Saturday, August 10, 2013

Pristine Pure


The gap between the main four strings (first string: sarani, second string : panchamam, third string : mandaram, fourth string: anumandaram) and the frets of the veena plays a prime role in determining the tonal volume of the veena. The maximum gap between the veena's main string (sarani or shadjamam) and the frets is reportedly somewhere between a quarter inch (0.25 inches) to half an inch (1.27 centimeters), while the minimum gap between the main string and the frets is one eighth (0.125 inches) or slightly lesser than that.
Veena with less gap between main string and frets is used for easy and fast rendering. The strings of such a veena (where the gap between the main string and the frets is lesser than the prescribed quarter to half an inch) are made audible through powerful contact mikes/ digital mixers and other latest microphones. By using an adept mike system it is possible to project a veena with lesser distance between the main string and the frets as a veena with a wider gap between the main string and the frets.
The true nature of a veena is determined only without the usage of microphone. Original resonance, purity and ojas of a veena could be gauged only when the veena is mikeless.
The resonance is strong and deep when the gap is the prescribed quarter to half an inch between the main string and the veena frets. When the prescribed gap is reduced to somewhere between one eighth or around that, the tone becomes feebler and weaker. A quarter to half an inch gap between the main string and the frets demands stamina in the player, even more in the case of gamaka-laden style or bani. Yogic playing of the veena with the recommended distance between the main string and the frets yield tremendous fruits. The player is able to progress through various yogic stages such as dhyana, dharana and samadhi. The player, through indefatigable and rigorous practice is able to attain "vairagya" (detachment) from worldly affairs and finally "kaivalya" (liberation of soul). Soulful rendering, thereby invoking the inner voice through the veena is also made possible in a veena having the prescribed gap between main string and frets. Ofcourse, the purity of jackfruit wood and correct seasoning of the wood are major contributors.
It is also amazing that the place where the jackfruit tree is grown contributes to the nature of the veena. If the jackfruit tree is situated around a temple area or in a nice garden with positive vibrations, the veena made out of the wood of such a tree would yield great spiritual and health benefits ( such as  lustrous complexion, thick hair growth and great energy which is nothing but OJAS) to its player.
When a veena is made out of a  jackfruit tree which is situated around a graveyard or any area with negative vibes, or close to decaying shrubs, contaminated ponds etc.  it will certainly cause bad results in its player. The health of the player would deteriorate resulting in a pale countenance, weakness in limbs, or the player could encounter even worse health problems.
While the player could become famous and prosperous by playing the correct veena (made of good, seasoned wood) he/she would encounter problems by playing the wrong veena (made of bad unseasoned wood). Many a time veenas are made out of venteak or wood essentially used to make furniture (second or third quality teak or rosewood).
For a player to be influenced by the veena he or she is handling, it takes long hours of dedicated and involved practice in an erect posture ( with an erect spinal chord) and breath retention. The practitioner's mere employment of hands to play the veena fails to tap the divine potency of the vedic instrument.
Making of this divine instrument or seasoning its wood on auspicious days or thithis such as pournami, dashami, ekadashi, dwadashi, pradosham, panchami, sapthami and on days when constellations belonging to Devaganas are spiritually significant for invoking the divinity of the instrument.
A veena made out of all the good things as mentioned above is pristine pure and a practitioner who plays such a veena is matchless in his/her worldly and spiritual possessions.



1.Video-Message about Teacher by my mother, Smt.  Kamala Aswathama, one of the senior most disciples of Teacher. 2. With Teacher. Smt. Kalpa...