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Raga Dhyan - A Concept of Constructing Raga

 Raga Dhyan

    Raga Dhyan in Indian classical music is a term used for imagining the Raga in the form of an alive painting. In other words, it can be said as the visualization of the Raga with understanding its characteristics and nature and the beauty or the aesthetical values that reflect the aliveness of the Raga.  Raga Dhyan is the kind of realization or understanding of the raga with the melody which creates the aura and realization of the enteral beauty. An artist visualizes the raga even at the time of homely practice in order to construct the basic character Swar and its proper combination to frame a distinct melody structure, aesthetically sound good.  

    Raga Dhyan is not a new vocabulary in Indian Classical Music and has been used in terms of understanding the nurturing the melody form long before. The rock Painting of Ajanta-Ellora cave,  Paintings in the Elephanta Cave of Maharastra, Bhimbedka painting, pf Madhya Pradesh and the ancient painting of Sittanavasal Painting of Tamil Nadu are a few examples of visualization of Raga or the elements in the form of Painting. In a similar way when an artist sings a Raga then he/she first realize the beauty of the Raga then constructs the melody with the imagination of that particular structure of the Raga.  As a result, we can find the different perspectives of these visualizations in the form of Painting or in the form of melody/Raga.  The term Raga is firstly used by Matangmuni in his treatise Brihaddeshi but the concept of Dhyan was supposed to be in existence from the beginning of the human civilization in various forms of imagination.

Dhyan means to focus the mind in one particular unit that drives to a realization so the people from the beginning of the human civilization have something they imagine and made the painting/ sculpture in caves or in rocks to realize the existence of their imagination. A similar kind of imagination and creativity in humans drives the artist to imagine and visualize the outlook of the melody. The nature of Raga Bhairav- a seriousness characteristic is visualized as an old sage meditating outside the temple, Raga Megh- furious characteristics showing the black clouds lightning and thundering in the sky, Raga Todi- a garden and deers grazing in the field with a sad and downhearted lady craving for her love. There are so many paintings relating to the Raga and its characteristics created in different phases of the past centuries. Each and every raga has its own character and have a certain concept of imagination that artist visualize while practicing or performing the Raga. It is a legacy of Indian classical music that no raga can be performed or understood without the realization of the melodic structure of that Raga. 











   









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