Mind, music and Stress (Dr. Srivinavasa Krishna murthy )
Stress occurs mainly through the arousal and functioning of sympathetic nervous system. If this function becomes frequent, it will invite various psychological and neuro-physiological diseases. Many of the diseases of the modern world are due to the psychological stress which primarily affects cerebral cortex and major organs of the body. One of the best therapies to be free from stress is the classical music. The harmonious songs composed by the great souls like Sri Tyagaraja, Sri Purandaradasa and Sri Muthuswamy Dikshitar have the capacity to remove the imbalances and unnecessary speed found in the mental waves and tranquilize the mind through which one can get relived of mental stress. Dr. Srinivasa Krishnamurthy also showed various data from his own hospital to prove how various stress and psycho somatic diseases get reduced through music. He also demonstrated in his lecture (by making the audience to hear the beautiful song sung by the great musicians like M.S. Subbalakshmi) - how the mind can get equipoise by hearing the melodious classical songs.
Resolution of conflicts through Vedas
(Sri Tattwamasi Dixit)
Conflicts are of two types interpersonal and intra psychic. Interpersonal conflicts arise due to non agreement over differences which lead to incompatibility. Conflicts mainly arise in the mind due to misinterpretation of the things we see, this is caused by excessive rajas and tamas. Rajas is the acceleration of energy and Tamas is inertia. Sattva on the other hand is purity, clarity and peace. Through Sattva one can visualize reality as it is. Four faculties of mind according to the ancient Shastras are Manas, Buddhi, Ahankara and Chitta. Manas always doubts the things. The feature of Manas is to think various possibilities. Ahankara is ego while Chitta is memory. These faculties of the psyche should be mastered by a higher faculty called Buddhi which is featured with determination. Then only clarity arises. To see things in their true light and to resolve our internal conflict one must cogitate raw thoughts, analyze these, reach certain assumptions and be committed to the above. Ojas foundation founded by Mr. Dixit has spearheaded research in the field by helping resolve these conflicts through the chanting of selective Mantras .The sound vibrations of these mantras helps provides clarity to the mind and soul.
Vedas and the concept of Dharma (Sri Ranganji )
Delivering discourses on the concept of Dharma and uniqueness of the Vedas is common in all Vedic workshops conducted by WEBOLIM. The Vedas are unique because of various reasons. The most ancient, the most original and the most primordial literature available in the world are the Vedas. Passages, words, syllables and even the tones of the Vedic literature are preserved and they remain changeless for millennia. Vedas are the rare scriptures in the world which aspire the universal well being. Vedas synthesize the Divine and human and spiritual and mundane. These are the various ways through which Vedas are unique.
The subject matter of the Vedas is Dharma which means the universal love and well being, showered all over the directions by a supreme consciousness that devours the evil instincts and pumps in fearlessness to all the beings. Dharma can be defined through Vedic terms which are given below.
(i) Attha: Any action that gives immediate pleasure but pain later
(ii) Bhadra: Any action providing momentary joy without any side effects
(iii) Abhyudhaya: Action giving momentary pain but giving prolonged happiness later.
(iv) Nishreyasa: Action giving momentary pain but provides an eternal bliss later
Dharma, therefore, is that process, which shatters the Attha element in a person, that which transforms the Bhadra element, fostering the Abhyudhaya element and aspiring Nishreyasa. Acting without bondage can bring about a healthy life of one hundred years, working with love and delight and taking misery as an indicator when man deviates from his nature are the components of Dharma. Dharma hence is to attune to nature and treading along with it.
Different techniques to solve mental conflicts: in the light of Rig-Veda Samhita
Features of stress:
Identification with any external object
These elements can be sublimated through the features of bliss.
• Relaxation (Slowness and freedom in speed)
Sri Ramanuja, a very great philosopher discovers the expansion and boundlessness as the very nature of soul and the contraction as the identification with material objects. Philosophy of Sri Ramanuja includes-
l Boundlessness of the Soul
l Contraction due to Matter
l Surrender to the Divine through which the soul can realize its real nature- boundlessness and bliss.
Based on this philosophy Swami Vivekananda in the modern time said, “Surrender is expansion. Death is Contraction.” “Expansion is bliss. Contraction is misery” said a great philosopher, Sri Satyanarayana shastri.
Seeds of these principles can be found in the Rig-Veda mainly in the eighth and ninth Mandala. Soma is the tool through which one can come out of contraction. But what is Soma in Vedic sense?
· Soma in exoteric sense is elixir, herb, herbal juice and moon.
· Soma in esoteric sense is immortal bliss.
· Esoteric Soma in general is the blissful awareness or unmixed bliss.
· Esoteric Soma in particular is the bliss recognized or realized through restful or effortless attention of a particular object, external or internal.
Examples for the external and internal objects through which one can experience the inner Soma:
· Any Vedic Mantra filled with Divine energy.
· Deep Blue Ocean.
· Vast blue sky.
· Rising sun.
· Symphony of Sama Veda.
· Complete Surrender to the Divine.
· A peaceful idol like an idol of Dakshina-murthy.
· Blossoming flower.
· Gushing water.
· Greenery of plants.
· Fragrance of ritual fire.
· Prana- the vital energy.
· Sound of any melodious instrument like Veena.
· I thought
· Kalyana-Gunas (auspicious virtues) of a great soul like Sri Rama.
By the consistent practice of effortless or restful attention of any peaceful object external or internal, one recognizes the flow of bliss within. Gradually the speed element of mind gets transformed into the slowness and steadiness. Then if one continues to be aware of the bliss within, one can recognize the expansion of this same bliss, which is the real nature of the soul. Through this expansion one can cross the problems of the mind. The more one gets expanded in blissful awareness, the more one gets rid of mental blocks and obsessions, psychological complexes and ego related problems.
To start with one can practice this effortless attention at least for ten minutes per day. If the practice is consistent, it can gradually grow with or without our knowledge and it starts to pervade throughout our life, getting emanated to others also. Thus it becomes possible to come out of all frustrations and the fatigue in the works one does.
Middle path is always good to come out of mental conflicts. Any extremity can lead to conflicts. One has to attune oneself to that way of life through which one can avoid all kinds of extremities.
Sri Ranganji quoted various Mantras especially from the eighth and ninth Mandalas of Rig-Veda in support of the principles dealt in the lecture. In Vedas Aditi is expansion and Diti is contraction; Vishnu is expansion and Vritra is contraction. Even the very word Vishnu in the Vedas means all pervasive reality while the very word Vritra means covering, binding and constriction. Sri Ranganji also explained various Sadhana dimensions of Rig-Veda samhita.
Stress Management in Vedanta ( Dr.RamMohan)
The next session was by Shri.Ram Mohan who delivered a lecture on the topic Solution to modern conflicts through Vedanta. He beautifully threw light on the Shankara's Philosophy on how it helps to the conflicts and problems of this modern age. Through scientific models and humorous approach he explained his philosophy and brought out how it can be very useful in solving the day-to-day conflicts.He also spoke about 3 kinds of Ego namely Child Ego, Mild Ego and Wild Ego which is normally existing in our everyday life's situation. This he explained through a famous story of Shri.Ramakrishna Paramahamsa where 3 children are taken care by his father. Thus the session was very useful by the Vedantic approach towards solving the modern conflicts.
Sri Ranganji, in this session gave instructions for meditation. In this package of meditation in an hour he exactly covered beautifully the topic which was dealt in his previous discourse. In his previous talk he gave it as theory. In this session he made the participants to practice that theory and made them to experience the expansion of blissful awareness.
In the concluding session Sri Ranganji talked on various activities of WEBOLIM to propagate the Vedas and the Ramayana. He also talked on the upcoming Valmiki Ramayana camp in Mumbai from 13th May to 22nd May. Sri A.K.Ramamurthy, on behalf of Veda Sangeetha foundation talked on its activities. Veda Sangeetha foundation has taken a great project of bringing the whole of Vedic literature including Samhitas, Brahmanas, Aranyakas and Upanishads in the website with audio and meaning.