairav is considered to be the most ancient raga of Hindustani Classical Music and it is also believed to be the very first raga to be created by Lord Shiva. This raga is commonly used to invoke Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati.
Nuances: Raga Bhairav is usually performed early in the morning as a serious invocation to Lord Shiva. In this raga, the applied notes (swar) of Re and Dha are komal and rest of the notes Sa, Ga, Ma, Pa, Ni, Sa are shuddh. It is typically performed in a peaceful and a serene, serious mood. It is a sampoorna raga (heptatonic) of Bhairav Thaat. It is also called Raga Mayamalavagoula in the Carnatic System.
Bollywood Sings Raga Bhairav: Here are some very popular songs based on Raga Bhairav:
Ik ritu aaye ik ritu jaye… Gautam Govinda (1979) (One of my favorite songs)
Jaago Mohan pyare jaago… Jaagte Raho (1956)
Mohe bhool gaye saanwariya… Baiju Bawra (1952)
Apne jeevan ki uljhan ko… Uljhan (1975)
Aye Maalik tere bande hum… Do Aankhen Barah Haath (1957)
Dekho bijli dole bin badal ke… Phir Wahi Dil Laya Hoon (1963)
Main ik raja hoon… Uphaar (1971)
In all the above-mentioned songs, this raga comes across as a powerful musical entity with moods of meditation, philosophical depth and emotional richness.