Tony Smith's Home Page
Sanskrit and Information
Feuerstein, Kak, and Frawley, in their book In Search of the Cradle of Civilization (Quest 1995), say ( In these and other quotes on this page, my comments are enclosed in [ ]. ):
"... The principal and, taken in its totality, the oldest of the four Vedic hymnbodies is the Rig-Veda. ...
[ On this page I am primarily interested in the Reg-Veda of the early Vedic age. Although some later expository material seems to me to be consistent with the fundamental wisdom of the Vedas, I do not think that some other later material, such as, for example, the caste system of orders of human beings, is consistent with the fundamental wisdom of the Vedas. ]
... The Sanskrit word ric, which for euphonic reasons is changed to rig, means literally "praise". ... The Sanskrit word veda means literally "knowledge" or "wisdom". ... The Rig-Veda is the oldest book in the Sanskrit language, indeed in any Indo-European language. More than that, if we are correct, it is the oldest book in the world ... The fact that the Rig-Veda mentions a stellar configuration that corresponds to a date from 6000 B.C. to 7000 B.C. - the astronomical Ashvini era [according to Underworld, by Graham Hancock (Crown 2002), quoting David Frawley: "... when the [winter] solstice first entered [the constellation of] Ashwini (i.e., when the winter solstice was at or very near the constellation of Aries) ]... - must not be ... denied ... this date takes us back to the beginnings of the Indic civilization at the town of Mehgarh ... in eastern Pakistan (Baluchistan) ...[whre]... excavations have yielded the ... date of around 6500 B.C. ... Writing about two thousand years ago, Greek historians Pliny and Arrian, who based themselveson reports from the ambassadors at the Maurya courts, mention that the native historical tradition of India knew of 154 kings, ruling over a period of 6,450 years. When we reconstruct this tradition, it appears that during Mauryan times the calendar was taken to commence in 6676 B.C. ...".
According to a Hindu Universe web site, the Rig Veda begins with 1 Madala, 1 Astaka, 1 Adhyaya, Sukta 1:
Note the structure of 1 first line, followed by 8 lines, each with 8+8 = 16 Sanskrit syllables left of the | line and 8 Sanskrit syllables right of the | line, for a total of 24 Sanskrit syllables per line. Note that the three sets of eight syllables correspond to
the 8 first generation fermion particles, the 8 first generation fermion antiparticles, and an 8-dimensional spacetime in the D4-D5-E6-E7-E8 VoDou Physics model, and all 24 form the vertices
of a 24-cell.
According to The Constitution of the Universe by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, printed in newspapers including The Sunday Times (15 March 1992), The Sunday Telegraph (15 March 1992) Financial Times (16 March 1992), The Guardian (16 March 1992), The Wall Street Journal (6 January 1992), and The Washington Post (9 January 1992), a copy of which was sent to me in pamphlet form by John Small in August 2003:
"... modern science has systematically revealed deeper layers of order in nature, from the atomic to the nuclear and subnuclear levels of nature's functioning ...
... the ancient Vedic wisdom ... identifies a single, universal source of all orderliness in nature ...
Both understandings, modern and ancient, locate the unfied source of nature's perfect order in a single, self-interacting field of intelligence at the foundation of all the laws of nature. ... The self-interacting dynamics of this unified field constitutes the most basic level of nature's dynamics ... The laws governing the self-interacting dynamics of the unified field can therefore be called the Constitution of the Universe ... In Maharishi's Vedic Science, ... the Constitution of the Universe ... is embodied in the very structure of the sounds of the Rik Ved, the most fundamental aspect of the Vedic literature ... According to Maharishi's Apaurusheya Bhashya, the structure of the Ved provides its own commentary - a commentary which is contained in the sequential unfoldment of the Ved itself in its various stages of expression. The knowledge of the total Ved ... is contained in the first sukt of the Rik Ved, which is presented below [and is also shown above, all on one line]:
... The precise sequence of sounds is highly significant; it is in the sequential progression of sound and silence thatthe true meaning and content of the Ved reside - not on the level of intellectual meanings ascribed to the Ved in the various translations [compare the Torah].
The complete knowledge of the Ved contained in the first sukt (stanza) is also found in the first richa (verse) - the first twenty-four syllables of the first sukt (stanza 1). This complete knowledge is again contained in the first pad, or first eight syllables of the first richa, and is also found in the first syllable of the Ved, 'AK', which contains the total dynamics of consciousness knowing itself. [compare the 64 hexagrams of the I Ching which come from the 8 trigrams which in turn come from Yin-Yang]
According to Maharishi's Apaurusheya Bhashya of the Ved,
- 'AK' describes the collapse of the fullness of consciousness (A) within itself to its own point value (K). [compare the quantum decoherence/collapse of superpositions of tubulin elecctron states in the formation of a thought in the human brain] This collapse, which represents the eternal dynamics of consciousness knowing itself, occurs in eight successive stages.
- In the next stage of unfoldment of the Ved, these eight stages of collapse are separately elaborated in the eight syllables of the first pad, which emerges from, and provides a further commentary on, the first syllable of Rik Ved, 'AK'. These eight syllables correspond to the eight 'Prakritis' (Ahamkar, etc.) or eight fundamental qualities of intelligence ...[compare the 8-dimensional real Clifford algebra of the D4-D5-E6-E7-E8 VoDou Physics model and its 8-fold Periodicity leading to a Clifford Tensor Product Universe]...
- The first line, or 'richa', of the first sukt, comprising 24 syllables, provides a further commentary on the first pad (phrase of eight syllables);
- The first pad expresses the eight Prakritis ... with respect to the knower ... observer ... or 'Rishi' quality of pure consciousness.
- The second pad expresses the eight Prakritis with respect to the process of knowing ... process of observation ... of 'Devata' (dynamism) quality of pure consciousness.
- The third pad expresses the eight Prakritis with respect to the known ... observed ... or 'Chhandas' quality of pure consciousness. ... [compare the 3 pads with Triality]
- The subsequent eight lines complete the remainder of the first sukt - the next stage of sequential unfoldment of knowledge in the Ved. These eight lines consist of 24 padas (phrases), comprising 8x24 = 192 syllables. [compare the 192-element Weyl group of Spin(8), whose root vector polytope is the 24-cell, and whose Lie algebra comes from the bivectors of the Cl(8) Clifford Algebra] ... these 24 padas of eight syllables elaborate the unmanifest, eight-fold structure o fhe 24 gaps between the syllables of the first richa (verse). ... Ultimately, in the subsequent stages of unfoldment, these 192 syllables of ther first sukt (stanza) get elaborated in the 192 [?or is it 191?] suktas that comprise the first mandal (circular cyclical eternal structure) of the Rik Ved, which in turn gives rise to the rest of the Ved and the entire Vedic literature. ...".
so that the total number of relevant entities in the first sukt is 24+24+192 = 240, which is the number of vertices of
the root vector polytope of the E8 Lie algebra.
Since the E8 Lie algebra has rank 8, it has dimension 240+8 = 248, and the 2^8 = 256-dimensional real Clifford algebra Cl(8) (or Cl(1,7) if you pay attention to signature) can be constructed as
contains the structure of both:
Here are some further comments on the Rig Veda:
Although current written versions of the Rig-Veda are written in Sanskrit or later languages, the earlier versions were transmitted orally. Perhaps the first versions were in the Global Early Language, or its earliest variant in the Indian region, the Sarasvati-Sindhu language. As Feuerstein, Kak, and Frawley have noted in their book In Search of the Cradle of Civilization (Quest 1995), the Rig-Veda mentions star patterns of 9,000 to 8,000 years ago, so the Rig-Veda is of that age. Other things they discuss include:
The Rig-Veda has about 250 hymns to Indra. Indra's Net is a net with a jewel at each intersection, each jewel reflecting all the other jewels of the net. Indra's Net is a symbol of the internet, and can symbolize other interconnected systems, even Many-Worlds of lattice spacetime. As the being whose thunderbolts reveal the light of the sun and release waters to flow to the ocean, Indra could symbolize the Vela X supernova. The Rig-Veda has about 100 hymns to Soma, who has the nectar of immortality, also called soma. The soma nectar is used to stimulate visions. As it is produced by pressing and filtering the soma plant, so the Rig-Veda describes the yoga practice of purification of the mind by three filters, so that higher-level truth can be perceived. About one-fourth of the verses in the Rig-Veda are in the gayatri meter: 3 sections of 8 syllables each; the first 4 syllables free and the last 4 in fixed cadence. To me - with respect to physics - each of the 3 sections represents one of the three 8-dimensional representations of Spin(8), and the fixing of the last 4 syllables of the section representing 8-dimensional spacetime represents dimensional reduction to 4-dimensional spacetime. In that way, I see the music of the Rig-Veda reflecting fundamental physics. The gayatri meter is named from the mantra in 3 Madala, 3 Astaka, 4 Adhyaya, Sukta 62, Richa 10: tat savitur varenyam, bhargo devasya dhimahi, dhiyo yo nah pracodayat. (English: Behold the beautiful splendor of Savitri - the Sun-God of the swastika - to inspire our visions.)
According to a hindubooks riverheaven web site, David Frawley said:
"... The Rig Veda is the book of Mantra. It contains the oldest form of all the Sanskrit mantras. It is built around a science of sound which comprehends the meaning and power of each letter. Most aspects of Vedic science like the practice of yoga, meditation, mantra and Ayurveda can be found in the Rig Veda and still use many terms that come from it. ... While originally several different versions or rescensions of the Rig Veda were said to exist, only one remains. Its form has been structured in several different ways to guarantee its authenticity and proper preservation through time.
The Rig Veda consists of the hymns to various aspects of the Divine as seen by various seers, called the "rishis". There are seven primary seers, identified not only in India but also in Persia and China with the seven stars of the Big Dipper. Their names are Atri, Kanwa, Vasishta, Vishwamitra, Jamadagni, Gotama and Bharadvaja, but they appear even in the hymns of these sages and may refer to an earlier group. They relate to the guiding lights of the seven chakras. The main family of the seers was called the Angirasas (a term related to the Greek Angelos and our English word angel). ...
... The Rig Veda is composed of ten books (called mandalas in Sanskrit). Seven of the books each relate primarily to one great seer and the family he belongs to;
- The first book is a collection of hymns from seers of different families, mainly earlier ones.
- the second book belongs to Gritsamada and his family, the Bhrigus;
- the third relates to Vishwamitra and his family;
- the fourth to Vamadeva and the Gotama family;
- the fifth to Atri and his family;
- the sixth to Bharadvaja and his family;
- the seventh to Vasishta and his family; and
- the eighth to the Kanwas.
- The ninth book is the collection of Soma hymns mainly from the Bhrigus and Angirasas. It is largely outside of and earlier than the family books.
- The tenth book is a collection of various earlier and later hymns.
[ As John Small said in e-mail: "... The first encapsulates the whole thing, the Tenth complements the first and "fills in the gaps" ... in the first, the remaining 8 form a sequence that is the expansion of the 8 fundamental forms displayed in the first sukta. ...". It is interesting that the central 8 correspond to the 7 seers plus 1 about Soma, similar to the 8 octonions corresponding to the 7 imaginary octonions plus 1 real octonion. The term "fills in the gaps" might mean that the tenth book explains the silent spaces between spoken/written syllables in the first book. ]
Each hymn is given to a certain deity (devata). The main deities are Indra, Agni, Soma and Surya. ... each of the Gods has his consort, like Indra and Indrani, Varuna and Varunani. ....
- Indra is the God of Prana or the awakened life-force. ...
- Agni is the God of consciousness, awareness and mindfulness. His symbol is the sacred fire. ...
- Soma is the mystic plant that yields the nectar of immortality. He is also the Moon and the lord of the waters. He symbolizes bliss, Ananda.
- Surya is the Sun which is the visible face and presence of the Deity. He symbolizes the enlightened mind and creative intelligence. He is the Divine creator and transformer.
- Varuna, the lord of the cosmic ocean and the Divine judge;
- Mitra the Divine friend and lord of compassion and
- Savitar, the Sun God of creative intelligence. ...
- Usha, the Goddess of the Dawn or spiritual aspiration;
- Saraswati, the Goddess of the Divine Word, of wisdom and inspiration;
- Aditi the Goddess of Infinite Oneness and Wholeness; ...
- Apas, the Cosmic Waters. ....
- Brahma ... the creator ... is Brihaspati, also called Brahmanaspati, the priest of the Gods.
- Vishnu ... the maintainer ... is an important form of the Sun God and later all forms of the Sun God were merged into him. [ Avatars of Vishnu include Rama and Krishna ]
- Shiva ... the destroyer ... is present as Rudra, the seldom invoked but very much respected and feared father of all the Gods. [ Ganesha is a son of Shiva ] ...
... Collective deities exist like the Adityas, the solar deities, the Maruts or Rudras, Gods of the storm, the Ribhus or Divine craftsmen and the Vishvedevas, literally the universal Gods who symbolize the unity of all the Gods. ... Each God or Goddess can be any or all the Gods. The concepts of monotheism, polytheism, pantheism and monism are all woven together in the Vedic vision of totality. The Divine is seen as both One and Many without contraction. ...".
Feuerstein, Kak, and Frawley, in their book In Search of the Cradle of Civilization (Quest 1995) also say:
"... Vedic cosmology evolved in conjunction with a complex system of sacrificial ritualism. ... the rituals are not to be done mechanically but with full attention and proper control of body, mind, speech, and breath. In other words, the constitute a form of yogic practice. ...
... The Vedic rituals were generally performed at an altar .... meant to symbolize the universe at large ... the fire altars were surrounded by 360 enclosing stones; of these, 21 ...[corresponded to]... the earth ... , 78 ...[to]... the atmosphere ... , and 261 ...[to]... the sky ... the two principal cosmological numbers were 21 and 339 (78+261) ...
.. the Rig-Veda ... was itself taken to represent a symbolic altar. Thus the number of syllables in the Rig-Veda is supposed to add up to the number of muhurtas (1 day = 30 muhurtas) in forty years, which is 432,000. ... In reality, however, the syllable count of the Rig-Veda is somewhat less ... 397,265 ... [compare the Torah ] because certain syllables are meant to be left unspoken. ...
... Not counting the eleven supplemental hymns, the Rig-Veda consists of 1017 (or 3x339) hymns distributed over 10 books and gathered into 216 groups. ...Books Hymns Groups 1 191 15 2 43 5 3 62 4 4 58 11 5 87 7 6 75 5 7 104 12 8 92 18 9 114 7 10 191 132
... These groups are the natural divisions based on authorship, subject, or meter. ...
- ... the first four books contain 354 hymns, which correspond to the length of the lunar year ...
- ... the total number of hymns in the middle four books ... is 324, which equals the nakshatra (constellation) year of 12x27 days. When this is multiplied by a close approximation of pi, we arrive at 1017, which corresponds to the number of hymns in the entire Rig-Vedic collection (excludng eleven supplemental hymns). ...
- ... The number 108, which is one-half the number of hymn groups, ... is roughly the average distance between the Sun and the Earth in terms of solar diameters. It is also the average distance between the Moon and Earth in terms of lunar diameters. ... For example, if a pole of a certain height were to be separated from the observer by a distance that is 108 times this height, its angular size would be ... equal to that of the Sun or the Moon. ... 108 beads are used in Hindu rosaries ...
- ... 339 ... is simply the number of solar disks it takes to measure the Sun's path across the sky during equinox: pi x 108 = circa 339. ...
- ... the actual - rather than the idea - Vedic year was reckoned as consisting of 366 days ... divided into two equal parts of 183 days ... the ancients sought to reconcile the 339 steps of the Sun with th symbolic value of 183 ... by postulating a value of 78 for the atmosphere, since 339 - 183 + 2x78 ...
- the Rig-Veda speaks of the thirty-four "lights", which are the twenty-seven lunar constellations ... ... , the five planets, and the Sun and the Moon. ...
- ... a tithi was reckoned as a 360th part of the lunar year ... somewhat shorter than a day ... There are 371 tithis in a year of 365 plus days, and when we multiply ... by 9 we arrive at 3339 ... the total number of deities given in the Rig-Veda ...
... the sacred syllable om ... is said to be the quintessence of the Vedas ... The syllable om is not mentioned in the Rig-Veda, possibly because it was deemed too sacred to be spoken out loud [compare the Torah, in which the name of g-d is not to be written completely; and the Taoist Dao De Ching] ... In one Rig-Vedic hymn (I.164.39) ... we may have an oblique reference to the sacred syllable om. ... also, no graphic representation of om has so far been found in the excavated Indus towns ... om is first named or written out ...
... in such Vedic scriptures as the Shukla-Yjur-Veda. ...".
Note that Maharishi says that the first Mandal of the Rig-Veda has 192 Suktas, while Feuerstein, Kak, and Frawley say that it (the first book) has 191 hymns (Suktas).
John Small told me by e-mail that
Maharishi considers the 192nd Sukta to be "... the "Avyukta Sukta", it means the "empty sukta" and it's just a complete absence of any sound at all. It complements the first sukta, and with it in place you can line up the first mandala in a circle with each sukta matching up to another diametrically opposite in the circle. .... The Avyukta Sukta ... In Maharishi's scheme ... there are two processes in operation, one the collapse from fullness to emptyness and then the expansion from emptyness back to fullness. ... in terms of Goedel's Theorems, any formal system that is complete must be inconsistent, that is it must contain a statement that negates the system itself ...".
and then Maharishi's Avyukta (= avyakta = unmanifest) Sukta is used to make T "more complete" by adding A (true and false) as new propositions to make it a "pair" of possible systems like a quantum superposition of two possible worlds of the Many-Worlds:
S = T + Atrue combined with T + Afalse
and then, you start again with the system S and process it again to find a new Godelian undecidable thing B - this is a second collapse "collapse" - and then expand again with Avyukta Sukta to get a "newer bigger"
R = S + Btrue combined with S + Bfalse
giving you twice again as many possible quantum worlds, and you continue the process ad infinitum
Each half-cycle T to A, S to B, etc ... , corresponds to the first 191 Suktas of the first Mandal of the Rig Veda.
Each half-cycle A to S, B to R, etc ... , corresponds to to the 192nd empty = soundless Avyukta Sukta, which constructs the helix covering the closed circle of the first Mandala .
Each cycle T to S, S to R, etc ... , corresponds to introducing new branches
in the possible quantum worlds of the Many-Worlds Quantum Theory.
The "whole Veda" is therefore nothing that you can ever write down in any finite number of steps, but is an infinitely branched Many-Worlds Tree of Helical Coils, with its Total Sound being OM, which is therefore, as John Small says, "... The OM sound is the sound of the whole of the Veda from a distance ... like listening to a bee hive from a distance. Then as you get close you can distinguish the individual sounds themselves until finally you can experience each separate bit quite clearly. ...".
The process of a human trying to "tune in" to part of the "whole Veda"
is a self-referential loop involving the Quantum Consciousness of the human brain.
(The above three images, and some related ideas, are derived from the book Science, Mind and the Universe by Helmut Moritz (Wichmann 1995))
"... In order to ensure that the Vedas can be repromulgated for future mankind after each pralaya ... destruction and rebirth [as by floods at the end of an Ice Age about 11,600 years ago]... the gods have ... designed an institution to preserve them ... the Seven Sages ... Sapta Rishis ... a brotherhood of adepts ... who reincarnate from age to age as the guides of civilization and the guardians of cosmic justice. ..[They] survive[d] the deluge in the Ark with Manu ... According to Bal Ganghadar Tilak: The Vedas were destroyed in the deluge ... the Sages ... reproduced ... the antediluvian Vedas ...
... Seven Sages in both the Sumerian and Vedic traditions ...[have]... similarities ...
- Both groups are associated with fish symbolism of some sort - the Seven Sages of Sumer are themselves half men, half fish, and the Vedic Seven Sages take refuge on Manu's survival ship, which is towed by a gigantic fish ...
- Both groups of sages perform an identical function - which is to preserve the gifts of civilization and bring them to mankind in their respective areas. ...
... The Rig Veda conjures up a compelling image of a demon in the form of a great dragon, or serpent, that has wrapped itself around the ice-covered mountain ranges ... and strangled seven great rivers. The name of the demon is sometimes Ahi but more often Vrta and the story of how he is slain by the god Indra and of how the seven rivers are freed, is repeated again and again in the hymns of the Rig Veda [compare the Chinese Jade Emperor Yu Di of about 4,200 years ago]...".
According to a Sanathana Dharma web page:
".... According to the Hindu view of creation, it was sound and not light that appeared first. In Vedic parlance it is called Nada Brahma or the Sound Celestial. Vedic rishis believed that the evolution of the Brahmand or universe was caused as a result of Bindu Vsphot or an atomic explosion, that produced infinite waves of sound, which represent cosmic ascent and expansion.
The sound was a monosyllable: Om. Since Om is related to the beginning of the universe, Hindus consider it the most sacred syllable with which Vedic mantras commence. Om is the principal name of the Supreme Being. It refers to all that it manifest and beyond. ...
According to Vedic literature music originated from nada or sound, which is the product of akash or ether: There are two types of sound. The ahat or struck sound is audible whereas the anahata or unstruck sound is inaudible. Sound originates in living beings from the friction between air ñ pran vayu or vital breath and agni or heat energy (will power). It evolves first in a causal forms as anahata and then in the gross form of sound emanates from the vocal chord and is sweet and soothing, it is called snageetam or music. The anahata nada is most significant for yogis who have reached the highest level of consciousness. It is the internal sound they hear, after prolonged meditation and ardous yogic discipline. Ordinary human beings are engaged with the ahat nada.
Indian musical traditions trace the origin of music to the Sama Veda. It is a compendium of melodies, chants and rules required for the recitation of sacred hymns. It serves as a textbook for priests officiating at Soma sacrifices. ... Vedic chants are set in a musical pattern, collectively known as Samgan. To this day, the chants are in three accented musical patterns called swaras, precursor of the present seven-note musical system. ...".
According to an Indian Classical Music web page:
"... Though, Vedas are considered the source of Indian Music, it should not be assumed that classical music in its present form was fully developed by then. Infact, concept of Raga, Tala, Shruti or even Nava Rasas come only later.
All except SamaVeda were sung using only three notes, Anudaatta (low), Udaatta(middle) and Svarita(high). As used today the Anudaatta, Udaatta and Svarita svaras of RigVeda, can be equated with Ni, Sa, and Ri of the North Indian Kafi scale (Kharaharapriya of the Carnatic). In early manuscrpts of RigVeda, the text was written along with accent notes. Anudaatta is marked with an underline and Svarita is marked with a small vertical line above the syllable. Udaatta is left unmarked.
Sama Veda consists of about 1900 verses, called samans. Ninety-five percent of the verses of Sama Veda Samhita are in Rig Veda Samhita. One can see from the text of the Sama Veda mantra that the chanting notation in it is much more elaborate than that in the corresponding Rig Veda mantra. SamaVeda was chanted using all seven notes (prathama, dvitheeya, tritheeya, chathurtha, panchama, shashta and sapthama), in descending order, of the Vaidika scale (or of sama gana) which have been equated to (Ma,Ga,Ri,Sa,Dha,Ni,Pa) of the Laukika or Gandhara scale in later classical sanskrit texts like NaradiyaShiksha.
RigVedic hymns are directed at Gods, to be chanted during sacrifices to please them. It is possible Gods were thought to be fond of music and that it would be easier to please them if the hymns were sung rather than just chanted. Thus, many of the Rig Vedic hymns were set to music and sung and were known as samans, rather than just hymns (Rik). The chanted Sama-Veda hymns or Samans were believed to possess the supernatural qualities capable of petitioning and even supporting the deities that controlled the forces of the universe. Since Rig Vedic hymns are just metered they could not be sung using all the seven notes. Thus started a tradition of insertion of a number of seemingly `meaningless' words or syllables (stobha) for musical and lyrical effect, such as o, hau, hoyi, va, etc. It was these stobha syllables which were extended vocally with long duration on various notes of the Sama-Veda scale by the priests who had the special function of summoning the gods to the celebration through the use of droning (monotone) on a number of these tones, believing them to hold magical properties. The wife of the chief sacrificer (i.e. chief priest, brahmana) would play the Vina, during sacrifices.
Precise methods of singing the Samans were established and preserved in three different schools, the Kauthumas, Ranayaniyas, and the Jaiminiyas, the oldest. Each has maintained a distinct style with regard to vowel prolongation, interpolation and repetition of stobha, meter, phonetics, and the number of notes in scales. Accordingly, there has been a fervent regard for maintaining continuity in Sama-Veda singing to avoid misuse or modification over many years. Since written texts were not in use, in fact prohibited, the priests memorized the chants with the aid of accents and melodies, and passed this tradition down orally from one generation to the next for over three thousand years ...".
According to a Music of South India web site:
"... Indian Music is probably the most complex musical system in the world with a very highly developed melodic and rhythmic structure. This (structure) includes complicated poly-rhythms, delicate nuances, ornamentations and microtones which are essential characteristics of Indian music. This makes it very difficult to notate every detail in Indian music.
Originally Indian music was passed on by oral tradition ... from one generation to another for centuries. The music was never written down until much later. The notation system was actually developed much later more as a memory-aid than something from which to learn or something from which to perform. This is why the tradition wherein the student learns from a Guru on a "one-on-one" basis is considered to be the only real way to learn music since there are so many aspects that cannot be learned from a book because the existing notations are only a skeletal representation of the music.
Indian Music had its origins in the Vedas ... Four in number, the Vedas are the most sacred texts which contain about a thousand hymns. They were used to preserve a body of poetry, invocations and mythology in the form of sacrificial chants dedicated to the Gods. Great care was taken to preserve the text, which was passed down by oral tradition, so much so that both the text and the rituals remain unchanged to this day. The literature of the Vedas is divided into four parts: the Rig Veda, the Sama Veda, the Yajur Veda and the Atharva Veda.
- The oldest, the Rig, ... was recited, at first, in a monotone; it was later developed to three tones (one main tone, and two accents, one higher and the other lower called Udatta and Anudatta respectively.) This was done to accentuate the words since the text was of primary importance.
- The Yajur Veda which mainly consists of sacrificial formulas mentions the Veena as an accompaniment to vocal recitations during the sacrifices. By this time, the chants had evolved to two main notes with two accents forming the first concept of the tetrachord (four notes.)
- The Sama Veda laid the foundation for Indian Music. The origin of Indian Music can be traced back to this Veda. Three more notes were added to the original tetrachord resulting in the first full scale of seven notes; within this scale were all the important and known musical intervals. The concept of the octave is also mentioned here.
- The Atharva Veda was a collection of formulas that deal with ... spells. The text of the Vedas is in Sanskrit, the classical language of India.
... The period of the Epics, the Ramayana and the Mahabharata (500 B.C. - 200 A.D.) saw the development of the Jati system on which the modern Raga system is based. Also, various melodic and percussion instruments are mentioned during this time. Mention must be made of the Natyashastra, a treatise written by Bharata in 300 B.C. It is the most authoritative and ancient work on the classical science of music and dance. ...".
According to a Performing Arts in India web page:
"... Love, humor, pathos, anger, heroism, terror, disgust, wonder and serenity are the nava rasas or nine basic emotions which are fundamental to all Indian aesthetics. Sage Bharata, the earliest Indian musicologist said to have lived in the 1st or 2nd century AD, enunciated these moods and believed that it was the musician's task to evoke a particular emotion or mood. The classical music tradition in India is based on the principles enunciated by sage Bharata and continues to be a form of meditation, concentration and worship.
The Raga, or musical mode, forms the basis of the entire musical event. The Raga is essentially an aesthetic rendering of the seven musical notes and each Raga is said to have a specific flavor and mood.
Tala is what binds music together. It is essentially a fixed time cycle for each rendition and repeats itself after completion of each cycle. Tala makes possible a lot of improvisations between beats and allows complex variations between each cycle.
With the help of the Raga, Tala and the infinite shrutis or microtones, Indian musicians create a variety of feelings. ...".
According to an India Music web page:
"... Vedic Hymns ... are considered the foundation of later styles (like Gregorian chants) ... Physical vibrations of musical sound (nada) is connected to spiritual world ...
... Raga and Tala form the basis of Indian music. ...
- ... Raga (rag in North, ragam in Tamil) ... a scalar melody form including basic scale and basic melodic structure. Sanskrit ranj means to color with emotion Scale of raga is shown in both ascending and descending form. Some raga include notes changing directions Some notes may have specific ornamentation (gamaka) Ground tone (beginning tone) is sa (like do in do re mi) Sa is most important note of the drone ... Later ... 72 possible combinations [compare 72 root vector elements of E6] ...
- ... Tala = cyclic measure of time (rhythm) [compare toque of IFA] Laya = tempo (fast or slow) Druta = fast Madhya = medium Vilambita = slow Matra (Hindustani) or Akshara (Karnatak) = basic beat (like metronome) Tala cycle (Vibhaga or avarta) &endash; varies from 3 to 128 beats in length; 7-16 are common ...". [compare 3 quaternion imaginaries and 3-sphere, 7 octonion imaginaries, 16 spinors of Cl(8) and 16 eyes of FA, and 128 elements of the even Clifford subalgebra Cl(8)e]
According to Knowledge Representation in Sanskrit and Artificial Intelligence, by Rick Briggs:
"... there is a widespread belief that natural languages arc unsuitable for th transmission of many ideas that artificial languages can render with great precision and mathematical rigor. ... But ... There is at least one language, Sanskrit, which for the duration of almost 1000 years was a living spoken language with a considerable literature of its own Besides works of literary value, there was a long philosophical and grammatical tradition that has continued to exist with undiminished vigor until the present century. Among the accomplishments of the grammarians can be reckoned a method for paraphrasing Sanskrit in a manner that is identical not only in essence but in form with current work in Artificial Intelligence This article demonstrates that a natural language can serve as an artificial language also, and that much work in AI has been reinventing a wheel millenia old ...
... hierarchical structure ... and ... explicit descriptions of set-relations are essential to really capture ... meaning ... and to facilitate inference. It is believed by most in the AI and general linguistic.community that natural languages do not make such seemingly trivial hierarchies explicit. Below is a description of a natural language, Shastric Sanskrit, where for the past millenia successful attempts have been made to encode such information. The sentence:(1) "Caitra goes to the village." (graamam gacchati caitra)
receives in the analysis given by an eighteenth-century Sanskrit Grammarian from Maharashtra, India, the following paraphrase:(2) "There is an activity which leads to a connection-activity which has as Agent no one other than Caitra, specified by singularity, [which] is taking place in the present and which has as Object something not different from 'village'."
The author, Nagesha, is one of a group of three or four prominent theoreticians who stand at the end of a long tradition of investigation. Its beginnings date to the middle of the first millennium B.C. when the morphology and phonological structure of the language, as well as the framework for its syntactic description were codified by Panini. His successors elucidated the brief, algebraic formulations that he had used as grammatical rules and where possible tried to improve upon them. A great deal of fervent grammatical research took place between the fourth century B.C and the fourth century A.D. and culminated in the seminal work, the Vakyapadiya by Bhartrhari. Little was done subsequently to advance the study of syntax, until the so-called "New Grammarian" school appeared in the early part of the sixteenth century with the publication of Bhattoji Dikshita's Vaiyakarana-bhusanasara and its commentary by his relative Kaundabhatta, who worked from Benares. Nagesha (1730-1810) was responsible for a major work, the Vaiyakaranasiddhantamanjusa, or Treasury of definitive statements of grammarians, which was condensed later into the earlier described work. These books have not yet been translated. The reasoning of these authors is couched in a style of language that had been developed especially to formulate logical relations with scientific precision. It is a terse, very condensed form of Sanskrit, which paradoxically at times becomes so abstruse that a commentary is necessary to clarify it. One of the main differences between the Indian approach to language analysis and that of most of the current linguistic theories is that the analysis of the sentence was not based on a noun-phrase model with its attending binary parsing technique but instead on a conception that viewed the sentence as springing from the semantic message that the speaker wished to convey. In its origins, sentence description was phrased in terms of a generative model: From a number of primitive syntactic categories (verbal action, agents, object, etc.) the structure of the sentence was derived so that every word of a sentence could be referred back to the syntactic input categories. ... It should be pointed out that these Sanskrit Grammatical Scientists actually wrote and talked this way. The domain for this type of language was the equivalent of today's technical journals. In their ancient journals and in verbal communication with each other they used this specific, unambiguous form of Sanskrit in a remarkably concise way. ... it would seem that detailed analyses of sentences and discourse units had just received a great impetus from Nagesha, when history intervened: The British conquered India and brought with them new ... means for studying and analyzing languages. The subsequent introduction of Western methods of language analysis ... has for a long time acted as an impediment to further research along the traditional ways. Lately, however, serious and responsible research into Indian semantics has been resumed, especially at the University of Poona, India. ...
... the main point in which the two lines of thought [ AI computer language and Sanskrit ] have converged is that the decomposition of each prose sentence into karaka-representations of action and focal verbal-action, yields the same set of triples as those which result from the decomposition of a semantic net into nodes, arcs, and labels.
It is interesting to speculate as to why the Indians found it worthwhile to pursue studies into unambiguous coding of natural language into semantic elements. It is tempting to think of them as computer scientists without the hardware, but a possible explanation is that a search for clear, unambiguous understanding is inherent in the human being. Let us not forget that among the great accomplishments of the Indian thinkers were the invention of zero, and of the binary number system a thousand years before the West re-invented them. ...".
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