The Shastric schools of music discovered musical octave (sa, re, ga, ma, pa, dha, ni, sa) indwelling in the subtle sounds of Nature and invented the basic classical ragas for activating specific streams of natural powers and effects; a wide variety of musical compositions were generated consequently

The original ragas of Indian classical music (Shastric Music) are created according to the deep knowledge of harmonious consonance between the seven swaras and chakras. This is why shastric musical compositions are found to have a significant positive effect on the mind-body system and also have the potential to awaken the otherwise dormant faculties.

The seven basic swaras (musical notes) of the musical octave have a one-to-one correspondence with these chakras (nuclei of subtle energy). The lowermost (in the kava equina region along the erect endocrine column), viz., the Muladhara Chakra is associated with the swara “sa”; that means, the practice of chanting this particular musical note will have an impact on awakening or activation of this particular chakra. Similarly, the chakras successively upwards in this direction namely, the Swadhisthana, Manipura, Anahata, Vishuddha, Agya, and the top-most Sahastrara Chakra have correspondence respectively with the swaras “sa”,”re”, “ga” “ma”, “pa”, “dha” and “ni”. Significantly, the order of the compositions of these swaras in the “Aroha” (ascending) and “Avaroha” (descending) patterns of the Shastric musical tunes also match with the top-down (from Sahastrara to Muladhara) and bottom-up (from Muladhara to Sahastrara) directions of the flow of energy. 

There are several historical examples of the immense remedial power of the shastric ragas. For instance, in 1933, when the Italian dictator Mussolini was terribly suffering from insomnia, no medicine or therapeutic mode could help him get sleep. Pt. Omkarnath Thakur, a great shastric musician was visiting Europe around that time. When he heard of Mussolini’s affliction, he agreed to perform a remedial musical program to allay the latter’s sufferings. His performance of the raga puriya indeed worked magically and Mussolini went into a deep sleep within half-an-hour. This and similar incidents attracted the attention of many contemporary musicians, scientists, and physicians triggered research in music therapy. The empirical studies on the therapeutic evaluation of the classical ragas have shown interesting results.

Singing or engrossed listening of Raga Bhairavi has been found to uproot the diseases of Kapha dosha e.g. asthma, chronic cold, cough, tuberculosis, some of the sinus and chest related problems etc.

Raga Asavari is effective in eliminating the impurities of blood and related diseases. Raga Malhar pacifies anger, excessive mental excitements, and mental instability. Raga Saurat and raga Jaijaivanti have also been found effective in curing mental disorders and calming the mind.

Raga Hindola helps to sharpen the memory and focussing mental concentration. It has been proved effective in curing liver ailments.

 Music Therapy is especially effective in three key medical areas. 

1. Pain, anxiety and depression,

2. Mental, emotional and physical handicaps,

3. Neurological disorders & mesothelioma.

It has also been found that listening to various appropriate music lowers Blood Pressure, stabilizes irregular heart rate, reduces pre-treatment anxiety, relieves depression and related mental ailments, enhances concentration, reduces the need for sedatives and pain drugs (in an event of surgery), reduces vomiting tendency after chemotherapy and also improves the stability of those with Parkinson’s disease and mesothelioma.

Ancient Indian music has devised a special therapy based on the 72 ragas. It is appropriate to define Raga at this point. Raga is neither melody alone, not notes; neither scale nor mode. It’s an ensemble of all these. According to an ancient Indian text, Swara Shastra; the seventy-two melakarta ragas (parent ragas) control seventy-two important nerves in the body. It is believed that a person who sings/performs a raga bound to the raga specifications (Lakshana) and with purity in pitch (Swara shuddi) will have complete control of the corresponding nerve.

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