THE SUPREME MUSIC OF BRAHMAN
Music is derived from the Pranava or Omkar, the supreme music of Brahman, and therefore attracts all living beings. It reverberates the ‘pranava nada’ in our hearts and thus purifies our soul. A true devotee who sings bhajans or kirtans, soon forgets all, and surrenders completely to God. Those who love to sing or play musical instruments are very fortunate. By devotedly singing or listening to bhajans a ‘bhakta’ can easily enter into a state of ‘samadhi’. One such ‘parama bhakta’ was the Nada Brahma Swami – Thyagaraja Swami.
Music caters to people of all temperaments. The various musical notes have their own corresponding ‘nadis’ (energy channels). Music vibrates these ‘nadis’, purifies them and awakens the spiritual power that is lying dormant within. Purification of these ‘nadis’ awakens a sense of peace and tranquillity. When the ever-active mind gets trapped in singing bhajans or playing instrumental music, it lies silent and still, immersed in the music and ‘bhakti’. The listeners of music also get engrossed in it and become silent. Such music or ‘sankirtan’ is the essence of ‘Bhakti Yoga’.
Indian classical music is almost as ancient as the human race. The Sama Veda, one of our ancient scriptures is full of melodies and chants and is completely dedicated to the art of music. Our classical music is so profound and melodious as it draws from the rhythms of nature, and its resonance is such that every being can respond to it. Singing, playing musical instruments, dancing, painting etc. are the methods for expression of emotions, in pleasant and creative ways.
Music is the subtlest and most universal amongst all forms of art, as it cannot be seen but can only be heard and experienced through emotions. It is a fact that many of the diseases that afflict mankind can be cured effectively through the power of music. The sweet sound of the flute, violin, veena or sarangi is very useful in curing diseases.
Music soothes the brain and nerves, and energises the whole system. Sweet melody has a wonderful soothing effect on the mind of the patient. It increases the metabolic activities within the human body, accelerates respiration, influences internal secretions, improves the muscular activities and as such affects the “Central Nervous System ” and Circulatory System of the listener and the performer.
Indian classical music should be used as a preventive therapy as it creates a sense peace and happiness in the singer, player and the listener. Each of the different ‘ragas’ have particular hours of the day or night allotted to them, and each has a different effect on the emotions. Music is also the most valuable tool for nurturing the young ones even when they are in their mothers’ wombs. It has the power of shaping the child’s character and life.
Most of our ancient music have been composed by sages and yogis, who poured out their spiritual experiences through poetry and music. Our classical music is cherished as Nadopasana. Repeated singing of Ram-naam or the name of one’s ‘ishta devata’ brings about harmonious vibrations in oneself and helps to control the mind easily. There are a number of south Indian temples which have pillars that resonate sound, and also ancient music halls which carry sound even without the use of microphones.
Pure music has always been a source of joy and bliss in our country.