Monday, August 2, 2010

Miracles of Veena


Maithraayanniya Upanishad states-"A drop of blood as it circulates within a human body takes along with it one breath of the human being. This drop of blood along with one breath takes nearly 7 minutes to circulate within the human body. Similarly, when the veena string is plucked once, the nada wave emanating from it takes nearly 7 minutes to travel back and forth between the bridge of the veena to the base fret of the veena."

The different properties of the woods used have an effect on the tonal characteristics of the veena. The grain pattern of the jackfruit wood used is important for veenas. The choice of wood plays a vital part in the aesthetics of the instrument.
Veena playing is not only about chemistry between 'nadam' of the veena and 'life-force energy' of the player. The interaction between human-body cells and the wood grains in the veena are equally thought provoking. Coming to think of the interaction between cells and grains/ 'nadam' and kundalini', we are able to understand how types of veena affect the player. The veena, appearing deceptively innocent has a potent nature and life of its own which can directly affect the player (provided he/she adapts the posture and breathing patterns required for veena-playing).
Continuous practice on a good veena (wood of fine quality due to seasoning at spiritual places, temples, on the banks of holy rivers or under a banyan tree, thereby devoid of doshas) yields results corresponding to the nature of the veena such as- sudden spurt of energy, sense of positivity, improvement in complexion, lush hair growth (in the case of middle-aged and the old, reduction in hair fall), shedding fat, agelessness, youthful looks etc. Playing on such veenas bring about good fortune, spiritual elevation and general prosperity. While such is the case with good veenas, one should watch out for any untoward events, ill health, bad luck, general disharmony, deterioration in physical complexion/ lack-lustre looks, fatigue, depression etc while playing on certain veenas. While all events and circumstances in life cannot be attributed to the veena one is handling, continual turn of bad events or atmosphere could certainly be attributed to the veena one is handling at the time of occurrence of bad happenings. This could be due to doshas in the wood, alignment of the frets (bad 'melam' of the veena dandi) etc. I have seen a veena that was made only on full moon nights. The veena maker would keep the wood aside on all other days except full moon nights to periodically transform the wood into a veena. Such veenas contain great spiritual powers and also lend a heavenly glow to the player.
Even the size of the veena plays a major part in affecting the player. It is essential for the player to feel comfortable while running his left hand across the dandi and plucking the strings with his right hand. Any strain on his/her biceps, elbows, hands and the chest region means the veena he/she is handling is not the corresponding size of the player. Normally a Saraswathi veena measures roughly upto 24 and a half 1/2 inches from the base note to the top note and 4 and a half feet from the simha mukha to the end of the kudam. Any addition or subtraction even by an inch or two to the length of the veena could be due to the size of the kudam (right side of the veena), resulting in an overall distinction in size yielding corresponding effects on the player. An ideal veena merges with the player to become his/her extension.


Sankar said...

Namaskaram aunty!! Is there anyother wood which can be used for making a veenai or jackfruit wood alone is being used?

ShyamalaSajnani said...

How about other adjustments like adding more frets to a veena, will this matter as well

sandhya said...

dear madam your knowledge about veena making is ,where n when did you learn allthis?i am amazed ,you are not just a genius in playing but also know the know-how of the instrument alng with our the knowledge of our scriptures too. may GOD bless you.madam,ur cd is not available in bangalore.where can i get it here?

Unknown said...

Dear Madam,
How to know about the qualities or doshas of the wood a Veena is made from, specially in case we are getting it from a store?

Veenaagayathri said...

Dear Mr. Sankar, Yes, an alternative wood is also being used. I shall make one more posting on that, pl. look for the forthcoming article.

Veenaagayathri said...

Dear Sham,
Certainly, first it speaks of high-handedness in going against vedas (that prescribe 24 frets only), not to mention sacrilege.
Even if the negative results are not witnessed in day to day life, bad karma is certainly being accumulated.

Veenaagayathri said...

Dear Ms.Sandhya,
Thank you so much for your kind appreciaition and best wishes for me!I am sure you should get it in leading stores in Bangalore. If I know of specific shop, I shall post the name here, kindly watch this space.

Veenaagayathri said...

Dear Ms.Shrabani,
The music shops generally sell seasoned and veenas made of good wood. I am posting one more article about the wood being used for veena, pl. follow the same.
It is very rarely that one comes across veenas made of bad wood.

Anonymous said...

Dear Gayathriji,

My guru, sh.viswanatha iyer, recalls that one of his relative's daughter did not have an issue for a very long time. They had tried all medicines and treatments, but to no use. She thought of learning veena and bought a new one and started her classes with my guru. lo behold! within a few classes she conceived. In the words of my guru "avo veenai madi la vechadu than, she got the good news! such is the greatness of veenai"!

Gayathriji my paatu mama always says, veenai is not just any intrument it is a very spiritual instrument of the gods..



Veenaagayathri said...

Dear Ms. Lakshmi,
I am very happy to know about your experiences regarding the greatness of Veena.
Your vocal teacher is absolutely right!
Wish you all the best and regards,

Venkatalakshmi Kolluru said...

Gayathri ji, namaskaram. atlast i could find the blog i am in search of. i am so glad.... speechless... just a bow to u and rest in next.

Veenaagayathri said...

Dear Ms. Venkatalakshmi Kolluru,
Welcome to my blog and thank you for your kind appreciation!

mysteryrevealed said...

Hello Gayathri akka, can you please direct me to the different kinds of woods used for veena plz.

Also you mentioned that a veena would get change in the player and the environment he/she is, i do have similar experience now that i read this article and think of it.
But how can we get a veena or check the veena if it brings positive or negative energy? can you please help in providing more info on this.

Veenaagayathri said...

Veena is ideally made out of seasoned jackfruit tree wood. It is true that a good veena brings harmony and prosperity into the life of the player.
The veena's frets have to be in perfect tune and all the strings rust-free and vibrant. That is enough to determine the positivity of a veena.

Lakshman Prasad said...

Dear Madam,

Here is a blogspot for those interested in the tradition,art science and craftsmanship in Veena making.

Veenaagayathri said...

Thank you!

Prasath said...

Sri ranganathaya namaha...Sri Saraswathiyae namaha...

Hello Gayathri Amma,
Soul stuck with your blog..Really words to describe about your work..! Congrats to your recent felicitation and honour to you by the state government.

I am very much interested in learning veena... I am 27 now..I know its very late..I was really aspiring since childhood..but i could only do something now..Certainly i will try my best to learn the soul touching art..!

Can you please advise me to buy the best veena in chennai store...I always want to do everything as prescribed in veda or our own ancient spiritual ways..You articles are truly a wealth and treasure to me!

I need to take that to london..! Thanks for your inputs..I know you are busy ..But i would be very happy to get a reply..God bless.

My Mail id is :

Jay said...

You can try in Sapthaswara store in Mylapore and Annanagar. Check out their website, also jas-musicals in London ships Veena from Delhi.

Anusha said...

I am a beginner learning to play the veena. Gayathri madam, I remember reading about the importance of posture while playing the veena, in one of your posts. I find it difficult to keep the right elbow down while playing, especially if the right-hand fingers have to reach the second and third strings. Is it recommended to keep the right elbow down? Is it a matter of time and practice before I learn to relax the right elbow, arm and shoulder?

dst said...

I love reading your blog almost morning and evening. Fantastic, reading each and every line. I stay in Gurgaon. I am wanting to get melam for my veena. Not able to find one who would come home and get it done for my two veenas. Its becoming difficult to play and practice daily. I do not know how to get it done. Can you please give me reference who would do and set right. I have already checked up in a few places. My mail id is

Unknown said...

Good evening Gayathri Amma,

I am writing for my sister.She is a beginner in veena and she need to buy a new saraswathi veena. Could you tell me about the best store in Bangalore to buy the instrument.

lakshminarayan said...

I learnt Veena long ago and used to play fairly well .After becoming a doctor ,and with family I had less tie ,and I used to play only occasionally and stopped for a couple of years..Now I am old and I am not able to sit on floor.I have lot of time though.So I try to sit on a divan with one leg hanging down .It is a bad posture.I feel bad about it. But I am happy that I am able to play and notations are no problem -I get them automaticallyI am worried about the posture in which I am sitting and hold the veenaa.I would like the advise of Gayathri Madam.


RADHASHTAMI - 23rd September, 2023