Once upon a time, in a land far far away called Italy, there lived a king. His name was Mussolini. He was suffering from insomnia and had trouble sleeping at night. The best doctors in the world could not heal him. Medicines worked for a day or two but none of them could cure his condition. Then came a sage form India. His name was Pundit Omkarnath and he was not even a doctor. People laughed at his abilities to heal the king. Pundit Omkarnath was a musician and he practiced Hindustani music. He came to the court the court of King Mussolini and started singing some very old 'ragas'. People were mesmerized by the music. They had never heard anything so enchanting. From that day onwards, Mussolini slept happily every night. Everyone lived happily ever after... Well, this is a true story demonstrating the healing power of ragas! Raga is derived from the Sanskrit word 'ranja' meaning 'color of mind'. Ragas are composed of 'shabdas'. A Shabda, contrary to what many believe, is different from words. Shabda is defined as the cosmic flow of sound. According to this definition, silence is also a shabda. The ancient sages of India had discovered an essential cosmic shabda - 'Om'. The seven suras of Indian music - Sa, Re, Ga, Ma, Pa, Dha and Ni are all derived from cosmic word 'om'. Ragas are essentially composed of these seven suras and are not songs, but framework upon which melodies can be composed or improvised. Indian music composers were once known for their ability to improvise upon the best and the most difficult of ragas. This is exactly the reason why the old classics of Rafi saab and Kishore da never seem to date, whereas modern music has a much shorter life span. Yesterday it was Munni badnam and today it is Shiela jawaan! Each of the 7 suras have one to one correspondence with the 7 chakras of the human body. Ragas evoke these chakras by increasing the blood flow to and from the region. Different ragas evoke these chakras in different proportions, thereby being able to heal different diseases. In terms of acoustics (the study of sound), most ragas have 70-75 beats per minute. This is exactly because the heart beats at this rate. A raga with a standard beat has the ability to normalize the human body. A raga with higher beat energizes a person whereas a raga with lower beat is relaxing in nature. Ragas can aid insomnia, migraine, hypertension, anxiety and nausea. They can also correct blood pressure related problems. Raga Darbari and Asawari can reduce tension. Asawari also cleanses blood. Raga Bhupali, Todi and Ahir Bhairawi can help reduce high blood pressure. Raga Bhairavi can heal respiratory problems caused by asthma, tuberculosis, chronic cold, cough and sinus. Raga Malhar cools anger and stabilizes the mind. Raga Hindola sharpens memory. Raga Malkaun and Asawari helps in low blood pressure. Raga Chandrakaun can cure heart ailments. As of this day, there are many musicians who practice the art of music therapy. These pied pipers believe in the self healing nature of human body. Let's not forget these wonderful practices of our country! Note - Click hereto watch a video of me presenting a seminar on the same topic.
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