Music

The Sweet Sound Waves

Sound is a sensation and a stimulus; reflected, refracted, and humbly attenuated by its medium, the sound wave propagates. Only the frequencies between 20 Hz and 20KHz comes in the hearing range of us humans.

Voices, calls, laughs, and whispers fill this range of ours, from morning to evening. We consider, approve, discard, ignore, and absorb it as and when we understand the hidden meaning.

Colourful message carrying sweet sound waves.
Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

The hidden meaning…? Yes, the message that every sound wave carries is the hidden meaning, it shapes this very understanding of ours.

And what an exuberating elusive message a melody is, a wonderful wordless story that nevertheless is discernible, more than that in fact, as it touches and soothes our heart and soul.

Bansuri, a bamboo flute, taps a tune, using wind as the source and wind as the medium, carrying the message as far as possible, resonating beyond the visible, accepting all, conquering all.

Two and a half ample octaves and the bansuri deciphers happily the message using the Sargam (solfege); a subtle and soulful tune reads it to us.

Lord Krishna, the Jamun coloured Hindu deity with a peacock-feathered crown, is always depicted with a bansuri in his hands. Various stories tell us how Krishna, the charmer, used to mesmerise the listeners, stopping the time as if to unveil the beauty of the cosmic play.

The jamun coloured Krishna Flutist. [Source – 4art.com]

The leading character in several ancient Hindu religious, mythological and philosophical texts, Krishna plays his bansuri to win Radha’s heart, to celebrate the victory over evil, to turn impossible into possible and routinely for shepherding cows (he played a melodious tune on the bansuri and the herd of cows themselves returned to him).

Lord Krishna playing flute and shepherding cows along with his elder brother Balrama and friends. [Source – indiafacts]

Natya Shastra as well as the other Vedic texts associated art and music with the Supreme, calling it the spiritual means to rise above, concentrate on and connect to one’s consciousness, witness it and attain Moksha (enlightenment, release).

Why would one make a creative artist’s job tougher by leaving the great responsibility of enlightening the receiver on her? Let art be for art’s sake.

Right! But apart from just being true, pure art, what if say a tune played on a bansuri leaves a listener illumined, will this not add to the beauty of the melody? It absolutely will.

If it deciphers the message for the listener, showing her more than what is on the surface, by additionally doing absolutely nothing, then surely the message is intrinsic to the composition.

Wonderfully it all also depends on perception. Synesthesia is a condition in which one sense (for example, hearing) is simultaneously perceived as if by one or more additional senses, such as sight, thus, in such cases sound involuntarily evokes an experience of colour, shape, and movement.

Read what the first recorded case of synesthesia was about –

“The earliest recorded case of synesthesia is attributed to the Oxford University academic and philosopher John Locke, who, in 1690, made a report about a blind man who said he experienced the colour scarlet when he heard the sound of a trumpet.”

Wikipedia

And so everyone perceives it (the message, meaning, and life) differently, one feels, sees, and hears differently.

Vibrating air… that is what sound actually is; a sound wave cannot travel in the vacuum of space. Sound, an exclusive phenomenon on earth, then is indeed truly special.

And maybe that is why music is therapeutic in nature. It heals a troubled heart, it enlivens the mood, it calms a tired mind and often transcends the listener to a blissful state.

Instrumental musical compositions evoke for every individual a ‘thought’ within, yet to be uttered. The message it then delivers is always a favourable one, a high spirited one.

And a bamboo flute always keeps the message sweet, earthy and peaceful.  

Bansuri. [Source – Wikipedia Commons]

Listen to the spellbinding bansuri notes (that acted as a catalyst for this post) played by the maestro, Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia –

May it help you to be kind to yourself in these difficult times.


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Dream Light

Keep your dream light on. When bright it reveals the Narnia world, takes you to Alice’s Wonderland, and introduces you to Peter Pan and the Wizard of Oz. When dim it shows you the path that no one can see in the, hah, real world…
The real world of oh so beautiful Earth, the real world of oh so enchanting colours, the real world of oh so troubled minds, the real world of oh so trapped hearts.
So keep the lantern ready and walk towards the dream light. Tip toeing the wooden floor, tap dancing on the way, gliding on the sea, swirling high in the sky, however twisted maybe your turn, the lantern will keep on glowing, it will never betray you, even when you go blind.
How to select a lantern for such a trip? Always, write it down if you want, always choose the lantern that chimes, hums and whistles, after all music fuels dream lights.
On the lonely road towards your dream you will see things that you have never seen, meet djinns and dragons, flying carpets and cars, funny friends and foes and your doppelganger for sure.
And when you fall down, when your heart breaks, close your eyes, breathe and believe, you’ll then remember to follow your dream light.
So keep your dream light on forever.

A painting by John Singer Sargent; link – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carnation,_Lily,_Lily,_Rose

Universe’s a Disciplined Place

Glowing pizzazz!
Image from Pixabay.

Golden, glowing and emitting exuberance, vigour and vibrancy, the dynamic, ceaseless dance of fire, the Sun has mastered the art of discipline.

It has attained absolute freedom for nothing else can explain the mystical, marvellous zeal it possesses and the pizzazz it flaunts so calmly, so brilliantly.

The Sun enthrals us wholly, it rules all life forms; in its magnificence, it conducts the solar system without a baton.  

147.19 Million kilometres away from the Sun I feel its warmth, I feel home, I feel alive.  

*

Divine o divine!
Image from Pixabay.

Silver cascade shimmering the night sky, music to the waves and surreal beauty to the eyes, the Moon loves the art of discipline.

It may be difficult to believe for the Moon’s splendour defies time, it stupefies the clock, it follows the path of a dreamer, but how could this be possible if the Moon knew not discipline?

Think for yourself, it never fails to heal a sad heart and rejoice with a happy soul, it never leaves one alone, it moves with the one walking, it blinks at the dreamy one, it soars with the child allowing the little hands to embrace it.    

The Moon’s discipline is unique for it never minds the clouds, the rain, the darkness; it shines serenely, reigning in power and peace. Divine o divine!  

*

Universe – a miracle.
Image from Pixabay.

What is this magic? This Universe, this miracle… it is disciplined to invite life, to hold the infinite, to make the ending light and the beginning bright.  

This Universe, it sings and plays rhythms that touch every element quiet and sentient both; it is a rainbow of colours that paints with accuracy and fun alike.  

The Universe runs the art of discipline, it gloriously celebrates the art of discipline, for what else are the galaxies going round and round, round and round… for why the invisible cells in a body are forming a life…  

The macro and the micro worlds imbibe the Universe’s joy and freedom, which is nothing but the art of discipline.


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Lord Jagannath’s Eyes

Lord Jagannath by Vrindavan Das.
[Source – fineartamerica.com]

One eye says that the play is on.

The wheel of Time moves ceasing for none, winning over oceans, mountains, the sky, the wind and the fire.

People crowd to clench forms and beliefs, together they build and destroy. They wait to gauge for more and what is better.

Look now, how they shine, bright like fireflies, honest to the core; look now, how they lure, how they trick the tricksters, how they slay a man’s soul.

Speak not, for they are at work, cross-legged monks, meditating on what is less; speak not, for you will fail to express how chaotic is the chaos.

Rising high is the music of unity and harmony; falling face down is the corrupt, fake cry of every rigid mind.

Knowing the beginning, waiting for the end, it walks, it lingers, we walk, and we linger.  

Tala Pattachitra, Palm Leaf Painting – Odisha’s ancient art form.
[Source –
ethnicpaintings.com]

Second eye says that it is all absolute bliss.

There is no Space or Time and it binds none; the ultimate end and the ultimate start merges with the absolute existence.

Flowing in a silent music, dancing always, the ripple reaches the centre.

The Brahman breathes; formless, it is of the colour peace.    

Lord Jagannath’s eyes are the universe we see and the universe we can’t see. The happy devotee who bows, who worships, who sings, who gazes gets mesmerized by one of the universes, and by Lord Jagannath’s smile.

Our million eyes find a million revelations in Lord Jagannath’s eyes.

*

Lord Jagannath, Lord of the Universe.
[Source – harekrsna.de]

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The Journey

Amongst the clouds… yes, this is how the journey began. Mushy clouds, mushy dreamy clouds all around her. Whether she walked or the white dreams floated around her isn’t something the music ever revealed.

The music was busy playing and she was busy colouring. The sky and earth colours participated and turned rich.

Meanwhile, in a parallel universe, someone took a flight, landed, took a cab, halted for a coffee break, laughed with her friend and continued the road trip.

Warm waves of velvety starry blanket covered the existence and hushed those who listened into happy silence. She stayed awake for a while just to witness it all. A simple melodious note filled her ears and she swam to sleep.

That someone talked to her friend, they ate pastries and called it a day. That someone, with ‘oh’ look, got up to brush her teeth and then went to bed. Phew!

She opened her eyes, awakened the self and stepped out to see the end of a long search. Birds and buds, earth’s aroma and touch, giant trees’ humble smiles, the sun’s vocals and the wind’s compositions, other human beings, all dancing, and of course, the bicycles… everything she laid her eyes on glanced back at her, welcomed and sang to her.

At bliss, at Auroville. [Images by Jagriti Rumi]

Tring, tring… tring, tring, she replied to them. Crossed leg sitting inside an apple she relished it, sweet, sour, juicy and fresh. When she jumped outside, she gave the left-over bit to a dog. Questioning her about nothing the dog finished the apple.

Tring, tring… she went ahead and met a mathematician’s spirit, who gave her the map that took her to the grand golden lotus with twelve petals. Its beauty struck her hard and she kept standing there for ages in admiration.

Primary and secondary colours, in circles, pyramids and cylindrical shapes all passed by her. She blinked and found herself inside the grand golden lotus.

The grand golden lotus!
Matrimandir, Auroville. [Image by Peter Anta from Pixabay]

Earth, Fire, Wind and Water were there, she saw it, just a glimpse, but they were there in absoluteness. She blinked and she was back outside. Oh! The joy!

She danced all her way, lal-lal-lal-laaa, rotated and laughed, climbed the musical rainbow and listened to what the colours were playing and then surprised herself with her quiet self, quiet but not low, because her eyes were beaming and her soul still dancing.

By the hourglass the journey continued for that someone and her friend, click-click-click, pictures taken, tring-tring-tring on the cycle path, resting, eating and laughing.

That someone’s friend like a darling blue bird sang and danced… unable to resist she also joined her friend. Together they collected memories and both filled their hourglass with it.

Smart! Now time reminds them of those memories all the time.

Auroville… the journey, the destination. [Source – eco-villages.eu]

O journey, when did you start and when will you end?

O journey, can I stop and meet my friend?

The beginning is hazy, but true and the end will be a new beginning for you.

Don’t stop if you want to meet your friend, for she is on a journey too.


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Ik Onkar

Look within and fly high!
Image from Pixabay.

Parvez it is familiar because it is music… and music cannot be forgotten once the wavelength matches.


Parvez it is shining because it is guiding… we all can follow, dawn to dusk, it is listening, it is reminding.


Parvez it is present because it is true and ‘timed’ for you… beyond measurements, answers and queues.


Parvez it is travelling, because it understands the journey is never-ending… shimmering throughout, glorifying silence.


Parvez it is dancing because it believes in union… one circle, two circles, circles resolve it all.


Parvez it is there, because you garnered patience.


Parvez it is talking, because you are listening.


Parvez it is knowable, though you still don’t know it.


Parvez, look within.

Ik Onkar Sat Naam

*

Listen to this Mul Mantar

*


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Dama Dam Mast Qalandar

Ho Lal Meri Pat

Rakhiyo Bhala Jhoole Laalan

Sindhri Da..

Sehwan Da Sakhi Shahbaz Qalandar

Dama Dam Mast Qalandar

Ali Dam Dam De Andar

Ho Dama Dam Mast Qalandar

Ali Da Pahla Namber

Ho Laal Meri

Ho Laal Meri

*

Dancing, my whirling floating steps don’t stop. [Source]

Soft soothing absorbing light goes circling me, showering love.

Perhaps it is me who is circling the glowing warm glorious light.

Music is flowing, revolving, working as Time it has harmonized every moment.

Truly, that is why my whirling floating steps don’t stop.

Bright suns, moons, planets dance round and round, in absolute bliss.

I quietly follow the bliss as I listen. It is the Sama.  

Long, long time back ago, Rumi, the Sufi saint, was passing a market place when he heard the gold beaters at work, their hammering noise was melody to him as he could hear ‘la ilaha ilallah’ (no god but Allah) in that beating of the gold. Rumi, exhilarated, started dancing and whirling there and then.

It was the first Sama.

*

Caught in Sama. [Source]

Sama means listening, listening to the One, meditating and accepting the One wholly.

Sufis have the tradition to celebrate the Sama, a spiritual concert; with praying, singing, dancing and reciting poems begins this mystical journey to surpass visual reality and enter the divine world – no self, but the Self.  

The whirling dance, the soulful music slowly takes you away to be in the light of the Ultimate, a close encounter so as you listen and listen truly what is beyond the five senses, and then you return amongst many imperfections, but this time with a compassionate heart and a free soul.  

Rhythmic patterns of the bright light haven’t disappeared.

My spinning steps haven’t stopped either. Feather hands guide me.

The macrocosm meets the microcosm, politely becoming a wave.

At some time I settle down, quietly look up and stay there.

*

Follow the rhythmic patterns.
[Image – Pixabay]

*

Dama Dam Mast Qalandar is a qawwali (form of Sufi devotional music) sung in honour of Lal Shahbaz Qalandar, a revered Sufi saint.

Listen to the mesmerising Dama Dam Mast Qalandar performed by the Pakistani band, Junoon – 


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The Answer Is Blowin’ In The Wind – Bob Dylan

It was her version of the truth and she tried to separate it from mere meanderings of the mind.

She walked ahead unsure if she had succeeded or not. Autumn winds brought along something that made her cry.

Alone, sitting on that bench, she asked herself about right and wrong. Pendulum like, silly, brusque thoughts!

Why did she participate in the parade? For letting the confusion rise and fall? For the questions to disturb and the answers to convey…  

She stopped and listened…       

A Living Legend.

Bob Dylan Blowin’ In The Wind

How many roads must a man walk down

Before you call him a man ?

How many seas must a white dove sail

Before she sleeps in the sand ?

Yes, ‘n’ how many times must the cannon balls fly

Before they’re forever banned ?

The answer my friend is blowin’ in the wind

The answer is blowin’ in the wind.  

*

Yes, ‘n’ how many years can a mountain exist

Before it’s washed to the sea ?

Yes, ‘n’ how many years can some people exist

Before they’re allowed to be free ?

Yes, ‘n’ how many times can a man turn his head

Pretending that he just doesn’t see ?

The answer my friend is blowin’ in the wind

The answer is blowin’ in the wind.  

*

Yes, ‘n’ how many times must a man look up

Before he can see the sky ?

Yes, ‘n’ how many ears must one man have

Before he can hear people cry ?

Yes, ‘n’ how many deaths will it take till he knows

That too many people have died ?

The answer my friend is blowin’ in the wind

The answer is blowin’ in the wind.

*

Blowin’ In The Wind, the song.

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