Why not Shruthirpitha layahmaatha?

Article by Ms. Revathi S.

    Ms. Revathi S.The bondage between parents and a child is a quintessence of best relationship. Heaven and Earth are the personified forms of God's Fatherhood and Motherhood, which cooperate in the creation and nurturing of human kind and the universe.

    The shakthi (Mother) and the Shiva (Father) factors are no exceptions to the world of Music. A cherished Sanskrit aphorism "Shruthirmaatha Layahpitha" quotes that the melodic resonance (pitch) is the Mother and the rhythmic system of Tala (timing) is the Father. The unison of the musical elements with the flavours of life was experienced as impeccable blend by our ancestors who have rightly quoted "Shruthirmaatha Layahpitha"-Why this kind of comparison? And why not "Shruthihi Pitha, Layah Maatha" is the question.

    The soft divine touch of a mother, her togetherness and guidance all through the life is phenomenal. The Mother is the conscious force that gives birth to and dominates all existence. She is one, yet many-sided to watch and guide her offspring. So is the divine mother Shruthi. She is the mainstay of life and existence in the world of Music. Shruthi is the subtle force that binds us with our resonant tone/frequency. Mother is the source of life and existence and Shruthi is the base of all notes. It is Mother, the life-giver again who stimulates the individuality in a person. On a similar note, no sound pattern is music if it's not bound by Shruthi. "Shruthihi Maatha" is thus well justified.

    Father is known to set rules and expectations."Laya" or more easily called "Tala" sets the rules and regulations for the music. It sets a rhythmic boundary which an artist has to abide by. Taking a close interpretation from our lives, it is apparent that fathers have a different approach or binding with infants than mothers. Competition is seen more in father/child bonding which is considered healthy if used in small doses and with sensitivity to a child's temperament and abilities. Likewise, the art of music lies in skillfully handling the varieties of timing scales in different rhythmic patterns. This becomes a challenge to master and acquire expertise over the varied Mathra kalas (timing groups).

    Life has no meaning if there is no existence (Mother) and consciousness (Father). Music has no life if not bound by "Shruthi" and "Laya", Shruthi-the base of existence and Laya-the source of consciousness. When we become "one" with the disciplined musical concourse of Shruthi and Laya, that union itself becomes a merger with the Atman-Self. The divine Mother and Father would serve as the guiding lights to self-realization-Bhakthi through Music.

    Revathi S.

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