Is Telugu Language a Camouflage for Javali, Padam & Varnams

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arasi
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#251 Re: Is Telugu Language a Camouflage for Javali, Padam & Varnams

Post by arasi »

Gosh! I didn't realize I had entered Karnataka inadvertently while dwelling on Telugu compositions!

Ranganayaki
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#252 Re: Is Telugu Language a Camouflage for Javali, Padam & Varnams

Post by Ranganayaki »

SrinathK wrote: 28 Feb 2020, 13:57
kvchellappa wrote: 27 Feb 2020, 07:56 Is not Jayadeva's madhura bhava replete with voluptuousness which often overshadows spirituality?
Those who have see that as something dirty and "non spiritual", only they have the problem.

At last a post by Srinath with clear ideas on this that I can respond meaningfully to!!

I did have a problem with his post in which he expressed this idea of his to me personally. Here I was, taking the trouble to think and express my thoughts and give my reasons for them, and he dismisses them all as simply being typical of my generation, and assumes that I have skittish attitudes to sexuality and i was especially indignant that he said that my thoughts come from that type of immaturity.

In everything I have said in this thread, I have never said that sex, physical love, is bad, or
dirty and "non spiritual",
. If you think I have, quote me. My own approach to sexuality in a relationship has always been a spiritual one. It was very personal and I have never spoken of it, till this mention which I make because Srinath lumps me with a billion others in a generalization.
I don't. I am long past the age where I ought to remain too prudish and at this point I see Sringara has a place in existence just like everything else.

He assumes that he, as a member of his generation, have a certain clarity that the rest of us cannot have. Not only that, among the current generations, his is unique, because he thinks the generation younger than his too are at an age where they ought to remain prudish.

Personally I think we get too influenced by the renunciants (with all due respect) way to recognize spirituality beyond that. Sringara was seen as the demon between man and liberation, but Krishna has given a place for that also.
The true spiritual seeker does try to renounce everything, a little by little. You renounce everything that is a hinderance to your spiritual growth. You dont renounce anything because it is bad, you renounce your reliance on it. Swamis May live in houses and have cars, but they still hAve our respect.

Let us take speech for instance. A spiritual seeker may resort to silence and abstain from speech at a time in his spiritual journey. It is encouraged, because silence is more propitious in spiritual life than speech is. I take the example of speech because it is neutral, not fraught with the kind of prejudice that Srikant says entire generations have. Silence is considered “good” for spiritual life, but speech is not considered bad - though bad speech always is.

Renunciation of physical relations is like that, and it is not for everyone. No one who has clarity on the problem says physicality is bad in itself. It is said LUST is. That is because lust does not discriminate. It’s the difference between disciplined speech and bad speech - bad language, hurtful, violent or hateful speech. A householder may be a spiritual seeker, but may engage in sexual activity, but not in lustful sexual activity if spiritual growth is a goal. It takes a certain maturity to know the difference between sexual desire in a loving relationship and lust.

But for anyone whose only goal in life is spiritual, unfettered by any other aspect of life - financial, relationships, duties towards anyone else, or any other demands from the external world - all overt sexual life is renounced, and that is because it is one of the demands of your internal life without being a need for your survival.

When a renunciate gives up sex, or is expected to by his order, it is (at least ideally, whether they recognize it or not) it is their attachment to it that they give up, in addition to the act. It is primarily the idea that you need it for a healthy life that you give up. It is the control that it exerts over you and your actions that you give up. The spiritual journey is a journey towards freedom. Not freedom from the rules made by your parents, but from the bondage that the body and mind impose. Those come from within you and are the hardest. That notion of being the hardest is what in reality causes the stress on it in spiritual teachings. That’s because most of us have a “korangu kai-le poo malai” attitude to sex - too casual, irreverential.

I do agree that I have met renunciates who have a fearful attitude towards people of the opposite sex, but I don’t judge them, I do not know the extent of the power their bodies have over their minds. It is just disciplined behavior.

They have a complex inner life, and it is not a great thing to dismiss their influence over our lives, especially in the light of our own complexity that we may or may not be aware of.

Spiritual life demands austerity, so one does not (or is not expected to) renounce what has no appeal to us. One renounces what one is the most attached to. So the implication (if you recognize it) is not that sex is bad for spiritual growth, it is our attachment to it. The stronger our belief that we cannot give it up, the more the need to renounce it. Spiritual journeys are inward, and personal. Nothing is bad about anything in life till you recognize it as a hinderance. MOST of us do not want to give it up, so it is high among the number of things that need to be renounced. The teachings are for the individual, but cannot be for each individual.

Spiritual progress has certainly been made with no austerity, but to me that is purely grace. If you actually want it it’s hard work, but that does not exclude grace. Even with the hard work every growth is a grace. The hard work cannot be dismissed as silliness. The scriptures don’t denounce sex, it would be absurd, life would end without it. It is lust that is categorically denounced as a negative sentiment in our minds and worse, in our hearts ( I am speaking of the scriptures I have access to).
But I do accept that it takes maturity to read it as it is with devotion. This is not something you would just show as it is to an immature teenager.
Why not? Why would you not show it to a teenager? We all grow from there. Could this be your generation gap with those younger? What happens to a teenager who reads something erotic? The problem lies in the hiding - which promotes that exact attitude you decry. And if Srinath hides this kind of poetry from a teenager, or the books, someone else will show it to him. The poetry is not the bomb, the mind of the adult is. The solution is to always speak respectfully about sex, about women, even the ones in the centerfolds who are exposed, even about prostitutes who sell pleasure. That is more likely to foster the healthiER attitude that Srinath claims he and his whole generation has over the rest of us.

Jayadeva wrote his work only for Krishna. It has been popularized by others and is sung till today to Lord Jagannath.
Which is a good thing - no matter what the attitude. If you don’t sing it, you will never discover it. If you don’t step on the ladder, right at the bottom,, you will never climb it.

***************

I was critical of Srinath the other day, and I am today of his thoughts here, but my attitude is to disagree, and also challenge his thinking. I didn’t like his writing yesterday especially, and even in the previous post that he has made today which was quite unclear to me. But in general, I do like to read what he has to say, which he does usually express with clarity and I do very much appreciate his contributions to the forum so far.

Thanks, Srinath.

vgovindan
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#253 Re: Is Telugu Language a Camouflage for Javali, Padam & Varnams

Post by vgovindan »

Source of Jayaddva ashTapadi -
"..In the tenth purana, the Brahmavaivarta Purana, Vyasa narrates the story of Sri Radhakrishna. The Garga Samhita, which serves as an exposition to the Purana, also deals with this story in great detail, using an engaging manner to bring out the story’s philosophical significance. The Ashtapadi was composed with these two texts as its source....."

http://www.kamakoti.org/kamakoti/articles/#gsc.tab=0

Brahma Vaivarta purAna seems to have been composed comparatively very recently - it has reference to Jesus and Adam.

Ps - the link keeps vanishing. You may not be able to view it.

SrinathK
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#254 Re: Is Telugu Language a Camouflage for Javali, Padam & Varnams

Post by SrinathK »

@Ranganayaki Let me clarify myself. You can ignore the spiritual philosophical stuff I wrote, I was just looking into sringara as a form of bhakti and where it comes from and what could be the basis for it. For a long time I wanted answers to why it is considered sacred in the bhakti tradition and how that reconciles with the teachings of jnana and yoga and I got them.

But don't take everything personally alright? You do that a lot. ;) :mrgreen:

I chalk many views of mine down to an Uber conservative upbringing that treated this as something to be horrified and ashamed of outwardly. Whereas in school and college my age group was straight away diving deep into the other end. I had to break off from that to rebalance myself. I am not some uber-liberal either, just balanced. The rest come down to my experiences. When I was younger I was also puzzled about the contradictory behavior of people around me in this area and I wanted answers to that too. I just never understood the irony. I got those answers.

The same is true for you. Your views are shaped by your experiences, what you read and what you get exposure to.

See, one member here openly wants all these things burned down and as soon as he sees something about sringara bhakti, he does an about turn and claims that can't represent Indian spirituality and it is a shameful blot. He wants even the saner forms of dance eradicated from history ala Aurangzeb maybe? He isn't the first one of his kind I've seen, there are plenty like him. That is one extreme.

Why I said I won't show it to your average teenager is simply because I know what they think and they'll do😏. They're the other extreme. Not yet very mature.

There are also people in the dance and music community who are pro sringara to the extreme extent where they have some deep grudge against the orthodoxy and act like they are victims of some organized upper caste conspiracy all the time. Of late a lot of dancers have been open about their views. They want to rebel well past teenage ;) There are artistes and scholars from the West who think they're fighting a war of ideology against the orthodoxy (insert words like brahmin, right wing, religious, patriarchy). Is that not the other extreme?

I am telling you, in the near future the music and dance world will split in 2 camps over this, like it did when Sadir got turned into Bharatanatyam. It has already started to split. My FB and whatsapp feed itself is making this very evident. I have the unenviable task of somehow navigating my way through rasikas from both sides. Do you know how polarized we are becoming whether it is art or society or spirituality or national well being, or pretty much anything?

Don't you observe that there are issues with taking these kinds of extreme positions? One reason why there is so much generational and cultural gap is because one side takes one extreme position and the other goes to the other end as if to compensate.

If you want to really appreciate Gita Govinda or Bhagavtam or Annamacharya etc, this needs some more maturity. You have to have a lot of bhakti and be able to accept sringara as it is like anything else. To appreciate this properly IMHO also needs some maturity in both an understanding of human nature, and a good understanding of spirituality too(that is why there are 9 books before the 10th and then an 11th and 12th skanda also in the Bhagavata). You also should have some ability to appreciate languages and poetry and emotional flavors and music. I also needed a good understanding of yoga and all to understand how bhakti reconciles with other spiritual traditions.

I have been exposed to religion and spirituality for a long time as long as I can remember, but only after getting to this point I think I am really beginning to get it at all. As a teenager that would not be possible. At that age I was a kid, just trying to sing some songs and I never knew the lyrics or the meaning of even a single one of them. Didn't know anything else.

At this point when people 2 generations older come along and tell me I'm indulging in the biggest sin and that I ought to be ashamed and see it as something filthy and horrible. I can't agree with that. They talk to me like I'm 15 when I am 30. To "sin" originally meant -- to miss the mark. I sometimes get a doubt in my mind if and how they've ever been in relationships and got married and had a family and all, given the way they present themselves as somehow "morally superior" to us youngsters.

Again I'm not talking about you ok? If you're different from them, great, but I do know a lot of people like this. I have issues with them.

This is India where this is still seen as a big taboo and something to be ashamed of or a sin outwardly, but a secret indulgence in private to be rationalized away. Just the internet traffic data will tell you the truth. Times have changed for better and worse, but still, people get internally conflicted about it. Not everyone acts the way they do because they want to guard one's privacy and dignity from cheap prying eyes and ears, but because of actually being split into 2 minds on this matter. So much so that the bhakti aspect of sringara stokes such controversy and polarization.

That is the problem I get to see, and sometimes I have not been spared from it either. Either people stoop too low at times or act too prudish about it, but rarely well balanced. Why will I then not have the opinions I do? If I see better examples I don't mind changing my opinions.
Last edited by SrinathK on 29 Feb 2020, 09:07, edited 3 times in total.

Pratyaksham Bala
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#255 Re: Is Telugu Language a Camouflage for Javali, Padam & Varnams

Post by Pratyaksham Bala »

.
Madurai Mani Iyer
https://youtu.be/xJ5LRpXp8As?t=1

Javali presented with Tevaram and Slokam.

1.
Tevaram - Thirugnana Sambandar - vEyuRu tOLi bangan

2.
5.05
Ramayana Dhyana slokam - vaidehI sahitaM

3.
10.50
Javali - sakhi prANA – Dharmapuri Subbaraya Iyer

vgovindan
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#256 Re: Is Telugu Language a Camouflage for Javali, Padam & Varnams

Post by vgovindan »

Srinath,
The term 'bhakti' itself is very difficult to define. If you have not already read 'nArada bhakti sUtrANi' by Swami Tyagisananda, I suggest you read it - nArada's work is considered as a standard reference for bhakti. In this book, he describes kAntAsakti as one of the eleven types of bhakti. bhakti in any form involves rising above carnal hankerings - this includes kAntAsakti particularly because there is a danger of downfall. Though this - rising above carnal hankerings - is not a precondition for practising bhakti, at least the direction should be very clear. Therefore, SRngAra - the essential feature of kAntAsakti - is also to be taken as beyond carnal urges. This is a very tall order as compared to other forms of bhakti.

Practising bhakti for one's sake is different from using tools such as poetry, music, dance etc for its public display as composers - particularly for making a living. In the latter case, the performer - whatever his mode of expression - must have risen beyond the carnal urges before he or she makes effort to convey to others through his or her words, music or dance. I am not referring to professional artists who display others' works for a living.

If these are kept as yardstick, there may not be much scope for controversy on the motives of the individual and his or her involvement thereof. In olden days, no work of literature or art was accepted till it has been approved through what is called 'arangETram' in a sadas of learned people. Now, in the days of free speech, anyone can write or perform anything, which leads to controversies.

IMHO, SRngAra as an expression of bhakti is the most difficult aspect of it all. Unless the integrity of person professing it is clearly visible, the motives will always remain questionable. After all while there are other ten forms of bhakti, why would anyone choose SRngAra - most difficult of all? There arises the question of motive. It will always remain a question mark.

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#257 Re: Is Telugu Language a Camouflage for Javali, Padam & Varnams

Post by Pratyaksham Bala »

.
Javali with a slokam :

Semmangudi Srinivasa Iyer
https://youtu.be/XBRhofFsdVA?t=76

Slokam - kOdanDa dIkSa gurum
Javali - parulanna mATa - Dharmapuri Subbaraya Iyer

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#258 Re: Is Telugu Language a Camouflage for Javali, Padam & Varnams

Post by Ranganayaki »

SrinathK wrote: 29 Feb 2020, 06:54 @Ranganayaki

But don't take everything personally alright? You do that a lot. ;) :mrgreen:
Hmm.. I take it that you certainly aren’t getting personal with me there?

Regarding everything else, there’s a balance to be found there too. You found the other balance, may be there are new ones to find.

Ranganayaki
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#259 Re: Is Telugu Language a Camouflage for Javali, Padam & Varnams

Post by Ranganayaki »

vgovindan wrote: 29 Feb 2020, 09:55 Srinath,
The term 'bhakti' (...)

IMHO, SRngAra as an expression of bhakti is the most difficult aspect of it all. Unless the integrity of person professing it is clearly visible, the motives will always remain questionable. After all while there are other ten forms of bhakti, why would anyone choose SRngAra - most difficult of all? There arises the question of motive. It will always remain a question mark.
I agree with this post. Especially with the argument about the choice of the path, and the question mark it engenders. Also it is in keeping with Sw. Vivekananda’s remark that I shared here.

SrinathK
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#260 Re: Is Telugu Language a Camouflage for Javali, Padam & Varnams

Post by SrinathK »

Ranganayaki wrote: 29 Feb 2020, 12:13
vgovindan wrote: 29 Feb 2020, 09:55 Srinath,
The term 'bhakti' (...)

IMHO, SRngAra as an expression of bhakti is the most difficult aspect of it all. Unless the integrity of person professing it is clearly visible, the motives will always remain questionable. After all while there are other ten forms of bhakti, why would anyone choose SRngAra - most difficult of all? There arises the question of motive. It will always remain a question mark.
I agree with this post. Especially with the argument about the choice of the path, and the question mark it engenders. Also it is in keeping with Sw. Vivekananda’s remark that I shared here.
I have in the course of all this study come to an opinion that sringara bhakti if you look at it isn't really part of a sadhana or method, but actually siddha, or the result of bhakti yoga. No one really chose sringara as a bhakti path, it just naturally arose and drove them on. To me that would explain why we worship it knowing what it is. Giving it as a sadhana to those too identified with the ego would never work. As a sadhana, it would only be imitation spirituality, and only those who have already maybe reached it earlier like Meera could really get it to work.

If you look at it like this, unless the ego is gone, one can never really explore Sringara bhakti or even the other forms of bhakti fully or even come to jnana. In the Bhagavata it is said the gopis were great rishis in their previous lives.

As we say this, we are respecting all these bhaktas only in hindsight after we look at their entire life story. In their day many bhaktas and jnanis when they were alive were simply persecuted as the people around them never really understood them and disliked their free spirits. Motivation is clear in hindisight.

In the Gita there is an interesting dialogue in the 12th chapter of whether those who are devoted to Bhagavan or those who know the unmanifest are superior. While Krishna replies that those whose whose minds are fixed on him are most perfect as per his opinion, fact is, those who approach the impersonal are also attaining Him only, so ultimately the paths aren't really different.

There are 2 points of controversy about sringara. One is how touchy we are about the subject itself. Another is whether it is indeed a form of bhakti.

Ultimately reading or discussing about sringara as bhakti is said to take one closer to the Divine and indeed it does feel so after reading it because we are talking of the siddhi of yoga instead of an artificial process involving self manipulation.

As a sadhana, It sounds rather like the story of Dikshitar's wife, by seeing Ambal decked with ornaments her own desire for it vanished. By praising sringara as a Divine expression, the seeker is no longer in the picture and has gone from 'naan' to 'non'. When I is gone, the Divine alone is. And bhakti has met jnana. I think that is the only way you can do it as a sadhana, by not making it about you. Both bhakti and jnana in a way are devoid of 'you'.

More than a path to be followed, when sringara arises in the devotes, it seems to be an natural expression of attainment. That is why there was a difference between Jayadeva's Gita Govinda and the poetry of the king, why one was accepted by Jagannatha and the other wasn't? It was ego vs Divine outpouring. I only objected to some who thrashed both in the same vein.

When you talk of motivation and intent -- why someone would choose this of all others, I say the most genuine motivation has nothing to do with you choosing, but it is about being chosen to express it. The best motive is natural. All sadhana no matter what it is or how refined it is, is still in a way artificial spirituality. Real spirituality begins when grace descends. This is not sadhana, this is siddhi. This is the descent or avatara of the divine.

Only because we feel these bhaktas have realized the divine, we revere their creative output. Others whom we feel haven't, we do not share that reverence. Even if the words are all similar. Right? It is that feeling that drives our reactions. The importance of this cannot be overstated. Without this sentiment, it's all just a bunch of words isn't it?

Honestly I have forgotten about the javalis at this point haven't I? Now I have to come back to earth. Somehow the sringara of a composer singing something for their patron or lover seems kinda like a small puddle before the ocean of Sringara bhakti. I can still appreciate the melodic value, but I am ok with most of us finding the expression too raw for taste and public rendering. I totally get it.

But honestly can't we just simply go to a concert and come back home and just say "It was a very good concert?" At the end of all this discussion, I miss the simplicity of the good 'ol days, when I just liked Carnatic Music as music. Do we really need to break our heads by taking the music so seriously? That too one occupying a very tiny space in the world?

With this I am leaving the thread I revisited. Back to actual music now.

vgovindan
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#261 Re: Is Telugu Language a Camouflage for Javali, Padam & Varnams

Post by vgovindan »

SRngAra, in the devotional work of Adi Sankara, is found in 'saundarya lahari'. Sankara is a pure advaitin who created such work as 'nirvANa shaTka' where he declares that he is Siva himself - the Absolute. Therefore, it is interesting to see how he handles the subject.

SRngAra - eroticism - is not to be shunned, but transcended. This is the message that comes out of the commentary on the verse 51 of saundarya lahari.

http://www.advaita-vedanta.co.uk/index. ... i-verse-51

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#262 Re: Is Telugu Language a Camouflage for Javali, Padam & Varnams

Post by shankarank »

SrinathK wrote: 29 Feb 2020, 13:33 Somehow the sringara of a composer singing something for their patron or lover seems kinda like a small puddle before the ocean of Sringara bhakti.
Oh have we ever wondered which masters we serve?? We are some free people who have no patrons? Everybody wants to put themselves in SrI tyAgarAjA's role.
SrinathK wrote: 29 Feb 2020, 13:33 but I am ok with most of us finding the expression too raw for taste and public rendering
Lets just define what is meant by "Public " here! And what morality and rules governs that Public space and what precedents that is based on! What people spew out, as common sense or constitutional values is not really that. Underneath they borrow from a cultural sense that predate them!

Even bhakti is challenged now in the "public" space. It is considered sectarian and limiting the reach of art!

But bhakti is one thing, we cannot deny , has reached across the land - exponentially higher than any vEdAnta or philosophy. Expositioners advocate a dRDa to oneself and not pontificate vEdAnta to even the spouse. Sri kRiShNa prEmi once explained how one should react if the spouse shows a tinge of vairAgyA, saying the duty of the other person is to divert and downplay it (Ayodhya manTapam 1992/93) .

There is no such consensus or basis that is "out there" based on which we qualify ourselves to make such judgments. People's sense about such things can be shaped by variety of experiences , and especially in diverse culture it is lot more varying from city to mofussil ( a truly Indian term if you google it!) and how much interaction one has had across jAtis etc.

So I am not OK with anyone finding anything with this!

If somebody have a true sampradayic objection, then that is justified, but then they should go and declare what their sampradaya is and what it is based on and follow that and leave other things alone!
SrinathK wrote: 29 Feb 2020, 13:33 As we say this, we are respecting all these bhaktas only in hindsight after we look at their entire life story. In their day many bhaktas and jnanis when they were alive were simply persecuted as the people around them never really understood them and disliked their free spirits.
Where is the evidence for this? There has been no such thing within the domains of Indian cultural thought! There will be a commentator who would make his erudite comments against such a thing, but I don't think the society banned and destroyed these. How did we get them as cherished items otherwise? Also if these personalities had such a depth of expression, I bet they are highly aware and observant people, who will use all surrounding experiences as metaphors to create their works. They themselves need not be too involved in it.

Even tamizh grammatical work tolkAppiyam employs metaphors of SRngAra. dEvanEya pAvANar a tamizh zealot who opposed SanskRtization - extended tolkAppiyars "purai" to include 8 stages of "word" evolution before it reaches "purai" - that is to pierce that then begets a new word - which is nothing but SRngAra. Some of the stages sound similar to para-pashyanti-vaikari-madyama

Page 104 Nonary semantic cycle here:

https://www.academia.edu/38471494/THE_P ... _WORLD.pdf

There is tension in interpretation there as well :

https://ta.wikisource.org/wiki/%E0%AE%A ... 8D.pdf/198


Only some EVR-ist/leftist camp speakers deride this - bring their class warfare into this to oppose Sanskrit language efforts - "Oh they say SanskRtam has lot of SRngAra kAvya , how does it matter to ordinary people? Those are for the upper class and the rent seeking privileged class".

I see a lot of corona-vairAgya in this thread - suddenly a lot of philosophy :twisted: :lol:

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#263 Re: Is Telugu Language a Camouflage for Javali, Padam & Varnams

Post by vgovindan »

Shankarank,
".....Sri kRiShNa prEmi once explained how one should react if the spouse shows a tinge of vairAgyA, saying the duty of the other person is to divert and downplay it (Ayodhya manTapam 1992/93)...."

I was pinching myself whether I am dreaming. Please say that this a typo. Not in the land of Krishna and Gita.

Development of vairagya - particularly in married life - is anything but easy. Therefore, one not practising it, or expressing inability in that regard, is nothing unusual. Any religious or spiritual pursuit does not stipulate such vairagya as a precondition; in fact only for developing such vairagya, one undertakes religious or spiritual pursuit.

It is also nothing unusual for a person performing public discourse, not being able to be on the path of vairagya - it is a struggle all the way.

But, it is totally different for a person performing public discourse to dissuade - and that too in his discourse - his questioner or listener from pursuing vairagya. It goes against the grain of this land.

Therefore, it is unbelievable. Hence my query. Please say that you have misquoted him.

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#264 Re: Is Telugu Language a Camouflage for Javali, Padam & Varnams

Post by shankarank »

Well if bringing up vEdAnta when engaged in dealing with pressures of life is sort of a tinge of vairAgya, then that's what he said. In context he meant it for learned men, the way he expressed it. One might have to get the whole narration to get it in context. I cannot provide that. But the way he said it, it was meant to convey that one's practice of vEdanta, should not impact ordinary life as a gRhastha. May be I used wrong words!

After I posted , I saw more updates: He did not dissuade his listeners. He more like, asked them to dissuade their spouses in the course of ordinary life, but keep the dRDa inside oneself.

Sri krishna did not preach to draupadi or subhadra - as much as I know, rather he showed empathy there. If not correct me.

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#265 Re: Is Telugu Language a Camouflage for Javali, Padam & Varnams

Post by vgovindan »

At one level, thanks for clarification. I may say pursuit of vairagya in married life, by one party unilaterally is not conducive to mutual happiness. There has to be consensus between the couples. To be staunch all by oneself is fraught with danger and friction. That he might have clarified.

Our dharma is for gradual withdrawal. As per ASrama dharma, in vAnaprasthASrama - after one had seen third generation - grand children - the couple maintain their relationship like siblings. Then the last stage of sannyAsa.

Therefore, Krishna would never have advised his devotees to practise vairAgya right at the beginning. He only teaches what is good for one, and then says 'yathEcchasi tathA kuru' - do whatever you want. That's the greatness of our dharma. There are no permanent sinners - as Vivekananda puts it.

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#266 Re: Is Telugu Language a Camouflage for Javali, Padam & Varnams

Post by Ranganayaki »

kvchellappa wrote: 27 Feb 2020, 07:56 Is not Jayadeva's madhura bhava replete with voluptuousness which often overshadows spirituality?


In writing everything I did in my last long post, in which I said sex is not necessarily bad, lust is, I was so engrossed in expressing my “own” thoughts as they were at that moment, that I forgot the great Sri Ramakrishna’s words and teachings. How could I, i wonder!

Sri Ramakrishna guided his devotees and disciples not to condemn lust or any worldly desire that may arise in the mind, but to give it a spiritual direction. Even lust. He advises us to turn our lust into an intense desire for God, the Divine mother, or whatever form you prefer. This may be easier said than done, but it is a compassionate and pragmatic view. It does not inculpate.

(That sais, he does incessantly warn his disciples about lust and greed.. I guess it’s from a different perspective, in different contexts.)

He had a friend called Girish Ghosh, in whom he must have seen something divine ready to come forth, even though this Girish was plunged in the material world and was an alcoholic. Unlike anyone else, Sri Ramakrishna was sensitive and compassionate and in fact never asked GG to give up drinking. Instead, he asked him to dedicate his drink to god every time he picked one up. Over time, Girish became free of alcohol and a loving devote of Sri R.

What a kind and compassionate and embracing position.

Jayadeva’s outpourings were possibly something like this, centuries ago, though I’m not saying categorically that that’s what it is - I have no knowledge. But the work can be enjoyed at various levels - poetry, eroticism (yes, even though It may be part of The Bhakti movement), through music, and spiritually. It depends on where you are situated, mentally or spiritually. It’s ok for anyone to become a Jayadeva lover for its eroticism, because that could be the first rung in the ladder. It then has at least the potential to open eyes to new ways of discovering the work and to lead from rung to rung. We have so many examples of literature where a second reading leads to new enjoyment, new perspectives. Familiarity with the work helps. Growth and time themselves may sensitize us to perspectives that skipped our minds completely in previous readings. Not just litt., all art. There is always hope for more.

The pitfall is that one can be deluded into thinking that the enjoyment is Bhakti...

*****

But I do suspect that KVC’s question is rhetorical, as many of his questions are, as he often already has his own view. Or at least they may be Socratic in intent...

In the light of Sri Ramakrishna’s teaching above, I feel free to now ask a question that came to mind a day or two ago - what’s an “uber-liberal?” In the sense of how you interact with others, what is it? Is there a limit to kindness, compassion, respect towards others? I’m not speaking of politics. This came to my mind again now, but I’m not personally looking to have a discussion on it.

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#267 Re: Is Telugu Language a Camouflage for Javali, Padam & Varnams

Post by kvchellappa »

I have unsettled views in many matters as I float in ignorance. But, i have one hard view that we should have no hard views, esp. over-righteous views. We act according to our svabhava (which is innate), circumstance and culture. Our effort must be to shape the culture, but not freeze it. Srngara is a very basic trait all of us share and the poet-devotees have used it extensively for bhakti. It has added to richness of our tradition. I feel absolutely no need (hard view) to decry it or feel apologetic. I enjoy Jayadeva. Such immortal poetry might not have been possible but for his deep emotional involvement. Love (even kama) has not been taboo in our culture. That idea was imported later. When we condemn jawalis, are we not passing judgment on the composers, singers and rasikas who do not indulge in such hair-splitting analysis, but do it for its musical idea, as a minor item, and pass on? How can they be less mature than the ones who go so deep and consider it risque? I do not want to take a side here, but the doubt niggles me.

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#268 Re: Is Telugu Language a Camouflage for Javali, Padam & Varnams

Post by vgovindan »

The word 'sandhyA' has special significance in our religious literature. sandhyA has two meeting points - bad (worst) to good and good (best) to bad. There is an illustration of these sandhyAs in the story of kRshNa and arjuna - as given in the book 'nArada bhakti sUtras'.

kRshNa and arjuna were going on an errand. On the way, arjuna saw a poor brahmin with only a cow to sustain his family. arjuna asked kRshNa, 'can't you do something to this poor man?' kRshNa said 'may whatever he has, also go'. arjuna was intrigued.

They travelled some more distance and arjuna saw a gambler in his game. arjuna asked kRshNa, 'can't you do something to correct him?' kRshNa said 'may he get more'. arjuna was more puzzled.

Sometime later, arjuna and kRshNa were returning after the errand. Now arjuna saw the gambler turned into a leper due to over indulgence; next arjuna saw the poor brahmin, having lost everything, became a sAdhu. (aruNagiri nAthar's turning point was this - leprosy).

There is one more story of nArada - a great renunciate - becoming a family man and ultimately crying for help to redeem him, when he lost everything - his wife, children and house. That was a dream sequence created by kRshNa to quell the pride of nArada that he was the greatest of all devotees.

The lessons that flow from these - as I see - is that extremes, sometimes, are the turning points - sandhyA. We, in our limited sight spanning a few decades of life, cannot actually see what is in store for us in the direction in which we are travelling in life.

I was reading the commentary of the person who wrote the translation of 'brahma vaivarta purANa' which is the basis for 'ashTapadi' of jayadEva.

He says SRngAra may have two angles - one as a sieve to filter out unfit for the purpose of testing their tenacity to transcend the web of saMsAra - and the second, the one who have transcended, can see the divine play of Siva - Sakti, kRshNa - rAdha. The kAma kalA rUpa of the divinity is an undeniable fact and pure advaita has still not satisfactorily answered the origins of mAya - 'bahu syAM' (may I be many) is difficult to grasp, probably till one has actually transcended the relative existence. When persisted, (about mAyA), the simple response is 'don't pursue ignorance; ignorance is to be transcended through knowledge'. Therefore, there is a duality till we actually transcend ignorance.

SRngAra is an essential aspect of Life. The beauty of Mother Nature when combined with 'rAga' - passion - to possess It - becomes SRngAra. vi-rAga - vairAgya is the antedote for this. SRngAra is, probably, the elixir that sustains life, without which the life, as we know, will end.

The flower is the dream of the plant - read somewhere.

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#269 Re: Is Telugu Language a Camouflage for Javali, Padam & Varnams

Post by vgovindan »

Kvc,
Since I initiated the topic, I must respond. Jawali has two aspects - musical aspect and the lyrical. No one can ever dispute Jawali in its musical aspect. The problem comes when the words are lewd and such lewd lyrics are only in Telugu, a doubt arises as to what the motive is. I dare say, even now, let any musician compose lyrics with same or similar lewd content in Tamil and sing to an audience. They will dare not. The devil is in the detail. Lewdness may have its place in life - not in the sabha. If someone wants to display the lewdity, let him not camouflage it, and say 'வார்த்தைகளை விட்டுத்தள்ளுங்கோ'

The problem is, sorry to say this, that we lack the courage to look into our parampara critically and do deweeding to make the water - music - clear.

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#270 Re: Is Telugu Language a Camouflage for Javali, Padam & Varnams

Post by kvchellappa »

Sir, While I respect your views, I differ. Sri NSG sang a jawali in Tamizh composed by Sri Sankara Iyer (link given above). Tradition and culture evolve, they cannot be imposed. Scriptures have been there for thousands of years, that has not altered human tendencies. Each individual must decide for himself what is good for him. We must allow for that maturity in other adults we take for granted in us. That is my tentative view. Again, I learn a lot from you and am nowhere equal to you, but that does not deter my temerity to differ. I must add that I have a contradictory view on sex and violence in open media as it reaches young, impressionable audience, but we can do very little there also.

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#271 Re: Is Telugu Language a Camouflage for Javali, Padam & Varnams

Post by Ranganayaki »

There is a difference between “erotic” and “lewd” too. So would eroticism in Tamil songs be acceptable in a sabha concert, and how far can such acceptance go - should it be Bhakti-oriented, or can it be just secular? Have we or haven’t we heard any such songs?

May be I’m just restating the original question in a more neutral wAy.

I do have my own answer to the first question: For me the lyrics have to be pleasing - the language and imagery should be beautiful, and should not objectify.

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#272 Re: Is Telugu Language a Camouflage for Javali, Padam & Varnams

Post by Ranganayaki »

Ranganayaki wrote: 03 Mar 2020, 00:59 But I do suspect that KVC’s question is rhetorical, as many of his questions are, as he often already has his own view. Or at least they may be Socratic in intent...
kvchellappa wrote: 03 Mar 2020, 06:04 Srngara is a very basic trait all of us share and the poet-devotees have used it extensively for bhakti. It has added to richness of our tradition. I feel absolutely no need (hard view) to decry it or feel apologetic. I enjoy Jayadeva. Such immortal poetry might not have been possible but for his deep emotional involvement. Love (even kama) has not been taboo in our culture.
See that’s what I meant!! 🙂 It wasn’t criticism.. you do have a well-developed view of your own, yet you asked this question. It’s just meant to provoke thought and discussion, I guess.. 🙂

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#273 Re: Is Telugu Language a Camouflage for Javali, Padam & Varnams

Post by vgovindan »

As a PS to pst #268, there may be a doubt whether one pursuing 'good', on reaching the zenith, can revert to opposite side - bad. There are two words in gItA and lalitA sahasranAma - tatO yAnti adhamAM gatim and punrAvRtti rahita purasthA. In space technology, there is terminology 'escape velocity'. Unless this escape velocity is applied at the right time, the journey would be in circles only.

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#274 Re: Is Telugu Language a Camouflage for Javali, Padam & Varnams

Post by kvchellappa »

Ranganayaki wrote: 03 Mar 2020, 08:26 So would eroticism in Tamil songs be acceptable in a sabha concert, and how far can such acceptance go - should it be Bhakti-oriented, or can it be just secular? Have we or haven’t we heard any such songs?
RKM sang an RTP with love as the theme (no bhakti) composed by K Arun Prakash as reported under Concert Review recently. It is gentle. Many Bharathi songs sung widely dwell on love in ecstasy with which everyone seems to be in tune.

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#275 Re: Is Telugu Language a Camouflage for Javali, Padam & Varnams

Post by sureshvv »

kvchellappa wrote: 03 Mar 2020, 09:19 RKM sang an RTP with love as the theme (no bhakti) composed by K Arun Prakash as reported under Concert Review recently. It is gentle. Many Bharathi songs sung widely dwell on love in ecstasy with which everyone seems to be in tune.
Exactly my point earlier (for which I got lectured :) ). It is not so much about spirituality as it is about being stirred.

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#276 Re: Is Telugu Language a Camouflage for Javali, Padam & Varnams

Post by vgovindan »

The link for Sankara Iyer's Surati Jawali, full song is here. I do not find anything objectionable - it is not even a love song in the real sense - leave alone eroticism.

https://youtu.be/P7BXN_hc3jg

Isn't the discussion about lewdness - beyond even erotic?

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#277 Re: Is Telugu Language a Camouflage for Javali, Padam & Varnams

Post by arasi »

Intimacy Exalted

You move us Bharathi, how intimate your words!
The way you carry on, you draw us into loving--
The moon, the sea and the sky simply shine,
Feed our fancy, tickle our senses, fire our souls

The beauty of mother earth, of women earthly,
Celestial and just of fancy, all move us, grab us
With the life you infuse in them--goddess, gypsy,
Royal, rural--they all enchant us, your heroes too

There's love in beauty, valor and fine qualities
How you embrace them, and ask us to join in
To celebrate life, love and intimacy! Life's short
But love perennial--of man, gods and all the rest :)

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#278 Re: Is Telugu Language a Camouflage for Javali, Padam & Varnams

Post by Ranganayaki »

kvchellappa wrote: 03 Mar 2020, 09:19
Ranganayaki wrote: 03 Mar 2020, 08:26 So would eroticism in Tamil songs be acceptable in a sabha concert, and how far can such acceptance go - should it be Bhakti-oriented, or can it be just secular? Have we or haven’t we heard any such songs?
RKM sang an RTP with love as the theme (no bhakti) composed by K Arun Prakash
I checked that review and it’s an interesting choice, but my question was about eroticism, not just “secular” (non-Bhakti) Lyrics about love. There needs to be a sensual element for eroticism, as there is in Jayadeva. Do we have concert-worthy Tamil examples?

Have we said Jayadeva is concert-worthy or not? I think we have, no? I’m not sure. We talked a lot about Bhakti, but did we actually slice it for concert-worthiness?

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#279 Re: Is Telugu Language a Camouflage for Javali, Padam & Varnams

Post by Ranganayaki »

arasi wrote: 03 Mar 2020, 22:12 Intimacy Exalted

You move us Bharathi, how intimate your words!
The way you carry on, you draw us into loving--
The moon, the sea and the sky simply shine,
Feed our fancy, tickle our senses, fire our souls

The beauty of mother earth, of women earthly,
Celestial and just of fancy, all move us, grab us
With the life you infuse in them--goddess, gypsy,
Royal, rural--they all enchant us, your heroes too

There's love in beauty, valor and fine qualities
How you embrace them, and ask us to join in
To celebrate life, love and intimacy! Life's short
But love perennial--of man, gods and all the rest :)
🙂🙏🏻🙏🏻

I was thinking of Bharatiyar when I described the kind of lyrics I would find acceptable. But I am not at all knowledgeable. Is there an erotic element in any of his poems?

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#280 Re: Is Telugu Language a Camouflage for Javali, Padam & Varnams

Post by arasi »

The tough thing is to gauge what we mean by erotic. Interestingly, his prose perhaps contains traces of it? Well, all that knowledgeable, I am not...

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#281 Re: Is Telugu Language a Camouflage for Javali, Padam & Varnams

Post by Ranganayaki »

Yes it’s tough.. I may even be wrong to say kvc’s rkM example is not erotic, right? I think we can exclude lewdness.. that’s certain, but I’m not sure either how to define eroticism, as you say!

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#282 Re: Is Telugu Language a Camouflage for Javali, Padam & Varnams

Post by Ranganayaki »

From Wikipedia:

Eroticism is a quality that causes sexual feelings, as well as a philosophical contemplation concerning the aesthetics of sexual desire, sensuality, and romantic love. That quality may be found in any form of artwork, including painting, sculpture, photography, drama, film, music, or literature.

May be I’m not really wrong about KVC’s example then.. those lyrics do not bring about such contemplation. I do have a sense of what’s erotic then.. but i don’t know that many works by Bharatiyar. Jayadeva certainly is according to this definition.

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#283 Re: Is Telugu Language a Camouflage for Javali, Padam & Varnams

Post by vgovindan »

Viewers here might be familiar with lalitA sahasranama. The first few verses contain description of Mother and her beauty, right from head to toe - part by part. Yet, it is considered as the epitome of all prayers. The typical sitting posture of sItA-rAma, sOmAskanda - the Mother seated on the lap of the Lord - all these indicate to us, IMHO, to the essential nature of our creation - the inseparability of purusha and prakRti, and the innate beauty of this whole scheme, which we cannot comprehend in its totality. Our scriptures are not prudish and they openly declare the beauty of this romance in every possible way. Like Abrahamic religions, our ancestors also could have drawn a curtain over it and could have emphasised the tall masculinity or the abstractness that is inconceivable. But they did not do so. I think it is with the purpose of making our sojourn practical - rather than idealistic and near impossible - as sometimes advaita vEdAnta is called.

All that it informs me is that, this eroticism of purusha - prakRti, male - female romance is the path to be tread - enjoyed - and crossed over to that absoluteness with no trace of regret or 'capala' - residual desires. That is to unite us with the whole - pUrNa.

Eroticism that has a positive message - no matter how troublesome the journey is - is not the Eroticism we are discussing in this thread. As you have brought out, 'philosophical contemplation', is the object of eroticism embedded in our bhakti literature.

Seen from this angle, anything that pulls us down - that places impediments in our journey towards the destination, is the kind of eroticism - and sometimes worse, lewdness, that is meant to be actively avoided - not circumvented by denial or suppression. I feel that jayadEva's ashTapadi belongs to the former category - a mystical trance. But, it could be seen otherwise also depending on where one is and what one's perspective is.

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#284 Re: Is Telugu Language a Camouflage for Javali, Padam & Varnams

Post by shankarank »

Ranganayaki wrote: 03 Mar 2020, 22:35 Do we have concert-worthy Tamil examples?
Found an old posting :) :

viewtopic.php?f=2&t=30827&p=331268#p331268

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#285 Re: Is Telugu Language a Camouflage for Javali, Padam & Varnams

Post by vgovindan »

Also see -

https://youtu.be/AkadikGfAic

Another link on the composer -
viewtopic.php?t=24588

Complete list of padams of Subbarama Iyer -

https://karnatik.com/co1056.shtml

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#286 Re: Is Telugu Language a Camouflage for Javali, Padam & Varnams

Post by shankarank »

Ranganayaki wrote: 03 Mar 2020, 08:26 There is a difference between “erotic” and “lewd” too. So would eroticism in Tamil songs be acceptable in a sabha concert, and how far can such acceptance go - should it be Bhakti-oriented, or can it be just secular? Have we or haven’t we heard any such songs?
Well some compositions talk of what would be forbidden love for the subjects of corporate British India and the aftermath! That makes it lewd?

Samskrita kavyas speak of feminine beauty, same do tamizh kavyas : http://kaumaram.com/tmpadai/tmpadai01e.html ( verses 31-41

Now when you say Secular, you have already caged bhakti under purely religious category. The former is an offshoot of organized religion's conflicts with monarchs in Europe. Marxists have twisted it to domesticate culture based collectivism ( with some religious activities embedded) so that it does not pose a threat to their brand of activism/revolution.

Is Indian national anthem SrngAra - yes! American one - indeed! And is patriotism bhakti - very much!

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#287 Re: Is Telugu Language a Camouflage for Javali, Padam & Varnams

Post by Ranganayaki »

So I’m thinking, from post # 283, and a few others, we are agreed that only the lewdness is unacceptable, eroticism is not, and concert songs may or may not be Bhakti-oriented. The Sahitya must be elevating in content, and aesthetically pleasing. Adding the name of a god to otherwise sordid lyrics will neither make it “bhakti-geet” nor concert-worthy. Correct me if necessary.

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#288 Re: Is Telugu Language a Camouflage for Javali, Padam & Varnams

Post by sureshvv »

vgovindan wrote: 04 Mar 2020, 06:30 I feel that jayadEva's ashTapadi belongs to the former category - a mystical trance. But, it could be seen otherwise also depending on where one is and what one's perspective is.
And a good rendition can change perspective, even if ephemeral.

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#289 Re: Is Telugu Language a Camouflage for Javali, Padam & Varnams

Post by shankarank »

So the music of the rendition is a camouflage for the meaning of the words?

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#290 Re: Is Telugu Language a Camouflage for Javali, Padam & Varnams

Post by sureshvv »

Orthogonal dimensions. Both can be individually appreciated but best served together :D

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#291 Re: Is Telugu Language a Camouflage for Javali, Padam & Varnams

Post by sureshvv »

Here is an old hit from the movies

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RzjK5wzDeVc

Srngara? Erotic? Lewd?

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#292 Re: Is Telugu Language a Camouflage for Javali, Padam & Varnams

Post by vgovindan »

Back to basics?
Like the colour spectrum, the visible light and their colour components are the only possible range of human perception. There also, if the perceptional instrument is faulty, even that becomes limited. And there are others with no perceptional tool. But light, as electro-magnetic spectrum, is spread on both sides of 'visible' range. Therefore, if one points to a colour and asks another to define, then the HCF is taken as an acceptd answer. Beauty, SRngAra, eroticism and lewd are just some arbitrary markers in the human emotional - rAga - spectrum. anurAga can be all-enbracing and object-less or the most obsessive. It all depends on the perceiver. But HCF is what matters. Even that HCF is being defined differently by 'liberals'. Where does one draw a line?
Last edited by vgovindan on 06 Mar 2020, 15:23, edited 1 time in total.

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#293 Re: Is Telugu Language a Camouflage for Javali, Padam & Varnams

Post by Pratyaksham Bala »

.
So, if the whole crowd stay put when a 'shringara song' is presented, one can conveniently divide the crowd into sections and declare that each section enjoyed the song from a different mindset !

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#294 Re: Is Telugu Language a Camouflage for Javali, Padam & Varnams

Post by Ranganayaki »

We are fortunate to be born in a culture that allows freedom, where we don’t have “thought police,” where the law at least affords us the freedom to express ourselves in art as we see fit. Such lines are impossible to draw and we will be nitpicking forever. So we may admit that artistic freedom is absolute and each individuL is free to like or hate any work of art, including compositions and performances. We are each welcome to step out and step back in, or just not attend, no questions asked. We are free to say that WE don’t like it, or that WE don’t like the artist for his choices, but we cannot impose our views on others. Let’s just then make peace with this. Otherwise we can live in a restrictive society where everyone is forced to conform and even being good and being nasty get mixed up and everything is meaningless for want of the power to choose.

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#295 Re: Is Telugu Language a Camouflage for Javali, Padam & Varnams

Post by Pratyaksham Bala »

.
भिन्नरुचिर्हि लोकः !

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#296 Re: Is Telugu Language a Camouflage for Javali, Padam & Varnams

Post by kvchellappa »

Ranganayaki wrote: 06 Mar 2020, 08:13 We are fortunate to be born in a culture that allows freedom, where we don’t have “thought police,” where the law at least affords us the freedom to express ourselves in art as we see fit. Such lines are impossible to draw and we will be nitpicking forever. So we may admit that artistic freedom is absolute and each individuL is free to like or hate any work of art, including compositions and performances. We are each welcome to step out and step back in, or just not attend, no questions asked. We are free to say that WE don’t like it, or that WE don’t like the artist for his choices, but we cannot impose our views on others. Let’s just then make peace with this. Otherwise we can live in a restrictive society where everyone is forced to conform and even being good and being nasty get mixed up and everything is meaningless for want of the power to choose.
Very nice concluding remarks for a meandering discussion.

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#297 Re: Is Telugu Language a Camouflage for Javali, Padam & Varnams

Post by shankarank »

Common! Do we even know how rule of law works? Law affords freedom of expression - huh? And artistic freedom! What laws operated when all of these were composed?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Section_2 ... Penal_Code

It would take some goonda lawyer-ing to change perspective! You must have known about the recent controversies - how a battery of lawyers come out to defend someone against a rich girl's family! That is rule of law!

We assign objectivity, emancipation, empowerment to things like law , but we put our conventions/traditions into a bucket that restrains! Lets not celebrate the former too much! It is a facade. What works it is something else altogether!
Last edited by shankarank on 06 Mar 2020, 09:26, edited 3 times in total.

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#298 Re: Is Telugu Language a Camouflage for Javali, Padam & Varnams

Post by kvchellappa »

You are taking the discussion to the asinine field of law. That is not the discussion. The point is about artistic freedom and freedom of choice of what one enjoys or dislikes. There is no known law against it. If it is there, it is meant to be violated without a second thought.

shankarank
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#299 Re: Is Telugu Language a Camouflage for Javali, Padam & Varnams

Post by shankarank »

Now don't malign the Ass. It was helpful (atleast half of it _ I see - the mule :lol: ) to the U.S troops in Afghanistan! More than any law system! And you don't remember the veLLa vEShTi - how it was whitened do you?

shankarank
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#300 Re: Is Telugu Language a Camouflage for Javali, Padam & Varnams

Post by shankarank »

https://www.britannica.com/topic/Song-of-Solomon
The fourth interpretation, and the one that has perhaps gained the most credence among modern scholars, is simply that the Song of Solomon is a collection of secular love poems without any religious implications.
So there the word Secular!!

Now tamizh scholars claim origin of those songs - citing the simliarity of Hebrew and tamizh:

He also references a work by a Western Scholar - cannot get spelling - sounds like Robert Heim or Geim.

https://youtu.be/znpBL3lnehE?t=464

So the view that love between two individuals is outside of the purview of something called a "religion" is essentially an imported construct! And tamizh scholars are also falling into that framework!

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