Learn the Late Morning Raag Bhairavi

Raag Bhairavi Specs:

Thaat: Bhairavi
Aarohi: S r g m P d n S'
Amrohi: S' n d P m g r S
Vadi: m
Samvadi: S
Pakard: g---SrS; 'nS-gmPdP; gmR-S;
Time: 9am to 12pm
Zaat: Sampuran – Sampuran


Welcome to our first Raag Tutorial. Today, I want to take you on a journey to learn the late morning Raag Bhairavi. Raag, like Bhairavi is not just a great Raag, but one with almost unlimited depth and scope. Let’s take a look at our Raag Specs first.

There is a bit of a discrepancy between ideologies when it comes to Raag Bhairavi as a basic Raag. A lot of the times you’ll hear the song in Bhairavi in only the Sur of the Raag. Sometimes, this method is called Shudh Bhairavi. And yet at other times, you’ll hear what sounds like Bhairavi, but takes strange (beautiful but strange) turns and adds on a lot more Sur that don’t technically belong in Bhairavi. Well, my personal view is that both are correct. Keep in mind, the rules are there to differentiate Raag from one to the next. Not to police musical creativity.

Bhairavi can literally go toe to toe with any other Raag due to its capacity and adaptability. Yes, it has 7 Sur. But as the demand of the composition grows, Bhairavi can use ALL 12 Sur if needed.  At times, R and M have been used in Bhairavi as accidental Sur, which means these Sur are very rarely used and only when it’s time to express intensity. The expression of Bhairavi is very tender, loving, and melancholy (depending on the composition). Also sadness mixed with passion and pleasure.

No matter how you slice it…Bhairavi is probably the most versatile of all the HCM Raag. You can literally throw any genre at Bhairavi and you’ll see it won’t just overcome challenges but also kick butt. From Ghazal and Thumri, Bollywood Song, Jugni, Qawwali, Naat; Raag Bhairavi can be used to perform anything.

Although, the trend has been to describe Bhairavi as a Raag named after the Hindu Goddess Bhairavi. However, I don’t believe that to be true, since Goddess Bhairavi herself symbolizes fierceness and terror. We simply don’t get that from listening to this Raag. So what can the alternative be?

What does make more sense is that Raag Bhairavi is named after a student following the path of Goddess Bhairavi, that has attained the state of Bhairava. This state takes the student to a state of mind that is beyond the reaches of FEAR. I’m no theologian, and these are my personal views, but from what I understood…to our Muslim friends, I can describe the state of Bhairava as you read in:

Quran 2:62 “La Khoufun Alaihim”. Which roughly translates to “they shall have no fear“. And later in the line it says “Walahum Yah Zanoon”, roughly translates into “nor will they grieve“.

This maybe the reason why Raag Bhairavi sounds sweet and sad while being neither, because it has transcended the realm of fear and grief. With that in mind, listen to some renditions of Bhairavi, it’ll put you to ease.


Babul Mora Naihar Chhooto Jaye – Street Singer

Humien Tumse Pyar Kitna – Kudrat (original)

Humien Tumse Pyar Kitna by Acoustika Music (Bhairavi Prominent)

Tu Pyar Kare Yaa Thukraaye – Dekh Kabeera Roya

Bhavani Dayani Bhajan

Laga Chunari Main Daag – Dil Hi To Hai

Mata Saraswati – Aalap (film)

Tu Ganga Ki Mauj – Baiju Bawra

Dil to Bachcha hai Ji – Ishqiya

Ramaiya Vasta Vaiiya – Shree 420

Pyar Hua Ekraar Hua Hai – Shree 420

Dil Ke Arman Ansuno Mein Bah Gaye – Nikaah 1982

Sapno Se Bhare Naina – Luck By Chance

Chhod Gaye Balam Mujhe Haye Akela – Barsaat

Socha Tha Kya Kya Ho Gaya – Anmol Ghadi

Barsaat Mein Humse Mile Tum Sajan – Barsaat

Babul Mora Naihar – Gour Hari Dastaan, 2015

Mann Mohana – Jodha Akbar

Aaj Phir Tumse Pyaar Aaya Hai – Hate Story 2

Mile Sur Mera Tumhara

Chingari Koi Bhadke – Amar Prem

Chali Gori Pi Se Milan Ko Chali – Ek Hi Raasta

Baarish – Ek Villain

Dil Apna Aur Preet Parayi

Jaise Radha Ne Mala Japi

Ka Karoon Sajani Aaye

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