Saturday, December 26, 2009

Vyasa's questions and Darwinism re-visited



Survival of the fittest in Indian sciences of Ayurveda,Music,and yoga is increasing ones own strength and living in balance with nature ,and not by killing microbes.The system is for increasing ones immunological homeostasis so that all jeeva or biodiversities exist together without destroying each other and the name given to this practical way of living was Ahimsa.

Science asks questions and seeks to find out answers.In 3104 BC Vyasa(Ref 1) asked questions.

1.Is there a creator for universe?

2.If so,who and when?

3The cyclical rhythms at mathematical precisions in the universe cannot be manmade.So what force has created them ?

4.We find different types of life(biodiversity)and nonlife,a seed in mothers womb growing up to a adult,and then die,the sky with timespace with several universes created in its womb revolving in everchanging yet endless ways,the earth supporting everything,,the elements,the intelligence,the athma ,mind sensory and extrasensory perceptions in awakened,and sleepy states .Some are vyaktha(seen by sensory organs)and others avyaktha(not perceived by sensory organs).Where and when did all these originate and when all this will come to an end?

5.What is death?Who am I?You?And why does children born of different seeds/parents differ so much in so many features?

6.How do we see the seven colours in a peacock feather or a rainbow?How do we hear and distinguish the panchama of a koil,and how did the emotion of veera(valour)develop in a lion?

He gave answers from Kanaadavaiseshika,Kapilasamkhya,Yoga,Meemaamsaka ,ancient astronomy,medicine ,and philosophy that existed prior to his time. .While questions Darwin asked were only on life and its diversity and evolution(botany,zoology,ecological relations,Mendelian laws of inheritance and probability)these include the molecular and subcellular structures which goes to the paramaanu(subatomic/quantum levels)of physics and chemistry and astrophysics and links the nonliving macrouniverse and microuniverse with the living biodiverse world and oneself as an evolved human mind with a neurosensory mechanism having intelligence to find out answers .The concept of a unchanging universal force or energy (Brahma as God)equivalent to a changing moving revolving Prakrithi(nature)with all the diversities and its evolution and the universal laws for such evolution appeared in India several thousand years before Darwin (and Einstein )ever thought of such questions.

The Kanaada(ref 2 ,3) system of Paramaanu explains evolution by natural selection..He says only a person with intelligence can grasp ,reflect and make sentences in the veda for communication (language and literature and its origin by human race)and thus acknowledges reflective thinking in science (Vaiseshika 6-1-1)Systematic observation,hearing of the sciences/scriptures of ancients,reflection ,discussions among likeminded people,and synthesis of knowledge is called Anweekshiki or enquiry in science of India which Kanaada accepts .Hence he is scientific as well as religious.There is no distinction between science and religion for him..He says that an avyaktha become vyaktha(perceptible by sensory organs)by change in the maathra(maathraaparinaama)and Guna(gunaparinaama).Which is in other words ,change in the quantity of subatomic particle can change the quality of the object and thus by addition or substraction of maathra different objects of different quality are formed and thus the biodiversity in the world is created.

Kanaada’s darsana is different from the postDarwinist evolutionary theories of attributing grades of savagery, Barbarism ,civilization,and enlightenment according to ethnicity and racial supremacy (ref 4)and giving evolutionary space for tribals between man and monkey.(Ref 5).It does not produce a superior race which thinks we can convert people from savages to a monoculture of same religion and in this way destroy biodiversity.Instead it follows a practical method of tolerance,allowing all forms of life and nonlife to survive by natural selection.In human relations it is by matrilinear inheritance from the same tribes that the ethnicity and quality is preserved(monocultures) and by patrilinear inheritance new races are created allowing biodiversity .The cousin marriages of India is in a way based on Mendal’s law of inheritance and probability theory..The agricultural practices and human practices were not different in India because we didn’t distinguish between a plant and human life as different.Both are creations of God ,to be preserved and allowed to diversify .
Kanaada system is a type of quantum Darwinism (ref 6)which allow the observer to use nature as evidence and witness ,leaving the system untouched and its state unperturbed.This untouchability of a particular group of ancestors/plants/animals/birds/forests (as sacred grove) is to preserve the race /biodiversity as well as the monocultures.
I would be presenting this aspect of Kanaada vaiseshika and his paramaanu (subatomic)theory which is the scientific basis of religion and social practices of India .

1.Sri Maha Bhaagavatha By Ved Vyasa.Sri Guruvayurappan Sankeerthana trust publication.Based on Sreedhareeyam with commentary Bhakthapriya .Vaisravanath Raman Namboothiri Revised ed 1983.Kerala,India
2.Kanaada doctrine of the padaarthaas .Veena s.Gajendra Gadkar .Sri Sadguru publications New Delhi .India .Sri Garib Dass oriental series no :49 Ed 1988
3.Vaiseshikadarsana ,with vedabhaskara commentary .Pandith Kasinath sharma .Printed by DevaDathasasthri .V.V.R.I Press Sadhu ashram .Hoshiarpur .January 1972 .From Adyar library Chennai.
4.W.J.McGee Head of Anthropology department St Louis world fair ,pp 278 q.Wexler .L.Tender violence Uty of North Carolina press Chapel Hill 2000
5.Jacobson M.Barbarian virtues.The United States encounters foreign people at home and abroad.Hill and whey New york 2000 ch 4.
6Relative states and environment:Einselection,envariance,quantum Darwinism and the existential interpretation .Wojciech Hubert Zurek .Theory division.MS B 213 LANL Los Alamos NM 87545 USA ,Feb 3 .2008

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Art based on Hindustani music

An appreciation of Vidya Sunder’s art in relation to Hindustaani music

Creativity is like a flower to a human being.Without it humans cannot exist.Even the most unimaginative person have his/her dreams ,the natural flowers of his/her mind.Each of us are an assortment of Raagaas in a definite order/rhythm just as our proteins (building blocks of body)are an assortment of aminoacids in a definite order.The order in the cosmos and in the human body and in the sampoornaraagaas of Classical music are in the same rhythmic patterns.With that are made multitudes of raagaas,lifes, and human beings …..

The creativity of Vidya Sunder is in her varna (in paint) corresponding to the varnaas in music and is an experiment in visualization of music.Her visualization has a touch of romanticism and originality in it.Look at that Bageshri.She has used all the colours of the cosmic Vaishnavamandala except that of east ,the golden yellow of dawn.Because it is a viraha mood and in Tamil the bhaava is that of Mullaithinai.The white moon with a blue around and reddish periphery merging with it is the fastmoving agni of passionate longing for the beloved and the veera of a decisive mind in achieving the reunion.The small green jasmine entwined with a shrub having bunches of blossoms show the mood of the expectant woman in a vipralambhasringhaara. .The white is peaceful and soumya and both the moon and the flowers share that quality.The mood and time(night)are corresponding to the raaga as traditionally described.The eternal waiting for the dawn….

Behag is also a meditative love.But in contrast the moon and the waterlily are in the ecstacy of their union,totally merged in a romantic dhyaana .The parijatha flowers waft in the wind as swaraas drift from the lovers heart .A soft fragrant touch of the flower gives a platonic touch to love.But one wonders.Are they only the flowers/swaraas?Arent they the stars from a bygone past /a previous janmaas memoirs ?The suggestion is given by a few white dots above the moon and above the tree .The way of leaving a gap for the onlooker to have their own romantic imagination makes any art distinctive.Vidya has that quality in her.

Megh Malhar is another symbol of her creativity.People think to sing a raaga in only the appropriate time prescribed is good.But the timing is given to give us an idea of the mood and bhaava.The artist who can create the effect of a bhaava/time even when the external factor(season/time)is not there is the really creative artist.One has to bring the effect of a rainy season in other seasons too .Look at that Konna (Suryamukhi in North India)drenched in a torrential rain.We know it is a tree that flowers in hot season-April /May in South India.But it is shown in a monsoon rain.Didnt Tansens disciple sing Megh Mallhar when he was in a fiery experiment with Deepak ? To decrease heat/Tapas is the lifegiving rains of Malhar.This shows the power of music in making its effects felt even without any other external object .
Finally the colours of orange red( saffron )to give the fiery Tapas /dhyana mood of Marva.And a tiny soft succulent plant which is used by small children to wipe their slates clean is seen in the picture,as if we are children in front of the supreme truth.Even that tinytot is lost in dhyana ,melting in the sublime bliss .Is it wiping away the letters from a previous Janma or the samsaaradukha of this janma to enter into a new musical nirvana? One wonders.
Vidya is a young promising artist with a flare for colours and a natural creative mind .May God bless her creative endeavours to meet with due recognition.

Dr Suvarna Nalapat

Monday, November 24, 2008

Jagdish ChandraBose

Jagdish chandrabose ,the first creative scientist of Modern India

It was Britain’s highage of experimental science,and naturalists pondered
,experimented and pontificated within the Royal institute of science.They
were amongst the most eminent scientific Victorians of Britain.Davy,Faraday and Thomas Henry Huxley were expounding the glory
of science.On such an occasion, on a Friday evening in London on January 1897,gathered scientists to hear someone who traveled five thousand miles ,from Calcutta,to present the scientific credentials of it to the west.The lecturer was Jagdis Chandra Bose(1858-1937)a native of Bengal,the then capital of British India.He spoke to his audience with the help of the various instruments he had invented ,of the discovery of optical properties of electric waves,now called radio waves.For Bose and for India ,that was a moment of profound history.Bose’s science was the offspring of the union of science and extrascientific elements.This made him an interdisciplinary scientist who straddled on physics and life sciences.He was the first physicist as well as the first plant physiologist of India ,a pioneer in two very different scientific disciplines.He was not only interdisciplinary,but actually crossed from one discipline to another.He was the pioneer of Indian science in Modern India ,and a maker of the independent Indian science., a science made by Indian scientists in Modern India.The Asiatic society of Bengal made by Indologists was active in his period.It was studying the Indian past ,including Indian science and the Indian’s talents for metaphysical,speculative thinking ,in ancient astronomy and mathematics etc .But that was about the past.An Indian conducting experiments and scientific observations were impossible and an Indian mind is incapable of rational thinking demanded by the rational western sciences,was the general thought of the time..Bose worked in this scenario,and as Subrato Das Gupta points out in the introduction of his book,(Jagdis ChandraBose,and the Indian response to western science Oxford uty Press 1999)the space,time,politics,society and culture were against Bose and he didn’t even have the infrastructure of a laboratory to work from.He worked from a small room(20 ft square) and laboured amidst the most primitive physical circumstances as far as a laboratory is concerned.Yet produced several instruments(the names were Indian like Thejometer,Kunjometer etc) with which he could demonstrate all his points.The name of Bose is not recorded in the written history of radio waves ,or it was rather erased from it due to some unusual circumstances and personal rivalries so common among scientific communities like any other professional groups.
In 1902 Bose crossed over from Physics to biology and drew strange parallels between responsive behaviour of living matter like muscles,plants and inorganic matter, like metals.The responsive unity amidst the diversity of natural world was due to its electromagnetic wave function which we cannot visualize (he called it Abyaktha)but still exists and energy in living matter is the same as energy in inorganic matter which later became acknowledged by western science ,as the famous equation of relativistic physics by Einstein.But ,still, the name of Bose is not mentioned by the Indian Physicists even in the history of radiowaves .He is just pictured as a Plant physiologist.The interdisciplinary approach of modern cybernetics was not born in Bose’s period and he was traveling ahead of western science was the real reason for this.He was creating prehistory of modern radiowave and electromagnetic theories and grand unification theories of astrophysics.
Bose found that the living and the nonliving exhibit similar responses to certain stimuli and there is a basic unity in responsiveness of animate and inanimate world as well.In Gillispie’s Dictionary of scientific biography ,published in 1970,it is pointed out:Today when biophysics is a generally recognized discipline ,Bose’s ideas seem less controversial,and may even be taken as forshadowing Norbert Wiener’s cybernetics.Bose’s creative genius pondered the relationship between the animate and inanimate ,between plant and animal,between ordinary and sensitive plant ,and was driven not only by science but also by culture ,aesthetics,and metaphysics.His journey was from the purely inorganic world of metals and electromagnetic waves to the organic realm of animal muscle ,plant tissue and to nerve responses as conduction of electromagnetic waves.His writings from 1902 had been one long argument in defence of his thesis.There were Bosophilic and Bosophobic botanists in his times,and some critics called his work as alternative science ,and him as a lapsed scientist and half-forgotten mystic.
A mystic is a person who seeks by contemplation and self-surrender to obtain unity or identity with the ultimate truth.But Bose’s reality was not from contemplation alone,nor from self-surrender ,but by way of remarkable,delicate,and scientific instruments one after another ,which he himself had conceived during his lifetime and built for him by an Indian tinsmith according to his instructions.There was an interplay of polarities as contemplation /experimentation and metaphysics in his creative process.The interaction of the polarities seem to lie at the heart of Bose’s genius.
Creativity is connected with originality.It may be seen as creation of a poem,novel,music,painting,scientific theory,mathematical theorem,or technology.Each field has its own criteria for originality,and if these are satisfied one is called a creative genius.Originality is always the property of the product of ones thought process.And therefore creativity is an attribute of the thought process that gave rise to the product.In this way,originality of a personal kind (psychologically original)and historical kind(historically original)occurs.Only when the relevant community of the respective field (peers/critics/scholars)judge a creation as original a product is called psychologically creative and historically creative.Bose had a sophisticated subtle Indian mind making intimate contact with western rationality named modern science.
The world contain several opposites-west and east,contemplation and experimentation,thought and action,philosophical ruminations and material instruments ,myths and empirical facts.In the pursuit of unity of all these ,Bose considered the unity of life and nonlife ,aspired for something which the scientists of his time were not even aware of,and when he spoke or wrote of his science,he resorted to language of literature as to the unemotional prose of science,just as Stephan Hawking of our times does in his writings .He was a man who straddled two cultures,two worlds,two system of values ,and in so doing emerged as the individual with a wider horizon ,keener intelligence ,a more civilized humanbeing.He was an enigma of eastern mind dwelling in the realm of western science.An interdisciplinary thinker /scientist.


Bose was born on November 30.1858,one hundred and fifty years ago,the new era of western science when the meeting of Linnaen science was held in London,and which marked the new era of British domination in India after the 1857-58 revolt,which is called as the Bengal renaissance period.His father was a Brahmo who held executive and magisterial positions in British India.He was educated till age of 11 in a Bengali Pathsaala ,not in a local English school.The father thought his son should know his own language and culture first ,and then imbibe the other cultures and languages.His classmates were ‘sons of toilers’ and those belonging to the depressed classes .Bose recollected later that he owed his love for nature to those classmates of him.Only in 1869 he went to Calcutta into the world of European education in st Xavier’s college of Belgian Jesuits.In 1880 he graduated as bachelor of arts from university of Calcutta.Then went to London to pursue his medical studies.The medical learning was interrupted due to Kala azar he contacted during his undergraduate days.In his anatomy hall his illness was exacerbated by the odours of the dissection hall and he was adviced to abandon medicine.Medicine’s loss was natural sciences gain.Bose left London for Cambridge where in January 1882 he entered Christ college to read natural sciences.In 1884 he obtained a bachelor of arts in Natural sciences.In 1883 he also got a bachelors degree in science from London.Armed with two British degrees ,his Cambridge connections and along with his Indian degree he returned to India as a scientist .He was appointed as the first Indian Professor of physics in Presidency college in 1885.Sir Alfred Croft ,the then director of Public instruction for Bengal told Bose that 40 years back Macaulay had remarked that Indians were incapable of doing science and did not have the temperament for the exact sciences.But fortunately for Bose,the viceroy ,Lord Ripon intervened and Bose was appointed inspite of the strongest protest of Croft and Mr Tawney ,principal of the Presidency college.In 1887 Bose married Abala Das,a student in Madras Medical college ,and the cousin of Desabandhu Chitharanjan Das.Thus ,though he had abandoned medical science,medicine came into his life through his marriage.

Musical analogy of wave mechanics

Bose sought to draw analogies between and unity amongst properties of light and electromagnetic waves,between visible and invisible light.He proved by his experiments that electromagnetic radiation behaves like light and the two phenomena are identical.On Friday 29th Jan 1897 in Royal institute,he lectured on electromagnetic radiation and polarization (attended by 550 people and chaired by sir James Crichton Browne.)demonstrating his findings with his instruments ,and at the end of the lecture he became oratorical and used a musical metaphor.He asked his audience to imagine a large electric organ having keys capable of producing different ether notes.The lowest key produced just one vibration in one second-a gigantic ether wave 186000 miles long.Each subsequent key produced progressively high notes.Imagine an unseen hand pressing the different keys in rapid succession .The notes will be rising gradually in frequency.When the sea of ether is thus agitated,the human witness is left unmoved since he cannot see ,feel or hear the agitation.At some point he gets the feeling of a warmth ,the infrared radiation.Then he will perceive a red light ,colours for a brief time and this is the realm of visible light .When the keys of the electric organ produce still higher frequencies our organs of perceptions fail us completely and there is again total darkness.It is this region of invisible light which I am exploring,he told the audience.His work was part of that exploration ,he reminded them.In his words human beings with their sensory organs are partially dumb and deaf and blind ,because they see or hear only part of the whole with the direct perceptions and it is like hearing only one of the octave in musicology.It is never complete unless all the seven are there,and heard ,and unless we are able to perceive the infrared and ultraviolet rays of the spectrum as well.
It is interesting that several years after this lecture, Einstein used the same figure 186000 as the speed of the Einstein train,for speed of light.The dwani/varna or acoustics/optics of India also take the same figures as in Indian astronomy and Upanishads.In his commentary on Chandogya Upanishads Sankaracharya gives the law of optics and acoustics(varna and dwani)in the modern scientific way.Whether Bose knew this or not ,we have no evidence,but it is possible that he knew.
Bose concluded his words thus:”The land from which I come did at one time strive to extend human knowledge ,but that was many centuries ago.The west had since taken over.Yet ,I would fain hope that a time may come when the east will take part in this glorious undertaking and that both west and east would one day collaborate in bringing out the manifold blessings that would follow this enterprise.”That was an Indian mind with a knowledge of western science speaking for the western audience.And when he returned to India in 1897,after lectures in Berlin and Paris ,he got a new friend .Rabindranath Tagore came to his house with an offering of magnolia flowers.

Abyaktha ,the unmanifest or inexpressible

By March 1900 attributing lifelike properties to inanimate matter had taken firm hold of Bose’s mind.On 16th March 1900 he wrote to Tagore that by his research he find the boundary between living and nonliving has been lost.His advaitha even extended to polarization between science and literature.The two cultures were not apart in Bose’s eyes.The world’s greatest poet and greatest scientist are not yet born ,he wrote to Tagore,until the two kinds of understanding ,the scientific and the poetic ,are assembled in one and the same person ,each will remain incomplete.For him the scientist and the poet were of a kind.The poet strives to express the inexpressible,sees by way of heart and imagination what others fail to see.Scientist similarly pursue a light beyond the visible light ,listens to the sound beyond the audible sound,and gathers a tremulous message .Both of them look beyond the expressed.Poet expresses in rhyme and meter ,the unknown realms .Scientist translates the abstract discoveries into human speech.Therefore he calls the realm as Avyaktha(Sanskrit word –abyaktha in Bengali)where both the poet and scientist enjoin as fellow travelers.This was quite opposite to what Aldous Huxley a novelist of the time said.The scientist according to him deals with what are essentially public or shared aspects of human experience whereas the poet /literary person is concerned with most intimate and private elements of that experience .Science strives for generalization and abstraction,literature with individual and unique.Language of science is formal jargonized for it strives to express unambiguously and with utmost clarity.Language of literature aims to convey multiplicity and the nuances of the human condition .When we compare the views ,we see that Huxley’s words are that of a onesided outlook whereas that of Bose embraces both a literary and a scientific mind,because he knew both the languages.A unified theory which is now accepted by science as well as art.

The view of Bose is that of Rgvedic monism or advaitha philosophy where Brahman the original reality wherein all matter ,all life,all laws ,whether natural or ethical were present in an unmanifest (abyaktha)state and from which the all emanated and assumed the manifest,determinate form.In his lecture on Literature and science Bose said that after generations of the quest for unity,the idea comes to us spontaneously and we apprehend no insuperable obstacle in grasping it.He said it was only after he saw the mute witnesses of his records of the electrical responses that he came to understand the message proclaimed by his ancestors,thirty centuries ago,that only those who perceive are rare, amidst the changing manifoldness,only he/she perceive truth ,unto none else ,unto none else it is revealed.
The organic is foreshadowed in the inorganic and there is a continuity of things in the world from the lowest to the highest,according to Samkhya philosophy of India,and inorganic ,vegetative and animal entities are just three stages in the evolutionary process.Only the qualities change or interact and form different varieties and the qualities(guna)in turn is due to the different combinations of Paramaanu(subatomic particle)according to Kanaada Vaiseshika theory of India.this is used in all sciences of India including astronomy and Medicine and natural sciences and it was this that Bose was finding out through the western experimental methods and instruments devised by himselves.The difference in animate and inanimate was just one of degree according to Indian science .Now the unification in science has found out this ,but when Bose spoke about it western science was not that much evolved to understand what he was talking about.Ashis Nandy stated that Bose gave a special Indian perspective to Indian science.The entry of the monistic philosophy and hence an Indian perspective marked an evolution in the scientific style of Bose which in all other respects retained its western character .A genius draws together two or more ideas which are totally unconnected by a phenomenon called bisociation and according to Albert Rothenberg(psychiatrist)these ideas are opposites or antithetical.And the thinking which connects such opposite ideas he termed Janusian.Gerald Holten wrote a genius brings to bear upon his work the harmonies and disharmonies ,the strengths and conflicts of his environment.The work of a genius has substantial aesthetic and emotional appeal and the power to move others.A powerful universal appeal,so that its effect extend beyond immeadiate domain of inquiry ,a philosophical,cultural and social significance.Genius is discovered not in splendid solutions to little problems but in the struggle with essentially eternal problems.Bose had this genius in him and his concentration was on what is eternal,not just on what is life.It encompassed both living and nonliving,both scientific and literary enquiry into eternal .Physics, biology,medicine and philosophy of ancient India joined hands with western scientific experimental evidence.He was working on an eternal ,yet invisible law that knew no change ,acting equally and uniformly throughout the organic and inorganic world in a pursuit of oneness (Advaitha)and this Indian mind armed with western science marks modern India’s scientific spirit .The fact that this is the forerunner of the modern grand unified theory and cybernetics makes Bose an alltime genius with universal appeal.

Today,on 30th of November 2008,India celebrates his 150th birthday .Indian scientists and citizens pay homage to the memory of this great genius.
(.The author a graduate in biology,postgraduate in Medicine ,is a Pathologist by profession ,and a literary person by birth , interested in astrophysics,musicology ,and a student of Sankaraacharya’s Advaitha philosophy .email id is )
Ref for this article .Jagdish chandrabose and the Indian response to western science.By Subrata Dasgupta .Oxford uty press 1999.

Dr Suvarna Nalapat MD (Pathology)
J/79 G/B Aiswarya apartments
1st main road
East Annanagar
Chennai 600102
Ph 45500078

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Music Therapy-An Interview By Stanley stephan

An Interview by Stanley Stephan

1.Music therapy overview.

1Music means different things to different people.How do you define music?What does it mean to you?

Ans:It is undefinable.Because it is Naadabrahma/God for me.

2.What is the theory behind music therapy.Homeopathy theory is that like cures like.Ayurveda states that the human body is composed of three fluids vaatham,pitham,kapham.And disease is an imbalance in their proportion.

Ans:The basic principle behind music therapy is Naadalayayoga.To be one with naada,to be one with prakrithy or nature.In Homeopathy the principle of similia and in Ayurveda the principle of balancing the thriguna(satwa,rajas,Thamas)are the basic principle.Music therapy by Naadalayayoga gives an advaitha of all the different types of methods of cure.

3.Can diseases be cured with music?What are they?

Ans;Yes .can be cured.From lullaby to deathbed there are innumerable situations where we can use music both as curative and prophylactic measure.The best thing would be to start using it as a preventive one,and do research on the curative values.For developmental defects and for normal development of personality we can use music in children.In adults also to reduce stress,to increase creativity and efficiency and to prevent Cardiovascular symptoms and for curing several diseases you can use.

4 How does music cure diseases”?

Ans:If I speak in terms of Allopathy ,I will have to say Neuropsychoimmunologically.There are several neuronal pathways and networks which affect our psychosomatic character and behaviours.The stimulation of such networks lead to secretion of chemicals collectively called neuronal peptides ,or even as hormones .The blood supply to the activated centers increase,bringing more oxygen to the site,which allow these centers to be identified when we give music.The neuropsychoimmunological function activation leads to the cure,prevention and arrest of certain symptoms and signs of disease.This is a very general statement .It involves quiet a bit of complicated and complex interaction between immune systems,nervous system and our psychosomatic system which is kept in complete homeostasis(a word for balance)
If,I say by ayurveda ,I will say that the thrigunas in our body are wellbalanced (homeostasis called sama and saama by Indians)by good music,so that we get a balanced Niraamaya personality,and the aama or toxins in our body are removed by increased blood supply and oxygen which is equivalent to Praana.Indian Raagachikitsa developed as a part of Yoga and Ayurveda and the principles are more in line with them.
5.If music plays a supporting role to mainstream medicine ,rather than directly cure all illness ,what is the underlying principle that makes this happen.

Ans:I don’t think that music plays only a supportive role to medicine.It is part and parcel of ayurveda and yoga which are traditional methods of medical treatment in India.The underlying principle as I said from the point of view of modern medicine is neuropsychoimmunology.
But,you should not mistake music for music therapy.Just by learning music or by hearing music one is not proficient in music therapy.It requires training and knowledge of the discipline of health also.At present we don’t have a fullfledged educational training center or a university approved programme etc .Till such things develop and music therapy become a welldeveloped science with enough trained therapists to support the training and therapy and research programmes,it has to function under wellestablished Allopathy or Ayurvedic centers.As part of such institutions.

6.How does music therapy compare to Reiki ,pranic healing,acupuncture ,acupressure and other forms of holistic and energy healing?

Ans:Reiki involve touch,Music therapy also involve touching the heart of the listener.Music therapy as I first mentioned is naadalayayoga.It directly connects the cosmic energy to bioenergy fields through the various plexuses or nerve centers and in that respect it has similarity to the other systems you mentioned.
7.How does music therapy compare to devotional or faith healing
Ans:The question is whether it is just a placebo effect.Placebo effect depends on the formula,
Best-documented thoughts are known to affect health
•To counteract the effect of the placebo-by-proxy, researchers have resorted to the double-blind study, in which neither the subjects nor the experimenters know which subjects are receiving the placebo. However, according to Dr. Larry Dossey in Healing Words:
The Power of Prayer and the Practice of Medicine, the placebo effect has contaminated even double-blind studies.
For example, researcher Jerry Solfvin conducted three double-blind studies on the effectiveness of vitamin E on heart patients' angina pectoris, the chest pain associated with heart disease.
An enthusiastic doctor who believed in vitamin E found it significantly more effective than placebo, while two studies conducted by skeptics showed no effect
Dossey cites studies dealing with meprobamate, an early tranquilizer of questionable effectiveness, which showed similar results:
Enthusiasts consistently found it worked, skeptics could find no effects beyond those of placebo. To clarify this situation, researchers designed double-blind study in which one of the physicians had a "skeptical, experimental" attitude toward the drug, while the other had an "enthusiastic, therapeutic" attitude toward it. They were totally unaware which pills were which, meprobamate or placebo. The patients also were in the dark; they did not know they were involved in an experiment.
Results: meprobamate proved significantly more powerful than placebo -- but only for the physician who believed in it. There was no drug effect for skeptical physician's patients.

Study repeated, simultaneously at 3 metropolitan psychiatric outpatient clinics. results were replicated in two of the three clinics.... Thus Solfvin concludes,".... the double-blind cannot be assumed to guarantee exclusion of nonspecific effects of treatment, especially when actual treatment has a weak or variable effect.". suggests existence of something extraordinary: Experimenters' and physicians' beliefs about remedy communicated to patients subliminally, if not telepathically.
placebo effect points towards : thoughts do heal. very existence of this effect, especially to the extent that researchers must take great pains to work around it, proves that belief in the efficacy of cure, can and do heal.
Power of the Placebo Effect
Faith in cure was one of the essential elements in healing in statements attributed to Jesus (Matt: 17:20, 13:58, and Mark 6:6).
Michael Murphy, in The Future of the Body, a comprehensive treatise on extraordinary human abilities, devotes an entire chapter to the placebo effect

Michael Murphy studies ,he cites :-
1.Angina Pectoris
4.Pain Relief.
6Cancer. “Meaning and Medicine,” Dr. Larry Dossey gives an anecdotal account that strongly suggests that placebos can cure cancer in some cases:

Placebos work best under proper social conditions, which Michael Murphy summarizes as follows:
1.Enlarging patient groups improve responses to placebos, because power of suggestion is increased by greater number of participants.
2.A placebo's effectiveness depends to a large extent upon physician's interest in the patient involved, interest in treatment, and concern about treatment's results.
3.A placebo's power is increased by experimental studies that impart a sense of interest and care to subjects.
4.Placebo effects increased when treatment has good reputation
5.Relationships with others are important element in reinforcing beliefs.

The placebo effect offers some of the most convincing evidence there is for the existence of psychosomatic healing, and for two reasons:
1. It is overtly acknowledged, and almost universally presupposed in practice, by mainstream medical research.
2. Its effects can be quite dramatic.
Accordingly, it not only demonstrates the reality of psychosomatic healing, but it also demonstrates the extent of the mind's power in effecting it. Hence, it poses a very serious problem for anyone who would deny either the reality or the significance of the power of thought to heal.

In Music therapy
1.In selfhealing-if patient has faith in it-placebo.effect may be working.
2.If doctor has no faith in it-may not work-because with a doctor/patient it is not psychosomatic but psychokinetic healing.Christ believed what he said and did.If healer has no faith in himself and his deeds and words and healing techniques psychokinesis cannot work.

Ans:I have to be healthy in body,mind,intellect and spirit to be able to help those who come to me.If I am unhealthy in these 4 aspects ,I would not be able to help others balancing their Thriguna.
And I do follow some disciplines in my life.I have been a vegetarian throughout my life.And had been practicing celibacy from 1980.Whether it has been of help to me or not ,I am not saying anything.Because ,people may have different opinions on such matters.

12.Is there a difference in being a musician and a music therapist?

Ans:Plenty.Musician can learn about his ragas,perfecting the ragas,etc but need not be humanistic.But a music therapist cant afford to be like that.I remember here the words of one of the great pathologists ,William Osler.”The disciplne of Medicine is noble to those who are noble”I would like to say the same about music and music therapy too.For those who are noble every profession is noble.For those who are not,all professions are just for personal gains only.

13.Does music has any specific status in the maintaining of wellbeing?

Ans:Yes.With music your countenance changes to calm,quiet and tranquil and peaceful which is a change in the electroencephalographic patterns in your nervous system towards meditation waves.This helps us to have a wellbeiing /feel-good sensation.

14.What are your thoughts on commercial music.How does it impact music therapy?

Ans:You have to specify when you say commercial.Do you mean film music?Do you mean any other specific type of music?Many people classify film music as commercial and classical music as noncommercial.I have found no such distinction.Any music can be touching your heart and thus healing you ,provided you use soft melodies and less of noisy gimmicks and heavy metal music.There are many film oriented music which are raagabased melodies .(Like naadabrahmathin,sindurathilakanchithe etc etc ) On the other hand you can see commercial oriented classical musicians mushrooming around with gimmicks of their own to make a mark in the field of competition
.That is why I said we have to specify the term commercial music.

15.What is the impact of cultural upbringing in a music therapy session?Does music transcend cultural barriers?

Ans:Cultural upbringing has only limited value in music therapy which is universal,useful even to a cow or plant which does not know which raga is being played.But for music appreciation it is important.From the point of view of therapy ,any person ,whether he/she had musical training or not gets relief .Here we can compare it with a medical treatment.It is not the doctors alone who know the details of the treatment who get cured,but also laymen who have no idea of what they are getting/taking get cured.As medical value of music is concerned it is more important that your music should be able to touch the hearts.
Music transcends all cultural,caste/creed/religious barriers and is universal in its message and spirit.

16.What are your recommendations towards wholesome life?What are the things that every person must know ,like home remedies,in terms of music and its therapeutic effects?
I would recommend moderation in everything(no excesses whether it be food,sex, or sleep )and simple life with high thinking.(less of gossip,more of high thinking!!!!)Soft melodious music to start the day,and to end the day will make your nerves relaxed and give you good sleep and less stress.Parents and teachers in every school/home should be given this message .Heavy metal music is injurious to health.Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables.Decrease intake of fatty foods .Be yourself.Be satisfied Have positive thinking..These will help us a lot to lead a wholesome life useful to us as well as to society.


1What is the power of raga?What is the underlying principle by which it colours the mind?Is it possible for someone who is unaware of a particular raga to experience its mood?
Ans:The power of the raga is in the 7 swara and the 22 pitches.If you are using all the swaraas naturally all the centers must be stimulated depending on the principle of swara.If we are using different thaalaas also ,the number of possibilities are many .then there are the ragas with one or two swaras missing,giving different shades .The number of raagaas are thus anantham and their moods are also anantham.No single musician have ever known all the raagaas .
The minimum we can do to achieve all the swaraas in all the possible combinations is to have the 72 raagaas of the basic melakartha upon which (it is a mathematical edifice)the other derivatives are based.
As I said,no musician knows all the raagaas.And if music therapy is for musicians who know some of the raagaas only,what is the science behind it?That itself shows that identification of raga is not needed for cure of disease
In fact our ancestors when they said,pasurvethi,sisurvethi,vethi raagarasam phani(animals,infants and even serpents can enjoy the ecstacy of raga)meant this.Your second question is therefore null and void.
In fact those who know a few raagaas waste time when a new raga is heard ,to find out the name of it,instead of getting involved with the mood of the raga evoked.They are trying to find fault with rendering of the raga and in that endeavour ,their brain never achieve the shanthi mood ..They loose chance to enjoy the moods of raga by intellectual slavery to scholarship.A childlike involvement in the lullaby ,(like a child listening to its mother)makes you a better experiencer of the emotional content/bhaava/rasa/

2.What is the role of taala?How does rhythm induce a response in us?

ANS:Thala is included when we say naadalayayogam.It is part and parcel of music.Rhythms (without language or saahitya)are very important when you train a child who has not yet aquired language ,and in mentally retarded.

3.What is the perception of bhaavam or layam?
Bhaavam is the emotional content which produce rasa or aesthetic experience.It is that which touches the heart and healing touch has to come through that.If it is not there,no patient will relish your therapy.Layam you get when all these are amalgamated into the final product,the music.(which has,swara,raga,thaala,bhaava and laya producing a specific rasa or experience which attracts and pleases the hearts,touches the heart)When we use the term raagachikitsa all these are included.Not separate .Indian classical music is a combination of these giving different possibilities and anantham variations which is unique in the history of the world itself.

4.What are the parallels to this in other forms of music?
Ans:There are parallelisms when we use the instrumental music and western classical music . In classifying pitch etc they too use the same mathematical formulae.What was used by Pythagorus was used in India from saamavedic times and Sulbasuthra period,and what is known as Eulers formula is known to ancient musicians and astronomers of India alike.So ,there is no comparison with Indian music which has the most complex and most pleasing form .For comparison we should know the modern theories as well.

5.What is the role of words?Sahityam?

Ans:Man as he aquire language ,his brain structure has welldeveloped language centers .The words /sahitya and the music actually stimulate the adjacent parts of brain and there is superimposition.Before developing language(infancy,embryo,protohistoric man,mentally retarded children and adults)brain recognize rhythms only as music ,since heartbeats are heard even in uterine cavity of mother.But this is not enough for all healing So ,we have to be careful when we select sahitya.The only defect I have found with film music is that it creates lot of Vibhava in individuals so that instead of healing ,some of the songs may precipitate illhealth.Devotional music has no such problem with patients.Select spiritual music with melodious peaceful raagaas would be a good method to adopt.

6What is the role of tone colour or sound quality?Most often we find that we are drawn to highend music systems and digital recording In order to enjoy music.Even with highend systems ,if we playback a song recorded with inferior equipment ,we cannot focus on the m usic or enjoy it.

Ans Natural sounds are the best for toning the chakra of your body.For that digitalization is not necessary.Each of us being a unique multitude of frequency vibrations ,there is one fundamental tone at the root of our existence ,a tone that represents the pure essence of that person that is synonymous with the soul.Vocalise that tone to send sympathetic vibrations to the root ,awaken the energy that assist in spiritual unfoldment.It is a vibrational point of reference that can be sounded at any time ,even hummed as you walk around.Just by toning OM alone you can choose your fundamental tone rather than selecting a tone arbitrarily.only things you need are patience and perseverance.Even without digital music one can achieve that.
Naadalayayogam is music therapy .It does not have the prerequisite of any high-tech equipment.You are talking now about the enjoyment ,quality of instrument etc.Not about the quality of human being,or of the giving of peace of mind /relief to a ailing person.The language of therapy and the language of music are slightly different there,though both have to function simultaneously for maximum results.
If I can meditate only with a perfect digitalized system,I haven’t learnt to meditate properly.To meditate on music and to get relief,we need not depend on external sources.That is from the point of view of an individual.

But when you give music on a mass scale in institutionalized music therapy,you have to be very careful to select the best quality voice and the best quality equipments .Because you cant afford to experiment with the wellbeing of your client.You want to give them the maximum benefit with your therapy.(and reduce the number of failures in your therapy practice)

7.What is the connection with music and spirituality?

Ans:Music is Naadabrahmam.It is spiritual. It is not a connection between two separate things. It is ONENESS with God.

8.2oth and 21st century science tends to support the theory that we are a sum total of the chemical processes in our bodies ,even the mind is a manifestation of this process.Ayurveda believes that a human system is consists of the body and the mind.Spiritual sciences talk about the body ,the mind,and the indestructible soul.So from musical frame of reference what is a human being?

Ans:Please do refer to answer no 4 under Music therapy overview.
I don’t think that we can segregate human being into purely physical or purely mental/intellectual beings.We have all these elements in us.Essentially a human being is the vibrating energy which manifest as these various forms.The frequency of vibrations determine our gross body,subtle mind and intellect .(in varying proportions)In musical terms we are bundles of vibrating energy what is called Naadabrahmam.The frequencies differ and so the other features also differ.Just as there are anantham raga possibilities,there are anantham possibilities of manifestations for human also in the vibrating sense.
In short ,this is equivalent to saying that each one of us have an equivalent raaga in the cosmic vibrating field.Or we are one with cosmic principle.In Sanskrit:Aham Brahmasmi and Sarvam khalvidam brahma.

9.How does learning music contribute to development of intellect?

Ans:Just like any other discipline it opens up the possible neuronal networks for cognizance,memory ,concentration,communication etc.

10.What is your advice to parents regarding education of children in music?

Ans:If the child has a vaasana only send for music training professionally.Don’t compel .
Even if there is no vaasana,do give exposure to good melodious music regularly at morning and evening before bedtime because it will make your child stressfree and happy throughout.
11.What is your advice to students regarding learning music?

Ans:Keep your calm in all situations and devote yourself to your art and science as if it is God.Not just as a jobseeking training.Music is an ocean.No one can master it completely.So be humble in your endeavours and respect the elders.Especiallly the Guru.If someone is below your standards,don’t ridicule.He/she may be having a higher intelligence than you in something else/

12.What is your advice to adults and people in power regarding music?

Music therapy is still an infant discipline in India.We need proper curriculum,syllabus,administrative and management guidelines,therapeutic guidelines,centers of training etc. For these people in power should be given awareness of the discipline its merits and national and international opportunities it create etc.If given proper care ,and developed Indian music can work wonders for national and international integration,for world peace and overall development .It is a mahaaadvaitha of integration and assimilation of arts and sciences and philosophy for world peace to develop world citizens.


1When did you find you have music in blood?

Ans:At the age of 3-5.

2.Was there a special incident in your life that lead to your induction into music education?

Ans:I am not a musician.I never had proper music education in my life.I am a doctor by profession.But ,I had a series of rhythmic periodic astronomical synchronicities which made me delve into music and music therapy .Which I am writing as a book at present.

3.What is your motivation behind your sadhana?
Ans:Moksha only.

4.Can you describe a deep emotional and personal experience with music?

Ans:Several. I was moved by a young cancer patient who wanted me to sit beside her and hold her hands so that she gets good sleep.And she wanted to talk to yesudas ,whose Kalyani raga Nithichaalasukhama of Tyagaraja ,I had given her in her last days.But ,she could not wait for that golden moment.Death took her away so soon.I often think of her and her unfulfilled last wish.

5.Every musician suffers great constraints and deep anguishes.Would you like to share some of those moments?How did music help you survive that?

Ans:Music has always helped me to be in happy mood,to have a peaceful atmosphere around me in which I can have highly intellectual works and mental works done.Even in times of trials I have been in company of music which kept my intellect steady.

6.Are you a spiritual person?

Ans:I think so.What do you think from what I have just said?It is you who should say that .Not me.Thank you for the questionnaire.
7 When you interact with people who have no interest in music or who have very little training ,what do you feel ?What are your observations about them?

Ans:There is no one who is to be discriminated like that in therapy.Even such people can get something out of our love and concern.Touch their hearts with compassion,concern if they don’t relish music.And then slowly bring them to a musical environment through a careful listening to their MLP is my policy.It usually works well.
8.Can you describe your creative process?Do you find parallels with other human activities?

Ans:My creative processes are almost like dreams to me.Because my creativity comes in out of the body moments of dreams or musical transcendence.(The poetry ,I mean)The other writings come as usual in waking states but they too are often a continuation of what I felt in my most intimate moments of creativity.
The human activities ar e all interrelated and especially as a student and researcher into human consciousness ,I think my creativity is a part of my consciousness,as natural as a flower to a plant .

9.Do you feel you had enough music?What do you do then?

Ans:How can one have had enough of music?Is it not an ocean?What we have is only drops from it.I will be in love with music ,till my death.(as I had been in my infancy).Still an infant learning and enjoying the intricacies of music .

7.If you didn’t have musical training ,what do you think you would be?

Ans:I didn’t have musical training.I am a medical doctor by profession,a pathologist .I would have become a paatologist ,(as lyricist /poet R.K.Damodaran said one)if I had some training in music.But I didn’t have it .!!!!!!

Institutional details.

1The name of institution.

I am a retired professor of Pathology from Amrita institute of medical sciences and research center.
I am at present engaged in writing a few text books and developing a curriculum/syllabus etc for the music therapy as a discipline in India.For which I have taken retirement from my profession.

The vision: Worldpeace ,national and international integration through a Mahaadvaitha of arts and sciences in a musical environment .

The services offered. Educative/research/administrative/therapeutic advice for music therapy and for spirituality of music.
How do you advertise your institution?
I do not advertise.
10.Expansion plans ?Future plans?
Please do see the book naadalayayoga to be released next month by DC books It is the first of a series on music therapy research .The discipline has just begun in India.We have to go a long way.Miles before we sleep.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Interview. Interviewer .Balagopal.Kent Malayali association

What is music therapy and where did it originate?
Each individual has his or her own vibration or beat, and it is different in everyone. And it is the same with music or raga. The right raga can stimulate and facilitate an individual’s physical, mental, intellectual and spiritual well-being.If someone is suffering from an ailment, the music therapist has to assess that and carry out specific musical strategies to address his/her goals and objectives. The success of the music therapist lies in how he/she identifies the right raga for a particular individual. A music therapist can never prescribe a raga just like an ordinary doctor who prescribes pills for his patients. A music therapist has to understand the whole gamut of problems the individual has and then becomes his spiritual guide. “Raga chikilsa” (treatment) or music therapy was known to rishis and gurus from ancient times. This form of treatment was done by gurus and they are mentioned in the Vedas. Sabdikabheshajam (sabdika means voice and bheshaja means medicine) was one of the methods of treatment used by the aswinikumaaraas, the ancient vedic doctors. Based on the ancient literature the six charkas (chakras mean the nerve plexuses, which in yogic literature are called mooladhara, swadhishtaana, manipoora, anahatha, visudhi and agna) and the birth star of the patient are taken into account whil selecting the raga. There are 72 melakartharaagaas, which are basically related to the charkas and the birth stars.

.What does music therapy do?
It helps to alleviate pain, releases stress and tension, provides the feel good factor to lead a happy life, softens you up and brings you closer to spirituality, enhances your capabilities to understand another person, increase communication skills, improve self respect, confidence and helps you to become an ideal individual.

Who can benefit from music therapy?
People with health issues such as high blood pressure, cancer, substance abuse, visual impairments, Aids, Alzheimer’s, dementia, autism and pervasive development disorders, eating disorders, emotional trauma, learning disabilities, mental illness, insomnia, mental retardation, pain control, palliative care, physical disabilities, speech and language impairments.
Can conventional medicine be replaced with music?
Conventional medicine cannot be replaced immediately when you start music therapy. The music therapist will take many sessions to find out which raga or musical strategy would suit the individual. Once the therapy starts to show signs of improvement on an individual then gradually he can do without medicine.

The Holistic Health Village to be set up by the Kerala government and Mata Amritanandamayi is said to promote a vast array of spiritual and physical therapies.How will ordinary people of Kerala benefit from this?

I am not aware of this, but I have heard that there are moves to promote music therapy by the government. Amrita Institute has already started work on this and the response from ordinary people is overwhelming. I am trying to spread awareness about music therapy by giving invited lectures and talks on these subjects on Sundays and holidays all over Kerala.
Is there a particular energy current emanating from the cosmos that affects the life of an individual? Is an individual not in control of himself?
Yes. An individual has both cosmic energy and human energy but the success lies in harnessing these two energies in a way that he leads a purified life.

What do you see as the most significant achievements of your rather distinguished career?
I think the most significant achievement in my career is that I am a happy, free person, leading a contended life with whatever I have and that people love me as their own family member wherever I go.
Can you share with us an astonishing cure you have witnessed with the help of music therapy in Kerala?
I must say that music therapy is not a miracle or a supernatural cure. It is the most natural way of curing one’s own illnesses, physical, mental, spiritual and intellectual. It is a scientific way of life as well. Hypertensive patients on treatment who has not been able to bring down their BP with usual medicines have been able to bring down the BP with music therapy. I have also seen cancer patients with anxiety, insomnia and other associated symptoms of terminal illness been cured of such symptoms. I have a 29-year old patient who has undergone maxillectomy. She and her caretakers tell me that after music therapy her quality of life has improved.
Based on music therapy do you have any advise for young parents?
Young parents have to make sure that their children listen to music that is harmonious to their ears. For example, a music that will release in them an all-pervading ‘feel good’ sense.

How a pathologist uses the Indian Darsana in everyday life

There are 6 darsanaas (perceptions)in India.The first is the chaarvaaka or lokayatha which is a naasthik one and says one can believe only those which one see directly.(direct perception alone is the pramaana for science).The others believe that the direct sensory perception alone is not enough and anumaana and aagama are also taken as scientific proofs(especially the nyaya schools of Bengal,assam and kerala)and this is the darsana of akshapaada and of Gouthama.
Anumaana are of 3 types.
1.poorvavath.(as observed before.)one has observed that if raincloud comes there will be rain .because of the previous experience one guess the presence of rain.If we follow only the sensory perception we can never predict a tsunami or a disease epidemic anumaana is important and thus the nyaya school refuted the lokayatha /charvaka view and thus the naasthik was converted to the aasthic /nyaya side.
2.Sheshavath.There is flood in a river.The inmference is either there is rain in the hills,or there is melting of a glazier or there must be a dam opened.Here also we don’t see the event with our eyes but we infer.
3.Saamaanyatho drishtam.When we see change in position of the planets ,we infer that it must be due to the fact that there is gathi(movement )to them.This is a general theory.All the 3 were accepted because the nyaya school gave adequate illustrations and argued their case logically.This method is used in all the other darsanaas and one can find this type of logical argument at its zenith in sankaraa’s commentaries.That is why all the other darsanaas were pushed to the background.Not that sankara was a autocrat who destroyed anything,he was a scientists who argued logically on his viewpoint and all others accepted his views because they were flawless (.If one can call this conversion,we can call it so. )Conversion on any other background(political,for money,power etc)cannot be called a free conversion by will.It is here that we have to consider the facts very critically.
The science of Pathology (which I follow ,)still uses the 5 steps which Nyaya school used.I will illustrate it thus:
Step 1:Prathigna .In this I state what I am going to prove,in front of a group of people who know the scientific language I speak(fellow doctors/pathologists).I just say that the diagnosis I have made is so and so.
2.Hethu:What are the reasons I have to prove my side/diagnosis.I have to be very thourough in my saubject and should have excellent communication skills to discuss this.
3.3.Udaaharanam:There are some lakshana(linga)for a disease and I should be able to state the relation between these and this comes from my previous experience with similar cases,(case studies)called swaanubhava and the references from others(paraanubhava)
The references are of 2 types.As you know even now in evidence based medicine and other modern sciences ,to be acceptable in a journal we have to cite the thought processes and experiences of other scientists .These may may be people who are still in the human memory with a specified time,space,specified book/journal etc called pourusheya(traceable to a thinker/reformer/scientist in timespace)or may be prehistoric people who have left their ideologies and thoughts for posterity ,but have disappeared from the memory of mankind and hence called apourusheya.(veda/scriptures/cave writings etc)and these are the precious things that we have to preserve for posterity without change.Whereas ,the scientific/logical thoughts and sciences are naturally changed with time and are dynamic(called smrithy )and in memory of man.For a proof ,these two types of references are used and since smrithy /science is dynamic and changes from time to time there is always scope for new discoveries and these has to be substantiated by every scientist.The sruthy(apourusheya)is to be kept for posterity as common heritage of mankind.
4.Upanaya is the 4th step.How I can apply the above said points into the specific case study of my patient(the present case)This is a discussion of the present case
5.Nethy nethy is a deduction/induction process or an exclusion diagnosis in which you exclude the other possibilities by negative findings
It is after these steps that we proceed to the final diagnosis or nirnaya(nigamana)and Akshapaada calls this thought process as Aanweekshiki (tharka/vaada)
Charaka is ver y specific about the two types of assemblies(parishads)and about the two types of discussions or conversations we make.I will briefly state his view thus.

The two types of sambhaasha (conversations)according to Charaka.
Sandhaaya sambhaasha
Conversation with people who are learned in the particular subject,and are eager to know about the subject more.
Benefit of this:1.Increase of knowledge by 3 means.knowledge of things we have not known before,clearing of doubts,increasing the previous knowledge.
2.Lokakalyana.Benefit to the entire world and the human race.
Conversation with people who don’t know the subject and do not want to know at all.Such conversation is mere jalpa/vithanda.
Prayojana :nil.Just killing time .
Charaka asks to avoid such conversations and to conserve our bioenergy for better things.(this is one of the essential prerequisites of health)

The two types of assemblies(parishads)each consists of mithra(friend),sathru(enemy)and sannigda(neutral)

The mithra among agna can be slowly and steadily lead to knowledge ,but not through gnaanamaarga .By bhakthymarga or karmamaarga.(This is probably a type of conversion)
The other two(sathru and neutral)among agna has to be ignored and do not waste time in talking to them.
The mithra among vigna are the real rasika,sahridaya ,sishya,etc and they are the real valuable friends and a man with intelligence will not loose a chance to have contacts with them(sadsanga).
The enemy among the vigna just try to win you over and they make mere jalpa just for that purpose,not for increasing knowledge or for lokakalyana.therefore do not have contacts with them.
The neutrals among vignaas have doubts to be cleared.It is the duty of the learned scientist to clear their doubts with logic and intelligence.These clearing of doubts form treatises on each subjects and are known as the commentaries or saasthragranthaas etc used by posterity.
Here,you can see a change in your sentence” Every religion originates as an ideology, rather a Dharsana to uplift mankind both spiritually and materially, but in the course of time degenerates into an institutionalized hierarchy. This hierarchy then overpowers the ideology. Religion then becomes a tool of the hierarchy and the clergy. Religion looses its essence and becomes an institution wielding enormous powers. “
According to Indian darsana and science of Charaka,every science originate in this way,as a darsana for lokakalyana(upliftment of society)for perfect physical,mental,intellectual and spiritual health but after sometime degenerates due to various reasons ,one of them being institutionalized hierarchy.These various reasons include increase in the number of agnaas(ignorant people)and the vignas who are selfish ,and the lack of genuinely interested unselfish people who are ready to do the saadhana for aquiring knowledge and to seek truth.(genuine scientists are less in kaliyuga).
Rather ,it would be correct in the Indian sense,that darsana is a perception only in the primary sense and it is science in the secondary sense.Only when a darsana is tested for a very long time ,Indians accepted it as a science.Long discussions and verifications (documented as treatises)can be sen before a darsana is accepted as a science by the assembly of learned people from Kashmir to Kerala.A scripture(A agama) is thus a darsana+saasthra,accepted by the learned parishads,verified over a long period of time by generations of people and for the sake of the god of society.(the world).
Individual preferences are what we call an opinion(in Sanskrit a matham which is translated as religion in English)and it can change ,since it is subjective to each person’s level of grasping and intelligence.But ,the values and the scientific methods accepted by generations of human beings (ancient and modern)makes what you really call as spirituality and in that realm whatever change is made has to come from prolonged discussions over the subject,by learned people ,and then verified and proven that it is for the good of society.Such a democratic scientific thinking is good for society but it doesn’t happen often .

In spirituality of India there are two sides to the coin.(it should be there in spirituality of any country or of any individual since these are general things)
1.The logic and scientific methods of the darsanaas verified in the crucible of time by generations of scholars and documented as scriptures for future references.
2.The empathy or compassion originating in an individual mind which thinks about the world’s miseries and tries to find out a solution for alleviation of miseries and pain of the entire world(lokakalyana is a word originated in such a compassionate mind)
If there is only the first(logic )it is science or saasthra.If the second alone is there it becomes a dream or a mirage which we may not be able to put into practice.
But if we combine both,it is the real spirituality and Indians used this as a way of life.Hence,many of their scriptures does not even mention the name of the rishi who formulated a darsana or spiritual path.such selflessness was considered the hallmark of spirituality..The Indian culture and civilizations had this character ,and it was more individualistic and social and for the community and the world as such ,and not for a few people in an institution(institutionalised religion was not there).
Spirituality is always within an individual consciousness.It can never be institutionalized.The personal qualities and charisma of a spiritual person attracts similarminded and learned people.and a sadsangha like that flourish as a gurukula and their ideas spread far and wide.When this is taken up by selfish groups of people to weild power over society ,religions form and they are actually political institutions and may have nothing in common with the idea spread by the spiritual Guru .To know Christ, or Krishna one has to go deep into one’s own consciousness.Not into religious rites.For this the scriptures may help .But the best help comes from within your heart and from God’s grace.I just voiced the views of the Indian masters of darsana in brief.I think this is what every ideology will agree to,since human brain and its lateralisation has started during the prehistoric times and so far our brain structure and our hormones and our thinking prowess has not undergone any radical change.As a group human beings(homosapiens)are one race sharing the same characteristics of neuropsychoimmunology and nervous structures and gestalt neuronal assemblies.
For me,the best language which we can share with everyone in the world is musical language because music is universal and speaks the language of the heart and hence of compassion and everyone understands its universal language.That is why saamaveda and Raagachikitsa (music therapy)has healing effects on human species through neuropsychoimmunological effects.
Since I am at present involved with raagachikitsa,I find it a useful tool for generating a global awareness of peace and harmony,a new Mahaa advaitha for the present century.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007


Suvarna Nalapat
Brahmasoothra is the least understood and the most important philosophical text of India discussing aspects of Naadabrahma as supreme absolute truth in four chapters and 192 parts called adhikaranam.Adhikaranam is the basic part which discusses the meaning as five separate headings.
I The subject discussed:Brahma.
2.The doubts prevalent about subject before the discussion
3.views of others on it.(poorvapaksham)
4.The views of the present commentator(sidhanthapaksham)
5.The relation between the present discussion and the upanishadic vakya.
For this ,the sidhanthapaksha uses very scientific and scholarly views .
Brahmasoothra is part of Prasthaanathraya(The other two being Bhagavad Gita and Upanishads)and the present commentary is the first of its kind by a householder woman in the history of the world.All others have been by ascetic males.
The essence of the discussion is not only theoretical but also the practical side of life where one has to follow strict and rigourous selfcontrol The theme of realizing Brahma by a householder is the practical side of yoga and naadalayayoga and Indian classical music and the saamaveda were formed for this purpose.All the rishis who formulated the prasthaanathraya were householders like vasishta,yagnavalkya,etc.
The concept of human bioenergy as the jeevathma and the cosmic energy as paramathma ,the perfect blend of these as jeevathmaparamathmalayanam has to be achieved,not merely talked about.Since energy has no sex,creed,cast ,or any other differences Brahmasoothra does not find any difference or dwaitha in existence.Because of this,anyone who has an aptitude to learn,the intelligence to understand,and the courage to withstand the trials of sense desires can practice advaitha .This practice is in Bhaava (emotions and thoughts)and not in kriya(action).It means ,One can love the entire creation alike in advaitha,but one can have physical relationship with only one man/woman.This rigourous practice and the ability to love all children as one’s own (the children who come to learn to a gurukula-the shishya)helped the guru and gurupathni to have an ideal gurukula,in India.
The concept of Nada and Prakaasha(sound and light)as the same finds its major role in the discussion of naadabrahma.Sound and light travel together from the same source but reach human ear and eyes at different times.The only difference is in the timings and in the manifest form due to difference in the receiving end.This concept of oneness of energy as manifested world of names and forms is understood only with advaitha.Brahmasoothra deals with these in detail.The present study is a wholistic approach to the subject which draws examples from music,music therapy as practiced in India,the yoga,thanthra,and manthrasaasthra,and medical knowledge of the past and wherever needed explanations from the modern views on the subject also given so that the modern western reader also can be benefited.