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Music Healing and Sri Ganapati Sachchidananda Swamiji – Dr. Phani Shree

Music is a universal language. Encompassing all possible moods and forms of expression, it conveys the feelings to the heart more powerfully than any words of any language. Hindu scriptures have described the precise pronunciation of words and their effects on the temporal and astral planes. References related to the importance of music in worship and healing practices can be traced to the sacred texts of Vedas, Upanishads and Gita. In the Rug Veda and Saama Vedas references to sung and chanted mantras for healing are given. Mantras are considered words of power and as such are considered to have healing properties.

Though we have accomplished a great deal through scientific inquiry, we don’t completely understand the mystery of Music Healing. By relinquishing total power and understanding, spiritual guides act as facilitators and instruments through which the divine can interact with the individual. What is not found in the traditional Western Therapy model is the active acknowledgement of the sacred and unseen forces that act as co-healer or therapist. This difference in spiritual capacity to heal can be contrasted with Western Music therapy methods of singing to induce a change in the emotional state that makes you feel better.

As a container, music creates all atmospheres that manipulate a person’s mood. It can create both tension and relaxation. As a connector, music links us to the memories, emotions and perceptions. As a carrier, music has the ability to allow individuals to relate to certain themes in the society e.g.: birth, death and freedom and may also include feelings of happiness, frustrations, and sadness. Often people interpret themselves in relation to music. Music is a catalyst for emotional expression and physical responses.

Recent studies on music therapy indicate that music can influence endogenous opioids, a group of more than fifteen neuro hormones found to effect pain perception, neuro endocrine and immune regulation, neurotransmission, and mood (Cook, 1997, p80-81). This has wide spread application for music therapy in cancer treatment (Beck SL, 1991; Burns SJ et al, 2001) and pain management (Good M et al, 2001, Hillicke T et al 2000).

Doron Kemp Antrin says. “Psychologists have found that music does things to you, whether you like it or not. Fast tempos invariably raise your pulse rate, respiration and blood pressure, slow music lowers them”. Klitz (1970) suggested that participation in musical activities encourages better posture and proper breathing and strengthens specific muscle groups, removing frustrations and reducing emotional tensions. Slack (1970) studied the effect of music education on the slow learner pupils and found that music education had a positive psychological effect in the normalization of their pent-up emotions and developed their abilities to the full. Music has also been found to be effective in curing stammering.

Hood (1973) found that students having music lessons exhibited better social adjustment than other students. Slack (1970) working in Great Britain on the slow learners in the schools found that that Music education helped them in the normalization of their pent- up emotions and developed their abilities to the full. Graves (1947) found that adolescents who take music lesson showed less emotional conflict and they appeared to be more comfortable in their relations with their parents than otherwise. Smilansky (1953) working with the mentally retarded children found that there were significant improvements in the adjustment rating. (Lakshmi Devnath, 2003).

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Nada Chikitsa (The Healing Touch of Music) – Sri H.V.Krishna Swamy

What is Nada Chikitsa?
(Means Curing ailments through music)
Music is a force that unites humanity world over. Music has for centuries been known to have a pleasing appeal to both humans and animals. Music is such an overwhelming form of expression; it moves child, beast and man alike. Needless to say, Music has a divine status in the Hindu Tradition. Be it the bards singing ballads, The Afro-Americans their blues, Mira her bhajan, music frees you unlike anything else. Also there would be no compromise on the musical standards one has to set for oneself. The line of thrust here is that, music is a personal art, it is free, it is an equalizer. A listener is as much a musician as the singer is.

Music is an expression of emotions, a swapping of energies, an open confession to God by the preacher and listener alike. Parents should encourage their wards to learn the art, if not to practice at least to appreciate. There is no age to start learning. After all at no point of time in your life does music ever depart from you. It is present as a lullaby, a hymn, a carol, or a wedding song. Music is easiest way to attain salvation.

Music is a harmonizing factor in, today’s world which is full of conflicts and tension. Transgressing man-made frontiers, music sends the message of harmony, peace and brotherhood. Musical Ragas (tunes) are said to help treatment of patients with afflictions of physical and mental nature, in certain conditions.

PARAMA POOJYA SRI GANAPATI SACHCHIDANANDA SWAMIJI of Mysore, India, has been conducting Spiritual Music Concerts for meditation and Healing (Nada Chikitsa) in India and many foreign countries including Europe, America and Caribbean Islands and Malaysia etc. This is the medicinal melody prescribed by Sri Swamiji for all ailments and conditions ranging from coma to cancer and migraine to mental depression.

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Raga Chikitsa and Raga Ragini Vidya – Bill Osmer

An exploration into the use of Music for the purpose of Healing by Bill Osmer, December, 2006
The purpose of this paper is to introduce and explain the concepts and methodology of Indian music known as Raga Chikitsa and Raga Ragini Vidya as revived and developed by my guru, Sri Ganapathi Sachchidananda Swamiji of Avadhoota Peetham, Mysore, India, and to show how music fits in with Ayurveda as a healing modality. First a look at the principles and origins of Indian and Western music.


The purpose of this section is to give a brief summary of the origins and development of Indian musician to its present day form and also to show that its history is inseparable from spirituality. Indian music is probably the most complex musical system in the world, with a very highly developed melodic and rhythmic structure. This includes complicated poly-rhythms, delicate nuances, ornamentations and microtones which are essential characteristics of Indian music. Indian music had its origins in the Vedas (4,000 B.C. to 1,000 B.C.). Four in number, the Vedas are the most sacred texts of India, containing some 1,000 hymns. They were used to preserve a body of poetry, invocations, and mythology in the form of sacrificial chants dedicated to the Gods. Great care was taken to preserve the text, which was passed down by oral tradition, so much so that both the text and the rituals remain unchanged to this day. The literature of the Vedas, is divided into 4 parts: Rig Veda, Sama Veda, Yajur Veda, and Atharvana Veda. The oldest, the Rig Veda, dates back to about 4,000 B.C. it was recited, at first, in a monotone and then later developed to 3 tones (one main tone and two accents, one higher (uddatta) and one lower (anudatta), respectively. This was done to
accentuate the words, since the text was of primary importance. The Yajur Veda, which mainly consists of sacrificial formulas, mentions the “veena” as an accompaniment to vocal recitations during the sacrifices. By this time, the chants had evolved to two main notes with two accents, which formed the first concept of the tetrachord (4 note chord).

The Sama Veda laid the foundation for Indian Music. The origin of Indian music can be traced back to this Veda. Three more notes were added to the original tetrachord, resulting in the first full scale of seven notes. These original seven notes used in reciting the Sama Veda became the first ragas and according to Sakuntala Narasimhan in Invitation to Indian Music, it later became known as the Kharaharapriya raga of the Carnatic (South Indian) system of music.

As mentioned before, Indian music developed from the Sarma Veda. This music, which was prevalent throughout the entire length and breadth of India, became more and more advanced every century due to the contributions of scholar-musicians like Bharata, Matanga, Sarangadeva, and Venkatarnakhi. All of these musicians made great contributions to both Sacred and Art music and are collectively responsible for the modern styles of bhajans, kirtans, concert formats, training techniques, etc., still used today.

Around the 12th and 13th centuries A.D. there was a bifurcation into the two distinctive systems of South Indian (Carnatic) and North Indian (Hindustani) music. This happened as follows: In the 12th and 13th centuries A.D., the northern part of India went trough a series of invasions by Muslim rulers from Asia minor, who were on a crusade to spread their religion Islam. These rulers settled in the North and due to the interaction between the invaders and the local people, changes began to take place socially. The music was highly influenced by the Arabic and Persian styles, resulting in a totally new style of music, namely Hindustani music. This literally means the “Music of India,” Hindustan being the Hindi word for “India.” In the South, the music continue to develop along tbe same lines, without any external influence and came to be called “Carnatic” music which means “traditional” in Tamil language.

Below is a chart summarizing and highlighting the scriptural lineage and history of Indian music. The history is divided into the Ancient period (4,000 B.C to 400 A.D.), medieval period (5th century A.D. to 15th century A.D.) and the Modern Period (16th century A.D. onward).

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