[INDOLOGY] Tantra and Music

Harry Spier vasishtha.spier at gmail.com
Thu May 14 00:37:36 EDT 2020


Dear Palaniappan,

I just came across this reference in James Mallinson's The Roots of Yoga.
Not a 13th century tantric text theorizing on music but a 13th century
musicological text theorizing about a tantric/yogic concept (the cakras).

 a passage from a thirteenth-century musicological text, the
Saṃgītaratnākara, on the various emotional states which result from
situating the self in the petals of the cakras (2.120–45, (5.3.7)).

Mallinson, James. Roots of Yoga (Penguin Classics) (p. 177). Penguin Books
Ltd. Kindle Edition.


Saṃgītaratnākara 2.120–39. The emotional states resulting from situating
the self in the petals of the cakras:51 (120–21) Between the anus and penis
is the cakra called the Base (ādhāra), which has four petals. The result
[of situating the self] on those petals, Aiśāna and the others, [Āgneya,
Nairṛta and Vāyavya], is supreme bliss (paramānanda), natural bliss
(sahajānanda), heroic bliss (vīrānanda) and yoga bliss (yogānanda). In the
Base lotus is Kuṇḍalinī, the śakti of Brahman. (122) When she straightens
as far as the aperture of Brahman she bestows the nectar of immortality. At
the base of the penis is the Svādhiṣṭhāna cakra, which has six petals.
(123) In its petals, in sequence from the east, are said to be these
results: modesty, cruelty, loss of pride, swooning, (124) scorn and
mistrust. It is the home of the power of love (kāmaśakti). At the navel is
the cakra with ten petals called Maṇipūraka. (125–7) In its petals, in
sequence from the east, are deep sleep, desire, envy, slander, shame, fear,
compassion, stupor, impurity [and] anxiety, and it is the abode of the
[prāṇa called] sun. At the heart is the Anāhata cakra. It is designated as
the site of the worship of Śiva in the form of the syllable oṃ. It has
twelve petals. The removal of unsteadiness, clear reasoning, remorse,
(128–9) hope, openness, worry, longing, equanimity, insincere religiosity,
fickleness, discernment and hubris: these, in sequence, are said to be the
results for the self when situated in its petals, starting with the east.
In the throat is the place of Bhāratī [the goddess of speech], the Viśuddhi
[cakra], which has sixteen petals. (130–31) The following sixteen results
arise in the self when it is situated in its petals, starting with the
east: the syllable oṃ, the Udgītha (i.e. the second part of a Vedic Sāman
chant), [the offering words] huṃphaṭ, vaṣaṭ, svadhā, svāhā [and] namaḥ, the
nectar of immortality, the seven musical notes beginning with Ṣaḍja [i.e.
Ṣaḍja, Ṛṣabha, Gāndhāra, Madhyama, Pañcama, Dhaivata and Niṣāda, and]
poison. At the uvula is the cakra called Lalanā, which has twelve petals.
(132) Intoxication, pride, affection, sorrow [i.e. suffering whose cause is
known], melancholy [i.e. suffering whose cause is not known], excessive
greed, discontent, panic, the ‘wave’ (ūrmi) [i.e. hunger and thirst, sorrow
and delusion, old age and death], belief, faith [and] courtesy: (133) these
are the results [of situating the self] in the petals beginning with the
east in the Lalanā cakra. Between the eyebrows is the three-petalled cakra
called Ājñā. [Its] results are (134) taught to be manifestations of [the
guṇas] sattva, rajas and tamas in sequence. Next is the Manas cakra, which
has six petals. Its results are, (135) in the petals starting with the
east: sleep, enjoyment of taste, smell, perception of form, touch and
cognition of sound. (136) Next is the sixteen-petalled cakra called Soma.
In its sixteen petals are found sixteen parts (kalās). (137) Compassion,
patience, rectitude, steadfastness, dispassion, resolve, joy, laughter,
horripilation, tears produced by meditation, steadiness, (138) profundity,
effort, clarity, generosity and focus: [these] results arise in sequence in
a self moving through [its] petals, starting with the east. (139) In the
aperture of Brahman is the nectarean cakra with a thousand petals. It
nourishes the body with streams of nectar.

Mallinson, James. Roots of Yoga (Penguin Classics) (pp. 206-208). Penguin
Books Ltd. Kindle Edition.


Harry Spier

On Mon, May 11, 2020 at 2:10 PM Sudalaimuthu Palaniappan via INDOLOGY <
indology at list.indology.info> wrote:

> Dear Scholars,
>
>
>
> I am looking for any information on Tantric texts theorizing about music
> around 13th century CE or earlier.
>
>
>
> Thank you in advance.
>
>
>
> Regards,
>
> Palaniappan
>
>
>
>
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