Music can lift the spirit, make us dreamy, melancholy, or happy, or entertain us. Did you know that music can also cure? Thousands of years ago the Ayurvedic texts described the healing power of music in the form of primordial sounds, Vedic recitation and ’Gandharva Veda’ music. ’Gandharva Veda music therapy’ has long been an important approach of Maharishi Ayurveda for health and well-being—we’d like to tell you more about it today.
The fundamental text of Ayurveda, Charaka Samhita, described specific effects of Vedic music on the health of humans and their surroundings (Charaka, Siddhisthana, 6/85).
Finding a gentle way to inner harmony.
Why do these legendary sounds seem so relaxing?
Gandharva Veda music is described as ‘music in accord with the laws of nature’ or ’the eternal melody of nature’.
What does this mean? The seers and sages of the Vedic civilization of ancient India perceived the ’melodies of nature’ in the perfect silence of their own consciousness, and sang or played that music to bring peace, health and harmony to their listeners. These eternal melodies of nature gently bring us into contact with our inner self, our own nature; they integrate body, mind and consciousness.
We owe the preservation of Gandharva Veda to the few remaining traditional families of great masters of classical Indian music. If the healing sounds of Gandharva Veda music are played authentically, they bring about a wonderful sense of rest, relaxation and serenity.
This can help us to recover physically and mentally, neutralizing tension and stress.
How to get the best out of this type of music—tips for listening.
Since the melodies of Gandharva Veda reflect the changing rhythms and cycles of nature at different times of day or night, each piece is best played at its specified time. A morning raga (melody) is different from an evening raga.
Maharishi Gandharva Veda music differs fundamentally from light music. To listeners hearing Gandharva Veda music for the first time the sounds may feel alien and need getting used to; you may even feel a bit restless. So take some time at the beginning to adapt and let the sounds engage you. You don’t have to listen to a whole piece of music right to the end the first times. Even a few minutes of this timeless healing music is good enough at the beginning.
Let the music work easily on you. Pay more attention to your body instead of analyzing the foreign sounds. Sit back and close your eyes if you like.
In this way your body and mind come to rest; tensions can be resolved, and healing takes place naturally.
Which instrument do you like?
Maharishi Gandharva Veda uses various instruments: string, wind and percussion.
The soft sound of the bamboo flute is often perceived as very pleasant and familiar. The enchanting sounds calm Vata dosha, which, according to Ayurveda, is associated with the nervous system.
The sitar, a string instrument well known in the West, has also a very pleasant effect.
The sounds of the shenai (shehnai) are often experienced as especially refreshing and regenerating.
The voice (Gitam) ranks in first place as the crown of Gandharva Veda music, but is sometimes described as an unusual experience. This usually changes quickly.
The stringed tambura and tabla are indispensable accompanying instruments for rhythm at each Gandharva Veda concert or sound recording.
Try them out. We offer a rich choice of high quality Gandharva Veda music featuring some of the most renowned and legendary musicians of India.
Choose from eight periods
You can listen to Gandharva Veda music at any time, for example in the morning after getting up, at lunch, after work, or in the evening. When to play each melody is determined by the cycle of day and night, and is based on three-hour periods (Praharas). But there are also pieces that can be enjoyed at any time.
To prepare for a relaxing and regenerating night's sleep, infuse your bedroom with high-quality essential oils, for example, ‘Nidra Aroma Oil’, an exclusive fragrance blend of lavender, bergamot, orange and marjoram, and enjoy the Gandharva Veda Evening Melody.
Some Gandharva Veda melodies have specific themes such as happiness, celebration, success, or tranquility. You can select a melody for the effect you want—the theme can be found on each CD (available in our shop).
We wish you much pleasure with the eternal music of nature. Your Maharishi Ayurveda Team