Pranav shared this “Tava dasoham keerthana” on facebook. He always picks and shares beautiful classical music and dance clips.
I learned this in a slightly different tune in my teens and used to sing it all the time, I think I learned it from my classmate-friend Gowri who was also the one who taught me the song from the movie pOtana that I have previously shared. Gowri’s good fortune is not only that she was the daughter of a Vedic Scholar cum Chemistry Professor from IISc, and the great grand daughter of Sir M. Visweswariah, but also that she is herself a sanskrit scholar with a masters’ degree in sanskrit and sings beautifully!
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!
As a dancer is taught the rhythm of dancing, from whence springs its beauty, a truth seeker – Rta arthI – is taught the rhythm of the universe.
Instead of dancing/wandering to the rhythm of your own body mind, you are taught to dance to the rhythm of the universe – the laya.
Isn’t it interesting that s’iva is natarAja and that kRSna could charm all of nature with his flute? There is a deep connection between music, dance, laya and pralaya.