Sunday, June 21, 2009

Deiva Veena-Maanushi Veena


Veena is a very ancient instrument dating back to vedic times.This instrument is in the hands of Saraswati,the consort of our creator,Lord Brahma. All emotions, feelings and experiences called the rasas have emanated from this instrument in the hands of Goddess Saraswati.Thus our hearts are fed by our Mother and our minds by our Father.
This instrument therefore is of divine origin and fills our emotional lives.If our emotions are noble and sattwic in nature they find expression in music played particularly on veena.
The human body created by God is the 'deiva veena'.The veena made out of wood by human beings is the 'maanushi veena'.The divine veena expresses the emotions of the immortals in the higher worlds.The human veena expresses the emotions of the mortals.Man was also known as the 'Gathra Veena'.'Gathra'here means body and not voice.The veena played by him is known as 'Daaru Veena'(veena made out of wood).
Saamaveda in a sloka says:-"Daaruvee gaathra veena sathve veenagana jaathishu
Saamikee gaathraveenatu thasyashruthyai lakshanam."
That means the human body known as Gaathra Veena and the veena made by wood known as Daaru Veena are meant for divine music.
There are innumerable references in our scriptures to show that the human body and the veena are similarly patterned.
The manushya veena (wooden veena) and the deiva veena(human beings) are equal to each other or analogous to each other.The deiva or gaathra veena which is the human body is permeated with naadam (musical resonance-the pranava naadam). Likewise,the maanushi veena or daaru veena contain dhwani and naadam.Like the head of the body veena also has a shirassu(head),the kudam in tamil.Like the man's udharam,veena also has a udharam(throat). Like the human fingers,veena also has thanthris(which are plucked by human fingers)The ranges,'sa pa' and 'sa ma' swaras permeate both the human body as well as the veena.
The human being attains poornatwa or mukthi with the help of seven dhatus, namely, skin,bone,brain,flesh,blood,semen and shonitha of the female.Similarly veena becomes perfectly tuned for divine experience with its seven strings.The distance between the bridge and the beginning of the frets is 48 inches.Similarly the distance between the centre of the eyebrows to the nucleus and mooladhara of a man is 48 inches.Like the human vertebrae, the frets in the ascending order become narrow and narrower and the swarasthanas from the first fret to the bridge of the veena get reduced in geometric progression.As the space between the frets get narrowed down from the first fret towards the bridge,the naadam gets progressively enhanced.The music gushes forth in merusthaanam(bridge) and consequently the 'prana' floating and touching the mooladhara lingers at a particular distance and only from this music originates. (This phenomenon of music originating from 'prana' has been described in "Silappadikaaram").
According to Vakopanishad the human body measures 96 inches.The centre is prescribed as the place two inches above the mooladhara.The veena resembles the human body both in the 'sthoola' form and in the subtle 'naada' form.The prana in the human body flows in the upper six and the lower six,that is in 12 regions and explains breath.Similarly 'naadam' in veena flows in the upper six and lower six sthaanaas and produces raga moorchanas.The human body is divided into three moolasthaanaas;swargam,marthyam and paathaalam.Similarly in veena there are three sthaayis(ranges ) mandharam, madhyam, dhaaram.
The yogis who practised Vasi yoga played the Yazh or Veena when heat was generated due to yoga sadhana. "Jathis" were rendered in seven swaras in Aarohana and Avarohana and "kumbhakam"(retention of breath) was made possible beyond the proportions of nature.
Conversely speaking the right kind of raga on veena can create sattwic and noble bhava and rasa in human beings. Human beings need to be elevated from the mundane,materialistic and ignoble thoughts and feelings of this material life to nobler and sattwic feelings and conciousness. Courtesy-Sadguru Sri Sivananda Murthy.


Unknown said...

Gayathri ji,
Very nice insights on the Veena. From what I read, getting to listen to the anahatha shabda is a divine experience. I have also heard that the rising of the kundalini shakti within oneself is a divine experience. Are these two phenomena/processes different or the same?

Veenaagayathri said...

The audibility of anaahatha shabda is possible only after kundalini is activated.As kundalini rises,many 'divya shaktis'(divine powers) are attained by the practitioner,and the discovery of 'anaahatha shabda'is one of them.I will elaborate on this in my next posting.Thank you.

vajra said...

Hi Gayathri ji, Really a very good comparison of veena with human body, Veena being an ancient instrument shall control unwanted emotions and bad temperament theryby curing some physical ailments. That is because of the fact that through intellect, mind can control the sense organs. Hence the music from veena, in particular can do wonders of tranquiling the turbulant mind. kindly do write more about in your future posts of how an ailment is cured through music. Love, Vajra

Veenaagayathri said...

I agree with you.I shall certainly write about diseases cured by ragas in my future postings.Thank you,Gayathri

Unknown said...

Respected Gayathri madam
I am Sangeetha from madurai.I am your big fan.I have watched your programs in TV and internet .Even yesterday I watched your program in Vasanth TV,the program title was "Thaayillamal naanillai".You are a great veena player mam.I am learning veena in madurai.after January I will shift to Bangalore. I am very eager to learn and get more knowledge in veena. I need your guidance to learn veena in Bangalore.Please mam guide me to learn.I need your guidance and blessings mam.Please help me.
I am expecting your replay eagerly.Thank you,Sangeetha

roopashree.j said...

Respected Gayathri madam,

I like the way u play veena,i am just trying to flow u .I am learning veena in Bangalore.actually my madam is teaching me varnam,i have very thirst to know more .I am very eager get more knowledge in veena.i dont have much knowledge in music in ur blog i read Grace of Veena (The practise requires a heavy dosage of "thristhaayee",which is- (starting from mandaram open sa )sa ri ga ma pa(panchamam open pa) da ni sa-sa (open sarani)ri ga ma pa da ni sa-sa ri ga ma pa da ni sa (top most sa)-reverse-sa ni da pa ma ga ra sa- sa ni da pa ma ga ri sa-sa ni da pa ma ga ri sa should be played on three octaves,starting from the mandaram string (open third string)till the top 'sa' of the sarani and back to mandaram open 'sa' in all the three tempos) i dint understand that as i have no idea about music. I need your guidance to learn veena .Please mam guide me to learn.I need your guidance and blessings mam.Please help me.

Unknown said...

hi roopashree. i am also want to learn veena in bangalore. can you pls send me your veena school adress ?

roopashree.j said...

its in vijayanagar,vijayaranga next to indraprasta hotel

Shreawesome said...

Hello ma’am can you please give me some advice on buying Veena ?.where can I buy good Veena that will bestow spiritual just a beginner so please help him.Do you have any contacts of Veena makers.thanks in advance


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