Sunday, April 19, 2020

SARASWATI VEENA -12

ELECTRIC GUITAR

ACOUSTIC GUITAR

If there was a clear distinction between acoustic and electric Veenas in the present day Carnatic music scenario I would not have posted Veena Sutras series about differences between acoustic (original Saraswati Veena) and electric Veena. The reason why I have been posting information regarding features that set apart the electric and acoustic Veenas is because they both are being passed off in the same bracket as Saraswati Veena today. With the recent advent of magnetic contact mike and the invasion of electric Veenas due to its popularity (for travel comfort, ease in playing and tonal advantage due to latest mike system) the identity of acoustic Veena is rather mixed up and unclear.   

Both electric as well as acoustic Veenas are put under the same category (with all the so-called vidwat sabhas turning a blind eye to this major error).

Fortunately for electric and acoustic guitars the structural features are distinctive, but in the case of electric and magnetic Veena it's not the same. They look alike in size, shape and structure. The acoustic- wood related properties are disconnected from the Veena only by attaching a magnetic mike to the Veena . Therefore the essential core and heart of Veena are crushed and destroyed. And the electric Veena is glamourised by mixer-mike sound levels and extremely easy to play as even the simplest of touches are magnified by the mike- system. Feather-touch technique is possible on electric Veena, whereas firm hands technique is what is required for an original acoustic Veena.

I feel duty bound to appreciate and applaud western musicians for their honesty and integrity in not placing electric and acoustic guitars under a common category called "guitar" just like how electric and acoustic veenas are being featured in the common category of "SARASWATI VEENA".

Sunday, April 12, 2020

SARASWATI VEENA - 11

MAIN POINTS DESCRIBING ELECTRIC AND ACOUSTIC (ORIGINAL SARASWATI VEENA) VEENAS-

Electric Veena -

1. Looks like Saraswati Veena in appearance.

2.  Jack wood does not contribute to the sound of this Veena.

3. The magnetic contact mike/pickup attached to the body of this Veena with magnetic strings transforms the Veena into an electric one.

4.The magnetic contact mike/pickup does not pick up the resonance of wood and normal strings used for original Saraswathi Veena.

5. Special magnetic strings have to be used for electric Veena.

6. When an unplugged electric Veena (not connected to mike system) is played, the sound that is produced is very less compared to a mikeless seasoned acoustic Veena.

7.Electric Veenas cannot be recorded by voice/ acoustic mikes/microphones (stand mikes).

8.Only plugged-in/direct-in electric Veenas can be recorded in studio recordings.

9. The tonal resonance/quality (apart from sound volume) is determined by mike system.

10. The Veena player's pressure from naabhi (gut region) in order to enhance tone or convey tonal modulations is minimal due to point number 9.

11. The absence of gut involvement of the Veena player and consequent failure in transmitting his energy to the wood grains of the Veena results in disconnection  between the player's and the instrument's energies.

12. Popular and sought after from recent times because the instrument facilitates easy and superficial playing.

13. Mike amplification is mandatory even during practice time.

14. Sounds like a bad guitar/bad mandolin/bad sitar/or some alien instrument. Tone is adjusted on mixer-mike system.

15. Does not produce true tone of Veena.


16.  No instrumental limitations. Any speed, imitation of other foreign instruments and gimmicks are possible due to instrument facilities for superficial playing technique.

17.Travel friendly

18. Does not yield spiritual benefits.


Acoustic Veena (Original Saraswati Veena)-

1. This is the original Veena.

2. Only seasoned Jack wood can form this Veena.

3. The acoustic contact mike/pickup attached to the body of this Veena conveys the entire sound vibrations of the wood as well as the strings.

4. The tone is wholesome and ethereal.

5. When the strings of an unplugged Veena are plucked, their vibrations transmit through the wood grains travelling across the veena dandi and to the bridge (the resonator) and soundboard  (the top thin wooden board of the Veena). The soundboard transfers the energy of the vibrating strings to the air within the body of the Veena. This results in the amplification of the sound making it clearly audible even in a mikeless state.

6. Kuril and nedil, which form the most important part of aesthetics in musical expression is transmitted from within the Veena player to the wood grains of the Veena.

7.Exchange of energies between Veena and its player is possible after considerable practice.

8. This Veena can be recorded unplugged by voice/acoustic ( stand mike) mikes/microphones in studio recordings.

9. Difficult and challenging to achieve mastery of original acoustic Saraswati Veena as it demands the gut energy of the Veena player.

10. Instrument has speed limitations as well as difficulty in aping other instruments due to its depth (unlike the superficiality of an electric Veena).

11.Absolutely divine, esoteric and spiritual.

12. Indefatigable practice can lead the player towards vairagya (detachment), divya drishti (clairvoyance) and moksha (liberation)

13. Travel unfriendly.
Vocal microphone (suitable for Acoustic Veena and unsuitable for Electric Veena)

An Acoustic Veena (original Saraswati Veena) can be recorded with all its acoustic properties by a vocal microphone whereas an Electric Veena cannot be recorded by the same.





Friday, April 10, 2020

ASHWINI KUMARAS

NASATHYA AND DASHRA (ASHWINI KUMARAS - THE HEALERS)

The planet Sun transits into Aries, its sign of exaltation on the 13th of April to stay there for a month (upto the 14th of May).  As Sun enters Aries, he'll be entering Ashwini nakshatra- the star of Ashwini Kumaras ( the twin healers in the form of twin youths with horse heads and dressed in a golden armour). They are sons of planet Sun,  Nasathya (Health God) and Dashra (Medicine God) known to be physicians of God. According to Hindu mythology the Ashwini Kumaras are rescuers of the sick, bedridden and unfortunate people. Sun transits Ashwini nakshatra for nearly 13 days starting from the 13th of April. The transit of an exalted Sun in Ashwini nakshatra  should bestow cure of chronic illnesses and healing of  sick people on planet earth. But the fourth aspect of an exalted Mars (from the sign of Capricorn) on Sun between 13th April to May 4th is puzzling. Mars being a fiery planet aspecting an equally fiery planet, Sun and both these fiery planets in exaltation!! Phew!!! Saturn's transit in Capricorn along with a debilitated Jupiter (enjoying Neechabhanga Raja yoga) adds to Mars's aggression. If Vakya panchangam  (sidereal zodiac) and Thirunallaru Saneeswarar temple are to be followed, Saturn is still stationed in Sagittarius along with Ketu.  Vakya panchangam states that the transit  of Saturn from Sagittarius to Capricorn is expected to take place only on the 27th of  December, 2020.  Whereas the Tropical zodiac states that the transit of Saturn from Sagittarius to Capricorn has already taken place on the 24th of January, 2020. 
Body heat, feverish activity and over exercising maybe avoided between April 13th to May 4th.On May 4th Mars leaves Capricorn to enter Aquarius, out of its exaltation and aspect of Sun. Sun’s entry on April 27th into Bharani nakshatra should bring about relief from heat and aggression.

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

SARASWATI VEENA - 10

What makes Electric Veena playing easier?

SARASWATI VEENA (ACOUSTIC)- The tattwa of the player which  is picked up by Jack wood is conveyed to the bridge of the Veena. The player's breath control and abdominal (naabhi region of the player) muscle contractions in accordance with the tonal modulations the player wishes to produce results in the pressure of the fore and middle fingers of both hands. Consequently the strings are rubbed on the bridge in proportion to the pressure applied by the player. The bridge is therefore shaped according to the manodharma (thought pattern) of the player thereby transmitting the nature (tattwa) of the Veena player into the Veena. The process of fingers pressure naturally shapes and enhances the wholesome (wood-generated) resonance of the instrument. When an acoustic contact mike is attached to the Veena, the true tone of the Veena (wood and strings together) are amplified.

ELECTRIC VEENA (USAGE OF MAGNETIC MIKE)- Wood is ignored. Only the resonance of magnetic strings is picked up which is set and even. Tonal control depends upon mike system and not the breath control or abdominal muscle contractions of the player making it easier for magnetic mike users. This makes playing easier, adaptable and popular among the present generation.

IDENTITY-
An electric Veena player is identified by his/her brand of vidwat in the absence of the true tone of Saraswati Veena. 
An acoustic Veena player is mainly identified by his/her nature conveyed through the tone of Saraswati Veena. This results in the mutual enhancement of true tone and vidwat.

Monday, April 6, 2020

SARASWATI VEENA - 9



                                              ROSE QUARTZ DOWSING PENDULUM


The usage of a dowsing pendulum for testing human prana is only an option. In my experience dowsers have always reflected my inner most wishes and I would therefore recommend an impartial application for testing anything.

A seasoned practitioner of Saraswati Veena (acoustic and made of Jack wood) has the capacity to feel the energies of a Veena merely by playing on the instrument. A Veena yogi who has developed clairvoyance through Veena playing is able to scan the energy of a Veena even without touching the instrument.

Our elders and Gurus have time and again cautioned us to never let a Veena be idle at home and to maintain Veena clear of dust/dirt and with good 'melam' (alignment of frets).  It is extremely harmful to keep a Saraswati Veena with unaligned frets (bad 'melam') that result in discordant notes ( apaswaram in swarasthanas). These are healthy and disciplined principles to follow for a beginner on a brand new Saraswati Veena in order to invoke positive energies and vibes in one of the most potent and divine instruments. By following these principles the beginner prevents bad energies from entering the instrument.

What happens when a Saraswati Veena  which is not brand new and containing the prana of a practitioner is left to idle and get dirty/dusty with unaligned frets? Such a sad state of the instrument which is connected to the said practitioner directly affects his/her well being in life. It could affect health/emotional issues/ finances etc. of the pratitioner. The practitioner has created a huge responsibility for himself in extending his life force energy by creating an outside branch of himself in an occult instrument like the  SARASWATI VEENA.

Veena containing human prana has to be kept clean and all frets in perfect alignment. Further the Veena should be cleansed of  bad "drishti" by regular offering of lighted camphor. If not daily at least on Fridays 'kumkum' and sandal paste should be placed under the bridge which is close to the forehead of the practitioner and in the proximiity of his/her Agna Chakra. Even further fresh or dry fruits and whatever naivedhyam is offered to God has to be offered to the Saraswathi Veena in order to nurture the extended life of the practitioner. The other side of the coin-how else is Veena used as a carrier of energies?



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