(Last Updated on : 18/01/2011)
Pada in Dhrupad
refers to the text of the compositions. The text is characterized by literary excellence and comes quite close to poetic composition. The text of Dhrupad is marked by a lavish and yet elegant use of words. Sometimes it also so happens that the words are used in such a grand manner that the composition appears to be packed with words.
A composition with such a high density of words and having thirty-one Aksaras (characters) in one line is called Ghandksari, Kavitta, or Manaharana Chanda (metre). This Chanda can be seen in some of the Dhrupads composed by Baiju and Bakshi. The large majority of Dhrupads however do not have this kind of metre though the fact remains that Dhrupads in general have a high density of Aksaras (characters). The number of Aksaras in a Dhrupad can normally range anywhere from fifteen to sixty. In order to accommodate such a large number of Aksaras in one line, the Aksaras in Dhrupad are pronounced in their simplified forms without a drawl. Aksaras pronounced in this manner are called Laghu Aksaras. In this respect, the Dhrupad composition stands in sharp contrast to the musical compositions of more modern times, such as Khayal
, Tappa etc. In these musical types, there is neither the flourish of words nor the use of Laghu Aksaras. In fact in modern compositions the words are so few in relation to Matras in the Tala (rhythm) that the composition has to be sung by pronouncing the syllables with varying degrees of drawl. This manner of pronouncing Aksaras with a drawl is called Karsana
Most of the Dhrupads are composed in the Hindi language
. But the Hindi which is used is the one referred to as Braj Bhasha
, and in earlier times was known as Desi Bhasha, Madhyadesya, or Gwaliyari. Bhavabhatta, while defining Dhrupad, mentions clearly that the language of Dhrupad should either be Sanskrit or Madhyadesya. Madhyadesya was one of the five traditional divisions of India known to antiquity. It is that part of the Indian subcontinent which lies in the centre of the Indo Gangetic plain
and stretches, according to the Brahmanical accounts, from the river Saraswati which flowed past Thanesara and Pehod (ancient Prthudaka) to Allahabad
. This was the heart of the Aryan settlement and had been the centre of cultural, activities from ancient times. It was also the land which had seen many foreign influences and in different periods of its history had been ruled by many Indian and foreign rulers. It became a melting pot of races, cultures, languages, arts and architecture. All intermixed here and developed into a composite culture. As a result of these cultural influences this region provided the ferment for the emergence of various dialects to Prakrit which later gave birth to Apabhransa. Madhyadesa or Braj Bhasha, which became the language of this region and was adopted by Dhrupads, was the result of a synthesis of Sanskrit and Apabhransa.
The Dhrupads that are found today are either in medieval Hindi or in modern Hindi. There are a few Dhrupads also in modern Indian Languages similar to Hindi i.e. Punjabi language
, Rajasthani language
, Bengali language
, Urdu language
etc. This shows that in its heyday Dhrupad held its sway over a wide geographical area of the Indian subcontinent which covered Bengal, Rajasthan
, Uttar Pradesh
, Madhya Pradesh
and to some extent even the South of India. The Dhrupads were popular in the South as well, is borne out by the fact that Ibrahim Adil Shah II (reign A.D. 1580-1627), who was the king of Bijapur
(now part of the present state of Hyderabad
in South India) composed Dhrupads and wrote an anthology of his Dhrupads known as Kitab-i-nauras.