Healing Music - Document Published

Dr Sitar helps align elements with music
Free Press Journal Indore, Saturday, August 2, 2003.

  For a stethoscope he carries a sitar and for medicines he has the raag and raginis. He knows music heals. No? Experience and then you will 'feel'. Dr. Chandrakant Sardeshmukh, world-renowned sitar maestro and disciple of legendary Ravi shankar and Annapurna Devi, has made music a medicine for many.
'A body is made up of five basic elements. If anyone of them is disturbed, you are diseased. Music helps align the elements back,' he says with as much ease as he plays the instrument, close to him from the last 44 years.
As in the Atharvaveda, there are mantras. An incorrect pronunciation of it can negate the overall effect. A slight disturbance from the true path makes you stick to aberration. In due course of time it becomes a habit and people believe that the habit is the truth,'he elucidated adding that music helps unwind but one should have delved into the knowledge to use it.
A Sanskrit doctorate in 'Samavedic basis of Indian Music,' the sitarist said that Samaveda has elaborate description of music and body. He uses the same in his therapy, which he puts it as healing without yoga, meditation or medication. 'There are no complicated procedure in the therapy. I just ask them to lie down and listen. They themselves come up with experience, which helps them resolve their problems,' he said.
Notably, the therapy is being researched in Australia with Indian music and hospital in Japan, where Dr Sardeshmukh is now settled, are also using music to reduce physical symptoms of patients having headache or hypresthesia.

About Indian audience culture, the renowned sitarist emphasized that they believe that they know it all, which is false. 'Experience first and then establish. In the west they don't question, they come with a keenness to learn and they succeed in it,' he said.
And does this Dr Sitar take his own medicine? 'Of course, if I will not be happy how will I make others happy. Concerts or no concerts, I always play for Him and remain happy,' he concludes.

Beyond languages and barriers.
Talking about irony of cultures, Dr. Sardeshmukh mentioned that once an officer stating that the instrument he was carrying was 'imported' stopped him at Mumbai airport when he flew in from Germany.
Meanwhile, about 1500 students and teachers hung on to every note he played in a small village in Japan. 'Music has no language, no barriers, it can join the world and the cosmos,' he says adding that it belongs to anyone who wants it.