Divine Music ~ Divine Yoga: Nada Chikitsa and Yoga Sadhana
Guru Purnima and Celestial Message 2008; July 17–20, 2008;
New Jersey and New York City
“Dance in the flow of prana, absorbed in the cosmic sound ~
the heart will be filled with joy ~
Ah, the unending bliss of Sat Cit Ananda”
~ Yogini Kaliji
Healing through sound is called Nada Chikitsa. The knowledge on sacred sound and how to use raga for healing hails from Ragini Vidya. This unparalleled scale system is the heart of Indian classical music. The musical ragas (celestial melodies) are ancient and originate from the universal knowledge. Music is considered the fourth upaveda, the Gandharva Veda, in addition to Dhanarveda, Ayurveda, and Artha Shastra. Sri Swamiji bases His compositions mainly on the ragas of Carnatic music - its 72 melas (parent ragas) from which all other scales are derived. The renowned Venkatamakhi systematized this system of 72 Melas. Sri Swamiji comes from this family lineage, the father of the 72 Melakarthas, a system of music based on science.
“Hindu scriptures and our ancient Raga Ragini Vidya and Raga Chikitsa have reiterated the advantages of healing through music and spiritual music therapy. I am only expanding on this ancient tradition and bringing this to you in a 20th century format."~ Sri Swamiji
“Ragas have a potential to depressurize our tense minds by soothing the nerves. This science was originally explored in the ancient treatise called Gandharva Vidya - art of celestial music."~ Sri Swamiji
When one hears music based in Nada Chikitsa, the effects are therapeutic for both body and mind. Ultimately music, in particular Carnatic, serves as a vehicle to attain higher states of consciousness. Spiritual music penetrates and transforms on all levels - physical, emotional, mental, and intellectual. Most importantly, higher evolved music creates expansive states of awareness and profound peace. The great saint-composer Tyagaraja said, “Music should be wedded with bhakti (devotion). Only then is it conducive to moksha (liberation)."
"There is an intimate relationship between music and the divine, but this relationship is established only when nada is approached with reverence and devotion. Nadopasana leads to peace."~ Sri Swamiji
For such results, concentration (ekagrata) on the part of the healer musician and the listener is a must. Sustained concentration on the raga creates a healing effect on the listener. From the depths of the mind to the cellular level of the body, music influences positively when it is sangeeta (yoga music).
“I only affect a rapport between the listener and the divine, the Supreme Reality, with help coming from the listener in good measure. I attune the listener to the divine through belief and music. Once this results, body-consciousness vanishes gradually, and with that, affliction ceases to be experienced and ceases to exist. That is healing through music and meditation."~ Sri Swamiji
Sri Swamiji is renowned as a great Vakgeyakara (singer-musician-lyricist-composer). From a young child, Sri Swamiji was graced with hearing His mother, Sri Jayalakshmi Mata, sing and compose. This master yogini inspired in Him nadopasana, the worship of the Divine through sound. Without any formal musical training, Sri Swamiji is a prolific composer of several thousand musical compositions. With the natural ability to play many musical instruments, His main choice is the Roland synthesizer that includes the sampling of over 1,000 sounds. Sri Swamiji writes and sings inspirational lyrics, based in Vedanta, in several languages such as Sanskrit, Kannada, Telugu, Tamil, Hindi, Marathi, Malayalam, Gujarati, and English. The bhajans (devotional songs) are rooted in beejaksharas (mystical seed letters). To hear the singing voice of Sri Swamiji is to hear the divine.
“The music flowing from Sri Swamiji’s synthesizer and the sound of Nada Sankeertana coming out from His inner being produces a hypnotic spell-bound effect. The devotees go to ecstatic jubilation during the course of the entire melody. It is great joy to listen to Him. Sri Swamiji is well known for the beauty of His voice and lucidity in instrumental playing.”~ Dr. Padma Murthy, former Dean, Faculty of Music, University of Mysore
In addition to His musical intuition, Sri Swamiji, with the depth of Raga Ragini Vidya knowledge, has revealed the relationship between the healing energies of music with the panchabhutas (elements ~ earth, water, fire, air, space), grahas (planets), mulikas (herbs), crystals and gems. Thus, Sri Swamiji has developed this modern Raga Ragini Vidya, along with the ancient sciences of Ayurveda, astrology, astronomy, herbology, crystal therapy, and gemnotherapy. After a minimum of two decades of personal and scientific research, Sri Swamjij began to bring this knowledge to the world through His meditation and healing concerts, ecstatic bhajana sessions, and the nada chikitsa programs. Sri Swamiji effectively uses the ragas, with the energies of nature, to alleviate pain and suffering, while invoking joy and inspiration to the listeners. Thousands of people have benefited by the scientifically based Raga Ragini.
“I primarily rely on my intuition when it comes to prescribing the right kind of music for a patient. When I see an ill person, I can intuitively identify the kind of music that will benefit him. While specific ragas like Nilambari, Charukesi, and so on do have special therapeutic properties, I also create my own combinations of notes, in specified frequencies.”~ Sri Swamiji
While listening to the music of Sri Swamiji in the live concerts, whether it be the Meditation and Healing concerts or singing the melodious bhajans, one can feel the spiritual energy that permeates the atmosphere and everyone with the divine energy transmission. The listeners express how meditation naturally emerges.
“By singing and playing with full feeling, I discovered that many people directly/indirectly after listening to Sri Swamiji’s music began to be healed. I have a strong feeling that when I intuit the ragas and scales, a spiritual power helps me. I am guided by that great cosmic power.” ~ Sri Swamiji
Many are familiar that asana combined with proper breathing removes tension from the body, thus improving all systems such as respiration, circulation, digestions, elimination and the glandular system. The effects are far reaching and even more so when we used the body as a tool for concentration. To proceed in meditation, one must be able to sustain concentration beginning with an external form of concentration then evolve to a subtle object. The alignments of the asana and flow of breath provide the vehicle for concentration then evolve to a subtle object. The alignments of the asana and flow of breath provide the vehicle for concentration. Without concentration on the breath during the asana practice, then it is merely a stretching class for the body. Yet for yoga we want to stretch the body and breath resulting in expansion of awareness.
There are 72,000 nadis (prana channels in the subtle body). Nadi, derived from the Sanskrit root NAD, means ‘to flow’. This is the same root used for Nada, which means ‘the sound’. Through the flow of breath and the flow of sound, the nadis become purified and prana (life-force) increases. Disturbances in the rhythmic vibration of prana gives rise to body and mind dis-ease. The fruit of sattvic prana flow is greater health, mental clarity, and ultimately Samadhi (expanded awareness, bliss).
“The power of vibrations connects in some manner all things and all beings in the universe and all planes of existence. Nada vibrations work through the chord of sympathy existing between man and his surroundings.
The human body has 72,000 astral nerves (nadis) which incessantly vibrate in a specific rhythmic pattern. Disturbances in their rhythmic vibration is the root cause of disease. The musical notes restore their normal rhythm, thereby bringing about good health. Listen with your heart not your intellect.” ~Sri Swamiji