Response to Indian dancer upset at my critique of Christian Bharatna
But she is unlikely to do any such deep introspection. Her final sentence in the letter clarifies her escapist mindset: "It is a heavy book with disturbing writings. I'd rather spend time studying Vedanta..." This interpretation of Vedanta as an escape from whatever one finds "disturbing" and "heavy" is one of the symptoms of what I have called the Moron Smriti. But that is the topic of yet another book and I won't go further into it here."
Bharatnatyam dance Anita Rathnam says "nothing is interesting in the Ramayana for me"
Phd degree in Women's Studies from Mother Teresa University! That explains it all.
If a Judeo-Christian person does the dance AUTHENTICALLY as per Hindu Natya Shastra that would be fine.
But many Christians have difficulty doing it this way, because it conflicts with their Christian indoctrination - worship of "false gods" and "idols" and so forth. When a dancer performs a gesture, mantra or ritual to a Hindu deity, say Shiva or Ganesha, is that dancer feeling the deity as GOD? Or it is felt
internally as a "secular" or "cultural" symbol of "out of respect for our ancestors"? If the Christian dancer is clear and not self-deceptive that indeed the deity IS GOD then there is no issue - but then the padre in his/her church wont be happy.
There is NO problem with a person doing bharatnatyam regardless of his/her own faith. Thats not the issue. Lets not misrepresent the issue. Pls read what i wrote in my response yesterday. its about inculturation as a public program to
infiltrate hindus by deception."
prime motivation for excelling in this art. Today, the bharatanatyam had been made audience centric, and the dancers had no permanent funding (i suppose). Which means, they are in an economic compulsion to attract audience, and this is diluting the art itself.
I would like to know the Rajiv's opinion on this.. Does he support commercialising of bharatanatya? Should we allow bharatanatyam dancers appeasing the audience, than devotion to the god?
We can see many instances, where people eulogise mixing bharatanatyam with western dance, and project that as a mark of liberalism..
While we should be aware of inculteration, we also should be aware of the fundamental root cause. the root cause, that bharat natya dancers have no survival funding, and left to fend for themselves.."
"1) When the dance is not performed as spiritual sadhana, it is being secularized, which I find troubling. To understand why I am troubled: In my next book "Being Different", I explain secularism as seen from dharmic perspective, and I contrast it with dharma sapekshata - two different approaches to equal
In the same manner, the spiritual meaning invested in the Eucharist ritual should not be secularized.
2) Secularizing is not the same thing as commercializing. They can and often do go together. But one can exist without the other, in which case commercializing by itself is not necessarily bad - if its a means to fund the tradition but each performer feels the inner process as sadhana."
2) And while we are discussing this issue, can we bring up its original purpose? ie, this dance is to be performed in temples rather than before audience, so that we can make it temple centric..
In future, if hindu temples are to be freed from government control, i would like to see such bharatanatyam and carnatic songs performed in every hindu temples...
On 1: It depends on the donor's motive which could range from pure seva to the tradition all the way to selfish motive, and various stages in between.
On 2: Agreed. But easier said than done, for too many hindus today are a decadent lot."
Sadly, thanks to Christian inculturation prostitutes are termed Devadasis for breaking up the harmony of a country.
Here's a very hollow article written by a member, National Commission for Women.
2. The devadasis in tamilnadu may not want to display their identity, but those in karnataka are proud of their heritage. Please see the website www.devadiga.com where they have grouped together as a community. We can use this website for any future debate on devadasi system..."
The lady convent educated) needs to be educated on the devastating effects of inculturation.
Love Thy Neighbor
Plenty of fawning comments. Do add yours to bring some sanity in there.
The only comment made sense by a "Christian" (appended below). (Kamini responds but pathetica so.
Posted by: Dr Antony | October 09, 2010 at 10:24 PM
I understand you are an expert in Karnatic music and so I don't venture up on an argument with you. I am not an expert,and music is not my profession.But I seriously enjoy music, and I can never forgive self acclaimed singers,who cannot keep their pitch.It is very easy to recognize who has music in them.It wont take you more than few minutes.Do I have to tell you?
I think I have heard this priest in our local television
channel,where he made a devastating attempt to do a kacheri. He cannot say ten swaroms at a row. The only evidence I could see that he was a student of Yesudas was his beard. That is often a good disguise for ignorance.
I am a Christian. In the history of the Church in Kerala,I don't find any Karnatic music experts. Yesudas never tried that mistake,because he knows the traditions of Karnatic music.The Keerthanas are all praises of Hindu Gods,and it needs tremendous devotion for it to come out.It was not meant for Christian church recitals.Christians in India imitate many traditional styles,and incorporate them in to their practices. I have heard some of these poor attempts of praises to Mother Mary in Karnatic ragas,to my utter despair. I always wanted to tell this priest to stick on to his job,and not to try to dirty the only pure tradition we keep in India.
By the way,did it really come from your heart?"
In the name of music let them not kill the music. This is my prayer"
Better to have some elements of Hinduism that are seen as secular that will allow dialog with others. It is better that these traditions are 'appropriated' since they also are a bridge. As long as we hold our end of the bridge well, they will serve us
Which means, get to economic prosperity and patronize the arts"
Whatever else is wrong with Christianity, a lack of music is not it....."
A Xtian touch to Kathakali
Thiruvananthapuram | Posted on Sep 19, 2011
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: One day, a few months ago, in a burst of inspiration, Fr Joy Chencheril wrote a long poem on the Christian Mass. While he was pondering over it, an idea struck him. â€˜Why not make this poem into a kathakali drama?â€™ he thought.
â€œWe Christians should promote kathakali, which is a dying art,â€ says Fr Joy, who belongs to the Missionary Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament. â€œVery few people care for it. Only foreigners come to see it. Not many temples organise kathakali performances during their annual fests.â€
When he was a child growing up in Mannar, in Kottayam district, Fr Joy had attended many kathakali performances at nearby temples and had grown to love it. Hence, he decided he would do something about it.
He approached Radha Madhavan, who is a well-known attakatha writer. (An attakatha is a story running alongside a kathakali drama). â€œI was very enthusiastic,â€ says Radha. â€œI have a lot of respect for other religions.â€
One of the reasons for the lack of popularity of kathakali is because the shlokas are in Sanskrit. But Radha and Fr Joy worked closely, over six months, to render the shlokas in Malayalam...."
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jewish_music). Christianity has a long tradition of music (see Gregorian chant as one example:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gregorian_chant). Much of Bach's music was sacred; Mozart and Beethoven composed masses and other sacred music. ... I am not aware of any injunction in Judaism or Christianity against music."
else). The reason for this prejudice was because the bible attributed the musical instruments to Cain's bloodline. Genesis 4:21* - *"And his brother's name was Jubal; he was the father of all those who handle the harp and organ."
The puritans of England under Cromwell banished music from the church and this continued in the USA as well wherever the puritans were in power.
However, for Christians, music like everything else is a means to an end, which is capturing the world for Christ. They will contaminate every natural thing under the sun with their poison to achieve this end"
... Some of the greatest music in the Western tradition was inspired by religion-- like Bach's St Matthew's Passion and the Mass in B Minor.
Vishal has the last word in this fascinating thread:
" ... when India was shifting from Vedic music to classical music in the early centuries of the common era, there was opposition from both ends. In Kavya literature, we see protogonists of classical music ridiculing the chanters of Samaveda ...