Veena, Veena, Veena.....this word itself sounds sweet, pleasant & musical. While referring to the musical instruments from time of yore, we are used to the three main musical instruments as Veena, Venu, Mrudangam. While Veena (flute) represent the string instrument, Venu represents the wind instrument & Mrudangam represents the percussion instrument. These three type of instruments are termed as “ Tata,” Suchira”, and “Avanaddha (Taadana).
Right from the Vedic ages Veena has been acclaimed as the king of the instruments and is believed to be the only instrument capable of producing music closest to the vocal rendering. It has been glorified to such an extent that it is deemed an instrument of the Gods and in fact an incarnation of the God. This may be the reason why the Goddess of learning, Saraswati is depicted and adorned with a Veena & called “Veena-Pani". As all the deities reside in Veena it is Sarva Mangala, because all sins are driven away.“INDIRA PATRIKAA BRAHMA TUMBURNAABHIHI SARASWATEE-DORIKO VAASUKIR JEEVAH SUDHAA MSUH SAURIKA RAVIH-The above Verse describes the deities and their places in Veena.
From the time when Vedas were created, a Veena player has been known to be the master of Sruthis and Veena was an instrument of choice when chanting “ Veda- Mantras” especially in Sama-Veda. Over the ages Veena developed to consist of 24 frets with 4 strings along the frets and 3 strings at the side. The 4 strings depict the 4 Vedas - 1st String/Sarini: Rigvada; 2nd String/Panchama: Yajurveda; 3rd String/Mandra: Samaveda; 4th String/Anu Mandra: Atharvaveda. All the 4 strings are said to have ”shudda satva guna". The importance of 24 frets comes due to the sound (Nada) that is produced from them.
From time immemorial Veena has been the guiding star for the development of Indian Music in general. In fact there are many resemblances between the human body (God made Veena) and man made Veena. These secrets are revealed in a book by name, “SANDHYA VANDANEEYA TATVARTHA” and “VEDA PRAKASIKE” written and published by Mr. YEDA TOREY SUBRAMANYA SARMA in the year 1936. The human back-bone (Spinal Chord) stands straight from the Mooladhara (the seat of the body) up to the head. In the top of the head exists the Brahma Randhra. Just like the 24 frets of the Veena, human back bone has 24 divisions. It is said that it is not enough to merely to know how to play Veena but one should know the secrets of the instrument and how it responds to a devoted votary.
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We are a very open learning environment. Please stop by to talk to one of our faculty about Carnatic and Hindustani Music, the History, the Instruments and the Teaching Methods we use to inspire our students to continue this rich musical and cultural tradition. Come by for our OPEN HOUSE on August 19th th from 1-3:30 pm at the school or schedule a trial class. Please feel free to call us at +1.408.833.6124 or email us at raagaSchool@gmail.com