The words laya and vraja :
The word laya, लय is translated in many, many ways.
Laya – is born from the Sanskrit root ‘Li’. ’Li’ – means – cling, stick to, adhere; recline on, settle on, lie; disappear, dissolve.
s’iva is the pra(towards)-लय kartA.
- In music, laya means speed or tempo.
- The very heart-beat of music is Laya. Rhythm in Carnatic music is accorded a very high status as is evident from the Sanskrit maxim, “Layah pita”, meaning, Rhythm is the Father.
- Tala and Laya
“Tala is often confused with Laya. Laya refers to the inherent rhythm in anything. Irrespective of whether it is demonstrated or not, it is always present. This can be better illustrated with an example. We know that the sun, the planets and other heavenly bodies are moving objects. Even as our earth rotates on its axis and revolves around the sun, these bodies have their own fixed movements and speeds. Even a microscopic disturbance in that speed may lead to disasters of huge proportions. So laya can be explained as the primordial orderliness of movements. Expression of laya in an organised fashion through fixed time cycles is known as Tala. Thus it serves as the structured rhythmic meter to measure musical time-intervals. Tala in Carnatic music is usually expressed physically by the musician through accented beats and unaccented finger counts or a wave of the hand. In other words, Tala is but a mere scale taken for the sake of convenience.” Source
व्रज is also a very interesting word with a multitude of meanings. Wandering or moving is the greatest sense of the word.
So the phrase layam vraja – can refer to attaining a rythym. Not just any rythym, but the rythym of the universe, at which time there is a feeling of dissolving.
aSTAvakra said ,
- Oh Pure One! You are not attached to anything. What do you wish to renounce?
- sanghAta-vilaya must be done. The ‘caravan, group’ must be dissolved. Here sanghAta refers to the association of the body, mind and Atman. In this way only, layam vraja!
- As bubbles arise in the ocean, the universe arises in you. Thus knowing the Single Self – evam eva layam vraja.
- In your pure Self, the universe does not exist on account of being insubstantial, even though it is in front of your eyes. It is like the snake perceived in a rope. In this way only layam vraja!
- Be the same in life and death, comfort and sorrow, hope and despair, be complete. In this way only layam vraja!