TYAGARAJA’S views of Music stand reflected in many of his krithis, such as
In the first, Tyagaraja raised a weighty question-” Can there be Moksha or salvation for an unmusical being?” Here no less a personage than Yagnavalkya backed up Tyagaraja by ruling in his Smrithi “whoever knows the secrets of Vina play; whoever is an adept in the matter of Sruthi; whoever is well versed in Thala ; he does easily get into the way of Moksha. In the second, our musician gave us a rationale for his query, viz, “the knowledge of the science of music yields the joy of Sarupya.”
But what is Sarupya ? As four important milestones of salvation, our sacred works have marked Salokya, Samipya, Sarupya; and Sayujya. The smaller souls, Jivatmas, after a very long and even tire- some course of slow evolution, acquire ability to have a happy glimpse of the Great Soul- Paramatma, though from at a distance. This is the first stage, called Salokya. By a further process of evolution, they are able to approach nearer and nearer the Great soul, till at last they find themselves side by side with HIM. This is the second stage, called Samipya. By a still further process of evolution, they learn to shed their peculiar shapes and angularities and assume the same roopa or form as that of the Great soul. This is the third stage, called Sarupya. Because of the uniformity of roopa, now reached, the Jivatma and the Paramatma find it very easy to merge in, or unite with, each other, as fire with fire or air with air. When they thus do effect the union, the jivatmas are deemed to have attained the fourth and last stage, called Sayujya.
The reader will note that the Kalpura Deepaaradhana or Camphor Burning before God is intended to Illustrate, and daily bring home to the mind of the masses, the vital truth of this ancient theory. The camphor is the jivatma and the agni is Paramatma. When both meet, the camphor sheds its own form and becomes one with agni and then both disappear.
Now a question arises as to what is the rupa or form of the Great Soul which the smaller souls must assume before merging in it. Our philosophy begins with a premise that God is Sound and HE IS NADA.
(I) The Vedic authority-“Sabda Nishtam Jagad.”
(2) Tyagaraja’s Chitharanjani song – “Nadathanumanisam.”
(3) Tagore’s Gitanjali-“0! God! I know that only as a singer I come before thy presence”.
(4) Sri Sankarachatyar’s Sivanandalahari – “Sarupyam Thava poojane Sivamahadevethi Sankirthane”.
(5) Sarangadev’s Sangeetharatnakara-“Vande Nadathanum”.
Hence- the smaller souls which are to mix themselves with the great soul to attain salvation must, as a condition precedent, assume form of sound as that of the Great Soul.
In other words, music is a necessary and indispensable tool to every blessed individual smaller soul which must therefore possess or acquire a reasonable degree of susceptibility thereto. All need not sing but shall hear singing. Otherwise there is no salvation. Hence it was that Tyagaraja instinctively sang Mokshamugalada.
In Mokshamu galada” the saint asks if there can be liberation for those who have not known release, those who have neither true devotion nor musical wisdom. He explains that through the combination of the life-force or vital breath (prana) and fire (anala) the vibration of Om manifests in the form of the seven tones of music, an idea stated in the “Sangeetha Ratnakara.” Then he asks: ‘For those who have not experienced the consciousness of Siva – Dakshinamurthi [Siva as a teacher who taught by wordless silence) who is fond of playing Vina, can there be liberation ?
‘Ragasudharasa’ speaks of music as capable of giving its votary all the fruits of Yaga, Yoga, Thiaga and Bhoga. ‘Anandasagaramu’ blackmarks all unmusical beings as so many burdens to the earth. And ‘Endukupeddala’ lays down a curriculm of studies and includes music therein.