Dr. Sri Ganapathy Sachchidananda is a renowned composer, singer, and musician. He understands the ancient music system of Rāga-Rāginī, has unparalleled access to melodies, and has created many new rāgas using the ancient system within present musicology. Due to the prolific nature of Sri Swamiji’s compositions, the title Sāgara, ocean, was given to express this form of Rāga-Rāginī.
Sri Swamiji has many great facets to his magnanimous personality; music is at the front and most influential as it impacts the greatest number of people. Directly and indirectly, the benefits of the music are serving humankind. Those who hear the music in concerts and through broadcasts and recordings benefit directly, and indirectly the proceeds from the music provide many services to help those in need. Sri Swamiji is recognized for many charitable activities while pioneering once again the ancient music system of Rāga-Rāginī.
Rāga-Rāginī Nāda Yoga is a compendium that highlights the musical works of Dr. Sri Ganapathy Sachchidananda Swamiji with special emphasis on the healing aspects of music and the role of various components employed by Sri Swamiji during healing concerts. The book starts with a brief introduction by the publishers to Sri Swamiji and his magnificent musical, spiritual, and social works, exemplified with beautiful pictures taken over several decades that stand as a testimony to Sri Swamiji’s musical journey across the world. The pictures and text also highlight the various aspects of Sri Swamiji’s persona. This chapter ends with a note by the publishers thanking Dr. Sri Ganapathy Sachchidananda Swamiji for bringing out his personal experiences with music and music therapy which has influenced the global audience in the form of this book Rāga-Rāginī Nāda Yoga.
In the foreword Sri Swamiji explains the musical link between the ancient and the modern, the relation between tradition and technology, and the need to explore and understand nature. Sri Swamiji also highlights the arrangement of various chapters in the book into “Musicology,” “Therapeutics,” and “Miscellaneous” sections.
The book begins with Sri Swamiji’s description of the “Nādabindu Upaniṣad,” verses that describe the importance of oṃkāra, the primordial sound, and the merit of chanting it. This is followed by an introduction to the concept of nāda cikitsā (healing through sound) in which Sri Swamiji describes his journey and experiences with music as a therapeutic tool. Sri Swamiji's musical expression began as a child with the influence of his mother and guru, Mata Jayalakshmi. Over the years, this has included the Vedic mantras, bhajans (devotional chanting), and the instrumental compositions known as Music for Meditation and Healing.
In the “Musicology” section Sri Swamiji describes various aspects of music: nāda (sound), śruti (fundamental note), saṅgīta (music), svara (musical note), rāga (musical scale), tāla (rhythm), gamaka (nuances), musical instruments, and Vaggeyakaras (the great singer-composers who contributed to the growth of Indian music, and in particular Carnatic music). At the end of this section is a display of the various musical works of Sri Swamiji titled “Animutyalu” (selected pearls), and a list of Sri Swamiji’s compositions in rare rāgas.
In the “Therapeutics” section Sri Swamiji describes the relationship of music, yoga, and cakras (energy centers in the body) and nāḍīs (metaphysical energy channels); the neuro-endocrine regulation of the body and mind; the five prāṇas (vital energies); the five elements (nature); the relationship of astrology and astronomy to music; the various mudrās (gestures) that help in therapy; the crystals and their vibration properties; the effect of color on the human mind and body; the role of water in music healing; and the effect of the various herbs (mūlikas) on the human body. At the end of this section is a chapter on the findings of music therapy research.
The “Miscellaneous” section deals with the intricacies of the various musical structures constructed by Sri Swamiji like the Nada Mantapam, the Dharmadhwajam, the Birthday Stūpas (stone pillars) and the list of the various musical scholars who were awarded titles by Sri Swamiji for their exemplary contribution to music. Another attractive feature in this section is the list of various Music for Meditation and Healing Concerts performed by Sri Swamiji across the globe, and the unique concept of the Jna Na Bha Yoga conferences propagated by Sri Swamiji to explain the various schools of jñāna (philosophy, knowledge), nāda (music), bhākti (devotion), and yoga (union). The book concludes with a summarizing chapter, Upasamhara, that highlights the scope for further research in this area of healing through music.
Rāga-Rāginī Nāda Yoga
In 2013 Sri Krishnadevaraya University of Andhra Pradesh, India, recognized Sri Swamiji's contribution to the world of music by offering him a doctorate on his treatise, Rāga Rāginī Nāda Yoga.
In 2016 the University of World Languages, London recognized Sri Swamiji's literary works by offering him an honorary doctorate in the field of Literature.
by Yogini Kaliji
Hailing from India, the ancient land that has graced the world with some of the most prolific and elevated composers, Sri Swamiji shines in this light of excellence in music. He has composed several thousand compositions and is a prolific lyricist, singer and poet in nine languages. Wherever Sri Swamiji travels, His music is His Universal Language.
When Sri Swamiji says “music is my language,” He is not being symbolic. It is the way He communicates most directly, most clearly, most effectively.
Like when one has been translating all day, and it’s a relief to slide back into the mother tongue, like that with music for Sri Swamiji—it’s direct…and divine.
Music brings us together. Music has the power to speak to the soul. Inspired composers are like channels that intuit the higher vibration of sound, manifesting it as song to inspire us, too. Such a composer is among us today in Sri Swamiji.
Sri Swamiji’s music is meditation. It has both rhythmic concentration and melody to still the thoughts.
Music inspires, accompanies, and transforms our lives. It is a light on this journey to OM, the soundless sound.