Indian Music and Ayurveda - some Recent Research

Ayurveda views all diseases as aggravation of doshas. As each of the three doshas, kapha, pitta and vata refers to specific functioning such as maintenance, transformation and dynamic action respectively, it is pertinent to have an idea of the approximate time of a day in which each of them would, normally, be found in imbalance. According to Pandit Shashak Katti, who has worked with an anesthetist, Dr. Himalaya Pantvaidya, and an ayurvedic practioner, Dr. Sanjay Chhajed, an approximate time chart could be drawn indicating the time of the day when a particular dosha remains aggravated, as indicated below:

Imbalance of the DoshaTiming I Timing II
Kapha7 AM to 11 AM 7 PM to 11 PM
Pitta11 AM to 3 PM11 PM to 3 AM
Vata3 PM to 7 PM3 AM to 7 AM

An inference from the above could be drawn that an appropriate morning raga could help in addressing the problems of kapha-aggravation, whose imbalance is common between 7 to 11 a.m. Similarly pitta imbalance (predominant during 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.) and vata imbalance (whick is at its peak during 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.) could be addressed by selecting appropriate after noon or evening ragas, as the case may be. After listening to the prescribed raga regularly for about 20-25 days, twice or thrice a day, patients were found to derive desired results. Disorders like arthritis, depression, insomnia, joint muscular pain, sciatica, etc. are reported to respond well to music, although disorders like asthma, diabetes and hypertension take longer time to get cured.

Pandit Shashank Katti has also found premature babies responding to music well and gaining weight. He has also found the role of music for easy delivery of babies in bursing homes. His team has brought out audio-analgesic cassettes for arthritis back pain, joint pain, muscular pain, spondylitis etc. besides for a host of ailments-acidity, asthma, cols, diabetes, easy child delivery, health promotion, hypertension, insomnia, liver diseases, migraine, etc.

Dr. P Bharathi has recently initiated an extensive research on music therapy in collaboration with the Ramachandra Medical College, Chennai. The culmination of her efforts is the Chaitanya series. She has worked with post-operative patients for treatment and management of pain and found that patients in the post-operative stage are more receptive to music. It could be because pain makes one more aware of his or her body emotion. Added to this is the deep desire to be cured. All these factors along with physical immobility and lack of mental distraction, contributed to a remarkable recovery of many patients, when music was made available to them.

Some Therapeutic Carnatic Ragas

To cure insomnia, one listens to bits and pieces of Nilambari raga; like wise martial fervours are believed to be instilled in people by making them listen to pieces in Bilahari or Kedaram; Sriraga, when sung or listened, after a heavy lunch is said to aid in digestion and assimilation: While Saama raga is to restore mental peace, Bhupalam and Malaya maarudham when sung before dawn serves as an agreeable invitation to people-including the Lord of the Seven Hills-to wake up from their slumber. Relief from paralysis is reported to be there by listening to pieces of Dvijaavanti Raga. Those who are prone to depression, are often recommended with a dose of lilt in Bilahari to overcome their melancholy. Nadanamakriya, yet another raga, is supposed to 'soften' the adamant people and even hardened criminals. Some of the ragas are taken here for a musical analysis to uncover their secrets. Readers may test these suggestions and see for themselves how far these concepts hold good. The same way a mother sings a lullaby with the hope that the child would be pacified by it!

Dr T V Sairam, is from F/48B, Hari Nagar,New Delhi 110064
For any doubts you can contact him at - tvsairam @