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Saturday, September 26, 2015



                                     Very colorful write up interesting and inspiring.

           1.    Colors conjure lots of feelings, ideas, and emotions depending on  
                   the connections                                     

2.    Colors have a huge influence or impact, of course according to the level of sensitivity or sharpness of the organ eyes or the mind or temperature or species or instrument or person noticing it.

3.    Some people may wonder how temperature and mind are involved.

4.    In fact to know this people must read detailed book s on evolutionary biology.

5.    Guy Murchie write in his wonderful book The seven Mysteries of Life , “Tests have shown too that a mammal's sight and hearing cease to function about when his temperature gets down to 94°F. Or his pulse to 40 a minute. His breathing becomes undetectable around 8o°F., his heart stops by 50°F., and oxygen is hardly needed in any form below 39°F.”.

6.    He also writes in the same book , “In humans the senses of heat and cold are less acute than in most animals and are usually described as twin senses using differentiated sets of specialized nerve cells: a set of about 150,000 in the outer fiftieth of an inch of the skin to register cold and another of 16,000 deeper in the skin to register heat. While human skin fluctuates a good deal in temperature, averaging around 81°F., and doesn't seem to be thermostatically controlled like blood, a mysterious skin area has been discovered in the center of the forehead that registers temperature differences as small as one sixtieth of a degree. I haven't heard any anatomist associate it with the "pineal eye," an eyelike structure in the forebrain believed by some to be a vestigial sense organ or "third eye." But I notice that, in the case of hagfish, lampreys and a few reptiles, the counterpart of this lobe evidently evolved what have been described as "visual structural adaptation," and there is growing evidence that it produces at least a little actual vision. Probably the most interesting thing about this comparison of infrared and visual seeing is that these brother senses caught the world's attention only recently with the discovery that the hypothalamus is not only the body's thirst center and central "eye" of temperature awareness, but that, significantly, the temperature eye and the visual eye both evolved from the same matrix at the bottom of the third ventrical of the brain, out of which the visual eye moved forward to view the outer world, while the temperature eye turned inward to monitor the blood, their relation becoming one of the most elegant instances of sense complementarity in all the kingdoms of life”.

7.    In occult science lot of importance is given to the colors in the aura around the persons, places, things etc.

8.    Musical notes or tunes are also converted into colors sometimes by experts.

9.    While the expression face is the index of the mind is very popular, I am surprised why no expressions like eye is the best tool of observation or attention.

10.          Eyes, everything you wanted to know about eyes

           The ppt and pdf have 155 informative slides I wish you go through them
            especially slides 2, 16 and 17    

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Composed mind is all about balance

What is a composed mind?

Morning first message I get is about is what is a composed mind?

Let me put it this way how do we know it, i.e. composed mind? We all know it is needed or at least wished for, not merely verbally but as a matter of fact.

Lack of it is what is causing ill treatment of senior citizens or derailment of many relationships and increasing the visits to psychiatrists.

It does not require great knowledge in any field or any specific spiritual exercise or any particular philosophical concept etc. The moment mind starts to follow predefined specific routes, it is gradually getting rooted into some identity and therefore vulnerable to conflict with a different identity.

So what is or are the acid test[s] of composed mind?

Last week there was news about a computer program that predicts death

But I can assure you no technology can predict human intentions.

Acid test of a composed mind involves basically a question of balance and prioritizing our choices, actions and decisions with contextual relevance.

It is a question of arranging a balance between being firm on certain values and principles and at the same time confirm to certain obligations;

Trying hard to be great in whatever we do but be honest and humble enough to be grateful to whoever has helped us on the way to greatness etc;

Being rooted in certain humane values and not hesitating to uproot anything that goes against those values even if they have been part of our society or culture;

Being useful to all others around us everywhere without allowing being misused or abused by others;
Synchronizing our intentions and actions without pretensions;

Being involved without interfering;

Living life enjoying every moment of it rather than merely passing through different motions of existence as if life itself was an obligation made up of several parts.

I like Zen principles which teach many of these things.

No matter whatever we do, we must ensure minimum of hurt to others, in all aspects emotional, psychological, physical etc, especially at least to those who are part of our extended self our parents, children, spouse[s], colleagues, society, country men, and the whole of human race and environment and it can extend beyond these too.

Everyone and everything is some point of reference in life and a pointless object to be treated with indifference.

In brief we must ensure that we are the subject and subject matter of life and understand how we are interrelated and interconnected with others.

We must not allow ourselves to be looked upon as an object- an object that can perform certain function –because in that case it is only logical that a better performing object can always replace us.

This is how even relationships are getting ruined, there is nothing wrong in expectations but what are the expectations and what is the extent of them?

Present day marriages are negotiated like contracts with specifications of one being decorated doll or ATM? It would be better to have them rather than getting into a relationship with another human being. The society needs to rethink.

This is also one of the reasons why senior citizens are not treated with love and affection because we feel that as an object they are less useful, less attractive etc but fail to realize they were the very substance of our life, they were the ones who guided us through life, they were the pillars of support on which we grew etc

We can be engaged in any activity but ensure to prioritize with contextual relevance which again is a sign of composed mind. Contextual relevance must preferably be the predominant feature/factor of our choices and decisions at any point of time.

"Test a servant while in the discharge of his duty, a relative in difficulty, a friend in adversity, and a wife in misfortune".- Chanakya

So a mind can be composed even amid the worst calamities and catastrophes if only it learns the art of balancing. It is okay for human beings, being a species which is primarily animal to have certain momentary aberrations, annoyances, and keeping in abeyance certain values but they must not become permanent feature life or culture or society. 

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Raga Desh

Nice good music too anyway for those who want to enjoy further and go deeper into Des or Desh.

 Here are some pieces. If you want to cry of happiness and wet your eyes go through these

 and many more master pieces/gems in parrikar. Org

2] Here is an example how you can still make a bad production with the top  artists rendering best music with Dr. M. Balamurali Krishna, Bhimsen Joshi, Veena S. Balachander sir, Amjad ali Khan etc what a team

actually the original version is here where the audio quality is better of instruments.

3] what a rendering by
Shubha Mudgal-Raag Desh

4] Raga Desh - Ustad Munir Khan (Sarangi) a great piece with excellent table beats

5] Desh raga Thillana by Lalgudi G.Jayaraman.


6] Kala Ramnath - Composition in Raag Desh (1)

7] pandit Ravishankar

10b] Hey Govinda Hey Gopala-Ranjini Gayatri-Must Listen

11] tHumri
Thumri in Raga Desh - Swati Natekar

15] good one from OS Arun -Thumbam Nergayil- Desh - Aadhi - Bharathidhasan

literature on evolution of Raga.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Education policy changes

To the Honorable Education minister ,

Let there be more emphasis on pure science, data, technology, software application, usage of internet, practical trade and economy, agriculture, environment, healthcare, hygiene, genomics, social service, crisis management, values of relationship, attitudes, tolerance etc.

Data about availability of various resources, raw materials, products in various places of India. Importance of each and every district etc.

Minimum of history  containing just referral to  important contributors to India in various fields starting from agriculture, army, music, dance, various folk and classical arts of India, administration, medicine, engineering etc .

Talk about climate and geological advantages of various locations of India.
Totally avoid political history as that would save children reading all the bluff and also avoid controversies and TV time debates.

I think future generation would benefit better and motivated to contribute more if we taught them how an ordinary civil engineer conceived and built a highway with what machines and technology , how many workers and how the whole project was managed etc in for example Maharastra than knowing when Nehru and Gandhi met and where and why? How many time some emperor invaded and how many wives another emperor had?

Endocrinology and Biochemistry

Endocrinology and Biochemistry of our anatomy is , I would say, not yet fully mapped domains much less better understood domains because they do not offer much billing in terms of gadgets and structural correction surgeries. But a better investigation and greater knowledge of these two are more important than surgeries and other treatments.

I actually got more interested in these after I read a news item of some people escaping the damaging impact of Bhopal gas tragedy as they were performing Agnihotra. First as usual I dismissed it as another case of religious ritual marketeers opportunistic publicity.
Then I thought why not find out whether there was really any chem
ical cover which was either protecting or counter acting the gases released. I started approaching some people, scientists, reading some materials then I was convinced to a certain extent yes that there could be some amount of positive effect and wrote this article in 1996 in Indian Express [now posted in my blog link given below]

subsequently I also monitored using pulse oximeter of people before, during and after Agnihotra as also people before and after consuming half a liter of Thulsi soaked water. I also did a similar study with alcohol consumption.

I did some one people working in petrol bunks selling unleaded petrol and people walking in beaches, people sitting and working in small asbestos ceiling covered small rooms etc.

Prahalada Natya Roopakam

Review of Prahalada Natya Roopakam held at Music Academy on 2nd  May 2015.
From the point of view of a novice Prahalada a Natya Rooppakkam held at Music Academy on 2nd May 2015 on the occasion of Narasimha Jayanthi was a very difficult but deftly presented program including injecting humor. I shall write about this particular program in detail in part two and three with both appropriate appreciation and calculated criticism of certain aspects which needed some improvement, modification etc.

But what this particular program did was to force me  to delineate the design of the art form, its role, relevance etc through some general observations to clear the air of confusions created among youth with regard to the milieu of south Indian culture and art especially classical music and Natyams. All the more because as a matter of serendipity on 2nd  May 2015 there was a detailed article in BBC titled ‘Can culture save cities?’ []

In the write up there will be some intentional repetitions as they are meant to reiterate and remind the readers. Wherever the word tradition is used it is used in the sense of ‘activities which have lived through times as an intrinsic part of a culture with certain inherent attributes’

Narasimha Avatar for me is a concept which explains that anything done with immense and involved dedication, focused concentration, conviction with courage, executed and performed with total intensity and intense totality will definitely bring out the desired result and reveal the truth, hitherto hidden from our purview and perceptions symbolically breaking open the well cemented preconceptions which protect the edifice of ignorance imbued ideologies within which and identities with which we live.

Today we face the harsh reality of the more difficult art of carrying out the necessary transition from tradition into transformation in classical music and Natyams of India.

First our traditional arts and culture are mostly imbued with and/or embedded in Bhakthi orientation with lot of religiously venerated mythological, historical, and theological; some esoterically conveyed philosophical concepts and scientific aspects as well. Most aspects of Indian culture are multifaceted splendors with each facet revealing itself according to the frame of reference and scale of observation of the individual. A very important but unfortunately often ignored short coming of our perception [1] 

At the same time most of these traditional cultures and arts were neither constrained by these aspects nor confined to these aspects but rather used them as a medium to convey through different art forms certain emotions; in some cases  high philosophical concepts; in some cases social mores; in some cases appealing to the aesthetic sensitivities of human beings; in some cases portraying the sensuous and natural aspects of life; in some portraying and appealing to the various senses at different levels; in some individual morals and principles for enhancing one’s inherent potential , embellishing one’s character etc.

So, in a way most of the traditional arts and cultures of this land permeated almost into every aspect of life and society and therefore they had to manifest the many human emotions. But as vast and varied it may sound. The traditional arts and cultures, like all traditional arts and cultures, is at the same time very difficult to depict or handle because any aberration anywhere can hurt the sentiments of purists as well as those who are sentimentally or ritualistically attached to those sources [religious bakthi orientation ] wherein they are embedded as indicated in the sixth  paragraph above.

At the same time art and culture cannot be allowed to become too stereotyped, trite, redundant leading them to be fossilized or ossified but they have to evolve, like everything else, by wading through the tides of trends –which could be contributory, complementary, contrasting, conflicting, contaminating etc- with the oars of compulsions and compromises and sail smoothly and safely to ensure the fundamental and basic principles or inherent aspects of the art form are kept intact and appropriate doses of  innovations are introduced to ensure that there is a subtle transformation through a  smooth transition from tradition but not away from or apart from it. Because culture is an important part of life and creates a very powerful impact through various forms of artistic expression the multiple meanings of life as journey of the souls experiencing, acting and interacting with all its tools like body, mind, emotions etc. [2]

Purist kill art and tradition by sticking on to classism too much like sticking on to King’s English and Chaucer’s spelling and end up petrifying all traditional arts and cultures. There is another brigade which creates lot of noises, mostly to seek attention, by taking on a very radicalized and diametrically opposite stand of  breaking into pieces everything that is part of tradition and end up putrefying the arts and cultures, unaware of the fact that the new scheme that they are creating will become a new tradition, forgetting two important facts that life has no permanent trends or taboos and that we can neither defy nor deny the importance of anything or anyone, as everything is interrelated, interconnected and interacting constantly as pieces in the unsolved jigsaw puzzle of life.[3]  Denying and defying things which have stood the test of time, either with reason or irrationally, is all the more difficult task and before denying their importance we need to first understand what has contributed to their survival through long periods of time.

I would like to reiterate from the first paragraph ‘necessary transition from tradition into transformation’ because every classical vocalist knows that he or she cannot render a better ‘Radha samedah Krishna’ than the great GNB or a better Bhahudari than the great Madurai Mani Iyer’ but that need not make them run away from performing nor they need to avoid rendering those songs or ragas but listen to those stalwarts, learn properly, enjoy them thoroughly and then engage in embellishing it with one’s own imprints within one’s limitations both physiological and talent wise. Similar is the scenario in Natyams. Who else can maneuver the rhythms in movements of every nerve in the feet as minutely as the great Briju maharaj? Or produce a vast repertoire of abhinayas as the great Padma Subramaniyam.

The greatness of predecessors in any field is not meant to weigh down on the avid learner or the performer but make their perspectives, perceptions and preparations wider, wiser and wonderful. As the great Sir Isaac Newton used to say, “If I have seen further it is only by standing on the shoulders of giants”.

We are able to witness this particular welcome trend - I mean evolutionary advancement [like evolutionary biology, evolutionary sociology, evolutionary philosophy, evolutionary politics etc] - in most domains of life.

Of course there are domains where it is caged in narrow walls like in certain ritualistic and religious observances which have refused to allow evolutionary trends and instead opted for verbal vindications to sustain the status quo and therefore are likely to gradually move away from the radar of involved participation and move into diminished interest and then saunter around for attention before finally fading away through indifference into the inevitable bin of insignificance and oblivion.

For any art form to survive it must ensure to manifest its inherent aesthetic and artistic appeal and relevance to the human body, mind and soul. Themes can change but must ensure commercial support for the artist to at least survive and lead a normal life with social acceptance and respectability. Only when art fulfills all these important aspects it will remain in radar of involved participation, interest and public attention. 

This is proving to be true even in the realm of sports, let me confine to cricket, where five day test matches [which are undoubtedly still the best form of testing a skill of a player] have given room to one day matches and to T-20s of all hues and colors to make it more interesting and commercially successful. But one ever wrote about playing cricket without 11 players or without a ball or without a bat or without a boundary line etc because you cannot dissociate cricket from these factors.

Similarly, I have listened to 5 to 6 hour concerts with two to two and half hour Ragam Thanam Pallavis, but nowadays we have artists who render the similar items very nicely within ten to fifteen minutes, quality need not be determined by length. After all we had the pioneers of SMS and Twitter in Aviayyar and Tiruvalluvar.

I have launched on to this lengthy preamble of general perceptions to put in right perspective the inevitable positions and avoidable perceptions in the minds of  young rasikas of music and dance, who were swinging like a  pendulum between some purists, critics and elders who treated  most new performers/performances with condescending comparisons [ I am not passing any judgment as to whether it is right or wrong] with very high standards and some street smart artists who used their PR machinery well enough to propel into realm of popularity [again I am not passing any judgment as to whether it is right or wrong]. This scenario was fair enough and expected but what is worse is now they are being confused and swayed away by irrelevant and incorrigible comparisons far removed from art. I shall explain about this [again I am not passing any judgment as to whether it is right or wrong].

Art and the cultural milieu and context where it has evolved have to be evaluated only with these parameters. We can adopt and effect necessary changes to embellish it, but to create controversies to confuse the general public with arguments as if it is a socio-political phenomenon to be approved and sanctified by some particular political ideology is totally wrong and misusing the fourth pillar for propagating such views is still worse.  Let us get it clear that unfortunately music is not made for the deaf, canvas painting is not made for the blind and dish antenna is not made for frying vegetables.
 I wish Narasimha, breaks such bad mouthing fourth pillars too.

All that is required is as simple as making relevant and proper evaluation. As grown up people we must also grow out of some unflinching loyalty to any prejudice or person if not through knowledge and wisdom, at least, through experience and the realization of the fact we cannot carry on like that forever in life.  
Otherwise involuntarily we all become a prey to certain conditions as Eric Micha'el Leventhal says,
“Everything changes as you move through three stages of awareness:
First, that beliefs are the result of conditions;
Second, that beliefs are the cause of conditions;
And third, that beliefs are themselves conditions.”
And “Across planes of consciousness, we have to live with the paradox that opposite things can be simultaneously true.” ― Ram Dass.
We cannot analyze art through ideological fixations or subject art to satisfy socio- political justifications.
We must also know that everything has its own inherent attributes, intrinsic values, internal mechanism and logic for its existence besides, beyond, exclusive of and unmindful of human intellectual justifications, acceptance, acknowledgement, social approvals, political support etc
I would like to give a link for everyone to understand what I am trying to stress here.
 [1] The scale of observation depends on man; it is he who creates it. In nature, different scales of observation do not exist. There is only one immense, harmonious phenomenon on a scale which, in general, escapes man. The structure of man's brain necessitates dividing into arbitrary compartments and cutting up into isolated pieces. With the aid of several instruments science creates more phantasmagoria: "on our scale of human observation, as pointed out before, the edge of a razor-blade is a continuous line. On the microscopic scale, it is a broken but solid line. On the chemic scale we have atoms of iron and carbon. On the sub-atomic scale we have electrons in perpetual motion which travel at the rate of several thousand miles per second. All these phenomena are in reality the manifestations of the same basic phenomenon, the motions of the electrons. The only difference which exists between them is the scale of observation" -Lecomte du Noüy in Human Destiny.

 [2] I am tempted to quote from this excellent speech of a great soul and to know about what culture is in brief read his lecture, the transcript which I have reproduced in the link given below.
“Man Status of Advancement:-

Mankind is entrenched in the egoistic notion of his primacy. In the right sense, his pre-eminence is his ability to develop and apply the salient tools of his mind, such as rationale, compassion etc to aid his intellect for the global or at least non-invasive individual benefits.

Man has two dimensions; personal and its extensions. His skill includes the art of designing a single way for multifarious goals and multiple ways for a single destination.

For accessing the utmost goal of liberation, freedom from the precincts, infringement and depletion, the human race is being gifted with the tools for molding personal nature through the forms of literature, culture, religion and philosophy.

Man begins with literature, behaves with culture, believes in religion and builds himself through philosophy.

Development of society, political society, science and technology are the extensions and expansions of personal enrichment.

Personal enrichment fashions ways and goals for sustenance and progress.”
[3] David Crystal, a leading linguist explains through his programs in BBC and through his books many interesting facts. In fact in one of his books titled ‘words, words, words' in the chapter on etymology he writes with historical, linguistic, lexicographical evidences if we trace back a few thousand years all the following words along with another dozen more have a common root the words are NICE, SCIENCE, CONSCIENCE, SHIT etc for those who are interested I shall type half the chapter when I find time. So tracing the history, ancestry, heritage , antiquity of anything when we dig up we may come up with many things which may throw light on many more  things. How we interpret them depends purely on our own sense of aesthetics, concern for others' sensitivities, our own intense or intolerant reactions, our own cultural and psychological makeup etc. But the fact is everything is at least in some remote way interconnected and interrelated.
                                    to be continued part –II

Prahalada – a Natya Roopkam staged on 2nd May 2015 at Music Academy
Part -II

There are various types of creations in art. We shall confine to a few of them as prevalent at present in arts, especially classical music and natyams [dances].

There are creations that are  consumer centric where productions are tailor made to suit the tastes and trends of consumer  and the marketing channels that cater to such consumers like television channels , films, certain auditoriums etc;

There are also creations wherein the creations follow just the flow of creative instinct of the creator unmindful of anything else, sometimes including the rules, grammar, and basic structures of the medium of art;

There are creations where the emphasis on themes wherein everything is made to project a particular theme in shining colors even if that involves forgoing great creativity, consumer interests etc;

There are certain creations that manifest the mastery of the techniques of the medium by the creator;

There are certain creations which make a delicate balance of most of the different kinds of creations mentioned above [without messing around too much in the name of innovations which take the sap out of the theme, context and culture] through a well knit team which thinks, trains, dreams and delivers with a well synchronized sense of purpose a passion filled production which impels consumers to become connoisseurs of that piece of creation. 

 It requires a conscious delicate combination of certain amount all types and aspects of creative activity because very often even the best of the creators put their whole heart and soul in a production but leave their mind out which results is lack of sustained response. Such balanced productions emanate from experiments with roots in traditions and limitations of license that one can take with various parameters of culturally entrenched themes and art forms. This does not mean that these tradition freaks need to insulate themselves from what is happening in the field of dance internationally.

What these types of productions do is to break the art from the shackles of stereotyped confines of classified creations; they may not scale up quantitatively in terms of additional number of consumers but sets the scales up for quality to a totally different level and thereby set a new trend of expectations from lovers and rasikas of art.

This is precisely what Prahalada – a Natya Roopkam staged on 2nd May 2015 at Music Academy, Chennai did.

I have been consciously refraining from using the word dance, though that is a universally understood term, instead preferred the term Natyam. Because it is not mere dance, which could be any type of movement of limbs, body, jumping etc. whereas, Natyam- the preferred term for referring to most of the classical dances of India- as Pavan K. Varma writes in his wonderful book ‘Becoming Indian’ writes, “is by definition a complex form of creative expression, encompassing within it not only pure dance but theatre, mime, music, poetry and, above all rasa. [Requires the knowledge of the language, mythology, symbolism, philosophy etc underlying the compositions]. It cannot be ‘simplified’ without killing its soul.  …..An intrinsic part of dance is abhinaya, the portrayal of emotion. Only a dancer who has studied the poetry that is at the heart of a dance composition, and has a knowledge of the music and the raga in which it is being sung, and is, over and above this, familiar with the philosophy and mythology underpinning the composition can make the authentic emotional investment that abhinaya requires.” …. “All cultures have a specific context; they may be open to outside influences, but cannot be substituted with another...”

Continued in part –III I shall cover details of  Prahalada – a Natya Roopkam staged on 2nd May 2015 at Music Academy,

Prahalada Natya Roopakam held at Music Academy on 2nd  May 2015 on the occasion of Narasimha Jayanthi. 

Why it was unique and aesthetically excellent.

The compositions of this program were penned down by Ashwin Kumar Iyer who like an architect conceptualizes certain themes ensuring an appropriate place for everything through lyrics packed with lot of meaning giving not only a complete portrayal of the character, events but also brings out the important concepts behind the characters and because of this architectural conceptualization which is the seed and script of any dance drama mostly everything else fall in its place. The 25 songs were beautifully tuned with a garland of ragas by P.B.Srirangachari which were appropriate to each and every sentiment expressed in the lyrics. Ghatam V. Umashankar as music director has ensured to weave excellent patterns with many classical instruments without using any electronic instrument. Dr.R. Ganesh as a lead singer along with a host of other senior singers rendered the songs excellently. Mahalakshmi Ashwinkumar as Choreographer , with a team of excellent dancers including many senior dancers like Shri.V. Balagurunathan, Shri S.Shivakumar gave a wonderful presentation even deftly handling humor in a very serious classical dance drama.

The presentation was further enhanced by the back drop of relevant artistic shadow puppetry on giant screen.

This particular presentation managed to overcome the difficult art of carrying out the necessary transition from tradition into transformation in classical music and Natyams of India.

It was one of those creations which made a delicate balance and careful combination of smooth flow of creative instinct, thought provoking thematic clarity, artistic dexterity, technical perfection, consumer interest through a well knit team of artists who all seem to have thought, trained, dreamt and delivered with a well synchronized sense of purpose a passion filled production which impelled the  rasikas to become connoisseurs of that piece of creation.  Very often even the best of the creators put their whole heart and soul in a production but leave their mind out which results is lack of sustained response. But these types of balanced productions emanate from experiments with roots in traditions and limitations of license that one can take with various parameters of culturally entrenched themes and art forms. This does not mean that these tradition freaks need to insulate themselves from what is happening in the field of dance internationally

Carnatic music needs to shed irrelevant issues

Excellent I needed this very badly I wish I had this earlier when I wrote a rejoinder to a stupid article in The Hindu and most of the women artists were fuming and squirming with no one picking up the courage to question and the men folk were cocooned comfortably in their personification of hypocritical indifference.

Whereas the same Hindu newspaper published an article by a pseudo upstart who wants Indian communist type of controversy generating sermons merely to get media attention and individual projection by revolting against the basic traditions/inherent aspects  of Carnatic music.

Language and its DNA

Languages get their strength from their DNA of certain intrinsic value not through chronology  of survival.

Some days ago I read an article, though a very old one, reproduced below.

Of the list Hebrew and Tamil are more vibrant with lot of activities with some amount of linguistic chauvinism as well.

Every word and every language is impregnated with various connotations some of which and in some cases, most of which have nothing whatsoever to do with either the semantic or linguistic aspect of the word but have a lot to do with the association that are enmeshed, engraved or that permeate into that word.

For example when someone utters the word ‘mother’-to me personally it is an inexplicable living experience imbued with lots of personal emotions/feelings, interactions, events etc in my life wherein I may adore mother, love her in so many ways which no language can convey exactly including my mother tongue.

So, expecting language, any language to convey too much and also expect its perennial importance, relevance is demanding too much from that language. This does not mean that we can overlook the fact that every word in every language has played an important role whatever be their survival value or importance or impact or prevalence now.

However, to prolong and parade the importance of any language without intrinsically valid reasons is like keeping a person alive in ICU on ventilator.

Further, as in the case of a patient in ICU, deprived of life’s vital energy and force to make voluntary functions with awareness, most languages too lose their vitality when some very vital aspect of either life, culture, philosophy etc that was associated with that language get diluted or disappear leading to the very utility of that language or comparatively reduced relevance of that language. This vital aspect of every language is it soul which can never die and it is the duty of linguist to unearth and learn the inherent wonders interred in those languages.

The greatness of any language is not determined by the chronology of its existence but by the intrinsic contribution it has made to the various facets of /aspects of the evolution of life.

To make it more appropriate the Tamil in Tiruvasakam and the Tamil in the present day Gana songs [it at all one can call them songs and also think that it is in Tamil] of Tamil Movies.

Everything has some intrinsic aspect as part of its DNA and language is no exception. If we do not like it we can ignore them but we need not damage, destroy, demean, consign all aspects of that tradition to flames but continue to call it by that same label, as for example people offer during dasara/ navarathri festival very nice China  made plastic betal leaf with small Kunkum box [ in some cases with even powdered red plastic particles inside] who is trying to fool whom? I only hope and wish the sundals/dhals are not in plastic.

For example Latin’s influence reduced with the disappearance of aristocratic snobbism and emergence of socialism, military might, trade, commerce, science, and Greek being a great source of philosophical ideas etc. Evolution chose, rightly so, science, commerce, trade etc over Latin;

Similarly very strict religiously principled and disciplined life styles, free, tolerant debates on important concepts of life, inquiry into the meaning and purpose of life, great works of imagination in literature etc with all of which Sanskrit was associated started giving way to the material pursuits and well being rather than entertaining the luxury of enlightened discussion and  debates about soul, spirit etc the importance of Sanskrit got reduced; Tamil , though fortunately very live has also lost its sheen when its vast literature on spiritualism [what we  call AANMIGAM] was assiduously given a step motherly treatment.

Here is the article by Dr. Anantanand Rambachan


Dispense with that Awful Word
Dr. Anantanand Rambachan

Among the many problems faced by Hindus is finding appropriate English terminology for Sanskrit terms. This is important for those who seek to understand, practice and transmit their tradition outside of India. This is not always an easy matter, and appropriate substitutes are often difficult to find. Sometimes one has to be content with selecting from a number of imperfect alternatives, and careful thought has to be exercised when all the choices are inadequate. Some English terms are more advantageous than others. They become the means by which our beliefs are represented to people outside our tradition as well as to a new generation of English-speaking Hindus.
The term murti is familiar to all Hindus and is used to indicate the various representations of God in our temples and homes. Perhaps the most widely used English term to translate murti is idol. I often shudder when I hear a Hindu guide, giving a temple tour to a visitor, describing the murtis on the altar or in the sanctum as idols. The problem is that this term is commonly used today to indicate something which is false and untrue. In the West, still deeply influenced by the views of the Judeo-Christian tradition, the term has a specific religious connotation. An idol is a false God, and idolatry is a term of rebuke and moral disapproval. We cannot ignore that Hindus have been and continue to be condemned by many for so-called "idolatrous practices." How strange it is for us to appropriate a term to describe ourselves which others use to condemn us! Perhaps there should be a serious and concerted effort to avoid its use.
The word statue is also frequently used to refer to a murti, but this has its own drawbacks. It describes a sculptured, cast or molded figure, human being or an animal. Usually it approximates to the original size of the person or animal it represents.
The term image is also used in place of murti and is an accurate indication of the form which it represents. Murtis are meant to focus our minds on God. Unlike the word image, the viewer is not asked to believe that the murti is actually how God appears.
The search for a suitable English rendering of murti, however, is not fruitless. I recommend the adoption of the term icon. While there is some broad usage, it is employed primarily to denote a religious representation or figure. Icons are treated with respect because they represent that which is sacred. In the popular culture of the West, the term does not resonate negatively. From icon is derived the termiconography, which literally means "writing with icons." Iconography describes one of the central purposes of murtis in the Hindu tradition. Each murti is a nonverbal statement about the nature of God. Like a scripture consisting of words, a murti communicates knowledge about the Divine, and the viewer must be equipped with the necessary skills to "read" the meaning of the murti. For example, the symbolic gestures of the murti, among others, are a visual text or theology.
As Hindus continue to make the geographical transition from East to West, we cannot be indifferent or heedless about the challenges of making the linguistic transition. It is necessary to be spiritually creative in finding new words and symbols to express ourselves confidently in order to transmit our tradition to new generations.”.

[Dr. Rambachan, 45, is a professor of religion at St. Olaf College, Minnesota, USA, where he lives with his wife and three children.]

Friday, September 11, 2015



Understanding the Role of certain things/aspects of Life and Living in tune with such an understanding in terms of contextual relevance will reveal the reality of/reason behind many things and lead to better understanding and more COMPASSION.

Compassion is not a mere mumbo jumbo of maudlin sentimental doting of emotion  sounding more like sustaining self pity or bartering of your time, space and resources for someone else in a patronizing attitude inflicting more psychological pain leading to furthering the differences, divisions and driving in complexities.

Compassion must evolve from a comprehensive comprehension of complexities, complications, conflicts etc in specific contexts wherein they happen and also the contexts that they create etc.

Compassion must ensure to re- establish the connectivity to manifest and make us understand the interconnectedness and inherent commonality among all.

Compassion is a clear balancing act born out realization of the necessity to reciprocate to some and reach out to all.

Because we need to remember one thing while all of us feel the need for unity, what unity needs is feeling for all by all.
Ensuring compassion involves a process which just requires us to be consciously aware of the role of various aspects of life and living, their context and connectivity.

In this process we need to put lots of things in the cauldron of the thinking and understanding, actions and reactions, interactions and relations etc and churn out and observe the reactions, relevance and relationship of all those things.  

The following is the selection of much generalized version of some of the things that come to my mind which I feel one can drop inside  that cauldron and wait and watch the churning process and the outcome.

Thoughts, information and /or knowledge of /in various domains, intellect, conscious awareness, perception, tools of perception, logic, reason, evaluations, purpose of evaluations, tools of evaluations, understanding and application of understanding, social values, social interactions, individual and/or collective emotions/feelings, psychology, cultural contexts, ideological identities which influence that very thought process, imaginations, dreams, fantasies, scientifically established facts, intelligent questioning, attitudes, willingness and ability to understand and solve problems, bio-chemical components  of human beings and /or some other species as well, application of  highest physical laws etc

We need not in to the details of everything nor resort to specialization but must ensure awareness, acknowledgment and acceptance of the exact, not exaggerated, influence/impact of everything/everyone in different contexts.
Based on this limited premise let us embark on to unravel and understand the role of certain things.

The word Role is loosely used to include/indicate a whole range of connotations /factors like impact/influence/interconnectedness, reason etc

Main mantra’ or ‘Important Truth’ is that everyone and everything are interrelated, interconnected and inter - dependent.

We can understand this through any subject or frame of reference by means of which we try to understand the dynamics of life or the web of life.

How we relate and what for we relate with others and things manifests in our thinking, actions and reactions and sometimes reveals in the consequences or results as well.

Items like society, economy, politics, data, peace, happiness etc have not been separately mentioned as they are all dealt in many links within the major links given below because they are so inextricably interconnected with many other aspects of life either directly or as part of interplay of life.                                            
 Various Roles
Role of understanding the importance and intricacies of Interrelatedness

Role and responsibility of Education

Role of Context and clarity of understanding

Role of Relationships

Role of Parents

Role of Identity

Role of revelation of all Stories/ what is involved in all stories?

Role of Religion

Role of Languages or tools of communication

Role of Life

Role of Environment

Role of Attitude

Role of Love

Role of Reading/Books

Role of personality Development

Role of Passion

Role of Technology

Role of Peace, Harmony and Unity

Role of Emotions

Role of Values, Principles and Systems and how to embed them in our daily life

Role of Empowerment

Role of Nature and Biodiversity