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Lecture Series in Ancient Indian Sciences
Lecture 75
The science and Beauty of Indian music
Dr.MRK.Prabhakara Rao
Dr. S. Jeevananda Reddy

Music is a great science - a fascinating, pulsating type of sound that peers through people's aural perceptions and into the universe beyond. The origin of Indian Music is said to be rooted in the 'Vedas. As the Sound which pervades the whole universe is "Pranava" or 'Nadabrahma', the Indian Music is considered as divine. The 'SamaVeda' was chanted in definite musical patterns. According to Lewis Rowell, a professor of Music specializing on classical Indian music 'the need and impulse to develop mathematically precise musical meters in the Vedic era may have been driven by the Indian use of oral tradition for transmitting vast amounts of Vedic literature. The Indian Music has a very long and continuous tradition which reflects the heritage of centuries. The definition of music according to Sangeet Ratnakar is:"Geetam Vadyam Tatha Nrityam, Trayam Sangeetam Uchyate".The definition given by Sangitacharya Pt. Sharangdeva also talks about the three fold nature of music. The principles of Indian music were refined in the musical treatises Natya Shastra, by Bharata (2nd-3rd century CE), and Dattilam (probably 3rd-4th century CE) Narada's Sangita Makarandh a treatise from about 1100 CE, is the earliest text where rules similar to those of current Hindustani classical music can be found.

Prior to Thyagaraja, Amir Khusrau (1253-1325). a composer in Persian, Turkish, Arabic, as well as Braj Bhasha, is credited with systematizing some aspects of Hindustani music, introducing several ragas. In medieval times, the melodic systems were fused with ideas from Persian music. Jayadeva's Gita Govinda from the 12th century was perhaps the earliest musical composition sung in the classical tradition called Ashtapadi music. In the 13th century, Sharangadeva composed the Sangita Ratnakara. Around the 12th century, Hindustani classical music diverged from what eventually came to be identified as Carnatic classical music. Hindustani music places more emphasis on improvisation and exploring all aspects of a raga, while Carnatic music is primarily composition-based. The central notion in both these systems is that of a melodic mode or raga, sung to a rhythmic cycle or tala. After the 16th century, the singing styles diversified into different gharanas patronized in different princely courts. Around 1900, Vishnu Narayan Bhatkhande consolidated the musical structures of Hindustani classical music, called ragas, into a number of thaats.

Jayadeva, known to be the earliest vaggeyakara wrote the astapadis in sanskrit during 12th century. Sarangadeva (1320-1380 A.D) was first to introduce Melakarta (complete) and Janya (derived) ragas. Annamacharya (1425-1503 A.D) has written 32000 kirtanas in Telugu language in praise of lord venkateswara.Purandhara dasa (1484-1564) is known to be the Sangeeta pitamaha since he has developed the learning protocols for Carnatic music such as swaras for exercise and geetams. From 17th century onwards, the Carnatic music became more popular due to the dedicated efforts of Musical Trinity - Sarva Sri Syama sastry, Thyagaraja and Muthuswami Dikshitar almost belonging to the same period. Vishnu Digambar Paluskar (1872 -1931)and Vishnu Narayan Bhatkhande spread Hindustani classical music to the masses through, starting music schools, conferences and devising the notation system and standardized grading and testing system. Vishnu Digambar Paluskar in spite of being blinded at the age of 12 emerged as a talented musician. His books on music, as well as the Gandharva Mahavidyalaya music school that he opened in Lahore in 1901, helped foster a movement away from the closed gharana systems.

Vishnu Narayan Bhatkhande after considerable research produced the monumental four-volume work Hindustani Sangeetha Padhathi, which suggested a transcription for Indian music, and described the many traditions in this notation.

We the humans have the ability to detect, feel and understand not only the sound from a leaf falling to the pounding of jackhammers but also enjoy the bliss of classical music. Elements of music such as its form, rhythm and the pitches of its notes and the tempo of its pulse can be related to the measurement of time and frequency, offering ready analogies in geometry. When expressed as a frequency bandwidth, an octave A2-A3 spans from 110 Hz to 220 Hz (span=110 Hz). The next octave will span from 220 Hz to 440 Hz span=220 Hz. The talas based on 3,4,5,7 characters in each cycle bring a lot of variation in the motion of a song whether it is in karnatak or hindusthani style.

In the Indian music twelve different notes (dwadasa srutis) were identified that can be distinguished by their difference in frequency. Coming to the carnatic music, the 72 melakarta (sampoorna) ragas were formed systematically bringing at least one different note in each raga. If we plot time (or talam) on the x axis and frequency (or swaram) on y axis, we will see a plot of the song with different highs and lows. Fortunately, we have some more dimensions such as melody, expression and modulation which can not be explicitly defined or measured and these qualities are abundant in Indian music.

Indian Classical Music's (ICM) magic is primarily experienced with different melodies constructed within the framework of the Raagas while Western Classical Mmusic's (ECM magic lies to a great extent on counterpoint, harmony, and the texture created using multiple voices is critical. All WCM compositions are formally written using the staff notation and performers have virtually no latitude for improvisation. The converse is the case with ICM, where the performer shines through his improvisation. ICM has a closer, intimate association with nature and the divine than WCM. There is a great therapeutic value in ICM with various Ragas related to time, place, occasion and even different ailments having a specific effect on different ailments. According to Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore "Indian music above all has a transcendental significance. It disengages the spiritual from the happenings of life; it sings of the relationships of the human soul with the soul of things beyond. Indian music draws the listener away beyond the limits of everyday human joys and sorrows, and takes people to that lonely region of renunciation which lies at the root of the universe.

Lecture 74
Rai Narahari Prasad's Illustrated Yogavasistham
Dr. T.S. Ramakrishna
Dr. S. Jeevananda Reddy

Rai Narhari Prasad (1808-1884) was a linguist and scholar of Hindi, Sanskrit and Persian languages besides being a competent administrator in the court of Nizam V. Before his death in 1884, he went into seclusion and completed his life's ambition of translating Yogavasistha the highest philosophy of ancient India, from Sanskrit to Hindi. The original Yogavasistha contains the highest Advaita philosophy explained through a number of stories and upakhyanas. Narhari Prasad realizing the highly complex nature of theme not only translated this magnum opus into Hindi but also created miniature paintings depicting the philosophical theme as well as stories that propound it. Bhaskar Raj saxena a descendent of Narahari Prasad brought out a book with English commentary along with the miniature paintings in the year 2008. The main purpose of this lecture is not so much to discuss the monumental and highly philosophical work on Yogavasistha as much as to project the enormous struggle and dedication of Narhari Prasad in bringing out this great work of philosophy and art to ordinary people. A descendent of Narahari Prasad Bhaskar Raj Saxena brought at an English translation of this magnum opus for the modern generation.

Yoga vasishta, written by sage valmiki, is the spiritual teaching imparted by guru Vasishta to lord Sri Rama who comes back after a tour of his kingdom a depressed and frustrated person watching the misery of human life. He loses interest not only in Royal activities but also in basic needs of food and sleep. A worried father King Dasaradha calls Royal Guru sage Vasistha and pleads to set right the situation. At the same time sage Viswamitra who comes on a Visit to the palace asks sage Vasistha to teach the Yogavasishta to the young prince Lord Rama.

The original yoga vasistha is a huge work of philosophy containing 32,000 slokas ( as against the 24,000 slokas of the popular epic Ramayana} and divided into six rakaranas (or chapters) named:Vairagya, mumukshu, utpatti, stithi , upasama and nirvana. The philosophy veers round Karma (action) and the result of it that has to be enjoyed/ suffered by living beings and the desperate and unsuccessful attempt of human beings to liberate themselves from the cycle of birth an death. This is explained through number stories and upakhyanas.

Yoga Vasishta explains the philosophy of death and the after death worlds, the power of desires and thoughts. One is destroyed only due to karmas.It says that the Universe exists till the perceiver exists. By power of thought we can create a world of our own. Pleasure and pain depend on the determination of the mind. A determined is impervious to external coercion. The mind is so potent that it is capable of illustrating what is ideal as well as the relativity of all things in time and space.A deep desire or wish for life has amazing results. The desire for self preservation cannot be created in any one who does not know the True nature of self. Upasama chapter, vasistha illustrates the technique to control the activities of body, senses and ego in order to reach the ultimate goal that is to quieten the mind.the mind is described as a tree with two seeds called vasanas (sensory attachments) and prana the life force.. The will to live is the cause of all sufferings and the absence of it leads to great achievements. Peace cannot be achieved by undergoing penances or performing sacrifices as outlined in the Vedas. They may to some extent purify our intellect especially if performed with unselfish motives and rational thinking, meditation and knowledge of the self. Vasistha advises and suggests various ways and means to get rid of the feeling "I".Guru Vasistha explains to Rama that a true seeker must have four qualities: Karuna- compassion, aitri- friendship,Muditha- contentment and Upeksha- disinclination.

He explains that quiescence functions at two levels. 1) Rupa form and 2) Arupa (formless. The entire universe including the human mind is a manifestation of Prakruti (Nature). which has three gunas: Sattva, Rajas, Tamas.Sattva pure and tranquil and has the power to illuminate. Rajas leads person to actions leading to dualities and suffering. Tamas is characteristic of inertia, ignorance and stupidity. An accidental suggestion sometimes awakens the dormant discriminative tendencies of the past birth of an individual. One cannot be at peace unless the mind is under control and then only the Self can be realized. Guru Vasistha makes a significant observation that there is nothing like time and space. The absolute Brahman is existence, an existence where knowledge and bliss are merged with the very existence of self. Brahman is non-dual, transcends all and is immutable, changeless and has no beginning or end. A truly liberated person acquires the strength of character to perform worldly duties but still live unattached. the Turiya state is a state of consciousness free from the experiences of waking, dreaming and deep sleep. - is described. It is unthinkable but true that an entire world can exist within an atom. Brahman is compared to a huge rock of granite to explain that a piece of granite contains within it all the statues that can possibly be chiseled out of it .

Rama profusely thanks Guru Vasistha and says "I bow down to you my Guru: you are indeed incarnate of knowledge totally merged in the divine bliss with no duality. Now I am free from darkness. I shall discharge my duties as outlined by you. Viswamitra remarks " Oh highly respected Vasistha, you have demonstrated that how great, affectionate and effective Guru you are.

Lecture 73
DR C.V.B. Subramanyam
Dr. S. Jeevananda Reddy

Astrology can be useful even medical diadnosis. Based on which bad planet is placed in a bhava the disease corresponding to that bhava's body part generally indicates the disease. Presantly it has become common to have many tests getting done whether needed or not and quite often the results may be confusing and uncertain, calling for more tests. This is where medical astrology will be of great help.

One can see from lagna or from sun or from moon and see the bhava and see the effect on the body part representing that bhava. One can supplement that with ashtakavarga points and the association of other planets including their karakatva and adhipatya. The timing can be cross checked with the dasa and antardsa times so that one can confirm the disease. The karakatva of the papi associated with that bhava will be the clinching point of the disease. From Lagna the disease indicates physical ailment while from Chandra lagna it indicates the mental diseases and patient's attitude. Often the patients do not tell the truth to cover up their weaknesses and habits. In such cases a patient horoscope can reveal the truth.

Based on the papi planet one can suggest the santhi or parihara to be done as suggested in Vaidya chintamani. A survey has indicated that 60 % illness will be cured by medical treatment, 30 % by counselling while about 9% only need surgery etc. About 1 % only may be fatal. The joke that cold will be cured in a week with medicine and in 7 days without medicine is an indication of this.

An advantage of medical astrology is that illness can be prevented by forecasting early - at least before becoming serious. By using appropriate precautions in diet, other habits like exercise etc and by santhi one can reduce the effects. Forewarned is forearmed and especially those predicted based on lagna are avoidable by above methods. Also from Chandra lagna one can take care of the patient's mental attitude by attending to his psychological needs.

We know good habits play a vital role in health and prevention is better than cure, Animals especially those living in forests are good example of living healthily without a doctor. Sixth bhava indicates the resistance to disease and its study is important. Many difficult / hereditary diseases can be cured / prevented by diet exercise and santhi. Similarly seventh bhava is important for sexual diseases. Eight is important for accidents and sudden events. Dissatisfaction as a source of illness is indicated by 9 th bhava. This may be very much related with the diet one takes. Tenth similarly indicates career related pressures and illness thereby. Always medicine may not be a cure - it may need change of career, habits, way of life and diet etc. 11 th bhava generates greediness and hence illness. 12th indicates too much ambition and extra work making parts of the body weak. It also indicates lack of rest sleep and excess burning of energy. For a poor man physical work and limited food are boons like asvanidevathas. Sleeping habits are as important as diet exercise and relaxation. Regular timing for food, rest, exercise and meditation are essential for good health. Pollution and effect of environment are other essential components which contribute for ill health. Modern research is indicating the ill effects of pollution including light and noise pollution. Following healthy timings and habits is part of medical astrology.

Lecture 72
Dr. CBVRK Sarma
Dr. S. Jeevananda Reddy

Prasna Sashtra which is considered as a part 5 of Astrology after Siddhanta, Hora, Samhita, Sakuna, is the science of predicting the results based on Prasna - the questioning. This method can be used for those persons for whom the natal chart is not available. When one is in a dilemma to choose an option Prasna can be used. Prasna can be used in the case of theft, in identifying the thief, whether the lost property will be recovered or not, in the case of missing persons, in the case of ill health where the doctor or treatment is to be changed etc.

The Prarabdha karma is denoted by the natal horoscope. The modifications of Prarabdha karma in this birth can change the results and that can be identified by Prasna. A lot depends on the quality and purity of the astrologer and the sincerity time and urgency of the questioner The favorable times for questing are based on the five limbs of Panchanga Tithi(day) , vara (day)nakshatra (star), Yoga and Karana - five limbs of panchanga There are different methods of conducting Prasna. Some of the important methods such as are as follows: Swasa prasna or swara prasna based on the breath, Chesta prasna or touch of limbs, Sankhya prasna (based on numbers) and Tamboola prasna based on the number betal leave brought to the astrologer..

Obviously the astrologer has to be very pious and selfless man. He has to observe his breathing. The left side breathing is called Ida and right side breathing is called Pingala. Ida Swasa is good on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. Pingala Swasa is good on Tuesday, Saturday and Sunday. When the breathing (Swasa) is favorable, the person will get good health, monetary gains, good food and fructification of desired deeds. When the breathing is not favorable, the person will get adverse results.

Lecture 71
Principles and Practice of Indian Astrology
Dr. S. Kamalakara Sarma
Dr. S. Jeevananda Reddy

Vedas which are considered the source of all knowledge have six limbs and Jyotisha is one of them. The loose translation of Jyotisha into Astrology by Westerners has caused considerable confusion and damage to the sacred and noble science of Jyotisha which has spiritual goals. However, both Jyotisha and Western Astrology are based on the more materialistic and physical science of Astronomy. In modern society both Indian Astrology and Western Astrology are abused to such extent that they are not considered as science and draw no official status or respect Astronomy.

In Astrology while the movement of heavenly bodies is dealt with in Siddhanta Bhaga (Theory part), the effect of them is dealt in Phalitha Bhaga (Result part). Hence it would be precise to say that while Astronomy deals with only heavenly bodies Astrology deals with the results or impact of them on human beings. The total activity of human being is believed to be fully dependent upon daily Sunrise, sunset, Moonrise, waxing & waning Moon and other stellar effects.

Astrology can be broadly divided into two parts: the Arithmetic Astrology and Predictive Astrology The first part consists of - Siddhanta, Tantra, Karana and the second part consists of Hora, Muhurtha, Tajaka, Prasna, Medini & Samhita. According to Narada Samhita, Astrology is a combination of the three skhandhas, namely, Siddhanta, Hora and Samhita. Later the five parts, Pancha Skahndhas, namely, Siddhanta, Hora, Samhita, Sakuna and Prashna put together formed into Astrology.

Karma theory (The Theory of Action):

We are all familiar with the Isaac Newton's third law of motion: For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. If this is accepted it is very easy to underst and and accept Karma theory which says for every action - good or bad - committed by us, we will get back its result- which means we have to necessarily enjoy or suffer the result. The aim of studying Karma theory is to overcome the previous karmas with various preventive remedial methods like santhi, propitiation etc.

Astrology is mainly helps understand the basic principles.Astrology reads the Karmic pattern which has a link with the past lives and also with future lives. Horoscope indicates the net balance of Karmas that the native is carrying with him.

Karmas are classified as kayaka (action through bodily ), vachaka ( action through speech) and manasika(action through mind or thought)

Every is person is always performing one of the above types of Karmas in all his three states namely Jagruth (alert), swapna ( dream), Sushuptha ( deep sleep). From the result point of view also Karma is classified into three types. Sanchita accumulated over several births, Prarabdha (allotted for this birth), and Agami (that part which fructifies in future lives)

Karma phala is also classified into 3 types: Drudha (fixed), Adrudha (avoidable by good actions), Drudha - Adrudha (mixed variety). By the study of astrology one can identify the period when a person can expect good results or bad results and proper remedial measure can be taken. Astrology can help face the Karma phal in different ways and different degrees. These preventive methods are called Remedial measures. like medicines, chanting, charity, yoga,wearing suitable gem stones etc.

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