Subtle Effects of Music

– Dr. Jayant Balaji Athavale & Mr. Sean Clarke

Music can affect us at the physical, psychological and the spiritual levels. Physical and psychological impacts of music such as changing our heart rate or our mood are more well known, but the spiritual impacts are not known to the majority of people. The reason for this spiritual impact is because everything consists of the three subtle basic components of Sattva, Rajas and Tamas.

Music too is made up of Sattva, Rajas and Tamas. Some types of music and dance are more Sāttvika and some are more Rājasika and Tāmasika. One’s choices in music and dance can increase Sattva or Raja–Tama in one’s life and in the environment thereby affecting one’s spiritual progress. It follows that if one listens to music that is higher in one of the components, it is likely to increase that component in us. Using a Universal Thermo Scanner (UTS), the Maharshi University of Spirituality conducted an experiment to find out how different types of music affect one’s consciousness.

1. Setup of the experiment

1.1 About the Universal Thermo Scanner

This instrument is used to measure the energy and the aura around any object (living or non-living). It has been developed by Dr. Mannem Murthy, a former nuclear scientist from Hyderabad, India in the year 2003. It can measure distressing vibrations along with positive vibrations emitted from an object. It is also able to measure the extent of the aura of the object into the surrounding area. When taking a measurement, the 2 arms of the scanner open out and the reading is taken based on how much the arms opened out in degrees. Only when the arms open out to 180° can the aura in relation to that aspect be measured.

Universal Thermo Scanner
For more information refer to: http://www.vedicauraenergy.com/universal-scanner/

1.2 Methodology

Four clips of music were selected for the experiment

1. A music track by a popular heavy metal band

2. A compilation of sounds by Marconi Union called Weightless

3. Indian classical music performed by Pandit Bhimsen Joshi

4. Holy songs sung by a Saint of the highest level – His Holiness Bhaktaraj Maharaj

Please refer to the following link to listen to the clips – https://www.spiritual.university/spiritual-research/experiments/subtle-effects-of-music-using-universal-thermo-scanner/

1.3 Steps in the experiment

  • One individual from the Maharshi University of Spirituality took part in the experiment.
  • A baseline reading was taken of the subject using the UT scanner before the experiment.
  • The subject listened to the first clip for 5 minutes and thereafter a reading was taken of him with the UT scanner.
  • Then the subject was left alone for 20 minutes before listening to the next track. This was so that the subject’s aura would return to the original baseline reading before commencing listening to the next track.
  • Similarly, the subject listened to the second, third and fourth clips for 5 minutes each with a 20-minute break in between listening to each clip. A reading was taken of the subject using the UT scanner before (baseline reading) and right after (impact) listening to each clip.

2. Observations

The UTS instrument allows one to measure four types of energies emitted by a subject: infrared, ultra-violet, positive and total measured aura. Infrared and ultra-violet readings are considered as reading of a negative nature by the scanner. Also, only if both the arms of the scanner open out to a full 180 degrees can the distance of the aura of that aspect be measured. If the arms of the scanner open to less than 180 degrees, then it means that there is no aura in relation to that aspect.

Observations of the subtle effects of listening to each type of music are listed below –

3. Analysis and Conclusions

Based on the observations, listening to heavy metal had a spiritually harmful effect. Incidentally, in a separate study, lab rats who listened to a music track from the same band showed impaired learning ability and they turned aggressive and cannibalistic (Wertz, 1998) as compared to a control group.

The impact of listening to the clip of relaxing music was spiritually neutral. Interestingly, scientists have recently stated that this clip is the most relaxing piece of music ever (Forbes, 2016), so relaxation does not necessarily equate to spiritual benefit.

The artist singing the clip of Indian classical music is Pandit Bhimsen Joshi, who is one of the most celebrated artists in Indian classical music. Listening to this music did have a spiritually positive effect on the subject. More research needs to be done to determine if this positive effect was due to the extensive training of the artist, due to the genre of the music, vocals, instruments or a combination of these factors.

The subject benefited the most spiritually by listening to the song sung by a Saint. The benefit was far greater than that from listening to the clip of Indian classical music. This was despite the fact that the Saint had not received any formal training. Generally, an artist with more training is held in higher esteem, but this experiment indicates that conventional musical training may not be the main factor in determining the spiritual positivity of the music sung.

4. Spiritual science underlying the effect of each of the music clip on the subject

4A. An orchestra lacking in the Sattva subtle component produces music that is spiritually harmful :

If the various aspects of a musical composition such as its objective, music composer, the composition, instruments used, presentation, etc are lacking in spiritual purity, then the music created becomes spiritually harmful. This is the reason why ‘Heavy metal’ music was found to be spiritually harmful.

4B. Due to its foundation of Spirituality, Indian classical music is spiritually beneficial, whereas due to lack of a foundation of Spirituality, even the world’s most relaxing music is not spiritually beneficial :

Music is a medium of God-realisation. Indian classical music has a strong foundation of Spirituality. That is why, it has the capacity to create spiritually pure vibrations. The higher the spiritual level of the composer, the higher the proportion of spiritually pure vibrations emitting from his music. Such music is spiritually beneficial to the audience. (Mrs.) Anjali Gadgil (Sangeet Visharad)

4C. Reasons why devotional song (Bhajan) sung by His Holiness Bhaktaraj Maharaj is spiritually beneficial:

4C 1. Blessings of His Guru : His Holiness Bhaktaraj Maharaj wrote and sang bhajans as His spiritual practice (Sadhana) as per the instructions of His Guru. That is why, His compositions have the blessing of His Guru.

4C 2. High spiritual level of the singer : There is Divine consciousness (Chaitanya) in the speech of a person with high spiritual level.

4C 3. Lack of ego : His Holiness Bhaktaraj Maharaj always said that ‘His Guru got the bhajans written and sung by him’. Thus, He did not have any ego about His poetry and singing. That is why, His bhajans are enriched with Chaitanya.

4C 4. The topic of the bhajan being spiritually pure : All the bhajans by His Holiness Bhaktaraj Maharaj are on various aspects of spiritual practice and spiritual experiences in a seeker’s journey. Thus, the topic of the bhajan is spiritually pure (Sāttvika).

4C 5. Origin of the word and sound being one and the same : The poet writes the song. Then the music composer composes suitable music or the poet strings words as per the given music. For poetry and music to emerge together is very rare indeed. However, in the case of bhajans by His Holiness Bhaktaraj Maharaj, the words and the music have always emerged from the same divine source. That it why, there is lot of Chaitanya in the bhajans.

– Dr. Jayant Balaji Athavale, Founder, Maharshi Adhyatma Vishwavidyalaya, & Mr. Sean Clarke, Spiritual Research Team Member, Maharshi Adhyatma Vishwavidyalaya, Goa

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