The modern world of medicine is finallycatching on to this hundred years old theory that was first referenced in theancient writings of the scholars Plato and Aristotle who both noted the healingqualities and influences music had on both humans and animals. The immensepotential of the power of Shabda (cosmic flow of sound) hidden in music waswell recognised by the ancient Indian sages and they had devised severalmusical patterns emanating from the “Omkara” for chanting of theVedic hymns and for distinct spiritual effects. The Shastric schools of musicdiscovered musical octave (sa, re, ga, ma, pa, dha, ni, sa) indwelling in thesubtle sounds of Nature and invented the basic classical ragas for activatingspecific streams of natural powers and effects; a wide variety of musicalcompositions were generated consequently.
Ever since then music has been anintegral part of human culture with varied applications and forms (Alex, 2014). According to an ancient Indian text,Swara Sastra, the seventy-two melakarta ragas (parent ragas) control the 72important nerves in the body. It is believed that if one sings with duedevotion, adhering to the raga lakshana (norms) and srutishuddhi, (pitchpurity) the raga could affect the particular nerve in the body in a favourablemanner (Alex, 2014). According to the Vedic Philosophy, yoga and music both are part ofNada Vidya. Yoga deals with realisation of anahata nada the sublime sound(extrasensory vibrations) of the eternal force of cosmic consciousness.
Musicpertains to the perception and expression of the infinite spectrum of therhythmic flow of the ahata nada (perceivable sonic currents) pervading inNature. Both have direct impact on the shat chakras hidden along the endocrinecolumn and hence affect our physical as well as subtle bodies (Alex, 2014). The seven basic swaras (musical notes) of the musical octave havea one-to-one correspondence with these chakras (nuclei of subtle energy).
Thelower most (in the kava equina region along the erect endocrine column), viz.,the Muladhara Chakra is associated with the swara “sa”; that means,the practice of chanting this particular musical note will have impact onawakening or activation of this particular chakra. Similarly, the chakrassuccessively upwards in this direction namely, the Swadhisthana, Manipura,Anahata, Vishuddha, Agya and the top-most Sahastrara Chakra have correspondencerespectively with the swaras “re”, “ga” “ma”,”pa”, “dha” and “ni”. Significantly, the order ofthe compositions of these swaras in the “aroha” (ascending) and”avaroha” (descending) patterns of the Shastric musical tunes alsomatch with the top-down (from Sahastrara to Muladhara) and bottom-up (fromMuladhara to Sahastrara) directions of the flow of energy.
Music has been usedthroughout human history to express and affect human emotion (Alex, 2014).5.1.1.BRIEF HISTORY OF MUSIC THERAPY Music therapy has long historydating back to ancient Orphic school in Greece. Pythagorus, Plato andAristotle, all were aware of the prophylactic and therapeutic powers of music.Even the old testament mentions music therapy where King David is said to havecured an illness by playing on the harp. Hippocrates, the father of modernmedicine, used music to cure human diseases.
In ancient Egypt music was used tolessen the pain of women during childbirth. Ibn Sina, a famous Arabic writer,has written in detail on this subject. In India legend has it that Thyagaraja,the famous musician of South India, brought a dead person back to life bysinging the composition Naa Jeevan Dhara in raga Bihari.
In 1729 RichardBrowne, a physician wrote the famous text Medicina Musica which describes theuse of music as medicine. Dr. Burnell has mentioned a manuscript named RagaChikistsa in the collections of Saraswati Mahal Library in Tanjore which dealswith the various ragas that can be used for curing various ailments. “Music is a kind ofinarticulate, unfathomable speech which leads us to the edge of the infiniteand lets us for a moment gaze in that” observed Carlyle. Music isbasically a sound or nada generating particular vibrations which moves throughthe medium of ether present in the atmosphere and effects the human body.
Sarangdev mentions in his Sangeet Ratnakar that ahata nada or music is alwaysproduced by striking or aghata by a living being on an instrument of any kindSo music is a power or universal energy in the form of ragas. Matanga (9-10th centurey AD) was theearliest writer to define raga. According to him “raga is that kind ofsound composition consisting of melodic movements which has the effect ofcolouring the hearts of men.” “There are four sources of raga : folksongs, poetry, devotional songs of mystics and compositions of classicalmusicians. While harmony is the characteristic of Western music, Indian musicis pure melody. The general term for melody in India is raga or ragini.
“(Kangra Ragmala-M. S. Randhawa). Symphonies of raga have a definite soothingeffect on the mind as well as on the body. Repeated listening to the particularraga being chosen for a particular disease produces a network of soundvibration. The muscles, nerves and the chakras of the affected part arecontracted when one impulse is given and relaxed during the interval betweentwo impulses (http://rangavadhoot.us/PDF/Article/musictherapy.pdf).
5.1.2.RAGA CHIKITSA OR HEALING THROUGH INDIAN MUSIC: Indian classical music is based on the raga system. Ragas form thecore of Indian music thus, therapy performed through Indian music is alsocalled Raga Therapy or Raga Chikitsa. Ragais derived from theSanskrit root ranja, meaning to colour the mind with the soundsemanating from Aum. Raga Chikitsa refers to the applicationof the ragas to combat diseases of the body (Sairam, 2003).
“Raga” formsan important feature in Hindustani Classical Music which is one form IndianClassical music. Raga is the sequence of selected notes (swaras) that lendappropriate ‘mood’ or emotion in a selective combination. Depending on theirnature, a raga could induce or intensify joy or sorrow, violence or peace andit is this quality which forms the basis for musical application. Thus, a wholerange of emotions and their nuances could be captured and communicated withincertain rhythms and melodies.
Various ragas have since been recognized to havedefinite impact on certain ailments. (Sairam, 2004).Patients are given somespecific ragas to listen regularly for days. Repetitive audition ofparticular ragas is an effective treatment which leads to subside the mentaldisorders. The muscles, nerves and the chakras of the affected part arecontracted when one impulse provides relaxation during the interval betweentwo impulses.
The paragraph below gives some of the examples of Ragaswhich are often used by therapists for healing the patients. Raga Kafi imparts humid, peaceful and soothing moods within patients and alleviateanxiety and over-reactors. Raga Mishra Mand has a very pleasingrefreshing light and sweet touch while Bageshwari arouses a feeling of darkness, stability,depth and calmness.
Music is considered the best tranquilizer in modern days ofanxiety, tension and high blood pressure. Raga Darbari is considered very effective in easing tension.Raga Bhupali and Todi givetremendous relief to patients of high blood pressure. According to Mittal(2003) and Dr. Sairam (2006), Raga Ahir-Bhairavis supposed to give free relaxed feeling, mitigates dust allergiesand skin diseases and good for arthritis. Raga Malkauns and Raga Asawarihelps to cure low blood pressure. For heart ailments, Raga Chandrakauns is considered very helpful.
Raga Tilak-Kamod, Hansdhwani, Kalavati, Durgaevoke a very blissful effect on the nerves. For patientssuffering from insomnia and need a sonorous sleep, Raga Bihag and Bahaar iseffective and revitalizing. Raga Kedarcures common cold and cough, asthma, headache. Raga Hamsadhwaniis said to boost energy and improves vitality.
The pentatonic notesstructure and the limited renditions within the boundaries of S R G P N S, whenheard longer activates the energy centres and results in rejuvenation. Studies on effects of Indian classical music reported thatlistening to Indian classical instrumental music throughout gastroscopy reducedsystolic blood pressures, diastolic blood pressure, heart rate and respiratoryrate (Kotwal et.al., 1998).
Raga Darbari Kanada for 22 minutes reduced systolicblood pressure, diastolic blood pressure, pulse rate and respiratory rate inasymptomatic individuals (Siritumga et.al 2013). Instrumental music inHindustani Todi raga reduced pain in children undergoing venepuncture (Balan et.al,2009). Exposure to Raag Ahir Bhairavi significantly reduced blood pressure inhypertensive adults (Sobana et.