Jagannatha Svami Nayanapathagami Bhavatu Me
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  Jagannatha, Lord of the universe, in His Form in the great 10th century temple at Puri, Orissa, India

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CROWL Music

CROWL music is the name given to a new genre of music first developed in New Zealand by its creators Dr Chintamani Rath Ph.D. and Mr Gerard Bull.

In 2002, in the city of Tauranga, Dr Rath, then a new immigrant to New Zealand from India, and Gerry (as Mr Bull is popularly known), an established guitarist and mandolinist specialising in the Celtic musical tradition (to which he belongs) discovered, while working together, that the music of each seemed to have indefinable flavours of that of the other. This led to a great deal of intense practical experimentation as also theoretical and philosophic research. The result was a new sound that was capable of evoking deep emotions on the one hand and giving plenty of liberty to individual musicians to express themselves musically through their own traditions. Dr Rath and Gerry dubbed this new music CROWL music.

The result of their extended deliberations and experimentation was the production of a CD which they called "Kaleidoscope of CROWL" - click on the name to view the cover. The CD features Indo-Celtic music for contemplation and recreation. It depicts the journey of a person from the material world to the spiritual world and thereafter the progress in the spiritual world to higher and higher realms of consciousness, until the final Liberation is reached.

In essence, two ancient energies merge to create a matrix enabling a unique personal journey for each individual. There are nine tracks of varying lengths in the CD, each track depicting a particular stage in this journey. The tracks are:

  • Calling: Decision / preparation to start the Journey - Listen to an excerpt
  • Ravenswood: Through the Mystic Jungle - Listen to an excerpt
  • Spring Light: Recuperation, Rejuvenation before the climb - Listen to an excerpt
  • Dance of Light One: Arduous but steadfast ascent - Listen to an excerpt
  • Shrine: Introspection, communion - Listen to an excerpt
  • Second Journey to the Heart: Revelation, Knowledge - Listen to an excerpt
  • Five Four Gait: Joyous Dance - Listen to an excerpt
  • Dance of Light Two: The Final Ascent to Higher Consciousness - Listen to an excerpt
  • Flame: Dross burnt away, stillness of Self, Purity, Liberation - Listen to an excerpt
    - Listen to another excerpt



The CD "Kaleidoscope of CROWL" (click on the name to view the cover) is not only interesting from a musical and technical point of view but also useful in contemplation exercises. Dr Chintamani Rath and Mr Gerard Bull proffer the following as a basic guide to using the CD for purposes of contemplation, rejuvenation and refreshment of mind.


CROWL SOUND CONTEMPLATION

All of us search for joy, harmony, peace and fulfilment. Down the Ages, human experience has developed many ways of realising these goals. In India, six distinct paths were developed:

  1. Mimansa – practise of diverse rituals to gain desired and specific ends
  2. Nyaya – practise of reasoning/logic exercises to understand the true nature of the desired goals
  3. Vaishesika – an “atomic theory” of the universe, explaining the goals by breaking them down to their tiniest possible components
  4. Vedanta – Dialectical investigation of the Infinite
  5. Sankhya – Analysis of duality between the Infinite and the ephemeral and so understanding the true nature of the Infinite
  6. Yoga – practise of physical, mental and psychic discipline to enable harnessing psychic energy to realise desired goals
Of these six paths, Yoga has achieved immense popularity the world over on account of its direct relation with psychic development. Yoga is a Sanskrit word and means “union” or “addition”. It is a common word in general use in the Sanskrit language to denote addition, conjunction or union, but it also has its special meaning as a discipline, a science and a philosophy that deals with uniting the individual soul with the Cosmic one.

There are several branches of the discipline of Yoga. Examples are:
  • Hatha Yoga, dealing with physical discipline
  • Japa Yoga or Mantra Yoga, dealing with union with the Infinite through the chanting of mystical syllables
  • Raja Yoga (“The King among Yoga practices”), dealing with eight processes leading to the desired union with the Infinite
  • Nada Yoga (“Nada” means sound), dealing with raising psychic levels through the controlled use of sound
  • Kundalini Yoga, dealing with arousing the primeval energy latent in each one of us and channelising it through the several psychic centres (called Chakras) along the spinal column and above to achieve psychic advancement
... and many more

Contemplation is the sixth process in the eight processes of Raja Yoga. The eight processes are:
  1. Yama: Development of the right attitude conducive to Yoga practices. These are five in number –
    • being truthful
    • being non-violent
    • not appropriating to oneself that which does not belong to one
    • controlling passions
    • being considerate and merciful towards all
  2. Niyama: Practising basic physical hygiene, austerity, disciplined study, etc.
  3. Asana: Practising physical postures to gain the ability to practise the other steps without physical discomfort
  4. Pranayama: practising correct breathing
  5. Pratyahara: Practising withdrawal of the senses
  6. Dharana: Contemplation
  7. Dhyana: Meditation
  8. Samadhi: the enlightened state or the trance state which is of two types –
    • Samprajnata or Savikalpa Samadhi, where the practitioner retains consciousness of the self at the time of the trance
    • Asamprajnata or Nirvikalpa Samadhi, where the practitioner is no longer aware of his own consciousness at the time of the trance
These eight processes or limbs of Raja Yoga are grouped into two categories: the preliminary category, comprising the first five and the advanced category comprising the last three. For most persons of modern day society, the first, second, third and fifth limbs do not need special exposition since they are self explanatory. The fourth process, viz. correct breathing, is important because correct breath control assists in, among other things, relaxation and balance.

The aim of the CROWL sound programme is to assist you to achieve calmness of mind and spirit through physical and mental balance. This and more can possibly be achieved by using basic breathing, listening and visualisation exercises as outlined in the step by step guide following:--

I. Easy postures – Any comfortable posture is acceptable, so long as the spinal column is relatively straight to assist the unhindered flow of energy. You may:
  • sit on a comfortable chair/sofa
  • lie down on the bed or carpet or Yoga mat
  • sit on the floor cross legged, with or without resting your back against the wall, etc.
II. Easy breathing – Balanced breathing comprises four acts, analysed in Yoga as follows:
  1. Pooraka – breathing in
  2. Antara Kumbhaka – holding the breath in (i.e., the lungs are full of air)
  3. Rechaka – breathing out
  4. Bahya Kumbhaka – holding the exhaled breath (i.e., the lungs are empty) before the next breating cycle starting with Pooraka
The relative duration of each of the above acts has been expounded in Yoga to result in different breathing cycles. The one most commonly advocated for contemplation is called Sarasvati Pranayama and has the ratio 2:1:2:1 for the above acts. That is to say:
  1. INHALE for a count of four (approximately four seconds)
  2. HOLD THE BREATH IN for a count of two (approximately two seconds)
  3. EXHALE for a count of four (approximately four seconds)
  4. HOLD EXHALED BREATH for a count of two (approximately two seconds)
The following points should be kept in mind:
  1. Breathe ‘deep’, that is, the inhaled air should reach right down into the abdomen, forcing out all stale air during exhalation.
  2. Breathe in and out through the nose and not through the mouth, unless you have a sinusitis affliction or the nose is blocked for some reason, in which case you may breathe in and out through the mouth, taking care to keep the lips close so that the distance between the lips is as small as conveniently possible.
III. Easy Visualisation – We now come to the heart of CROWL sound contemplation. For this, our first programme, we offer nine Indo-Celtic tunes, each one unique in design, imagery and energy.

Each one has its own visualisation option. This means that you are not bound to visualise any particular imagery. The essence of the programme is to allow the mind to be free of boundaries and allow your own unique awareness to seep through.

Guide to visualisation: You may –
  • create your own visualisation
  • allow a visualisation to be presented to you from within
  • allow a combination of the above.
The idea behind a visualisation is not to hold, in a grasping manner, any picture or idea, but rather to allow, like the motion of a butterfly, the gentle imagery to come and go as it pleases.

There is no right or wrong. If an unexpected image appears, it simply is. It is neither ‘right’ nor ‘wrong’. You do not want to be placed in a position of friction arguing mentally the correctness of an image.

The visualisations may often turn into a dream and this is good. Dreams play an important part in our healing and well being. Enjoy!

The glue that holds the universe together is love – pure and unconditional love. If at any time during a contemplation an undesirable image presents itself, it is good to remember this statement and the one above, viz. that there is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’. When trying to find balance, we inevitably will come into contact with our tensions, whether of the physical emotional, mental or spiritual states.

Tensions arising can be likened to years of unwashed food lying caked in the bottom of a vessel. When trying to clean it with clear water poured into it, at first the vessel fills and clear water immediately comes out. But as the bottom softens, the water coming out begins to get murkier and murkier. This can be an unseemly vision but is in effect harmless as the purification process is working. Finally we see, as in the beginning, clear water goes in and clear water comes out. There is nothing to fear, just as we do not fear having a bath.

IV. Easy contemplation – Having observed all of the above, select a CROWL music track. Sit in a comfortable posture. Close your eyes. Breathe as above. Allow your mind to be aware of the relevant visualisation.

The contemplation itself is actually very simple. Basically all that is required is to listen to the music without consciously analysing any of it. We may listen on various levels, meaning that there is a variety of instruments and sounds in each track and you may choose to listen to any one or more or all of them. The trick is to be able to listen and in effect to follow the sound(s). At the same time allowing what visualisations, images may choose to appear. It is probably easier to describe what not to do, such as do not listen and analyse any of the sounds such as “this is a flute”or “is this a whistle, violin, etc.” but merely listen.

While contemplating and listening, our minds can come up with ideas, thoughts, its own sounds and even criticism. Treat any of these equally as just a sound, not to be analysed or condemned or chased away. Thoughts, in effect, and as are images, are another form of sound – purely to be listened to. Again, nothing is right or wrong, it just is.

In essence, what we are doing is just listening. Visualisation and dreaming are both merely parts of listening. It is not uncommon for dreaming to occur as a natural part of contemplation; this is welcome.

The CROWL sound contemplation is ideal for modern society where time is of essence. So here is a system where for approximately just five minutes you can empower, enrich and balance your day. Of course, if you have more time, you are not limited to five minutes. You may repeat the same contemplation or choose another one.




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