Healing Sounds of Ayurveda
Ayurveda is the ancient philosophy of India, in which sound, created by vibrations, plays a central role. Everything in the animate and inanimate world has its own personal vibration. When the cells and tissues vibrate in their personal harmony then there is a free and unhindered flow of energy and a person lives in good health and well being. Any disturbance of this flow of energy is defined as illness in Ayurveda.
Sushruta (Ayurvedic doctor and author, about 1000 B.C.) describes a state of perfect health as follows: "He whose doshas (constitution) are in balance, whose appetite is good, whose dhatus (tissue layers) are functioning normally, whose malas (forms of elimination) are in balance, and whose Self, mind, and senses remain full of bliss, is called a healthy person." ("Samadoshah samagnish ca samadhatumalakriyah prasannatmendriyamanah svastha ity abhidhiyate." - Sushruta Sutrasthanam 15.41).
Such people are hard to find today. Damaging environmental influences, unhealthy eating and bad lifestyles, as well as stressful jobs are usual in the present time and they cause imbalance in mind and body.
The main objective of Ayurveda is to restore this balance, the inner centre, which it calls Svasthya (established in the Self). In order to re-establish this connection to the Self, the original state of health, Ayurveda uses relaxation techniques and body exercises such as meditation and yoga, cleansing method such as Panchakarma, as well as music and herbal preparations. Vibrations play an important role. Thus in the Ayurvedic medicine the whole plant is always used and not just a filtered out active substance. The vibrations of the plant should restore the natural equilibrium in the body without overloading it.
Music is another method to restore the body to its original state of harmony. The ragas of classical Indian music are derived from Sama Veda and, like Ayurveda, they also have their source in the Vedic tradition, which disappeared around three to five thousand years ago. The musician catches the mood of nature, the surroundings and the audience and presents it with voice or instrument. Raga music has a concept of time and quality that assigns the various ragas to particular times, seasons or emotions. For example, Raga Bhairavi in its classical form may only be played in the morning, whereas in its Thumri version it may be played at other times. Raga Sura Malhar has a festive mood for the monsoon season and so on.
When ragas are played at the correct time and occasion, they have a harmonising and orderly influence on the listener and the surroundings. This has even been seen in experiments on cells isolated in nutritive solution in a Petri dish. The effects can be felt personally, through studies or by feeling the doshas during ayurvedic pulse diagnosis.
The ancient vedic method of sound therapy, where vedic mantras are recited for specific regions of the body, is used to promote healing. In the same way the ragas of Indian classical music can also be used for certain illnesses and problems. This knowledge already existed in texts such as the Sangita Ratnakara and has been recently rediscovered and investigated more and more.
These CD’s have been specially produced with the aim of using ragas to harmonise the doshas, as described in Ayurveda. These doshas can quickly become imbalanced due to daily and seasonal influences, as well as changes in life style and diet.
The Three Doshas
The understanding of the three doshas is the basis of ayurvedic knowledge of physical functioning. The three doshas are formed from the five elements (space, air, fire, water, earth) and are called Vata (space and air), Pitta (fire and some water) and Kapha (earth and water). These three doshas are responsible for all functions of the mind and body. Disturbances of the doshas cause disorder and disease.
Vata is the prominent dosha. A poetic verse in Charaka, the well-known ayurvedic teaching manual, says that without Vata the other two doshas would be like clouds in a stormy sky. Vata is responsible for all communication in the mind and body. Vata dosha can quickly go out of balance since two of its main characteristics are inconsistency and airiness. 80 diseases are caused by disturbed Vata. Among the physical diseases are degenerative joint diseases and mental illnesses include fear and nervousness. Those who suffer from an overload of stress, frequently have an imbalance of the Vata dosha, which can be brought back into balance if action is taken quickly enough. A hot cup of tea, an oil massage or soothing, meditative music can bring a rapid relief.
The main function of Pitta dosha is metabolism. Visual sense is also assigned to the Pitta dosha. Examples of Pitta disturbances in the body are skin problems and stomach inflammation. Pitta imbalance on the mental level can be seen in fits of rage and being "hot-headed". Everything that has a cooling effect, such as a glass of peppermint tea, a walk in nature or listening to calming music that has a cooling and soothing effect on the mind is good for Pitta imbalances.
Kapha dosha gives stability and manages the fluid contents of the body. There are only 20 diseases assigned to Kapha, but they are more difficult to treat. Problems with fat metabolism and weight are physical signs of Kapha imbalance. Lack of drive, lethargy and depression are the mental signs that can appear when Kapha increases. Stimulating herbs and teas, sport or exhilarating, energetic music helps against this heaviness in mind and body.
Doshas in the daytime and the seasons
The doshas are stimulated by lifestyle and diet, as well as by the time of day, the seasons and age.
Doshas in the daily cycle
Kapha time: 6 a.m. - 10 a.m. / 6 p.m. - 10 p.m.
Pitta time: 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. / 10 p.m. - 2 a.m.
Vata time: 2 p.m. - 6 p.m. / 2 a.m. - 6 a.m.
Doshas in the seasons (weather dependant)
Kapha: cold, damp, rainy (spring)
Pitta: hot (summer)
Vata: very cold, cold and windy, cold and dry, fast and frequent changes in weather (autumn/winter)
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