Purify Your Surroundings: Tamboura, Sound

Navaratri Bhavana Post #5



Everything around us, seen and unseen, is actually energy and vibration.


Quantum physics verifies that all atoms are in constant motion – they are a wave, but when we put our attention onto something, the wave freezes into a particle making it appear solid.


Even the most solid of things – like a rock – is actually energy vibrating! This energy and vibration is also known as Shakti, which comes from the Goddess Herself. (Learn More: Understanding the Goddess).


The universe was born from this vibration, and what is music but vibration that falls upon an ear drum at different frequencies? So is it any surprise that certain music can purify our surroundings?

In India, an ancient string instrument called the Tamboura can be tuned to create such Divine music that just listening to it can take you into bliss.


It is for this reason that musicians, chanters, and temples have a Tamboura playing a raga (4-5 note musical scales in Indian classical music) in the background.


What is raga? In Sanskrit, the root “ra” means energy and the root “ga” means "moving, something that penetrates everywhere". 


Of the five elements that the Goddess embodies, the raga has qualities of the ether, as it can expand to touch the Divine spirit in all of us.  


In fact, Goddess Saraswati is depicted as playing a veena, which is a similar string instrument. (Shree Maa also plays this instrument. Jai Shree Maa!) 

When listened to in silence, these ragas have an amazing healing impact on the mind and the energy centers in the body (see next section below for a description of the impact on the chakras).


Listening to the tamboura is a magical celebration that has the potential to help the spiritual aspirant complete the yogic journey – merging mind, body, and soul with the Divine Source.


Typically there are only four or five notes played in a raga, but there is one underlying note that the raga moves back to. The raga helps to keep our attention focused on the one underlying note.


​This is very similar to the world of manifestation, which is always full of duplicity, but underneath all of it is the one Source – Brahman - the Divine Source of all. 

The continuous playing of a raga moves us closer and closer to union with the Divine. Over Navaratri, we played a raga in Key Note C from Betty Mckeon (spotify music attached at bottom)

Today, play a raga in Key Note C and sit with it in silence for a few minutes. Let it penetrate your mind and as you listen to it with fresh ears, take a moment to pray:


“Oh Mother, like the ether, your Divine Energy is everywhere. When my mind is silenced, the five senses can serve as doorways to your Divine Bliss.


Mother, right now, before I interact any further with the world, I am taking this special time to be only with You. Please draw me closer to you and let me experience your bliss. Thank you!”

 

 

​Raga Impact on the Energy Chakras

(something extra for those who are interested)


 

There is another function that the tamboura plays in the world of our energy system. The tamboura and its raga helps to balance the energy fields in our chakras.

The body has seven chakras and each has its own sound frequency.  So the tamboura can be tuned to harmonize each chakra and this is what we call music therapy in today’s modern language.


The first chakra is the root chakra (Muladhara) located at the bottom of the spine. It vibrates to a raga tuned to the concert key C. This is the fundamental chakra to open up the kundalini energy. During Navaratri, we listened to the raga in key note C to help ground our energy and stimulate the opening of kundalini.


The second chakra is the Sacral Chakra (Swadhishthana), which vibrates to the concert key of D, which helps focus our attention. This chakra is located two inches below the belly button.

The third chakra is the Solar Plexus Chakra, (Manipura) which vibrates to the note E. The Solar Plexus Chakra is located at the naval and when stimulated through the raga in concert key E it helps with inner transformation through willpower and more positive attitude.

The fourth chakra is the Heart Chakra (Anahata) which vibrates to key note F and when stimulated it enhances love, self confidence, and relationships.


The fifth chakra is the Throat Chakra (Vishuddha) and it vibrates to concert key G. It is associated with creative expression and good communications.

The sixth chakra is the Third  Eye Chakra (Ajna) located between the eyebrows. This chakra vibrates to concert key A and when stimulated enhances spiritual intuitiveness, clear thinking, empathy, and discrimination.


The seventh chakra is the Crown Chakra (Sahasrara) located on the top of the head. This chakra vibrates to concert key B and it brings universal consciousness and connects us to the Divine Source.


 


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