The knowledge gained by practicing the North Indian tabla drums situates the musician within two spiritual modes of the Hindu tradition: the tantric, via rasa, and the yogic, via bhakti. Is there a limit to the spiritual efficacy of such musical practice? Citing the lack of "common measure between the ends to which riyaz and yoga are used as a means," one scholar contends that riyaz is primarily a "means to acquiring an artistic skill." However, he concludes that musical "riyaz essentially reflects the spiritual modality of bhakti."
[...] Banares Baj: The Tabla Tradition of North India,”Asian Music v IIIn 2 Russel, Corvin. “Philosophical Reflections On Tal and Tabla.” Bansuri: Volume Sahai, Sanju. www.tablaonline.com Interview Shankar, Ravi. Sounds of India. Columbia Records Sharma, B.N. Rasalocanam. Jaipur, India: Sharma Simon, Robert Leopold. Spiritual Aspects of Indian Music. Delhi : Sundeep Simms, Robert. “Some Thoughts on the Meaning of Riaz in Hindustani Music.” Bansuri: Volume Simms, Robert. “Aspects of Cosmological Symbolism in Hindusthani Musical Forms.” Asian Music. Vol. XXIV, no Fall 1992. [...]
[...] But in the devotion of bhakti-yoga, the ascetic practice of cilla, the tantric taste of rasa, the deep understanding of rhythmic cycles, and physical entrainment with these metaphors of cosmic order, there is potential for moksa. As Abhinavagupta claims, indifference is the basis of such release. At one point he concludes that actually one of the permanent mental states from sexual passion and laughter up to amazement may be posited as the basis of tranquility- insofar as liberation is achieved by him who perceives that the entire realm of sense objects is incongruous.”[xvii] If the musician practices with the view of engaging sense-objects toward their transcendence, using time cycles to escape the cycle of temporal existence, and creating physically produced sound to reach the sound of the unproduced, the practice of tabla is a paradox of tantric sadhana. [...]
[...] Evolution of Raga and Tala in Indian Music. Delhi: Manoharlal Gerow, Edwin. “Abhinavagupta's Aesthetics as a Speculative Paradigm,” Journal of the American Oriental Society, v.114 No Gonda, Jan. Vision of the Vedic Poets. The Hague: Mouton Goswami, Shrivatsa. “Radha: The Play and Perfection of Rasa.” Journal of Vaisnava Studies, v4 no Hussain, Zakir. Drums of India (Ecstacy), Biswas: 2003. Isayeva, Natalia. From Early Vedanta to Kashmir Shaivism. Albany: SUNY Jackson, William. “Music as Reflectaphor.” Journal of Vaisnava Studies, v 4 no Kippen, James. [...]
[...] While the sound of the tabla repertoire is heard as the expression of musical truth[v], and is thus sruti, the teachings of a lineage's technique (nikas) and ethical comportment (adab) are “that which has been remembered,” smrti, the means by which religious teachings are passed down in an oral tradition. smrti in the narrow sense are associated with family traditions within Vedic religion,”[vi] just as remembered knowledge forms the body of musical repertoire in the succession of tabla family lineages. [...]
[...] “Vaisnava Music in the Braj Region,” Journal of Vaisnava Studies, v.4 no Beck, Guy. “Hinduism and Music: Past and Present,” Oxford Center for Hindu Studies.
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