Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Vedic Music, gandharva veda

'The melodies of Gandharva Veda are with reference to the divisions of time during the day, based on the movements of the Sun. Gandharva Veda is the music of Nature, which inspires and promotes evolution. Gandharva Veda produces the influence of harmony in one's environment, which creates an harmonious influence in the field of consciousness, purifying and nourishing the environmental trends.'
'Gandharva Veda resonates with the Laws of Nature that promote evolutionary trends in life. It neutralizes stress everywhere—inside and outside.'

'What is Gandharva Veda? It is an eternal music of Nature. Music is coherent frequencies—some different, some the same, many values of frequency or sound—and coherence in sound makes a melody. The whole universe, all the infinite number of items in the universe, are all different frequencies or sounds, and there is a swing of bliss everywhere in Nature.
'Think of the earth moving around the sun or the many galaxies and stars all moving, but always with the same motion. It must be a very great satisfaction for the nature of the earth and of the entire starry world just to follow a particular path and never deviate. One would follow that pattern only if it is blissful. The element of bliss, of more and more, must be Nature's activity. It must belong to Nature's habit to move in waves of bliss. The eternal harmony of Nature must be a pattern of bliss—the whole of Nature always swinging in the waves of bliss. This comes as the passage of evolution, which means more and more and more—more knowledge, more happiness, more progress.
'Gandharva music is the eternal music of Nature, the melody of Nature eternally the same, going on and on and on in swings of bliss everywhere. Gandharva music is that powerful swing of Nature—those rhythms which are being maintained at all times. Due to the maintenance of all those rhythms the infinite variety of creation is very well coordinated by Natural Law.
'When the people of the world violate the Laws of Nature they create stress and disharmony, which result in pain and suffering. The whole population of the world has not been educated to think and act spontaneously according to Natural Law. Cries and failures and problems, terrorism and war—all these negative values spring from the violation of Natural Law by the whole population of the world.
'Every level of creation is a frequency. One frequency melts into the other, and this is how the process of evolution takes place. The night comes to an end and the dawn begins. At dawn, when the darkness and dullness of the night is over, some inspiring freshness comes and there is a different frequency in the whole atmosphere. At midday there is another big change in frequency; at evening, a different frequency; at midnight, a different frequency. This cycle of change is perpetual, and because everything is a frequency there is sound at every stage.
'From morning to morning the melody of Nature is changing, changing. Gandharva music goes with the time, setting its melodies according to the changing Nature. It sets forth those very natural melodies which match with the process of evolution. It provides a powerful harmonizing influence in the whole atmosphere to balance imbalances in Nature.
'Gandharva music is a most refined evaluation of the sound value, of frequency. Ultimately, it's the self-referral dynamics of consciousness, which is infinite frequency. . . .
'Gandharva music is that eternal melody of Nature which is ever lively in Transcendental Consciousness. From there it reverberates and constructs different levels of creation. Gandharva music is the basis of all order and harmony in Nature; therefore, it has that most harmonizing, most integrating influence. It is a very precious science and art of creating harmony within oneself, one's family, one's city, one's country, and the whole world.
'In Vedic Science, we study all the different melodies and sounds and use them to create different objects, situations, and circumstances. It's very fortunate that the Vedic Pandits have been preserving all of that enormously useful science and art of creating harmony in a situation of disharmony and discordance in the world consciousness. Our offer of Gandharva Veda is an offer added to the influence of Transcendental Meditation to hasten the day of celebrating world peace.
'Gandharva music is a must today in this generation, when people are fighting and creating trouble for others. With all the problems in the international and national world, Gandharva music is a must for everyone. . . .
'We want the melodies to be played everywhere. Then, wherever it is morning around the globe, morning Gandharva music is being played. Wherever it is ten o'clock around the world, Gandharva music for that time of day is being played, and likewise at twelve o'clock, in the afternoon, and in  the evening—all the time Gandharva music is being played. It gives me very great delight to say that whether someone listens to that music or not, if those reverberations are created in the atmosphere, a harmonizing influence will prevail and imbalances will become balanced. This is the value of Gandharva music. . . .
'We express thanks to our Tradition of Masters, who have given us this insight into the activity of Nature and this gift of Gandharva music to create harmony in Nature. Gandharva music is a precious gift for the whole world and for all times.

Music of Nature

Gandharva Veda music expresses the eternal melodies and rhythms of Nature—it is music in harmony with Natural Law.
Gandharva melodies, or ragas, performed at specific times of day and night neutralize stress in the atmosphere and create a harmonizing influence for the individual and peace for our whole world family. The particular quality of each raga enlivens characteristics such as greater courage, self-confidence, wisdom and happiness.

Creative Nepal

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Carved Window, Creative NepalNepal is one of those few nations where ancient traditional arts and architectures are well preserved. It was once the destination for arts and architecture and even today, many of its craft skills are still undiminished. Nepalese arts touch the pulse of the people across the globe and it reflects the spirit and mystery of its culture and tradition.

The best examples of Nepalese creativity lies in the variety of traditional handicrafts found today all over. The Newars of Kathmandu valley, Once a lake, Kathmandu valley is the union of three Newar sister cities namely Kathmandu, Lalitpur and Bhaktapur. Surrounded by hills on all the sides, Kathmandu valley has always remained the center of Nepalese civilization and current modern urbanization of Nepal. Kathmandu is the capital city of Nepal are the most creative ones of all. They are the best in arts like Wood carvings and their creative excellence can be found practically in anything like temples, statues, photo frames, household items, windows. The Newars are till date devoted to their ancient cultural skills and have been passing it to forthcoming generation since history. This is why their works are so perfect that they have been loved and valued by all, all over the world.

Likewise, Newars the best sculptures especially of gods which are also very popular amongst all. Nepalese use them for rituals while the tourists take them back home as souvenirs. Apart from wood, these sculptures are made of metal and stones. Newars love creative arts and Metal carving is no exception. Beautifully carved metal replicas of temples and decorative items like singing bowl,   bell, cymbals and many more are popular.
In the same way, stone sculpture art work is popular too amongst the Newars and it is more ancient than metal arts and the evidential history shows stone sculptures that go back at least two thousand years. It was the first art form to be developed in the country and is evident in Pasmina From Nepalwealth of architectural monuments and art items found within the valley.

Similarly, Pashmina or the Cashmere products are also popular handicrafts of Nepal worn worldwide. Pashmina is the softest, warmest and natural Cashmere woolen textile made from the inner wool of the Himalayan lambs. The popular pashmina products are shawls and mufflers and many more which are manually spun and woven in the higher altitude mountain regions.

Another well known indigenous product is the Thanka which actually is the sacred scroll religious Buddhist Buddhist are people who follow Buddhism. Buddhism is a religion and philosophy encompassing a variety of traditions, beliefs and practices, largely based on teachings attributed to Siddhartha Gautama, commonly known as the Buddha ("the awakened one"). painting depicting facts of Buddhism of mystic sect.  This Nepalese art form is so complex that it usually takes couple of months to complete depending on the nature. These paintings mounted on silk or cotton banners have prolific illustrations of ancient Buddhist philosophies in gold and silver paints and will surely take you back to ancient times. For monks, Thankas have religious values while for the rest of the world they are good decorative items.

Another art form that is equally popular is the Mithila Painting   mithila painting, NepalMithila Painting . These paintings are bright and colorful with themes of terai culture. This art form is practiced traditionally by the women in the terai villages on mud walls of Hand Made Wood Dollstheir huts, but now it is also done on cloth, hand-made paper and canvas.
Lokta paper is another unique indigenous Nepalese product that has been in production since thousand years and is well known for its durability and softness. It is prepared from the bark of a particular tree found in the high Himalayan altitudes of Nepal. Due to its durability compared to normal paper, it has mandatorily been used for all legal and government writings. Another unique fact is that the writings in Lokta paper remain unaffected even after soaked in water. Even the paper eating insects cannot damage this paper. Besides diaries and note books, Lokta products like wrapping papers, carry bags and lamp shades are popular.

Another product that reflects the Nepalese culture is the wooden mask . Masks are compulsory in all major Hindu ritual and cultural performances as they are worn by performers in ritual dances. These masks have Buddha: Art of Nepalhigh traditional cultural values and are beautifully colored. They serve a very important function in the community as they are believed to bring luck and protect from demons. These religion reflecting pieces are usually made of wood or clay and can be a good for decoration usually when hung on walls or on doors.

Likewise, Nepal is one of the major exporters of woolen carpet in the region. Carpet weaving is a household occupation in the hilly regions of the country. These carpets are still hand woven in Hindu and Buddhist themes in both traditional and modern designs. The weaving process is dedicated, complex as well as interesting and the result is the visible quality and craftsmanship. These carpets are very popular in Europe and America for flooring as well as hanging on the walls.

Nepal is also popular for its rich array of jewels and precious stones which are available in fine workmanship in lesser price. Abounding with rare jewels endowed with significant protective, religious and talismanic significance. Various tribes of Nepal have the rarest and most exquisite jewelry astounding in its stylistic variety.
Hand Made Pot
After a hard day’s work, Nepalese even 30 years back used to gather in the evenings and play music to relax and express their feelings. While the Newars of the valley used to play instruments imported from neighboring India, the villagers in the rural parts developed their own instruments like the Sarangi              Sarangi
Man Playing Sarangi
, Madal           Madal music of Nepal
Madal: Nepali Music
, Bansuri , Murchunga and Panchebaja             Panche Baja
Panchebaja: Nepali Music
. These later went on to be Nepal’s own musical instruments and today are played all over the nation.

As evident, production of handicraft is an age-old practice in Nepal and its hereditary continuity has contributed in its survival. This has helped in preserving the heritage, cultural values, aspects and tradition. Lately, the increase in the export of handicrafts is seen as the growing popularity of these products and it in turn has helped in the development of handicrafts and the protection of national heritage and culture. This is essential for Nepal as it contributes to conciliate poverty, creating job opportunities and take ahead the historic legacy.

Musical Nepal

Nepalese musical instruments have immense substance in its culture and society. No ritual, festival or any ceremony go without these instruments Panche Baajabeing played. If historic facts are anything to believe then Nepal has more than 200 musical instruments of its own and only about 100 have been discovered till date.

Nepal has so many forms of music of its own to share with the rest of the world. Moreover, the musical tradition is so diverse along with lots of unique musical instruments being played. Every ethnic group An ethnic group (or ethnicity) is a group of people whose members identify with each other, through a common heritage, consisting of a common language, a common culture (often including a shared religion) and a tradition of common ancestry (corresponding to a history of endogamy). has their unique set of instruments that they play. Amongst many, an ethnic community that has historic touch with Nepalese music is the Damai. They are the traditional musicians who play musical instruments in ceremonies, occasions, etc. to perform the rituals and tradition. The connection of Damai seems to be attached with the innovation of a flat drum called Damaha which is generally prepared by wood or metal.  The Dhimey Newari Music, Nepalname Damai denotes the functional relation between Damaha and the one playing it.

It is sad that there are still hundreds of instruments, which are unheard, untouched and unexplored but it is worse when beautiful instruments like the Sarangi also get missing in the darkness. Sarangi is the Nepalese version of the violin and is loved  by all the Nepalese people. However, the masters of Sarangi have slowly been moving away from it and we do not get to hear much of it today. The musicians of the ethnic Gandharbha community are the best Sarangi players in Nepal and they create magic when they play heart touching tunes with their Sarangi.

However, the most complex musical culture in this Himalayan nation is that of the Newars Newar people are the indigenous people of Kathmandu Valley. They are known to excel in arts like wood crafting, pottery, music (mainly percussion and wind instruments), dance and paintings. Their arts today are mainly displayed in temples although many of their houses still have elaborate woodcarvings. The Newars are till date devoted to their ancient cultural skills and have been passing it to forthcoming generation since history. of Kathmandu valley, Once a lake, Kathmandu valley is the union of three Newar sister cities namely Kathmandu, Lalitpur and Bhaktapur. Surrounded by hills on all the sides, Kathmandu valley has always remained the center of Nepalese civilization and current modern urbanization of Nepal. and they are flourishing it till date. The Newars live in a Buddhist-Hindu society where the two religions coexist. Caste system exists within Newar community and each performs its own characteristic musical repertory and ritual duties during festivals and processions. Different musical instruments are in practice in joyful festivals and also in funeral processions.

Dhimey is the most common musical instrument amongst the Newars. It is considered as the oldest Newari musical instrument. This drum is played in almost all ceremonial occasions. Although it is made of brass or other metals today, Dhimay was actually Nagaraconstructed from cylindrical hollowed tree trunk with leather pads at both of its ends. Its left hand side sounds much than the other side which carries a tuning paste inside. Its main feature is its capacity to produce a multiple reverberating echo. Dhimay is always accompanied with Bhusyah (a pair of cymbals).

Nagara is another historic Newari musical instrument which is actually a kettle drum played with two sticks. This instrument has also been mentioned in Hindu mythology although in various other names. It is often played in pair, known as Joh Nagara. Nagara is also popular within other ethnic groups.

Even a conch or Sankha           Sankha
is a musical instrument in Nepal. It is an ancient instrument and is highly regarded by the Hindus. Playing of Sankha indicates starting of any new work. Sankha is usually played during rituals.

Tabala Nepali MusicAny description of Nepalese musical instruments is never complete without a mention of Maadal which also happens to be the national musical instrument of Nepal. It is a type of drum which is struck on both ends, using a rhythmic pattern. Nepali Folk dances are always accompanied by the Madal , and it is virtually impossible to travel through any village in Nepal without hearing its soft and mellow sounds being played somewhere.

Another instrument worth mentioning is the tabla. The classical Kathak dance is impossible to perform without the beats of tabla. The tabla is actually two drums, considered as one instrument. It is believed that it originated when a much older style of drum, was "cut in two". It is a very diverse instrument and can also accompany Western style music. The performance of a tabla solo executed by a master can be unforgettable.
Nepali folk dances are jam-packed with dazzling premises of love, life, religion, happiness, sorrow and often a lot of good-natured teasing. Dancers wear traditional costumes that are colorful and have elaborate jewelry Newari Danceand hair ornaments.

Again, the Newars have a rich history in traditional, classical and folk dances. Various dance events take place in the Newar societies on various occasions. In fact, the Newars are so duly intermixed with music and dances that not a single festival, feast or ceremony passes without music and dance.
For instance, during the crop harvesting season, the farming couples celebrate with the Dhimey Dance between them in their community gatherings along with sparkling music and songs.
Likewise, during all Chariot festivals           Chariot Festival: Kathmandu, Nepal
          Chariot Festival: Kathmandu Nepal
, the Newars witness the natural and impulsive Lakhe dance in the street which is actually is a form of classical dance. This dance has religious beliefs attached to it. It is performed to the music of cymbals and special drums called Dhimey.

Similarly, the Newar Buddhists love to perform Manjushree dance during rituals. It is credited to the god who founded the Kathmandu Valley. The physical and spiritual characteristics of the god are demonstrated in this beautiful stylized dance, which combines soft body movements with hand signs, each one with a meaning of its own.

Music and dance in essence has always been playing a crucial role to promote harmonious relationship between people to people of this country. Nepalese music and dance is highly dispersed like its ethnicity. Cultural and traditional music and dance is the very pride & soul of this nation and is the mirror that reflects the beauty, nativity & the life pattern of the people.