Updated: Jul 23, 2020
Jaijaiwanti is one of those ragas that clearly illustrate that the concept of a Raga is so much more than the sum of its parts. It is anything but scalar/linear. It develops from an overlapping set of melodic phrases. You first acquaint yourself with the gestalt of it. Once you understand the Jaijaiwanti ang in a holistic way, you can proceed to learn the characteristics. In other words, it is best learnt through the iterative process of shravan-manan-chintan (listen-learn-think). Then, if you wish, you can split hairs on the Des/Gara/Bageshree Ang versions, and use the Jaijaiwanti ang to color and mix and match other ragas (e.g., Jayant Malhar, Jayant Kanada).
It is a testament to Jaijaiwanti’s universal appeal, that it has also established itself well in Carnatic music, as ‘Dwijavanti’. It is said that the great composer and vainika Muthuswamy Dikshitar was quite taken by this raga on a pilgrimage to Kashi. He immediately learned a Dhrupad composition in the raga, and composed two beautiful krithis–Akhilandeshwari Rakshamaam and Chetashri Baalakrishnam–which, to this day, are the canonical krithis of Dwijavanti in the Carnatic repertoire.
My own experience with Jaijaiwanti goes back to my first Khayal teacher, Dr. Sharad Gadre. Featured here is Sharadji’s beautiful bandish – जो गए सजन परदेसवा, ना कुछ पतिया ना कोई संदेसवा . It was fresh off the oven when he taught it to me. He had said in his characteristic matter-of-fact way, ‘For a change, I wanted a Jaijaiwanti bandish with sum in the uttaranga. So, I composed this. I’m tired of low lying sums these days…’
Jaijaiwanti/ Teental/ Sharad Gadre:
जो गये सजन परदेसवा, ना कुछ पतिया ना कोई संदेसवा
जा रे पथिकवा, कह दे पिया से, घडी पल छिन छिन अखियाँ तरसे, नही समझ आवत मोरा तरपत जियरवा
A lone bird surveys the restored desert landscape. Rao Jodha Rock Garden, Jodhpur, 2020.