23. Gurbaani Raag Kedaara

Kedara is an old raga dating from Guru Nanak's time or even earlier which has become a very important and popular North Indian raga today. It is supposed to possess magical qualities, if correctly performed, which can heal the sick. In the Ragmala, Kedara is a putra (son) of Megha but currently is in the Kalvan thata. Kedara was used by Guru Ram Das and Guru Arjan for a few short hymns. Several forms of Kedara have been and still are in use. Thus considerable freedom of choice may be exercised by the performer as to how this raga be performed in association with a given test. In the most commonly used form, Kedara is performed during the first quarter of the night and is particularly auspicious when the moon is visible, a planet with which it has long been associated. The mood is one of contemplation associated with a sort of ascetic idealism. The sadness expressed in Ragmala paintings suggests the longing of man for the Supreme Being when this raga accompanies a sabda. The Kedara scale is vakra (crooked) with unusual intervals:

Aroh  Sa Ma, Ma Pa, Dha Pa, Ni Dha Sa

Avroh  Sa Ni Dha Pa, M'a Pa Dha Pa Ma, Ma Re Sa

Vadi  Ma

Samvadi  Sa


This raga is a very old raga and is considered as a complete raga of Bilawal thath. In different schools of music it is considered as a ragini of ragas Nut (Ragaravan School), Deepak ( Bhart School) and Sriraga (Shiv School).

This raga is mentioned as a son of raga Meg in the Ragamala listed at the end of Guru Granth Sahib.

The scale and notes of the raga are as follows:

Arohi (ascending scale) - sa mama, ma pa, - dha pa na dha sa Avrohi (descending scale) - sa ni dha, pa ma ma, pa dha pa, ma ga re sa The vadi (most popular) note is 'ma' and samvadi (second most popular) note is ' sa'.

This raga is sung in the fourth part of the day i.e., from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. The season of its recitation is summer (grikham) i.e., during May and June. In Guru Granth Sahib it has hymns from pages 1118 - 1124 ( 7 pages).

The Composers

The composers of bani (hymns) in this raga are: