Indian music has three major Raga-systems innovated by great legendary masters of the past, named Hanuman, Narad and Meskarana. The treatise of the eleventh century scholar of music Sarangadeva is also credited to have added some new dimensions to Raga-system. This folio, seeking to personify Ragini Seehuti, rendered using Kangra art idiom of Pahari art, in exact pursuance to the model of the famed Kangra Ragamala set of circa 1810 A. D., has been rendered, like all Pahari Ragamala sets, under Meskarana system, the ideal of all Pahari artists. Though the number of Ragas, Raginis and Ragaputras differ under different systems, this broad frame under which a Raga has a Ragini, one or more, and some Ragaputras, is common to them all. Under Meskarana system every Raga has five Raginis and eight Ragaputras and accordingly Seehuti is one of Malkaus’ five Raginis, the other four being Gunakali, Devagandhari, Gandhari and Dhanashri.
Raga Malkaus, one of the basic six Ragas under any system, has been visualised with a princely personality with regalia around. In one way or other, Malkaus’ all five Raginis incorporate this regal aspect into their beings and visual representations. Seehuti is a powerful Ragini capable of charging the entire ambience from one end to other but is cast into soft notes, rhythmically rising pitch and gentle tones. In its visualisation as a young tender woman having a pair of lions under her command such two-fold dimensions of Seehuti most appropriately reveal. While lions represent the power and regalia of the Ragini, the young tender lady, its soft notes, rhythmic rise of pitch and gentle tones.
This description by Prof. P.C. Jain and Dr. Daljeet. Prof. Jain specializes on the aesthetics of literature and is the author of numerous books on Indian art and culture. Dr. Daljeet is the curator of the Miniature Painting Gallery, National Museum, New Delhi. They have both collaborated together on a number of books.