MUSIC, BODY and MIND

Pooja Sharma

Music is a universal language. It influences all levels of human existence. It is a medium for communication, which can be both a pleasant and healing experience. Modern science and medicine are now rediscovering the healing powers of music. Music therapy, the specialized use of music in treating persons with special needs in mental and physical health, rehabilitation and special education, is gaining ground.
Indian classical music therapy is a complementary therapy that promotes the inbuilt natural healing process. This music produces beneficial effects and is physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually uplifting.Original knowledge of these things is found in Vedas. Gandharva Veda, which is a constituent of Sama Veda, is regarded as the Veda of Music. The science of medication is one of the most enlightened ways of Sama Veda.The immense potential of the power of Shabda (cosmic flow of sound) hidden in music was well recognised by the ancient Indian sages and they had devised several musical patterns emanating from the “Omkara” for chanting of the Vedic hymns and for distinct spiritual effects. The Shastric¬† schools of music discovered musical octave named as shadja, rishabh, gandhar, madhyam, pancham, dhaivat and nishad (sa, re, ga, ma, pa, dha, ni, sa) indwelling in the subtle sounds of Nature and invented the basic classical ragas for activating specific streams of natural powers and effects.
Music is an age-old part of Ayurveda, the holistic science which promotes a happy and healthy lifestyle. The doshas like Vata, Pitta and Kapha can be controlled effectively by Music Therapy. Great composers of Indian classical music have attempted music therapy down the years. Legend has it that classical music maestro Thyagaraja brought a dead person back to life with his composition. Rhetorically commenting on the ecstatic impact of soothing music, Carlyle had once said “God walks behind good music”. So, how could there be any disease or suffering where God is? There will only be an unflinching flow of bliss all over.
It is believed that music stimulates the pituitary gland, whose secretions affect the nervous system and the flow of blood. It is believed that for healing with music, it is necessary to vibrate the cells of the body, for it is through these vibrations that the diseased person’s consciousness can be changed effectively to promote health. The right kind of music helps one to relax and refresh. Even during the course of working, light music improves efficiency. Listening to music helps control negative aspects of our personalities like worry, bias and anger. In addition, it can help cure headache, abdominal pain and tension. Music therapy is one of the most effective ways of controlling emotions, blood pressure and restoring the functioning of the liver.
Various Raga Research Centers are currently making a comprehensive study of Indian ragas and evaluating their therapeutic potential with the help of musicians, doctors and psychiatrists. They argue that the immediate benefits these ragas offer is mental peace by alleviating tensions and providing an enchanting and creative diversion to the mind. Interpretation of the Vedic scriptures on Nada Vidya implies that Shastric Music helps synergetic augmentation of the panch pranas. In concordance, research in energy medicine (pranic healing) and classical music shows that specific shastric ragas enhance the level of vital energy. It is the deficiencies and disorders in the vital energy distribution in the mind body system, which is the root cause of its ailing state. The smooth and increased flow of vital energy rejuvenates the mind and empowers the immune system as well as the auto-regulatory healing mechanism of the body. This is how classical music generates new hope, joy and enthusiasm in the otherwise dull or depressed mind and removes the disorders and relieves one of the untoward pressures and excitements of inferiority, despair, fear, anger, etc.
It is believed that classical Indian ragas can ben
efit a whole host of conditions ranging from insomnia, high and low blood pressure to schizophrenia and epilepsy. It is believed that there are other ragas that can help fight ageing and pain, too. Music is capable of improving happiness, peace, health and concen tration. It is however important to know the method and duration for which Music Therapy is to be administered.
This knowledge can be obtained through regular experiments and experience. The first step towards this is the correct diagnosis of the disease and then the selection of the precise raga that will be helpful. Procedure, discipline and a systematic method will help achieve this goal.
Singing or engrossed listening of Raga Bhairavi has been found to uproot the diseases of kapha dosha e.g. asthma, chronic cold, cough, tuberculosis, some of the sinus and chest related problems etc. Raga Asavari is effective in eliminating the impurities of blood and related diseases. Raga Malhar pacifies anger, excessive mental excitements and mental instability. Raga Saurat and raga Jaijaivanti have also been found effective in curing mental disorders and calming the mind. Raga Hindola helps sharpening the memory and focusing mental concentration. It has been proved effective in curing liver ailments.
Music has direct impact on the seven chakras hidden along the endocrine column and hence affects our physical as well as subtle bodies. Each chakra is the source of energy. Through meditation, we can feel that each note corresponds to a certain chakra. When the energy, vibrations and frequency of Indian classical music matchs with the energy, vibrations and frequency of the chakras, they get activated. This inner integration makes a natural path for the kundalini to rise upwards. When rising, the Kundalini nourishes the chakras and provides proper energy to them. Since organs are connected with the chakras, they also get the proper and adequate energy and so the balance is restored in the affected organ. Once kundalini finds its path to rise, it rises and pierces through the fontanel bone area and forms connection with the cosmic energy i.e. power of divine love; it enlightens the brain and activates all the nerves in the brain which in return enlighten the heart.