Music has been loved in every civilisation that ever existed around the world through the different eras and centuries. Yet it is only in the past few decades that it’s spiritual and healing powers have actually been used in curing diseases of the heart, soul and body.
Meaning of the Ragas
Ragas are a perfect symphony formed by the various different combinations and permutations of the seven notes or swaras of Indian classical music. A variety of emotions and feelings, positive and negative, subtle, harsh or forthright etc., can be communicated with the help of these ragas.
The power of these ragas is accentuated and enhanced if they are sung or listened to, at their appropriate times. In fact, the power of the swaras of these ragas to touch your very soul and induce a feeling of positivity has been known to men since time eternal. The chanting of the Vedic mantras to correct communal imbalance has been in vogue since the beginning of time. This is a perfect example of the use of raga therapy.
Basis of Raga therapy or Raga Chikitsa
The various swaras of the ragas have the ability to induce various nuances of diversely opposite emotions like
- Intense joy and sorrow,
- Extreme violence and peace,
- Fear and anger,
- Anticipation and surprise,
- Love and hatred etc.
The capture, assimilation and subsequent portrayal or communication of the whole gamut or range of human emotions, forms the basis of Raga Theory or Raga Chikitsa.
All living beings show leanings towards specific types of energies like magnetic, acoustic, electro-magnetic, gravitational, kinetic etc. These energies affect living beings in many different ways. For example the acoustics of raga therapy have a direct and profound impact on the mind. This enables it to bring about several physiological as well as psychological changes in a person. These changes can be outwardly seen to have an effect on the social activities of man.
The Swara Shastra, which is an ancient text from India, clearly stated that the 72 parent or fundamental ragas control 72 very important nerves in the human body. It has also been successfully proved over the ages that singing any one of these parent ragas with devotion and purity and clarity of pitch, helps its corresponding nerve to react favourably. The ascending swaras of these ragas create a feeling of vitality and mobility. On the other hand, the descending notes create a feeling of inward orientation of an individual. The involuntary tapping of the feet or fingers or the nodding of the head in sync with the lilting melodies of these ragas is ample proof of the deeply spiritual effect they have, on all individuals.
Examples of some therapeutic ragas
Some of the commonly sung ragas like the Darbari Kanada, Pooriya etc., have the ability to diffuse mental tension and anxiety bordering on hysteria. On the other hand, ragas like Ahir Bhairav and Raga Todi help to keep blood pressure under control and is extremely beneficial for people suffering from hypertension.
Common ailments of the stomach such as acidity, constipation and flatulence can be easily cured by the Hindusthani ragas like Deepak, Jaunpuri and Malkauns respectively. In fact the raga marva has been credited with the cure of even malaria while Sohni and Jaijaiwanti are very good for relaxing and curing headaches.
There are numerous such ragas which have a cure for some ailment or the other. Raga Chikitsa or Indian Raga Therapy is a veritable goldmine of cures, just waiting to be discovered.
Also Read our post on Ayurveda Raga Therapy
Image Credit – 1