Music Heals the Healer Too
Dr. Sri Ganapathy Sachchidananda Swamiji
From NADA Music of the Divine; September 22, 2012; Royal Albert Hall
Thus, in the musical notes is embedded subtly the process of evolution in thought, word and action. It is but natural for almost all spiritual seekers from different civilizations across the globe to have resorted to the path of music for peace, so much so that, in the present age the easiest path has been described as the method of chanting the glory of the Divine (Namasankeertanam). This reverence to NADA—the absolute and infinite and its manifest form—the divinity (Nada Tanumanisham) and its mediation in the path of spirituality is referred to as NADA YOGA. Dwelling in that state of ecstasy is likened to the RAGA SAGARA (the unfathomable ocean of Music); thus, Nada Yoga Raga Sagara is an earnest attempt to liberate the individual from pain and suffering. It is an endeavour to unshackle the individual from the realms of the mechanical, mundane, stressful cacophony. It is an endeavour to enable one to enjoy the bliss of the sweet symphony of the soul that is supposedly the panacea of all suffering. All externally manifest music is nothing but an infinitesimally small part of the all-pervading divine Nada.
Even the manifest music at the physical level has been shown to have innumerable benefits, such as audio analgesia; alleviating stress; anxiety plus pain before, during and after surgery; invasive medical procedures; achieving emotional balance; improving communication skills; enhanced concentration, creativity and improved quality of life especially in lifestyle diseases. Music provides solace and is an effective support in managing groups with special needs; physically and mentally disabled children and adults; their families; elderly people; newborn babies including prematurity; critically sick people; chronic pain syndromes; behavioural disturbances and the terminally sick. Sri Swamiji's music has been able to help a number of such people. Scientific experimentation too has clearly established the role of music in regulating heart rate, muscle tension, and neural hormones responsible for pain perception, emotional balance and immune responsiveness. Thus it is clear that while music therapy is an intervention at the physical, mental, and emotional levels, Nada Yoga is additionally an intervention at the spiritual level and more effectively addresses the issues of effective communication with the self. This process is more fundamental and should be the essential goal of every human, for all energy sprouts from within and all repair and renewal starts from within. Music is capable of making us strong. It answers the deepest demands of the soul. It unites us. It elevates us. It makes us capable of sustaining the wear and tear, stress and strain of life and soothes us at times of disharmony. It is a great companion. If appropriately used with conviction it is no doubt a very effective and safe tool for healing the body and mind at various levels.
While the medical fraternity is constantly struggling to provide solace to grief-stricken humanity through continual medical innovations, music therapy as a preventive and therapeutic tool is a cheap and effective adjuvant. As more and more scientific data is accumulating to support the rationale of using music as a therapeutic tool in various scenarios, the day is not far when such interventions will become an essential prescription for everyone. Not only that "Music heals the healer too" and it is here that Swamiji likes to recommend that people of the highly stressed professions like the medical fraternity themselves, become good listeners of soothing music. It would certainly enable them to perform more effectively in alleviating the suffering of fellow humans.
Sa or Shadja represents Sagara, meaning evolution of life in ocean or water;
Ri or Rishabha represents land creatures;
Ga or Gandhara stands for Gaganachara, meaning flying creatures like birds;
Ma or Madhyama represents Maanava, or Man
Whose goal is and should be –
Pa or Panchama representing Paramapada (to seek refuge unto the Almighty),
And the modus operandi –
Dha or Dhaivata representing Dharma (righteousness);
Ni or Nishadha representing Nivrutti (non-attachment and liberation).
From the very first cry till the last breath, from the womb until the tomb, every moment is filled with music and emotion. Not only humans but also animals, plants, and even inanimate objects respond to sound. In fact, the mystery of evolution lies subtly embedded in the seven notes of Music.