(Last Updated on : 10-04-2010)
Spirituality has been one of the major factors shaping Indian Music. Some of the most identifiable spiritual traits are those associated with Mother Worship, the oldest type of worship associated with the origin of the world. Indian Music is said to have a divine origin and is said to be a manifestation of divinity itself.
The Goddess Saraswati
is said to be the presiding deity of the twin arts of music and literature. These are also known as the twin arts of verbal and non-verbal knowledge. The Veena
represents the non-verbal and the Book represents the verbal aspect. The celestial singers, the gandharvas
; the sage Narada
travelling between heaven and earth all this mythical ancestry or origin served the musicians as symbols of the Ideal like the idea of Purna Purusottama. The essence of music was ascribed to Gods and Goddesses, to Saraswati, to Narada, etc.
What the mortal musician had to attempt was to have a glimpse or a realization of music through the tool of his limited powers of imagination, which he might try to use with the aid of visual or non-visual conception. He might perform this task through dhyanamurtis or colourful images, or he may do this by conjuring up association of svaras with heavenly bodies like nakshatras
or association with clairvoyant sages of saptarsis. In the philosophy and thought of the spiritual man in India and in the best efforts of seemingly different philosophical thoughts or systems, certain features have ever been emphasized, like contemplation and concentration or control of the senses or utilizing the senses in the direction of the spiritual, evolving necessary formal devices in the sphere of art.
Spirituality thus forms a rather important part of Indian Music.
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