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Showing posts from January 6, 2009

Book: Music in Valmiki’s Ramayana

Music in Valmiki’s Ramayana written by Subhadra Desai, a Hindustani classical vocalist, explores the musical heritage in the epic Ramayan. It must be remembered that Ramayana is presented by Valmiki in the form of a song sung by Lava and Kusha, the sons of Lord Ram and Mata Sita. Sage Valmiki explains in the beginning of the Ramayana that it is composed in a manner that it can be read as well as sung. Music in Valmiki’s Ramayana consists of five chapters and looks into the traditional tenets of Indian music, development of music during the period, the different prevalent techniques of music and how it is used in the Ramayan and the vast range of musical instruments played during the period and nature of music. The books delves deep into music in the society – Vedic hymns are chanted as part of rituals and sacrifices; women sing on auspicious occasions; celestial musicians and dancers entertain royal guests; royal women are adept at playing complex musical instruments; reverberant inst…

Maatu or Mattu Pongal in 2011

The third day of Pongal festival in Tamil Nadu is known as Mattu Pongal. Mattu, or Mathu, means cattle or bull. In 2011, date of Mattu Pongal is January 16. The day is known as Pongal of the cattle. Mattu Pongal is today famous for the bull fight known Jallikettu or Manji Virattu.  Mattu Pongal can be considered as a thanksgiving to the cow, which provides milk and organic manure, and bull, which draws the plough. The rural economy of India to a large extent revolves around the cows and bulls. After a thorough bath, the cattle are beautifully decorated with specially colored ropes, bells and shawls on the day. The horns are polished and painted. The cattle are taken to the temple. A Mangala arati is performed for the cattle. Today, Mattu Pongal is noted for the Jallikettu, a sort of wrestling match between man and bull, in rural Tamil Nandu. You can find more details about Mattu Pongal in this article. Related
Pongal 2011

Thoughts on Upanishads from Dr S Radhakrishnan

The Upanishads, though remote in time from us, are not remote in thought. They disclose the working of the primal impulses of the human soul which rise above the differences of race and of geographical position. At the core of all historical religions there are fundamental types of spiritual experience though they are expressed with different degrees of clarity. The Upanishads illustrate and illuminate these primary experiences.The Upanishads deal with questions which arise when men begin to reflect seriously and attempt answers to them which are not very different, except in their approach and emphasis from what we are now inclined to accept. This does not mean that the message of the Upanishads, which is as true today as ever, commits us to the different hypotheses about the structure of the world and the physiology of man. We must make distinction between the message of the Upanishads and their mythology. The latter is liable to correction by advances in science. Even this mytholog…