Almost all cultures such as Hinduism, Egyptian, Greek, Shamanistic, Chinese, etc. have used sacred music as a therapy for healing for all types of diseases. Sacred music can have a profound effect on the mind, body, and soul. Furthermore, sacred music can be used as a spiritual tool for personal development and healing. Music is a mystical and mysterious part of life, unique to human beings. As long as there have been humans, there has been a love of music which is hard to explain. But regardless of the form, it does something to us. Generally, the effects of music are a positive and beneficial experience, though there also exist forms of music detrimental to our spiritual health. And, in these forms, it might lead us away from God in its message and its mood-altering ability may have a negative impact.
The Hindu religion has developed a complex set of mantras that do have healing qualities. A mantra could be a single word or a phrase with specific vibrational qualities. While mantras are not songs, with any definable melody, nor are they valued for aesthetic purposes. But, the qualities of the sounds and rhythms are highly valuable in Hindu culture. They tend to focus on either clearing the mind of unwanted tendencies or to cultivate the desirable tendencies. Single syllable mantras are usually repeated again and again in order to free an individual from restraints or frustrations like lack of self-confidence. Whereas phrased mantras tend to relate to a specific cure of an ailment like removal of fear, worries, and pain, to cure illnesses and to cultivate qualities such as divine wisdom, intelligence, faith, etc,. Mantras are supposed to affect change by releasing a ‘liquid nectar’ in the pineal gland which is considered the most important in the regulation of circadian rhythm i.e. 24-hour cycle of biological activities associated with natural periods of light and darkness. That is the reason, the Hindus frequently wear a dot on their forehead, in between their eyes, the site of the pineal gland. They do it to symbolically highlight the importance of the third eye or pineal gland. Modern science now understands that the pineal gland is responsible for producing melatonin and serotonin, two chemicals that are crucial for both regulating our sleep patterns and our moods. These are essential chemicals in both short and long term happiness. Therefore, we can see an interesting crossover between the ancient Hindu mantras and modern science. The pineal gland also releases DMT, a hallucinogenic chemical that contributes to the creation of vivid dreams in REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep. Therefore, Hindu mantras, as a form of sacred music for healing provide a means to control a part of the mind which is crucial in our everyday life for self-improvement.
The Chinese have used music extensively for the treatment of various diseases. There are tones and each tone has a complex set of relations to a specific part of the body. This relationship of specific tones to specific aspects of the mind, body, and soul is one that has been developed over thousands of years and which is central to the ways in which Chinese culture uses certain forms of music for varying healing purposes. Indeed, it is quite remarkable that the most important Chinese scale matches the western conception of a pentatonic scale, a scale which is also at the heart of most western music. Indeed, this is not by accident. The pentatonic scale relates to the mathematic formulas of Pythagoras, who developed the tonal system based on his appreciation of harmony in the cosmos.
Another function of spiritual music is for mnemonic purposes. In Jewish and Christian cultures, prayers are frequently attached to songs. This not only gives them qualities additional to that of the words of the prayer but makes them easier to remember, making the worship of God a more pleasant and accessible task. These prayers almost always relate to connecting with God or healing a part of the mind, body, or soul. In Jewish culture, there are prayers to connect with God at certain parts of the day, week, or year and prayers with a more specific purpose, relating to healing the sick, caring for the soul of a deceased to name just a few.
Similarly, the Sufis use music as a form of purification though with some differences.
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Therefore, music has been used across many cultures for its ability to aid spiritual connection to God and its healing powers. Furthermore, sacred music may be used for its healing effect on the mind, body, and soul. Updike (1994) argues that the rhythm of music has a profound impact on one’s experience of time. She refers to a (1987) study by Watson which found that the use of music temporally and spatially extended healing consciousness. It is perhaps unsurprising that music of a spiritual or religious nature is often slow in rhythm, reflecting its attempt to soothe the soul and awaken a connection to God. Thus, spiritual music may also be ideal for healing purposes. If this music extends the perception of time, this may allow people to feel less restrained or nervous by an impending illness. Of course, the music evokes a connection to spirituality and a healing state in many different ways. Indeed, healing takes on many different variations, it may involve healing a physical, mental, or spiritual ailment. Therefore, depending on the nature of the ailment, it may be suitable to use the soft repetition of Hindu mantras, the intense spiritual and physical connection to the music of the dervishes in Sufi’s music, the relation of specific soothing tones to different parts of the human body, as in Chinese culture, or the infectious melodies which facilitate a connection to music and the social group, as evident in Christian and Jewish cultures. Certainly, it is wise to learn from each of these groups regarding the sacred importance of music for its ability to heal.
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we embrace sacred music as an extension of God’s ability to heal, this gift may be brought into our lives readily at any time, any place. Just as this tangible hopefulness has the ability to awaken a dormant, cherished dream where we find ourselves re-stabilized and resolved, sacred music, if experienced as divinely delivered, may also heal, allowing us to be drawn closer to God. The sacred music for healing becomes more important during these difficult times when the world is fighting the novel coronavirus COVID-19 without any specific treatment.
Try out some of the below-given mantras, and see how it feels. It never hurts to meditate. All things appear and disappear.
– Today I will breathe deeper, exhale slower, and find the stillness within me.
– In my words, thoughts, and actions – I choose kindness.
– Anxiety is just a feeling.
– Breathing in I calm my body, breathing out I smile.
– I have survived and will continue to survive.
– I have enough, I do enough, I am enough.
– I will not fear the unexpected. I am safe.
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