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Rag Ramkali
Out of the thirty-one principal rags in the Guru Granth Sahib, Rag Ramkali (a musical mode) has been designated eighteenth place in the sequence. Under this rag, the Bani of six Gurus, four Bhagats, and three Gursikhs (a Sikh who follows the Guru’s way) is recorded from page 876 to 974 of the Guru Granth Sahib. It includes one hundred sixty-six Sabads by Guru Nanak Sahib, seven by Guru Angad Sahib, ninety-one by Guru Amardas Sahib, six by Guru Ramdas Sahib, one hundred sixty-eight by Guru Arjan Sahib, three by Guru Teghbahadar Sahib, twelve by Bhagat Kabir, four by Bhagat Namdev, and one each by Bhagat Ravidas, and Bhagat Beni. Bani ‘Sadu’ revealed by Baba Sunder and ‘Ramkali Ki Var’ by Bhai Balvand and Bhai Satta are also recorded under this rag. Compositions of ‘Sidh Gosti’ and ‘Oankar’ by Guru Nanak Sahib, and ‘Anand’ by Guru Amardas Sahib are also revealed in this rag.

Ramkali is an old and famous rag. The names Ramkriti, Ramkriya, Ramgiri, Ramkari, and Ramkeli are also found to be used for this rag. It has an important place in the rags sung in the morning. This is a rag of compassion. This rag has been specially adopted by the Nath-Yogis. The contributors to the Guru Granth Sahib, while having a dialogue with Nath-Yogis or Sidhs, have also revealed most of their compositions in this rag. ‘Sidh Gosti’ revealed by Guru Nanak Sahib under this rag, is an example of that.

In the Guru Granth Sahib, Sabad is considered to be more important than rag. Rag is the means through which all-pervasive IkOankar is to be enshrined in the heart. Referring to Rag Ramkali in the Guru Granth Sahib, Guru Amardas Sahib states that if by singing this rag, the all-pervading IkOankar dwells within, only then should one be considered to be adorned:
rāmkalī rāmu mani vasiā tā baniā sīgāru. -Guru Granth Sahib 950.

In the Guru Granth Sahib, another rag named Rag Ramkali Dakhani is also recorded under Rag Ramkali. This rag is available only in Gurmat Sangit (Sikh music); it is not found in Hindustani or Carnatic music.

Scholars have differing opinions about Rag Ramkali. In the Bharat belief of Hindustani Music, it is considered to be a ragini of Rag Hindol, and in the Hanuman belief, it has been considered to be a ragini of Srirag. Bhai Kahn Singh Nabha has considered it to be an aurav-sampuran ragini of Bhairav that.

Bhai Avtar Singh and Bhai Gurcharan Singh have mentioned three different forms of Rag Ramkali. First is aurav-sampuran, in which Ni flat (komal) and Ma normal (shudh) are used. In the second one, both Ni are used. In the third one, both Ma and both Ni are used. Pa is prominent note (vadi) and Sa is sub-prominent note (samvadi). The third form is more prevalent. Sardar Gian Singh Abbottabad, Dr. Gurnam Singh, and Rag Nirnayak Committee have described this rag as follows:

Description of Rag Ramkali
Rag: Ramkali.
That: Bhairav.
Svar (notes): Re and Dha flat (komal), both Ma, both Ni, rest all normal/natural (shudh).
Varjit Svar (forbidden notes): Re (in aroh - ascending scale).
Jati (class): sharav-sampuran (some scholars believe it to be sampuran-sampuran).
Vadi (prominent note): Pa.
Samvadi (sub-prominent note): Re.
Aroh (ascending scale): Sa, Ga Ma Pa, Dha (komal - flat) Ni Sa (tar saptak - upper octave).
Avroh (descending scale): Sa (tar saptak - upper octave) Ni Dha (komal - flat), Pa, Ma (tivar - sharp) Pa Dha (komal - flat) Ni (komal - flat) Dha (komal - flat) Pa, Ga Ma Re (komal - flat), Sa.
Mukh Ang/Pakar (Main Part): Dha (komal - flat) Pa, Ma (tivar - sharp) Pa Dha (komal - flat) Ni (komal - flat) Dha (komal - flat) Pa, Ga Ma Re (komal - flat) Sa.

Singing Time
First quarter of the day.