Music and Dance

From Realization Through Music, Music As Yoga, Swami Sivananda Saraswati

One can attain the Lord's darshan through singing kirtan and songs. There are various ways to God-realization, bhakti yoga, raja yoga and other yogas, but the easiest, cheapest, quickest, safest and surest way to attain God-realization is sankirtan yoga. Just as a deer is entrapped by music, so also the mind, which is as restless and wandering as the deer, is steadied by the music and made to dissolve in Brahman. By the singing of kirtan and songs in praise of the Lord, the mind melts and becomes one with the Lord. Therefore, let us also pray to the Lord, sing His kirtan and attain God-realization this very second.

God-realization is not difficult. It is easy for those who are engaged in uttering his name, singing his praise and meditating on his feet, and who have surrendered themselves to the Lord.

The path of devotion is the easiest and the surest of all the ways for attaining emancipation. The science of music goes hand in hand with bhakti yoga.

Sangeeta or music is the fountain-source of all our being. It has an emotional appeal to the inner aspiration of humanity. Inanimate objects are also moved by music, there is even music of the planets. All of the arts aspire towards the condition of music. Through music, the soul learns harmony and rhythm, as well as an even disposition to justice. Rhythm and harmony find their way into the secret notches of the soul and keep it entirely oblivious to the outside world in sublime peace.

A devotee sings bhajan and forgets everything and sub-merges himself in the divine name. When a sincere devotee sings, there is a harmonious blending essence, feeling and creation, of rasa, bhava and rachana in his songs just as there is form, colour and fragrance in the rose.

Nritya or dance which accompanies a kirtan is an inseparable, sacred movement of the various limbs of the body in accordance with the inner divine bhava. Nritya in itself is a divine science. The Adi Gurus of this celestial dance are Lord Shiva, Krishna and Mother Kali.

Nritya is an external manifestation induced in bhaktas by the thrill of ecstasy from within and helps the devotees to merge themselves in the Lord.