Thursday, April 23, 2009

The Divine as the Embodiment of Sound!

The great south Indian mystic,Saint Thyagaraja has described God as the divine sound to be realised through nada yoga:-"In this great uproar (KOLAAHALAA) of the three worlds created by the play of the Lord whom Sri Thyagaraja adores (RAMABHAKTHI SAAMRAAJYA) is the Empire of those who attain enjoyment of it(sound),O Mind!"
Sri Thyagaraja calls Rama (The Divine) the Embodiment of Sacred Sound.Many centuries before the Vedas expressed the concept that the creation of the cosmos is founded upon sound.This is found also in other religions.In the beginning was the Divine Sound,the Word,
the Omkara,the Creative Voice,the Voice of God.
Sri Shirdi Sainath referred to the sound of the drum of the beginningless eternity within the soul,which is mentioned by the yogis as "anahat" and by the Sufis as "Sant-E-Sarmadi".This Anahat sound emerged from Baba's heart,from every limb,every bone and pore of His body.(courtesy:Shri Chandrabhanu Satpathy in Sai Arpana,July 1995.)
Even the saint composer-mystic,Sri Purandara Dasa has said-"First you will have a foretaste of Anahata sound and then you will be able to drink larger and larger amounts of it!"
NADA-SPHUTATVA:-Explosion of the inner inner sound in the Hatha Yoga Pradipika as one of the signs of perfection.
NADAYOGA:- It is a prominent teaching in the Upanishads of yoga.It is already reffered to indirectly in the Maitrayaniya Upanishad which speaks of those who listen to the sound(shabda).
NADABINDOPANISHAD:-One of the yoga Upanishads expounding nada-yoga.The inner sound,nada,is stated to be the vehicle that will transport the yogin beyond the ocean of phenomenal existence.It drowns all external noises and focuses the mind.The practice of Vaishnavi mudra is recommended.
VAISHNAVI MUDRA:-It is explained in the Shandilya Upanishad as "baahir-drishti" with "antar-lakshya"(internal attention,external gaze)while the eyelids do not shut or open.The Nada Bindopanishad stipulates that this technique should be practised for the manifestation of Nada(the unstruck sound).
SHAMBHAVI MUDRA:-Mind and breath should be absorbed in the antar lakshya with open eyes fixed without looking at anything.Otherwise,with baahir-lakshya such as gazing at a source of light.The ascent into the higher dimensions of sound bestows yoga-siddhi and gives to the yogi complete knowledge of the past,the present and the future.
Sri Janaki Mata of Tanjore(disciple of Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharishi) started from Tanjore to Tiruvannamalai in the car with another devotee of Bhagavan.While the car was speeding through deserted roads the second devotee heard continuous sounds of temple bells.She looked puzzled as there were no temples or houses in the vicinity and enquired of Sri Janaki Matha as to the source of the sound.Sri Matha replied:"The sweet music ringing in your ears and the sound of bells do not come from any extraneous sources.They all emerge out of me." She was made to drink the sweet nectar of sahasraara dripping through the ambrosial orifice.
Practice of divine,carnatic music and compositions of saint composers in the brahma-muhurtham (between 4 a.m. to sunrise) is the best form of nada -yoga and such steadfast practice of VEENA,flute,mridangam or any instrument and vocal music will awaken the anahata nada within and as one attains sidhi,he or she will listen to extraordinary and celestial tones and prayogas of particular ragas that will become difficult to retain in the memory, for the purpose of repeating the same conciously!


Gayathri Girish said...

Gayathri ji,

This kind of philosophy has always fascinated me:-)

Whatever you have written needs to be experienced by one and all, in order to be able to understand its true significance.

According to me, once we start seeking spiritual enlightenment,a lot of mental calmness sets in and this is a divine experience by itself.

Unfortunately these days,we see more of commercialization than internalization in everything.

Gayathri Girish

Veenaagayathri said...

Smt.Gayathri,Commercialization has become a part of the game these days,only carnatic music bypasses the sensory organs to reach the soul directly and by imparting such bliss ("brahmaanandam")to the audience through recitals,artistes reduce their karma faster than they realise!
Mental calmness is the first positive step towards silence,which is greater than any music in this Universe!

Shabari said...

Hi Veena Gayathri madam,

Your mention of the 'Brahma Muhurtham' as the ideal time to practice music, is an inspiration for all the future vainikas.

My Veena teacher used to always say that learning Veena is 'asura-saadhanam', as in, it requires nothing less that 100% commitment and dedication of the part of the Vainika.

Most importantly I feel it is the strong will-power that giudes a person to transcend beyond the physical needs such as sleep and hunger, and be completely focussed on the divice music of the Veena..

Mrs Mythili Srinivasan

Veenaagayathri said...

I heartily agree with you,thank you again,


RADHASHTAMI - 23rd September, 2023