Hindus/music

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Question
Namaste!
What is the Sanskrit word for "music" and what is the hindu definiton of "music"?

Answer
Dear Hank,

Thank you for your question. Although part of your question is outside my area of expertise, I can answer part of it.

There are a number of Sanskrit words for "music," but probably one of the most common and general in meaning is saṃgīta. I am not a student of Indian or Hindu music myself, so I am unaware of any definition of music apart from what I believe most of us accept as a general definition. There is a word for music, gandharvakalā, that means "art of the gandharvas," a reference to celestial musicians.

Modern Indian music has been deeply influenced by Muslim culture. There are pre-islamic concepts of aesthetics in literature, but I have not made a special study of these.

Best wishes,

Brother William

Hindus

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William Schindler, a.k.a. Brother William

Expertise

I can answer questions about Vedanta philosophy, Patanjali Yoga philosophy and practice, Tantra, Bhagavad-Gita, Upanishads, Vivekachudamani (Shankara`s Crest-jewel of Spritual Discrimination), Advaita (non-dualism), the Ramakrishna-Vivekananda tradition, Goddess worship, meditation practice, Hindu monasticism (sannyasa), and Sanskrit.

Experience

I've been studying and practicing Vedanta and Tantra since 1969.

Organizations
I'm the founder and spiritual director of Ashram West, a gay spiritual community based on traditional Hindu Tantra. I have been a member of the Vedanta Society of Southern California since 1969.

Publications
I have three books in print: GAY TANTRA, ESSAYS ON GAY TANTRA, BLOOD OF THE GODDESS.

Education/Credentials
I hold a B.A. in Sanskrit (UC Berkeley 1975) and an M.A. in clinical psychology (Antioch University 1986).

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