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Bargeet and Ankiya geet- A Comparison from Hiranmayee DasGogoi's blog


The cultural assets created by Mahapurusha Srimanta Sankaradeva and Madhavadeva are precious. They are treasure house for Assamese community. Bargeet and Ankiya geet are two gems of that treasure. Both were created to attract people towards Vaishnavite philosophy by Srimanta Sankardeva. Both kinds of songs have aesthetic delight and the power of spiritualenjoyment. The period of advent of Gurujana was very much unstable, both politically and socially. At that time therulers were busy satisfying their desire and lust. Gurujana wanted to unite the scattered people by showing “Sanskriti marg”. He showed the way to serve Lord Krishna. If people go near to fire, they feel hot; similarly when people come near to the lord, they feel supreme happiness and bliss. Gurujana created some devotional songs for devotees to sing in the praise of the Lord and to attain this type of devotion from scriptures i.e., Bargeet and Ankiya geet which describe Lord Krishna. These songs are very well adapted and made simple in order to attain devotion in the simplest way.

Now let us examine what kinds of songs are called Bargeet and which are Ankiya geet. If we go for proper definition of Bargeet we can say thatthe Bargeet means the songs which were written by Mahapurusha Sankaradeva and Madhavadeva, to be sung with definite classical bonding of notes and used for the worship of the Lord Krishna.

In case of Ankiya geet we can offer almost a similar definition, but Ankiya geet cannot be used for worship. So the songs which were written by Mahapurusha Srimanta Sankaradeva and Madhavadeva, have to be sung with definite classical bonding of notes, created to increase the affective fallacy of Ankiya Naat are called Ankiya geet.

Both kinds of songs meet at different points when we analyze those by Rasa, Language, their delight in which the higher consciousness is involved in experience of universal affection.

These meeting points of Bargeet and Ankiya geet are as follows :

1.    The creators of both kinds of songs are same.

2.     These are written inBrajawalilanguage.

3.    The sole aim of writing these songs was propagation of Vaishnavite philosophy.

4.    The protagonist of the songs is Lord Krishna.

In spite of these similarities in these two forms, we get the following differences:

1.    Bargeet was written for worship butAnkiya geet were for affective fallacy of Ankiya naat.

2.    Bargeet is performed without taal or with many taal, but taal for Ankiya geet is fixed.

3.    Bargeet is used in different pransanga; like namprasanga, khol prasanga etc. But Ankiya geet is never used for prasanga.

           4. In Bargeet, after every stanza the dhrung part is repeated but there is no repetition of any pada in Ankiya geet. Even in some Ankiya geet, there is no dhrung part.

   5. By different themes of Bargeet, we get four groups. These are;

a)    Jagan (the morning scenery, awakening of Krishna from sleep)

b)   Uthan (rising up)

c)    Gostha (activities of Krishna with friends in meadows)

d)   Khelan (playing)

According to dramatic effect we get following kinds of Ankiya geet:

a)    Prabeshiki (song of entrance of the characters)

b)   Naishkramiki (song of exit of characters)

c)    Akshepiki (song of changing dramatic effect)

d)   Prasadiki (song of pleasing the audience)

e)    Antara (song to describe war, pathos, wonder, peace, disgust, fear, heroism, anger, laughter, delight, divine love etc)

Ankiya Naat is generally started with Nandi geet popularly known as Sutradhari. There are hundred and ninety one numbers of Bargeet and hundred and fifty one numbers of ankiya geet are found now .Some Ankiya geet are now considered as Bargeet because of the theme and structure. Some of these are :

1. “Udhaba bandhu….”  Raga: Kalyan,    Naat: Udhabjaan

2. “Jaya jaya jagajana…”  Raga: Kalyan, Naat: Arjun bhanjan

3. “Kampita Madhaba…”  Raga: Beluwar, Naat: Arjun bhanjan

Here I will illustrate the meaning of one Bargeet and one Ankiya geet which may help readers to understand both kinds of Sankari Sangeet.


        Raga : Gauri, by Madhavadeva

Dhrung: Naama parama dhana chintahu mana bhai,

              Tanu chintamoni biphalahi jaai.

Pada: Bishayara sukha  shukara kahu paya,

          Hori pada sewa manabi bine naai .

           Jhunta oisana janama guwain,

Bishaya kasaka mule manika bikaai.

Uhi parama tatwa vedaka bane,

Kahatu murukhamoti Madhabe jaani.

Meaning :

O’ human mind, think of it that our precious body is running uselessly. To achieve salvation we must worship Hari (lord Krishna). Pigs also enjoy the earthly enjoyment but only a human being can achieve aesthetic delight by serving the Lord. Now human beings are selling their precious soul and mind in the value of glass. So the ultimate truth of Veda is expressed by ignorant Madhava.

                          Ankiya geet

Raga : Kamud ( Naat : Janmajatra) Taal: Sarujati

Gagane garaje ghan      kule loiye narayan

         Chale Basudeb dhire dhre  l

Dekhiye sahasranana    bhije prabhu sanatana

          Fanaye dharila chatra shire  ll

Payu jamunar kula      dhow dekhi urmirula

         Basudeba bhayu bhaila mane  l

Dekhi bata dila maje    para bhaila Jaduraje

         Deena Gopale ahu bhane  ll

Meaning :

Vasudeva took away the new born Narayana (Krishna) in a rainy night. When Sahasranana observed that prabhu Sanatana is wetted, he covered Lord by his hundreds snake hoods. The waves of the Yamuna were too high and Vasudeva was afraid of it.  Mighty Yamuna parted to make way for Lord to cross through it. It is expressed by ignorant Gopala.

The strength of Bargeet and Ankiya geet is its close relation with devotees of the Lord Krishna. Like winged arrows, these songs flew about and where they fell, sowed the seeds of Neo-spiritual thoughts. Kirtinath Sarma Bordoloi describes Bargeet as “the crown pearls of music”. Though Bargeet occupies the highest position in SankariSangeet, Ankiya geet is also an essential part of it. It is the major ingredient of Ankiya Naat. An Ankiya Naat may not be imagined without an Ankiya geet. Even Ankiya geet(s) alone can complete one Naat without dialogues. We get Bargeet, with highly spiritual appeal of hymn, on the other hand in Ankiya geet; we get mostly emotions of common human being.  In Bargeet and Ankiya geet, we find Gurujana at his most exalted moments. Here he exhibits his power of fusing philosophical thoughts with lyrical feeling in a language at once felicitous and graceful. Numerous are the similes; metaphors, alliteration and other figures of speech used in these songs making them enjoyable and appealing. Now a day Bargeet and Ankiya geet(s) are popularly used to perform different dance form of Sattriya nritya; like Chaali, Nadubhangi, Krishnanritya etc. So these two forms of songs become crucial part of Assamese culture.

                                                         Hiranmayee Das Gogoi


Golap Mahanta : Bargeet Mukur  

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By Hiranmayee DasGogoi
Added Dec 27 '11


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