Thursday, January 11, 2007

Indian raga music and spirituality

On a question What is the origins of the Indian raga music, in terms of spirituality? brother Siraj in Chishtiyaa yahoo group replied very beautifully:

Background | People claim that the rishi Narada introduced the art of music to our planet. The origin of Indian music can be traced back to Vedic days. It is said that the sound that pervades the whole universe represents the divinity. Organized Indian music owes its origin to the Samaveda. The Veda has all the seven notes of the raga karaharpriya in the descending order. The earliest raga is speculated to be Sama Raga. In due course people explained how the original sound 'Om' gave rise to the various notes.

According to tradition each raga has a definite time period for performance during a time cycle of 24 hours. Some believe that the concept is scientifically based on an intimate relationship between sound and light. Tradition also has it that specific ragas are performed during specific seasons such as spring, monsoon, etc. E.g. Basant, Bahar in spring time and Miyan Malhar and Desh (or Des) in monsoon.

It is generally accepted that there are 9 basic emotions (rasas), which form essential ingredient of any performance in the field of music, dance and theater. Every raga, therefore has a basic emotion (rasa) as an undercurrent of its exposition. It is however incorrect to believe that a complete raga exposition from introduction to the end is based on only one rasa.

Music and Sufis | The origin of musical audition among the Sufis is the voice or sound of the word "Kun", which means "Be!". (in the Quranic tradition this "Be" is the primordal command of God to bring the creation into being in the beginning and ever). The Sufis treat this voice as the reality of all voices and 'the soul of the musical audition'. The sweetness, the rhythm and the melody of the voice conferred upon the soul a state of intoxication, amazement and bewilderment. During the state of this ecstasy the souls were addressed: "Am I not your Lord!"

Hereby the souls were induced to acknowledge their servanthood to Allah. The souls replied: "Yes! We testify!"

'The sama' (musical audition) among the Chishtis is a beautiful way that may connect the auditors, which are present, to the Origin of all origins.

Another brother adds, it is my understanding that Indian raga music was at one time entirely spiritual, and is a highly-developed technology for entraining consciousness into the higher realms. However, it has became somewhat debased over the centuries and some of its performance appeals to the lower nafs.

:: Credit the Chishtiyaa yahoo group | Chishtiyya · Write about, talk about, be silent about

Rag Des | to taste the beauty of Indian Raga, here is Rag Des. One of my most favorite one. Listen to it and enjoy the sweetness of spiritual consciousness. The theme of the song is rain, which is a sure sign of all-encompassing mercy of Beloved. Click here to listen to Rag Des.

Rebirth by Anoushka | another very spiritually uplifting piece of music which infuses traditional indian tune with western. This one is simply superb. Just listen and be present. Feel the peace of the Beloved flowing all around.

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