Sangita Yoga

Sacred Chants of India

The first concert given by Naren Shreiner and Sangita Yoga was held at St. John’s Cathedral in 2015.
The response was so enthusiastic that The Guibord Center invited them back in 2016.
We do hope you enjoy these concerts along with some of the history of the music, provided by Naren.

About Sangita Yoga

by Naren Schreiner

In India, the voice is considered the most important instrument of sound. Sound has the most potent effect on mankind because of Nada Brahma, Aum (Om) the holy vibration of all creation. That is why music has such an important role in our lives.

Thousands of years ago, beyond the scope of scholarly research, the rishis (seers) of ancient India created a society and culture where religion, art and science thrived in harmony, without any competition or need of comparison.  Music was known to be a divine art interwoven with the sciences of sound, psychology and mathematics.  It was partially intended for pleasure and entertainment, but primarily intended to assist in man’s quest for Self-realization. 

Music was known to be an expression of the original sound, Naad Brahma, scripturally referred to as the Word, Cosmic Vibration, or Aum. The rishis discovered the effect of physical sound on the body, emotions and consciousness.  They deciphered various melodies and rhythms that could re-create the effects of the seasons and times of day on man. Ragas were created to paint a sonic picture or rouse a certain emotion (rasa) or state of being (bhava) such as tranquility, love, happiness, courage. 

The human voice was recognized to be the original and perfect instrument of sound.  

As the late Dr. Ananda Coomaraswamy wrote, “Indian music is essentially impersonal, reflecting an emotion and an experience which are deeper and wider and older than the emotion or wisdom of any single individual.  Its sorrow is without tears, its joy without exultation and it is passionate without any loss of serenity.”

RAGA, (from Sanskrit, meaning “colour” or “passion”), is the classical music of India, Bangladesh, and Pakistan, a melodic framework for improvisation and composition. A raga is based on a scale with a given set of notes, a typical order in which they appear in melodies, and characteristic musical motifs. The basic components of a raga can be written down in the form of a scale (in some cases differing in ascent and descent). By using only these notes, by emphasizing certain degrees of the scale, and by going from note to note in ways characteristic to the raga, the performer sets out to create a mood or atmosphere (rasa) that is unique to the raga in question. There are several hundred ragas in present use, and thousands are possible in theory.

To South Asian musicians, raga is the most important concept in music making, and the classification of ragas plays a major role in Indian music theory. In northern India, ragas are classified according to such characteristics as mood, season, and time; in southern India, ragas are grouped by the technical traits of their scales. The two systems may use different names for similar ragas or the same name for different ragas.

Traditionally, ragas were associated with specific times of day and seasons of the year, and they were thought to have supernatural effects such as bringing rain or causing fire. While some of the seasonal associations are maintained by certain musicians, these restrictions are largely ignored in modern concert life, as most public performances take place in the evening and are concentrated in the cooler parts of the year. Nevertheless, in program notes or verbal introductions, musicians often refer to the traditional associations of time and season.