Music as Thinking/Thinking as Music: A Dialogue with Mukund Lath

Daniel Raveh*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article offers a dialogue with Mukund Lath. It is comprised of three parts: Part One introduces Lath’s body of work. The second and third parts are a jugalbandī, a duet or dialogue with Lath through his essays “Identity Through Necessary Change” (2003/2018) and “Thoughts on Svara and Rasa: Music as Thinking/Thinking as Music” (2016). In the first essay, Lath discusses the question of identity and self, suggesting through classical Indian music, rāga music, that it is change and plurality, not continuity despite change, that define the human person. In the second essay, Lath creates a dialogue between music and thinking. He looks into the denotative and the evocative elements of language through the notions of abhidhā and vyañjanā, focusing on vyañjanā that is at the heart of music and projecting it as a pramāṇa that reveals a thought-like self-reflexive trajectory at the emotive level of consciousness. In the mirror of thinking, Lath suggests, this unique self-reflexivity that music has to offer becomes more transparent. In the mirror of music, this article adds to Lath’s discussion, thinking can rediscover its own vyañjanā aspect and, moreover, overcome the illusion of “one truth” as its alleged goal.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)135-154
Number of pages20
JournalInternational Journal of Hindu Studies
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 2022


FundersFunder number
Israel Science Foundation680/20


    • Anekānta
    • Change
    • Identity
    • Mukund Lath
    • Music
    • Rāga
    • Thinking


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