[This series of six posts are excerpts from my Guru, violin maestro (late) Dr. Kunnakudi Vaidyanathan's interview with 'The Hindu'. The therapeutic effect of music has been elucidated. Also in each article is a picture of one famous musician from the Golden era of Carnatic music.]
My father was the guiding force in my research studies. When he was ill he had more faith in the curative power of music than the medicines administered to him. I was once preparing to show the remedial power of Ananda Bhairavi. Kannadasan had challenged in public to test his blood pressure after hearing Ananda Bhairavi from my violin.
He had promised to preside over a function but became ill with hypertension. Cajoled by the organisers he reluctantly came and to my utter surprise requested me to render any raga, which could soothe him. I played Ananda Bhairavi elaborately.
At the close of the concert, Kannadasan came up to the dais and announced that he was feeling much better. Ananda Bhairavi has such soothing effect. Saint Tyagaraja in ‘O, Jagadambha’ prays for the deity’s blessing.
Muthuswamy Dikshitar underlines the importance of concentration and focus in `Manasa guru guha kripam bajare; Maya mama hrith thapam thyajare’ indicating Ananda Bhairavi’s close link to matters of the heart.
Tamil Odhuvar Moorthigal generally use Ananda Bhairavi in rendering Thevaram, Thiruvachakam and Dhivya Prabantham in temples.
The suppression of the senses releases a negative force. The process of sublimation needs a spiritual path. Rag Desh can provide that. Its positive energy gives one serenity, peace, inner joy, right valour, universal love and patriotism.
The mellifluous ‘Vande Matharam’ has been aptly composed in Desh. ‘Vaishnava Janatho,’ Mahatma Gandhi’s favourite, is set in Desh, which is a favourite in both Carnatic and Hindustani streams of music.
‘Shanthi nilava vendum,’ ‘Inda ulagil irukkum mandaril ezhil udayon engal tamizhan’ (M.M. Mariyappa for the film “Kanjan”), ‘Leelaigal purivane’ in the film “Meera,” ‘Thunbam nergayil’ in “Or Iravu,” ‘Maadu meykum kanna’ sung by Madurai Somu, ‘Muthamizhil Pada Vanden’ — that I composed for “Mel Nattu Marumagal” are well known examples in Desh.