Musikgarten Blog: The Relationship Between Music and Hinduism
Over the last several months, we have been discovering the inseparable relationship between music and the world’s major religions. Beginning with the connection that prehistoric worship and utility shared with rhythm and voice, we have continued our journey by exploring those links into more formalized musical forms as practiced in Buddhism and Christianity. As with these two world religions, Hinduism also has a rich history and tradition of music in worship.
The Mythological and Historical Roots of Hindu Music
Indian music, called Sangeet, has mythological roots that is associated with heavenly singers, the Gandharvas. It was decided to bestow this celestial art upon humankind, but a suitable person was required to receive it into the world. The god-sage Narada, a traveling musician and storyteller predating the second century BCE is believed to be one of the mind-created children of Brahma, the great creator. Narada was chosen as the recipient of the musical art form, which Hindus say arouses the senses and creates spiritual vibrations that enhance devotion. Repetition and chanting often found in Hindu music helps connect devotees to humankind and their spirituality.