Tag Archives: Ragas

Music Mends Relationship

TV actress and host Vrushali Mandal was a great violinist apart from being a so-so actress. After an year of her successful career, her love life started deteriorating with an obvious reasons and finally it came to an end. Since Vrushali was committed to her work, she continued to act mechanically but fully shattered from within. Her lonely apartment pinched her with the lovable memories and she went into chronic depression. For two months, she locked herself in a room, when a music academy was opened in just the next door. The inevitably audible music of the duirinal classes surpassed her ears daily, which initially made her vexed. Gradually, her depression streaks started plummeting and her gormlessness subsiding. She joined the classes and found her life more towards acceptance and value of relationship. One fine morning, she called her boyfriend to apologise and patch up the stuffs. They kickstarted their life and in an interview she shared a statement, “Tunes and sounds have played a great role in my life; I would suggest all to value music at all times.”

The rhapsodic tunes of music reverberates our soul to an extent that it can change our attitude towards life and people around us. The sonic currents of musical tunes penetrates our body and pleasure hormones called dopamine and  estrogen and balances them. Researches reveal that constant listening to your favorite tracks alters the perspective we have for people and we try to see people with more positive and accepting glairs. Fast and slow tracks also contribute essentially in the attaining and subsiding the optimism in people. Fast tracks generally stimulates one whereas the slow ones relaxes our mind. Soft and slow music unleashes the brain knots which have been tightened throughout the long day of routined office and family life. Fast tracks stimulates us and compel us to get energized to execute something more productive. In a way both the music do good in their own way.

Indian music therapy that’s the raga therapy have nemeity of specific ragas for the specific kinds of psychological and mental issues like negativity, non-acceptance, bewilderment in decision making, or depression. For instance, Raag Ahir Bhairava is beneficial for relaxation, Raga Dwijawanti quells paralysis, Raga Hansdhwani injects energy and vitality, Raga kafi fights with depression and anxiety. Similarly ragas like Keerwani, Kokilam, Neelambari, Ranjani, Hameer, cures the physical degeneration like kidney diseases, insomnia, arthritis, etc..

Read out another story of Sarah Myers, an extremely passionate and enthusiast student of Smith Cotton University. What she thinks of being into the musical environment; How she perceives being born as a musician; How she managed to gather scholarships.

Why Raga Therapy is more effective than other music

Like many valuable stuffs, our Indian heritage comprises of a treasurous element called ‘Shastriya’ or Ragadari sangeet. Our ragas, primarily ancient ragas, had been derived  considering a rational aspect relating to mind and health issues.

There are 72 melakarta ragas (parent) from which other numerous ragas have been created.  An ancient text, Swara Shastra states that 72 melakarta ragas (parent ragas) control the 72,000 important nadis or nerves in the body. “Neural research proves that the 72 ragas can control 72 nerves in the human body. Singing or performing a Raga, when bound to its specifications (lakshanas) and with purity in pitch (swara shuddhi) gives the performer complete control on the corresponding nerve.”

Indian ragas are modal or tonic : Indian musical system stands at one tonic note which is called swarit throughout a particular raga performance. All the subsequent notes gravitize on the swarit. This longevity at one chord for hours instills stability and peaceful mind hence more active brain. Also, this shadaj gravity imbibes groundedness and humility.

Exhibits specific note structure and nature: Ragas are the specific set of notes formed by the combinations and permutations of twelve notes in 22 shrutis. Listening to specific set of notes framework for a longer period plays a vital role in healing.

“The sonic patterns of musical currents are recorded with the help of oscilloscopes and the pitch, amplitude and wavelengths of the constituent sound waves are analysed in the laboratories of Brahm Varchas, which helps in studying the effect of music in stress management.”

Ragas That Heal

Sonic effects of the different combinations of swaras are the key factors in music therapy. Therapists and researchers are still analyzing the logic behind which ragas can really become instant healer for a particular disease. However, common day to day problem has indeed found solution in raga healing.   

Ragas do heal when rendered properly with correct pitch, balanced use of vadi-samvadi, addressing the proper feel and emotions. To name a few, Bihag and Bahar are used for sonorous sleep, Hindolam raga improves digestive power, Shivaranjani treats memory power. According to Mittal (2003) and Dr. Sairam (2006), Ahir Bhairava cures arthritis and hypertension, Darbari Kanhada cures headache; Yaman and Bhoopali increases concentration.

“Dr. Herbert Spencer experimented with the people suffering from high and low  blood pressure and found that fast melodies having sharp notes are effective in normalizing the blood pressure while slow melodies having soft or komal swaras are helpful in lowering the BP.” Thus, Ragas like Asawari and Malkauns works as a heeler for BP patients.”

I would conclude my paper by a logical statement by Sairam Sir,

“It has now been recognized that ragas are not just mere commodities of entertainment; the vibrations in their resonance can synchronize with one’s moods and health. By stimulating the moods and controlling the brainwave patterns, ragas could work as a complementary medicine.”

Raagmala Paintings Depict Ragas

Ragmala paintings or raag dhyan is again a big reason music enthusiasts visit various painting oriented places. If your field is Indian classical music, one must be aware of Ragamala Paintings, which depicted ragas as a human.

Musicology includes an explanation of ragas in short sanskrit verses called ‘Dhyana’ or meditation of 14th century. ‘As stated in ‘Ragatarangini’ by Lochana, these verses highlight the characteristics, nature, mood, tendency of ragas, injecting life into them, providing them a particular persona or swaroopa as in like a deity, nayak or nayika. This led to the rag-ragini systems and the subsequent creation of the ragamala paintings, which is mainly ragas on canvas. The theme or rasa for these paintings are usually shringar (romance), bhakti (devotional) or baal-kreeda (momism). Here are some examples of the paintings on Raga Bhairav and raga Hindol.

                                                            Raga Bhairava and Raga Hindol:

Ragamala Paintings

Ragamala Paintings

indian-school-18-india-saramananda-son-of-raga-hindol-1921181

Raga Hindol

       However, Ragmala or rag-ragini paddhati has lost its relevance today but it’s still a sheer interested and aesthetically rich topic for the tourists, music lovers, and paintings who frequently visit places like Madhubani, Ellora, Mewar, Dharwad, Mithila etc. to find the live pictures of the ragas especially the ragas which they love or have already learnt.