Thursday, January 28, 2010

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 181 (Vol #3) Dated 29 Jan 2010.

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 181 (Vol #3) Dated 29 Jan 2010.
(These e-mails are translations of talks given by Periyaval of Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam, over a period of some 60 years while he was the pontiff in the earlier part of the last century. These have been published by Vanadi Padippagam, Chennai, in seven volumes of a thousand pages each as Deivathin Kural. To day we are proceeding from the last para on page No 827 of Vol 3 of the Tamil original. The readers are reminded that herein 'man/he' includes 'woman/she' too, mostly. These e-mails are all available at http://Advaitam. blogspot. com constantly updated.)

89. Those who evolved the Sangeeta Saastraa-s must have been intimately knowledgeable about all the intricacies of those ‘sabda spota-s’ and the ‘abhighata-s’ that can cause those sound effects. Then only they could have given us all the subtle points of crafting those instruments. When we sing we are only mimicking what we have heard, without knowing the technique consciously as to how to produce those sound effects.

90. Still while chanting the mantra-s of the Veda-s, total perfection of uttering each letter (akshara suddham) of the mantra-s has to be there. Because these mantra-s though are seemingly bit-parts (kandam) are actually drawn from the ‘akanda aakaasa sabdam’ by those Rishi-s by their fine tuned ears capable of hearing the sacred syllables! Unless perfectly intoned, they will not have the intended effects. That is why there is the Siksha Saastram to tell us of the scientific method of intonations of the mantra-s. Thus the Siksha saastram tells us as to from which part of the body the air has to be moved in which specific particular manner to produce the correct pronunciation and sound effect of each mantra. Gaandarva saastram tells us similar clear instructions and notations about the Sangeeta Swara-s. Both are part of the 18 Vidya Sthana-s which are the basic foundations of the Vedic Religion.

91. Through the Senses Beyond the Senses. Individual Mantra-s though being ‘kandam’ have the power to take us to the whole of the ‘Akandam‘. Exactly similarly the sounds of music too have the power to take us from the bit-parts to the whole! One Swara when sung without variations for a long period, while remaining rooted in the ‘sruti’ is called ‘Kaarvai’. One swara when sung with minute fibrillations it is called ‘Gamakam’. When the singer by clever use of Kaarvai and Gamakam, slowly climbs the slopes as though and takes us to the awesome heights and just touches the pinnacles of the commanding heights, we also experience if only for a fraction of a second, the ‘akandam’ through the ‘kandam’!

92. This ‘anubhava of the akanda’ is the aim or mission of all the mantra, tantra, yoga and veda saastraa-s! As music makes this aim or goal possible to be achieved, we call the sound as ‘Naada Brhmam’ and music as the enabling process for ‘Naada Upaasana’. That is, through the ears, we try to attain not only sensual pleasure for the mind, but try and make it a path to the ultimate anubhava of experiencing God! Thus practicing music is considered as ‘Naada Yoga’!

93. When that music is further embellished with the meaningful words of a great ‘sahitya karta’ of literary merit, there is a meeting of the minds of the singer, other musicians, the author of the song, the meaning of the words, the sound of music; all becoming one in the process! Divinity is experienced there. While Japa, Dhyana, Tapas and such Ashtanga Yoga are somewhat not easy to practice, through sensual pleasure of hearing music, experiencing divinity becomes so easily practical through music!

94. Through pleasure for the senses, enabling the common man to experience the divine, is a special facility of our Sanaatana dharma. When we do Pooja in the given manner, we do what is known as ‘pancha upachaaraa-s’. (This is a shortened version of the 64 upachaaraa-s known as chatush shashti upachaaraa-s.) Ganda, pushpa, dhoopa, deepa, neivedya-s are the five upachaaraa-s. They are all methods of satisfying the senses while guiding us towards divine experience!

95. In the Upanishad’s, the Paramatma or God, has been described as rasa swaroopa, Jyoti swaroopa and Ohmkara swaroopa. Ohmkara is for hearing, rasam is for the taste, Jyoti is for the eyes, gandam or sandal paste is for the sense of touch and smell, flowers are for the eyes and fragrance, naivedyam is for the taste buds and stomach. Thus while being ‘small pleasures’ for satisfying the senses, they are also for the highest of all aananda known as ‘perinbam’ when experienced with Paramatma Anubhava! The Upanishad-s establish very clearly that the Paramatma is of the form of supreme bliss, successively seen as ‘Anna Maya, prana maya. gnana maya. vignana maya and finally as aananda maya’! (Here the word ‘maya’ is having the meaning of ‘in the form of’.)

96. Sri Krishna Himself says the same thing in Vibhuti Yoga {ref circa 175 (Vol 3) of 13 Jan 2010}, while spelling out as to how He is to be seen in all the famous things of life, He says, “...among the effulgent beings I am the Sun...” that he is both heat and light. Then He goes on to say that amongst months, He is ‘Margazhi’ meaning the He is both the cold and foggy weather. Amongst the seasons He is the Spring season for which He uses the word, ‘Kusumakara’ meaning the season of flowers! The flowers are a feast for the eyes, nose and touch.

97. When the whole (that is beyond time and space and so ‘akand‘.) is fractioned and seen to be providing the pleasures for the senses, are themselves used in propitiating God, they become the ‘Sadhana’ through which you can get closer to the ultimate! Sabdam is itself Brhmam. Roopam is in itself Brhmam. So is rasam and gandam and sparsam, all Brhmam only. Though this may not be within our comprehension now, regular repetition of the idea in our own minds will get us convinced one day, of the truth of this statement. Amongst all the methods of approach to the ultimate truth, music at least enables us to get closer to the ‘anubhava’ or experience that ’sabdam or naadam is certainly Brhmam’. Even we in our immature state are able to comprehend this fact!

98. The art of music is one of the easiest of the royal paths that can fetch you the ’Atma Satchaatkaara’. If you know as to how to play the Veena with ’swara suddhi’, that one thing is good enough. No need for any other methods such as Yoga or Tapasya. You can attain to Moksha. When a Yogi or Tapasvi attains to Atma Gnaana, that Anandam is available only to Him or Her. Only in Music, the artist takes the audience along to the same experience! So is the fact in vocal singing and even solo percussion instruments. When they are played with ‘laya suddham’ they can make you experience the divine in their ‘sunaadam’!

99. Instruments are of four types, namely ‘tantri, randra, charma and loha vaadya-s. Tantri means stringed including, Veena, Tambur, Fiddle or Violin, Yaazh, Sitaar, Saarangi, and Piano. Randram means hole. These are the Flute, Nayanam, Shehnai, Clarionet, in which the air is blown through the holes to make music. In Harmonium it is still randra vaadyam, where in instead of blowing the air with the mouth we use bellows. Charma Vaadyams are those in which leather is tautly stretched on which the sounds are created by beating on it with the hands or sticks. Mrudang, Maadal, Dhavil, Jalra, Dholak and various drums of the western music. Ghatam is a special item of our Indian music, in which the sounds are created by beating on a mud pot specially prepared smooth surface. Then there is Jala Tarang ((water waves) in which porcelain cups of varying sizes, are partially filled with water and the sound is created by beating on them with small bamboo sticks. The pitch or the swara of the sound so created, can be manipulated by increasing or decreasing the quantity of water.

(To be continued.)




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