Saturday, September 11, 2021



Many years ago Veena was held vertically by yesteryear practitioners in order to keep the spine erect (the above is the only  photo I managed to find. Veena Vidushi Tata Bhanumathi's (Puducherry) father late Sri.Tata Somayazulu used to hold the Veena vertically, I have had the fortune of witnessing this personally).


I always wondered if it was only me who observed that Goddess Saraswati did not place the 'sorakkai' (left side dome of Veena) on the left thigh!

Further, there is no authentic text that demands any particular posture for Veena playing. The recent practice of holding the Veena horizontally across the left thigh has many disadvantages in the areas of health and spiritual benefits. In my personal and professional experience I have realized that an erect spine plays the foremost role in Veena playing.

Saraswati Veena made of pure jackwood is ideal for kundalini activation. The posture plays an equally important part as the sruthi  and laya suddham (perfection in tune as well as rhythm). If you ask me, posture is the primary most important factor. 

Veena practice for professional reasons maybe set aside as the focus on posture can disturb intellectual planning unless the player has mastered the erect-spine-posture.

 To start with at least half an hour should be allotted for kundalini practice on an authentic Saraswati Veena made of jackwood. Contact mikes, whether they are contact mikes for acoustic Veenas or electric Veenas (where magnetic strings are used and the wood grains are shunned) are not be used during this practice session. Mikes are to be avoided in order to gauge the enhancement of the 'naadham' (resonance). 'Naadham' is the measuring scale of the rising life-force energy which is sponged off by the wood grains of the Veena's jackwood and reflected as 'naadham' or resonance of the Veena.

If the practitioner is young, energetic, hale and healthy the practice of posture becomes easy and demands slight variations only. Placing the Veena's left side dome (Sorakkai) on the left thigh requires the player to stoop over the Veena dandi (especially in the case of a tall or broad-shouldered player). Instead of placing the sorakkai on the left thigh the player should find something (like a pile of cushions, thick cloth material, small stool covered by cloth etc.) to be able to raise the Veena to the required height on the left side in order to avoid stooping over the Veena. At the same it is necessary to balance the height of the right side dome ('kudam') in order to achieve the correct inclination. The right side is not to be raised to the level of the left side, but only to the extent where the player is able to play the Veena with his/her shoulders pushed back, chin raised and most importantly with his/her spine erect. (TO BE CONTINUED.....)

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