Raga Therapy for Healing Mind and Body
Ragas That Heal
There are 72 raagas, which are known as the Melakarta ragas (Parant raagas) from which other ragas known as the Janya ragas are obtained. Neural research proves that the 72 raagas can control 72 nerves in the human body. Singing or performing a Raga, when bound to its specifications (lakshanas) and with purity in pitch (swara shuddi) gives the performer complete control on the corresponding nerve. Ragas Ahirbhairav and Todi are prescribed for patients suffering from hypertension. Carnatic ragas like Punnagavarali and Sahana are useful to calm the mind and control anger.
Ragas used in Music Therapy
|Todi, Bhupali, Ahir Bhairav||Provides relief from cold andheadache, high blood pressure|
|Shivaranjani||Treats memory problems|
|Bhairavi||Provides relief from Sinus, cold, phlegm, toothache|
|Chandrakauns||Treatment of heart ailments anddiabetes|
|Darbari Kanara||Eases tension and provides relaxation|
|Bihag and Bahar||For sound, sonorous sleep|
|Darbari||Relief from tension|
|Malkauns, Asavari||Cures low blood pressure|
|Tilak-kamod, Hansdhwani, Kalavati, Durga||Easing tension|
Hindustani and Carnatic classical musical considers a Raga as depicting a specific mood. An appropriate mood has to be evoked in the listener’s mind before initiating musical treatment. For example, Kafi Raga evokes a humid, cool, soothing and deep mood while Raga Pooriya Dhanasri evokes sweet, deep, heavy, cloudy and stable state of mind. Raga Mishra Mand has a very pleasing, refreshing, light and sweet touch while Bageshwari arouses a feeling of stability, depth and calmness.
Ragas do heal when rendered properly, at the right pitch (saptak), with the true vaadis (a note that is most frequently used in a raga, such as ‘ga’ in raga Yaman) and samvaadis (a note that supports the vaadi, viz. ‘ni’ in raga Yaman) brought forth, and at the correct prahar (time). Even a single swar/note has immense strength. Stuti, a sitar player in the US is suffering from a heart condition. She says, “I mainly use my sitar for meditation as I find the sound of the instrument bringing healing to me. I take the sitar to parks and beaches out in hot or cold weather as I need the serenity of its sound because of my heart condition.”
Another musician of the Jaipur gharana who recently bought a rudra veena writes, “I myself have noticed great cardiac as well as psychological benefits from playing my recently purchased Indian classical instrument. I'm impressed by an often overlooked aspect (healing aspect) of Indian classical music. True intelligence resides in the heart.”