Singing Aspects PART II


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It’s my great pleasure to be able to pen down some thoughts in this periodical. It has only been possible due to great efforts by my mother, gurujan, my musical friends and family. – Shashi It’s my great pleasure to be able to pen down some thoughts in this periodical. It has only been possible due to great efforts by my mother, gurujan, my musical friends and family. – Shashi
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 +* [http://taranaa.com/Tarang/index.php?title=SingingAspects Know The Aspects Of Singing Part I]
 +* [http://taranaa.com/Tarang/index.php?title=Singing_Aspects_PART_III&rcid=16 Know The Aspects Of Singing Part III]

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Know The Aspects Of Singing PART II by Shashikant Sharma, Grand Rapids, MI USA


Having touched and described a bit, what ‘swara’ is, let’s meditate a little more before we dive into rasas and structured form of ragas.

So, you are sitting on a bank of river, time is sunset, beautiful aura, birds chirping, cool breeze. Now close your eyes, you are in outer space. Sound is coming from vibration. There is internal awareness and outer space, nothing else.

‘Swara bulb’ is lit bright when internal awareness is calm and is only complementing the vibration field in the outer space. How do we do that? Well, by aligning our instrument, i.e., body, energy and mind. How many times have you experienced this, when you visit a temple, a mosque, a gurdwara or a church, that a Greater presence is felt through the vibration field around the altar and ‘self’ is revealed during calming process of internal awareness. What’s happening here exactly? ‘Swara’ of Greater presence is fully resonated and trying to trigger ‘swara’ within us. Something like a simple tuning fork experiment in physics, or like align a prism, such that casting a beam of light can appearas rainbow. This process goes on and on, and if you can sustain it, the boundary between two vibration fields can vanish. It is this moment, when you experience the dissolving and you may realise 'anAhaT nAd'. The sound of silence.

Sargam

It is very difficult to talk about ICM without hinting at spiritual side or philosophical or religious aspects. I will try my best to keep the tracks clean and focussed. As you know, there are seven 'shuddh'or primary swaras in hindustani music, just like seven colours in rainbow, seven days in a week or seven wonders in the world. They are named in sanskrit as Shadja (Sa), Rishabh (Re), Gandhar (Ga), Madhyam (ma), Pancham (Pa), Dhaivat (Dha), Nishad (Ni).

Traditionally speaking, they originated in the animal sounds. For example, Sa is from cry of bird peacock, Re from bull, Ga from goat, ma from dove, Pa from koyal (cuckoo), Dha from mane of horse, and Ni from trumpetting of elephant. Philosophically they have their own colors, decorations, seasons and 'rasas' as they have been personified.

It is also believed that they appear in human body at different ages of maturity and remain present. Yogically speaking, each has their relationship to body 'chakras'. Sa->muladhar, Re->svadhisthana, Ga->manipur, ma->anahat, Pa->visuddha, Dha->ajn~a, and Ni->sahasrara chakra.

Sa is also known as Shadja, which in sanskrit means, one who gives birth to other six. Meaning, once the frequency of Sa is fixed, all others are relatively fixed. Pancham is 1.5 times Sa. Thus Sa and Pa are also known as 'achal swara'. Rest have vikrat forms as well. For example, Re, Ga, Dha and Ni have 'komal' or flat forms, ma has 'teevra' or sharp form. So in total we have 12 swaras. A further subdivision leads to 24 shrutis. Hence, if you are doing swarsadhana, you may actually be doing yoga, as you evoke one swara with prANAyAm, you evoke one chakra.

Interestingly enough, we can also say, komal swaras are related to left or emotional side or Ida Nadi and Shuddh swaras to right or logic side or Pingala Nadi. Now what happens when you pick a combination of swaras, you undergo a mix of emotions, logic: tension and release according to chakras sthanas in body. And that's precisely what ragas do.

Acknowledgement

It’s my great pleasure to be able to pen down some thoughts in this periodical. It has only been possible due to great efforts by my mother, gurujan, my musical friends and family. – Shashi

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