Author:Shatavadhani Dr. R. Ganesh

Evolution of Raaga

 

Raagas have changed and even transformed with respect to the definition given by Bharatamuni. Of course, it is only natural for perspective of arts to change with times. The most ancient forms of music that we can trace goes back to the Vedas. We can experience the early forms in folk, tribal music as well as  in some theatrical music such as in yakshagaana or sopaanam. Apart from this, musicologists like Shrangadeva, PandarikaVitthala have theorized and described in detail the lakshana(characteristics) in their works.

“Who am I?”

This question has haunted thinkers and philosophers from the earliest times. It is the question that drove the sixteen-year-old Venkataraman to eventually become Ramana Maharishi. It is the question that pops up every now and then, only to remain unanswered. Once it is answered, the question never recurs, for one would have transcended all questions by answering that one.

So, who are we?

तिन्त्रिणीदलसमानलोचने
देवदुन्दुभिसमानमध्यमे ।
अर्कशुष्कफलव्ध्वनस्तनि
रामवैरिभगिनीव राजसे ॥

Kosambi launches into a polemic against Krishna, considering him as a real person, forgetting that he himself had cast doubts on the existence of Krishna in the first place. Kosambi spews venom against the acharya of the Gita (emphasis is mine):

The Geeta exposition is essentially contained between the words 'अशोच्यान्' (BG 2.11) and 'मा शुच:' (BG 18.66). The central message is quite simply ‘grieve not’; for what really is, is of the nature of pure joy ("नासतो विद्यते भावो नाभावो विद्यते सत:"). How not to grieve is what Krishna seeks to explain.

It is usually thought in the world of classical arts, especially in the Carnatic circles in India that a prodigy is born in a family which is rich with a music tradition, and in most cases, belonging to the lineage of one of the stalwarts. It is rather rare to find a genius being born in an unconnected atmosphere. When the eight-holed bamboo flute was still trying to figure out its place in main stream Carnatic music as a solo and an accompanying instrument and when the playing techniques developed by Mali (TR Mahalingam) were awaiting to be housed in a creative musician, Bangalore N.

किं वाससा चीकरिबाकिरेण
किं दारुणा वङ्कर-टिङ्करेण ।
सर्वज्ञभूपालविलोकनार्थं
वैदुष्यमेको विदुषां सहायः ॥

Of late, echoes of a certain something called "Art Therapy" has been resonating throughout our land. More specifically, there has been an increase in the number of self-proclaimed "Art Therapists" strutting around with claims that they can cure a wide variety of diseases using music, dance, painting and poetry. They occupy the line already populated by that class of people who've anointed themselves as Sanyasis-Babas and Gurujis.

Rare footage of Pandit Kumar Gandharva (1924-92) singing as a ten year old. He was born Shivaputra Siddharamayya Komkalimath and in his early years was given the title of 'Kumar Gandharva' in recognition of his genius.

 

There was a certain amount of misrule and evil during the reign of the Nandas. A powerful force awoke that would destroy all that evil from the past. That was Chandragupta Maurya. What we know from our written history – and commonly agreed upon – is that Chandragupta was a great example for the brilliance of kshaatra. There are many accounts of this in Jaina, Bauddha, and Hindu – Sanatana Dharmic – literature.