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Instrument of Salvation

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Srinivas Reddy

on 10 December 2013

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Transcript of Instrument of Salvation

Instrument of Salvation
vīṇā-vādana-tattvajñah śruti-jāti-viśāradaḥ |
tālajñaś câprayatnena mokṣa-mārgam sa gacchati ||

Yājñavalkya Smṛti III.115
darśanam sparśanam câsyā bhoga-svargâpavargadam |
punāti brahma-hatyâdi-pātakaiḥ patitam janam ||
daṇḍa śambhur-umā tantrī kakubhaḥ kamalā-patiḥ |
indirā patrikā brahmā tumbam nābhiḥ sarasvatī ||
dorako vāsukir-jīvā śudhāmśuḥ sārikā raviḥ |
sarva-deva-mayī tasmād vīṇeyam sarva-maṅgalā ||
Rāmāmātya
Śārṅgadeva
Yājñavalkya
Veenai Dhannamal
Hazrat Inayat Khan
Pandit Nikhil Banerjee
Veena as Body
Instrument of Salvation
Freer Sackler
Smithsonian Museum of Asian Art
Sound Yoga: Hindu Philosophies of Sound
_________ __________

December 6, 2013
Washington DC
Interview by Ira Landgarten, the day before Nikhil Banerjee's last U.S. performance at Carnegie Hall, New York (1986). From booklet accompanying Raga CD-207 (Purabi Kalyan) . Copyright 1991 Ira Landgarten.
You know this is a very important thing for Westerners to understand about Indian music: Indian music is based on spiritualism, that is the first word, you must keep it in your mind. Many people misunderstand and think it's got something to do with religion, no, absolutely no! Nothing to do with religion, but spiritualism -- Indian music was practiced and learned to know the Supreme Truth.
To obtain spirituality is to realize that the whole universe is one symphony; in this every individual is one note, and his happiness lies in becoming perfectly attuned to the harmony of the universe. It is not following a certain religion which makes one spiritual, or having a certain belief ... all the different principals and beliefs of all the religions of the world...come naturally from the heart of someone who attunes himself to the rhythm of the universe. Every action, every word he speaks, every feeling he has, every sentiment he expresses, is harmonious; they are all virtues, they are all religion. It is not following a religion, it is living a religion, making one's life a religion, which is necessary.
“There are many contradictions concerning theory and practice in the śāstras on music,
command Rāmamantri to compose a new work and reconcile these differences. //I.24//

“In this world, some create theories, while others understand practice,
but I’ve seen no one else like you who is knowledgeable in the essence of both. //I.26//

“In musical texts there are differences of opinions regarding meanings and usages,
harmonize both theory and practice, and offer a treatise on music filled with beauty. " //I.28//

One who knows the essence of playing the vīṇā,
skilled in notes, scales and rhythms,
will easily attain the path to salvation!
Dr. Srinivas Reddy, IIT Gandhinagar
Mystcism of Sound & Music
Seeing and touching the vīṇā gives enjoyment, heaven and salvation.
It purifies wicked people of sins like killing a brahman.
The neck is Śiva, Umā the strings, and Viṣṇu the head.
Lakṣmī is the bridge, Brahma the gourd and Sarasvatī the resonator.
Vāsuki and the Moon are its strings, and the Sun its frets.
As it is made of all the gods, this vīṇā is entirely auspicious.
Saṅgīta-ratnākara VI.54-56
Wishing to speak, the soul inspires the mind,
the mind stokes the fire within the body and the fire circulates the vital air. //II.18//

This air stays in the brahma-granthi and slowly moves into the upper body
through the navel, chest, throat, head and mouth, and manifests as sound. //II.19//

In each of these five locations the sound is said to be of five types:
very subtle, subtle, inaudible, audible and ornamented. //II.20//
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