WHAT IS DHRUPAD? The ancient art of Dhrupad is a journey of sound through the body from the root chakra to the crown. Part of the nada (sound) yoga tradition, it is a deeply meditative form of Indian classical music. It’s transformational nature enables both performer and listener to reach higher states of consciousness.

The nature of Dhrupad music is spiritual. Seeking not to entertain, but to induce feelings of peace and contemplation in the listener. The word Dhrupad is derived from DHRUVA the steadfast evening star that moves through our galaxy and PADA meaning poetry. http://dhrupad.org

Vasudha singing Bhairavi raga with tamboori at Festival of the Voice Brunswick Heads 2019

DHRUPAD JOURNEY In her search to continue her nada yoga studies, Vasudha travelled to the Dhrupad Sansthan in Bhopal India to learn from the Gundecha brothers. It was a life changing experience.During her 9 week stay, she received daily individual lessons from either Ramakant or Umakant Gundecha, as well as group lessons. The younger brother Ramakant, an incredible and inspirational teacher and performer, sadly passed away at the end of 2019. The tradition has been revived after many years and continues to spread around the world.

LESSONS If you are interested you are welcome to learn with Vasudha in person. Lessons are by donation and all proceeds go to the Dhrupad Sansthan in Bhopal. Ph 0451944051 or write to vasudha.harte@gmail.com or contact form here.

INTERVIEW It is said that Dhrupad is first a yogic exploration of sound and only then a music form. Please provide some insight into this theory. 

“The material world comes into existence due to the Sun, and all that we perceive is only a manifestation of the Sun’s energy in different forms. It is possible to connect with this primary source through the human body. It manifests in the human body through ‘sound’, which generates at the root of the navel. With deliberate and concentrated practice, one discovers the ‘path’ through which the sound travels inside the human body. It travels through a channel that connects the navel to the cerebrum. He who successfully establishes this connection of the navel and the cerebrum automatically connects with the fundamental energy, since he is, by observing the sound that vibrates through his body, also observing the substratum of the material world. When he finds this connection, he is able to connect the listener as well! Any listener who is unprejudiced in mind, will, with unimpaired hearing, experience the same connection that the singer does. This process is therefore ‘circular’. One takes the energy from the Sun, and gives it back, thereby completing the circuit. This is the principle that governs Maargi Sangeet. Dhrupad (particularly of the Dagar Tradition) hinges on this principle.”

from Gundecha Brothers: The Body Sings A conversation between Dhrupad students Sajan Sankaran and Janhavi Phansalkar and their gurus, Umakant Gundecha and Ramakant Gundecha