M3 Features

Rabindrasangeet has therapeutic powers

December 13, 2013

A psychology professor of Indian Statistical Institute has discovered the 'healing properties' of Rabindrasangeet and has been curing mental patients with its soothing effects for the past three years.

Debdulal Dutta Roy is going to present a paper on "Rabindrik Psychotherapy" at the second National Conference of the Indian Association of Positive Psychology in Mumbai on December 6-7. He says his process goes beyond music therapy and is a well structured, holistic curative procedure.

Healing touch of music

The psychologist chanced upon the healing power of Rabindrasangeet almost by accident. Around three years ago, he was asked to counsel a young, unmarried woman who had a bizarre disorder.

Rabindrasangeet worked like magic for another OCD patient, a 52-year-old woman who for 30 years would scrub her hands every few minutes and clasp them tightly.

There have been several such cases that the psychologist has handled using Rabindrasangeet. By asking patients to select the songs they like, he noticed a similarity between what they chose and their lives. After that, all he did was convince them to improve the situation.

"This is not music therapy. It is a holistic performing art therapy that involves music, dance and also drama. I have detected three layers - Murta, Raag and Saraswat - in people that are evident in the song 'Anondo Dhara Bohichhe Bhubone'. Murta is just a sensation and has no emotional connect. In the case of the woman who clasped her hands, she was imagining dirt. Raag came when she got emotionally attached and Saraswat happened when this led to loss of harmony between her actions and the environment," he remarked.

The words of the Bard

People may experiment on themselves using Rabindrasangeet but it is always better to seek help from a therapist, he advises. "I have also found out that even Rabindrasangeet tunes (without the words) can help those who don't understand Bengali," Dutta Roy said.

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Comments (2)
Abhijit Roy Reply
December 15, 2013
A lot of research has been done on the therapeutic power of music. Hope more such research on Rabindrasangeet is done, at an international level.
Krishna Reply
December 15, 2013
It may have been proven now, but it has always been an unproven fact for countless people, even many who are not Bengalis, down the decades.
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