Music as Means to the Spiritual
“If music be the food of love, play on. Give me excess of it; that surfeiting, the appetite may sicken, and so die.”
Shakespeare got it right – music has from time immemorial been the medium of love. The most primordial form of love – a mother’s love for her offspring or love between lovers and friends, the love of patriots, the cry of war, the tunes of peace – all of this can be expressed best through music. Music does uplift our minds from the banal and the mundane to joyous celebration or deep introspection; it gives us refuge and repose and transports us to realms where we almost feel we have peeled away the layers of our daily grind and risen and come closer to both our senses and our spirit.
From the womb to the tomb, music is intertwined into our very being. Expecting mothers are advised to listen to classical tracks. As toddlers we have been visited by the Sandman who came riding the melodies of our mothers’ lullabies. The formal education system inducts us in language skills and the rudiments of poetry are nurtured into our psyche in the form of rhythmic nursery rhymes. As young adults, music becomes a form of asserting one’s expression and rebellion. As adult’s music is a form of identity and relaxation. Finally, in the twilight of our lives, music is a means of reliving our glory days.
There are numerous published studies that provide new insights into the emotional response to Indian ragas and the impact of tempo, rhythmic regularity and tonality on it. Listening to specific ragas at allocated times of the day is thought to invoke the blessings of the Almighty. The more spiritual ones opine that, though tiny in the grand schemes of things, our body is one with the universe and these ragasresonate with our auras to fill our life with positive chakra or energy.
Our brain has areas designated to specific functions. For example, higher mental functions are in the front, the area responsible for vision is at the back and speech interpretation is on the sides. So when we say that playing music is a global neurological phenomenon it means that music stimulates multiple areas of the brain at the same time. In short, playing music is like a full body workout for the brain. And let’s admit it: there is nothing cooler than being that person in a group who is the guitarist or the drummer!
The Mahindra Kabira Festival (MKF) aims to plate music as a balanced diet for our mind and soul. Kabir was a 15th-century Indian mystic and poet, whose writings influenced Hinduism’s Bhakti movement. Five hundred years down the line his teachings are still relevant because of their lucid language and in-depth understanding of human nature. By continuing in his tradition, we are trying to be the harbinger of change, albeit through small beginner’s steps.
Come and connect with like-minded people though the universal language of music which brings you closer to your mind and soul.
While in MKF, step back. Get drenched in the rain of rhythm, with drops of melody that evoke the deepest part of your inner Self and strive towards a higher realm of awakening and bliss.
– Sulagna Chakrabarti
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