The other day I was talking to my Mridangam guru about how listening to good music or playing an instrument elevates the spirit, has a calming effect on the mind, and helps to focus better. It has such a multiplier effect.
My guru talked about an interesting concept called Nadopasana. He said, ‘music is intoxicating and that is why renowned artists, at their peak performances completely go into a trance, and are in a state of total bliss. He said, it creates the fertile environment for the seeds of bhakti, love, devotion and service, to sprout.
According to T. S. Parthasarathy, a musicologist and scholar, ‘The real aim of music has always been to attain self realization and through music practiced as Nadopasana, this is achieved much sooner. This accounts for the large number of saints, evolved souls and devotees among its best exponents and composers. In one of his kritis Tyagaraja calls it Sangita Upasana (worship through music). “
It is so fascinating to see the inter-connectedness of different aspects of life, that otherwise look so unrelated, i.e. Music (art) to Devotion to Bhakti to Love to Service to the Mind to Yoga to Self Realization…
As per Parthasarthy, “Hindu mythology says: The seven principal notes are associated with the cries of animals and birds, and are classified as follows:
Shadja (Sa), the cry of peacock; Rishaba (Ri), the sound made by the cow when calling her calf; Gandhara (Ga), the bleat of the goat; Madhyama (Ma), the cry of the heron and the tonic of nature; Panchama (Pa), the note of the Cuckoo or Kokila, the Indian nightingale; Dhaivata (Dha), the neighing of the horse; Nishada (Ni), the trumpeting of an elephant.”
Victor Hugo, a French poet French poet, novelist, and dramatist. He is considered as one of the most well-known French Romantic writers, he writes – ‘Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent.’