Kamal Hassan on Tyagarajar

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ramamatya
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#1 Kamal Hassan on Tyagarajar

Post by ramamatya »

Kamal Haasan's recent live conversation with Vijay Sethupathi is one of the most talked-about online interview of this lockdown. However, the actor-politician has come in for criticism for a comment he made on Saint Thyagaraja, one of the trinity of Carantic music.

In the video, Kamal had made a statement that Thyagaraja was ‘begging in praise of Lord Rama’. And this is what has upset the Carnatic community.

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/ent ... 574343.cms

vgovindan
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#2 Re: Kamal Hassan on Tyagarajar

Post by vgovindan »

Buddha's begging bowl -

https://www.nationthailand.com/opinion/30331957

Whatever happened to the actual bowl, which people of Vaishali gave to Buddha, what matters is the pedestal on which this country's ancient culture held the act of begging by sannyasis.

It has been prescribed for brahmins that they should never own anything and that they should collect their food material as birds do - from the left-over grains after thrashing (uncha vRtti). This is also true of Tao culture of China.

It is sad that Kamal Hasan, a person born in Brahmin family does not only, not knows the truth, but has the audacity to ridicule it.

We are being led by such people who have no real understanding of our culture - that's a real pity!

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#3 Re: Kamal Hassan on Tyagarajar

Post by vgovindan »

"....When Lin Lei was nearly a hundred, he put on his fur coat in the middle of spring, and went to pick up the grains dropped by the reapers, singing as he made his way through the fields. Lin Lei is a Taoist master, but as Taoist masters are—they live a very ordinary life. They don’t live in any extraordinary way, they don’t claim that they are special beings, talented geniuses, sages, saints, mahatmas; they don’t claim anything. They simply live a very ordinary life because they are natural beings, natural like the trees, natural like the birds, natural like nature itself. They are not in any way egoistic....."

Tao - The Pathless Path - Osho (p 62)

vgovindan
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#4 Re: Kamal Hassan on Tyagarajar

Post by vgovindan »

"....ugliness and grossness unrelieved...." (Gleaners - 1857 - Paris)

https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.econom ... dern-world

nanosadagopan
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#5 Re: Kamal Hassan on Tyagarajar

Post by nanosadagopan »

I think we should not give this Kamal haasan much credence. He is an uneducated guy but tries to act sophisticated. Actually, I find him an ersatz whose movie career is finished and now trying to transition into politics like his seniors did. He will do anything for money.

MaheshS
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#6 Re: Kamal Hassan on Tyagarajar

Post by MaheshS »

Palghat Ramprasad has started a petition against Kamal Hasan. I've signed it.

https://www.change.org/p/kamal-hassan-c ... 9cfc3656c8

Ranganayaki
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#7 Re: Kamal Hassan on Tyagarajar

Post by Ranganayaki »

Are posts 3 and 4 related to this topic? I fail to see the connection.

shankarank
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#8 Re: Kamal Hassan on Tyagarajar

Post by shankarank »

If he wanted to justify the charging of money for seeing his films, he could have simply said:

They don't charge for the movie , because it is worth nothing , rather they charge for the cusshy chairs and dolby sound and ambience and generously give him a cut.

Like the music that is worth nothing or the software that is worth nothing! :D :lol: :lol:

https://stratechery.com/2019/aws-mongod ... en-source/

RSR
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#9 Re: Kamal Hassan on Tyagarajar

Post by RSR »

'Kamal' might have meant that a true artiste with a mission, should not mind ,loss and penury. But he may not know that Thyagaraja Swami chose 'uncha vrutthi' as a way of life. He never 'sold' his music. He had a very large number of disciples but he taught them free. He never traveled much till very late in his life , that too to honour the invitation by Upanishad Brhmam of Kanchipuram . He was widely known and respected in his life time itself but there does not seem to be any incident of his receiving monetary rewards from the rich patrons.
-----------------------------
The wording of the petition leaves much to be desired. It is written from the angle of CM professional. It would have been better if the protest is made from the angle of all CM rasikas , professional artistes or not. Whatever it is, Kamal should be roundly condemned and shunned.

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#10 Re: Kamal Hassan on Tyagarajar

Post by sureshvv »

Frankly, I don't see anything wrong in what Kamal said. His main point was that Cinema was a commercial Industry (as also CM as practiced now) and not done solely for the sake of art or divinity as practiced by T.

Get off your high horses.

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#11 Re: Kamal Hassan on Tyagarajar

Post by rajeshnat »

I heard the vijay sethupathi - Kamal hassan. Around 23:30 th minute in 1 hr 32 minute youtube interview just hear for 25 seconds that will do. Infact i heard the whole thing before the controversy erupted with few social media posts and this petition. Kamal makes a point that cinema artist have wish to buy cars and we are not having the mindset of thyagaraja. He used the wrong key word "pichai" without differentiating "unchaviritti". I am assuming he may not even know the later unchaviritti word . Per se I think it is just a slip the carnatic community could have let it go . This doesnot mean that I support actor past remarks where he has bashed Hinduism and Gods.

Having said observing Palghat ramprasad over the period of few years, some thoughts:

1. Ramprasad a great musician yes is continously cashing controversies at regular intervals . Few years back he had the "newspaper write up space" to talk about his counter remarks on TM Krishna opposing tmk who gets maximum mileage in print medium.

2. Some time back he also had a writeup when TMK talked about in loose fashion about Palakkad mani iyer and skin for which he gave another counter which was really good.That one is really superb one done by ramprasad. Well done ramprasad

3. Now he is giving a counter on this kamal vijay sethupati interview and is getting the publishing mileage and internet viral market

4.All said artists which ever field they are should constantly look at marketing eyeballs which helps tremendously. Cashing on polarization of opinion is nowadays a norm for most artists.

5. This rebut could have been a face book or blog post but to take it as sign petition etc will make many Hindus who have no clue to distinguish Pichai vs Unchavaritti will see more needless religious or political extremism here. We need not have such rebuttal as petition signup , ramprasad could have possibly stuck with just facebook .

Finally My 2 cents :
----------------
CM artists need not go with the same flame of controversy in every miscommunication when people translate a tamil word at times wrongly due to cultural conditioning. These signup petitions overall reduces the count of rasikas in Carnatic music which is already shrinking because of high horse attitude by certain sections of practioners and rasikas . Quite frankly they could have let this go.

You check youtube in 23:30th minute in 1 hr 32 mins kamalhassan-vijaysethupathi interview for just 25 seconds. The tone and body language was not disrespectful only the improper usage of word pichai could have been avoided.

shankarank
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#12 Re: Kamal Hassan on Tyagarajar

Post by shankarank »

pitchai puginum kaRkai nanRE! - Avvai. But the uyarvu siRappu ummai (-um suffix that is equivalent of even - implies glorification in other instances!) is actually tAzhvu ummai , in the sense no ordinary soul should be left begging!

Well, was kamal doing ninda stuti, or giving publicity (negative! - which doesn't exist!)? Given the political climate I am OK with people to sign the petition , just to engage, whether it is wrong or right!

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#13 Re: Kamal Hassan on Tyagarajar

Post by shankarank »

pitchai puginum kaRkai nanRE! - Avvai. But the uyarvu siRappu ummai (-um suffix that is equivalent of even - implies glorification in other instances!) is actually tAzhvu ummai (deprecation!), in the sense no ordinary soul should be left begging!

Well, was kamal doing ninda stuti, or giving publicity (negative! - which doesn't exist!)? Given the political climate I am OK with people to sign the petition , just to engage, whether it is wrong or right!

If millenials need a perspective - what endowments the tri-mUtrtis got:

1. SrI tyAgarAjar - crowd funded, even though family had some royalty funding from before!
2. Sri dIkshitar - Royalty funded, at least later in life!
3. SyAma SAtrigal - inheritance and temple funded!

Royalty funding today is replaced by [:cough;] foundational funding and commercial sales!

SrinathK
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#14 Re: Kamal Hassan on Tyagarajar

Post by SrinathK »

Does Kamal Hassan deserve this much of our attention? Some people seek attention because others are all too willing to give it.

I think we should focus more on efforts to help the larger and lesser known artist community that has been hit by the lockdown. Keyboard social media warriorism has become a disease IMHO.

ganesh_mourthy
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#15 Re: Kamal Hassan on Tyagarajar

Post by ganesh_mourthy »

When there are serious issues , it might get downplayed among all these constant noises , hues and cries. The point is , does his chat and narration make an effect. . It just is another wishy-washy interview and rambling. Folks are bringing it to the head line.
He is just another senile actor, jinxed by many . Whatever he talks is a reflection of that feeling. Let us just get off it and leave him to his senile life and rambling.

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#16 Re: Kamal Hassan on Tyagarajar

Post by sureshvv »

Seems to me that the hard right Hindu's have long pending issues with Kamal Hassan and now Thyagaraja is being "used" on their crusade against him.

vgovindan
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#17 Re: Kamal Hassan on Tyagarajar

Post by vgovindan »

Suresh,
Your dismissal of everyone who are hurt by the statements of people like Kamal Hassan, as 'hard right Hindus', is very unfortunate. Kamal has been indulging in Hindu bashing off and on. The present incident, may be a 'slip of tongue' or choice of wrong words. But such excuses are applicable only to those who are otherwise prudent in their public speeches and interviews. Kamal does not belong to that category. Maybe in an atmosphere where only binaries are the norm, people who do not take any sides and who have a deeper understanding of what Hinduism stands for, are left in lurch when people like Kamal routinely heap abuses on Hindus and Hinduism. I for one who do not fall within these binaries, do not know whether protracted silence is prudent or whether one should join the chorus on selective basis. Whether you condone or condem such repeated attempts by people of abusive nature, just to build up their (sagging) image, is your choice. So is that of others.
When Mahesh posted about petition, I did not join because I did not want to condemn anyone on the basis of second-hand comments - I wanted to listen myself to the talk. Fortunately, others have commented after listening to the context in full.

Your comments about 'high horses' is not justifiable in this case - you may reserve it for people like Kamal.

shankarank
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#18 Re: Kamal Hassan on Tyagarajar

Post by shankarank »

SrinathK wrote: 08 May 2020, 20:29 Does Kamal Hassan deserve this much of our attention? Some people seek attention because others are all too willing to give it.

I think we should focus more on efforts to help the larger and lesser known artist community that has been hit by the lockdown. Keyboard social media warriorism has become a disease IMHO.
Are you saying that as artistes , they don't have savings at all? We heard that there was good patronage before and now, since at least after and somewhat before the U.S financial down turn, in 2008? And that was the cited as the opportune moment for all these conversations, book stuff, litter festivals, and activism.

So none of the artistes have the wherewithal to do sadhakam with a tambura for a year or so, until this is all over? And you think rest of us are safe and secure! Global economic turmoil impacts everybody as there is uncertainty for everyone including super rich!

The thing is, if somebody like kamal says something, we make it about him, just like we make it about trump or modi. we don't discuss the underlying ideas , their lineage etc.

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#19 Re: Kamal Hassan on Tyagarajar

Post by shankarank »

Somebody posted in a WhatsApp about how the term "unccavRtti brAmhaNa" became a casual (disdainful!?) reference to people living under penury! It was an opportune moment for me to remember how meanings of several words have been changed as pointed out by Srivatsa Jayarama Sarma in a Ayodhya manTapam discourse. Terms like "agni hOtram", "tIRtham" ! Quoting him : "nalla nalla vArtaikkElAm eppADi arthattai mAttiruKKom pArunGO" ("See how we have twisted the meaning of many a sacred word").

The cultural malaise is within us. The kamal episode brings it out also!

vgovindan
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#20 Re: Kamal Hassan on Tyagarajar

Post by vgovindan »

"....We are reminded of how Swami Desika followed this "Uncha Vritti" practice as a way of life of a true Vedic brahmin and how when he found some gold coins in his 'bikshaa paatram', he threw them away saying they were like vermin. A similar incident happened in the life of ThyAgarAja also and he reacted exactly in the same manner!. Perhaps, Great minds think alike!...."

https://ramanuja.org/sri/BhaktiListArch ... F0214.html

uncha vRtti actually means 'gleaning' only. I have posted two examples of that practice in other cultures also. It is not clear when - at what stage - the gleaning practice (uncha vRtti) got associated with bhikshA, because in the modified version, they carry a bhikshA patra similar to that prescribed for sannyAsa dharma. Therefore, the English word 'begging' is not a synonym of bhikshA. But it got equated as such, like it happened with 'religion' and 'dharma'. Therefore, use of the word begging by itself may not be wrong, but the context in which it is used and the tone and tenor of such usage do matter, because, begging (bhikshA) is an authorised and highly respected practice - being associated with personalities like Buddha and other greats.

Therefore, let us not put uncha vRtti as different from bhikshA, because bhikshA is not beggary in the Western sense - again a colonial hangover. bhikshA got morphed as 'piccai' (பிச்சை).

Pratyaksham Bala
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#21 Re: Kamal Hassan on Tyagarajar

Post by Pratyaksham Bala »

.
Uncchavritti (उञ्छवृत्ति, உஞ்சவ்ருத்தி) refers to a person who collects left over grains from the filed, after harvest. He should pick the grains from the field one by one!

Bhaisha (भिक्ष, பிக்ஷை) refers to collecting alms, done only by brahmacharis and sannyasis.

Yacaka (याचक, யாசகம்) refers to collection of alms by others.

----

Note:
The basics are retained, and the remaining deleted.
Last edited by Pratyaksham Bala on 10 May 2020, 18:42, edited 2 times in total.

vgovindan
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#22 Re: Kamal Hassan on Tyagarajar

Post by vgovindan »

Negativity as a philosphy - this is what practised by some. I leave it to the imagination of viewers as to who these are - they are the most vociferous lot World over. Searching for negativity in everything seems to have become a life long pursuit for some - and in India, prominent brahmins are in the forefront of this brigade.

On the otherhand, the exact opposite of negativity - asserting everything as sacred and beyond reproach - is seen on the streets; both are on the streets - the new social media is nothing more than the 'streets'; there are a few exceptions. Each one calls the other 'reactionary'.

In between, like a mill stone, people who believe in reasonableness and dharma - in the true sense of the word - get pounded, and they don't know which is the culprit - the top stone or the bottom one; they both are equal in their vehemence.

https://youtu.be/V5gUBTkXsGk

rajeshnat
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#23 Re: Kamal Hassan on Tyagarajar

Post by rajeshnat »

Vgv sir
I put the concise minutes of timeline of kamal interview. You may have heard that minute. Leave the history and past of actor did you find it as objectionable as what some have said. I have personally shared my viewpoint in this thread.

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#24 Re: Kamal Hassan on Tyagarajar

Post by vgovindan »

Rajesh,
I am not denying what you say. In Tamil, there is a proverb about drinking milk underneath a palm tree. It is a case like that. Because Kamal's frequent tantrums, giving scope for misinterpretation gets much diminished. After seeing your post, I agree that I should not have taken the meaning of the original post verbatim. But then, this is bound to happen again till we recognise that we are not infallible - I am referring to binaries of modern world.
Last edited by vgovindan on 10 May 2020, 09:42, edited 1 time in total.

vgovindan
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#25 Re: Kamal Hassan on Tyagarajar

Post by vgovindan »

Re post 21.
yAcaka is not same as bhikshA. yAcaka would amount to soliciting and reciprocal of it is dAnam - charity.

unchavRtti cannot be practised throughout the year, therefore, unchavRtti could have got modified as bhikshA. But bhikshA in true sense is to be sought only from three houses at random - and not repeated - and if they don't get anything, they go hungry. On the other hand unchavRtti bhikshA is not house specific, but street specific. No individual house-holder is approached. And sannyasis are not expected to stay for more than three days in a place, excepting cAtur mAsya - rainy season.

PS: Certain portion of the original post has been deleted. My corresponding comments also deleted here.
Last edited by vgovindan on 10 May 2020, 20:01, edited 1 time in total.

Bharatish
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#26 Re: Kamal Hassan on Tyagarajar

Post by Bharatish »

Here is vid Aravind TR's detailed explanation on how sri Thyagaraja swamy followed bhagavatha dharma and unchavruthi.
He also cites lines from Thyagaraja swamy's krithis on how a unchavruthi has to be followed.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7klwT_C2qic

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#27 Re: Kamal Hassan on Tyagarajar

Post by sureshvv »

vgovindan wrote: 09 May 2020, 19:20 Your dismissal of everyone who are hurt by the statements of people like Kamal Hassan, as 'hard right Hindus', is very unfortunate.
Seems you have misread what I said. I was talking ONLY about this particular statement of Kamal Hassan and the people who are responding disproportionately.

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#28 Re: Kamal Hassan on Tyagarajar

Post by shankarank »

In isolation, everything can be discussed easily and points made. But when it all adds up?

He is also a politician, a public figure, has a record of selling humour that mocks aspects of our culture ( why should I restrict it by saying anti-brahmin?).

In fact it can said that entire movie industry and media were dominated by what we would call the brahmin Caste!

When Crazy Mohan produced drama that mocks the heritage ( which is not his fault, we made it like that hence his humor could fly) - all manners of people enjoyed it, even as the political forces speaking for them kept complaining about domination of media and arts by Brahmin caste. Then the actors didn't matter, but the act was good!

When it came to exalted, good things like music , devotion and heritage they would shun it, not listen to it and then have somebody complain for them that, this is all dominated by Brahmin Caste!

When Brahmin caste was subject of humor , it didn't matter, it was easy wasn't it? avangaLa pArtu sirikka mAttiram teriyum AnAl nalla vishayangaLai eDuttukkoLLa teriyumA? (They knew to laugh at them, but when it comes to engaging with other good things Caste comes in the way!)
Last edited by shankarank on 11 May 2020, 02:08, edited 1 time in total.

RSR
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#29 Re: Kamal Hassan on Tyagarajar

Post by RSR »

Not at all defensible. We all have seen Sri.Rajam’s portrait of Thyagaraja doing Unchavrutthi. There is a great difference between this and ‘begging’.
https://sites.google.com/site/4carnatic ... thyagaraja

In my own school days, (1950) there was a similar Bagawathar. in my place. He was sheltered in the local, desolate Pandurangan temple. Every morning around 7am, he used to go round the streets along with a few, singing bajan songs. He would not stand before any house. The pious women and girls used to put a handful of rice in his bag , usually carried by a disciple. Who ever gave rice like this, would prostrate before the ‘saint’ and seek his blessings.
Wandering ‘mendicant’ bards ( Purandaradasa, Kanakadasa) were the tradition in Carnatic music. Thyagaraja could have easily become the Court-singer in Raja Serfoji’s royal house but it is well known that he rejected it.
The actor should have used ‘unchavrutthi’ rather than ‘pichai ‘

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#30 Re: Kamal Hassan on Tyagarajar

Post by vgovindan »

The last of such unchavRtti brahmins - I know of - was Pudukkottai Sri Gopalakrishna Bhagavathar who lived true to the word till end. After him, things slowly started becoming gross, as happens with any tradition. Lure of money is such that it starts showing up in the life style - particuarly family members - while outwardly everything might look normal. One feels proud - and sad too - to say that I am a distant relative to him from my mother's side. Sad because, one has been driven away - helplessly - from such austere living by the circumstances then existing in Tamilnadu. Enough said, lest we stray into prohibited territories.
Last edited by vgovindan on 11 May 2020, 19:48, edited 1 time in total.

Ranganayaki
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#31 Re: Kamal Hassan on Tyagarajar

Post by Ranganayaki »

Yes, I remember “people” singing before my uncle’s house during school holidays in Pondicherry. They would only stop there and sing and my grandmother would take her offering and perform her Namaskaras. I didn’t know anything about it then, except that it felt like a good thing.

I’ve been feeling that this practice dying down is a great loss in our lives.

shankarank
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#32 Re: Kamal Hassan on Tyagarajar

Post by shankarank »

An recent article on this: https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/ ... 34617.ece1

PudukOTTAi Gopalakrishna Bhagavathar's son Sanjeevi Bhagavathar performing uncavRtti:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tEgiMeaG8eQ

girish_a
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#33 Re: Kamal Hassan on Tyagarajar

Post by girish_a »

Is it true that he has converted?

Pratyaksham Bala
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#34 Re: Kamal Hassan on Tyagarajar

Post by Pratyaksham Bala »

.
His house ?

He did offer to convert
his residence as a hospital to treat patients infected with Covid-19. 'He is ready to do this once the government gives the required permission.'

Ref:
https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/ma ... 824607.cms

thanjavooran
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#35 Re: Kamal Hassan on Tyagarajar

Post by thanjavooran »

IMO. not worth discussion any further since the standard is known.
My view.
Thanjavooran
14 05 2020

sureshvv
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#36 Re: Kamal Hassan on Tyagarajar

Post by sureshvv »

Wondering what his anti Hindu statements are that everyone is making a BIG deal about. From what I see, they are mostly anti BJP only.

nanosadagopan
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#37 Re: Kamal Hassan on Tyagarajar

Post by nanosadagopan »

Kamal Haasan-Tyagaraja row: Carnatic community's ire is symptomatic of its insularity and excessive conservatism

https://www.firstpost.com/living/kamal- ... 58921.html

Ranganayaki
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#38 Re: Kamal Hassan on Tyagarajar

Post by Ranganayaki »

(Posted after the next post which I inadvertently edited out completely)(39 was 38, and I pasted 40 over it!)
Last edited by Ranganayaki on 15 May 2020, 03:14, edited 2 times in total.

Ranganayaki
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#39 Re: Kamal Hassan on Tyagarajar

Post by Ranganayaki »

Why do we always need to look at Christians and Muslims with suspicion? The interview clearly shows that Kamalahasan is referring to an overt choice - to perform for God, shunning monetary benefits vs performing for monetary gain with worldly hopes and dreams. Thyagaraja is placed by him in the first category. If he despised the choice of seeking “pichai” and wanted to demean it, he would not use the respectful form of Thyagayyar instead of Thyagayyan, and “pichai Eduthu paadittirunthaaro.” At the most simplistic level, it does seem demeaning to say pichai, and my first thought was that he should have said “Bhikshaiyai thedi,” because that would be more dignified a word for it. But my next thought was that the Sanskritic word “bikshai” is in fact transformed into “pitchai” in Tamil. That’s all. So there is nothing wrong in using “pitchai.” All this controversy simply stems from the notion that some of us have, that Sanskrit is more dignified than Tamil, and that “Bikshai” is a better form of alms-seeking than “pitchai,” and therefore a better word for Thyagaraja. But let’s think again.

After all, the reason a sanyasi goes out seeking alms for food is to break that monstrous ego, a severe impediment in the path of spirituality. Thinking that your process of seeking alms as a sanyasi is somehow better than a beggar seeking alms for survival is the opposite of the spiritual purpose. So if we consider that the saint practiced humility and would never have thought himself superior to any beggar, who really are we, then, to take umbrage on his behalf?

Thyagaraja didn’t experience any special comfort from being a propertied person. So it is only in our worldly mind that we think that “pitchai” is a demeaning word. It’s because we despise beggars. And also today, being a beggar is vastly different from what it was to be a beggar a couple of hundred years ago. Beggary is now associated with laziness, and more tragic things like trafficking these days, but earlier it was probably mostly helplessness. The poor had a lot of dignity. Even growing up, I have seen beggars in trains who sang devoutly and inspiringly. They were beggars and not Sanyasis. Yet it was dignified, quite decent.

Pitchai could not have been that pejorative a word though the need would certainly be considered a misfortune. We have children named Pitchai. We know “Sundar Pitchai” too, in our lives. Receiving pitchai is a spiritual attitude of those new parents who honor the grace in their lives by naming their child Pitchai. So pitchai is an ok word, it has to be.

So let’s stop gratuitously getting offended! Kamalahasan was speaking proper, pure Tamil without mixing in Sanskrit or other Brahminical words. It’s really nothing. I no longer even feel it was a poor choice of a word. It’s all right.

Let’s be generous and not judgemental. Clearly that interview was not between two Christian schemers trying to hate on Hindus. They were both talking passionately about their craft, especially his. They don’t need to apologize. Let us assume that everyone is good, that Kamalahasan is aware of the love of Hindus in his life, his success, and has not forgotten his own parents. There is no proof that Kamalahasan is a Christian, so let’s not run our mouths about it. We don’t have the right, and he has the freedom to be whatever he wants. They were simply minding their business, so let’s mind ours.
Last edited by Ranganayaki on 15 May 2020, 03:24, edited 2 times in total.

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#40 Re: Kamal Hassan on Tyagarajar

Post by Ranganayaki »

Just remembered an experience I had just yesterday. And I think I’ll share it here. I was at an intersection driving back from getting groceries, when a homeless man approached my window and asked me if I would have “a blessing” for him. Was he begging? I found him breathtakingly dignified. Would that be requesting “bikshai,” or “Pitchai?”

vgovindan
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#41 Re: Kamal Hassan on Tyagarajar

Post by vgovindan »

"upanayanam - anachronism, insularity, conservatism"

Is Carnatic World synonymous with a community? Has it been assumed that CM 'belongs' to a community? Is this CM artists bashing or 'the community-bashing'?

Please remember that music was always part of the community, not as an art, but as a means of nAdOpAsana - and during latter periods as a route to bhakti tradition - aka vaishnava tradition. That's how great works on arts - dance, drama, music - were defined and they are basic reference material for the art even today. Music was but a small, yet significant, part of this overarching process of rasAnubhava and corresponding rasa enunciation. It is rather sad that due to social upheaval and other constraints, music got totally detached. rasAnubhava and the corresponding enunciation aspect got diminished with excessive emphasis on the art per se - much like literary criticism which takes no cognisance of the content and the purpose of the content, but only on the word structure. That 'literary criticism' when brought into music, the very purpose of music is distorted and that's what happening now. When the glue of rasAnubhava is lost to intellectual enjoyment of art, there is no emotional bonding between the artists and the 'spectators' - I deliberately use the word because listening to music is not a linear experience - of the intellect.

It is worth mentioning that the 'community' is much much larger than music community - including rasikas as part of that.

Btw, is upanayanam and student-ship peculiar to one community only? Knowledge as a subject and imparting of that knowledge, was the preserve of one community, but knowledge was available equally to everyone - unfortunately leaving one - and probably that was a social blunder, the consequences of which the present society is reaping.

In any case, this is typical of disputation as an art which is the hallmark of the community, but if it leads to introspection, well and good - but historically it never happened. And that's why the monetarily weak and committed to dharma become the target of vested interests and humiliation. Those who have reached the top rung of the ladder, just don't care about who bears the brunt - much like zamindars of the past.

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#42 Re: Kamal Hassan on Tyagarajar

Post by ramamatya »

Ranganayaki wrote: 15 May 2020, 03:10
Thyagaraja didn’t experience any special comfort from being a propertied person. So it is only in our worldly mind that we think that “pitchai” is a demeaning word. It’s because we despise beggars. And also today, being a beggar is vastly different from what it was to be a beggar a couple of hundred years ago. Beggary is now associated with laziness, and more tragic things like trafficking these days, but earlier it was probably mostly helplessness. The poor had a lot of dignity. Even growing up, I have seen beggars in trains who sang devoutly and inspiringly. They were beggars and not Sanyasis. Yet it was dignified, quite decent.

So let’s stop gratuitously getting offended! Kamalahasan was speaking proper, pure Tamil without mixing in Sanskrit or other Brahminical words. It’s really nothing. I no longer even feel it was a poor choice of a word. It’s all right.
So, with this worldly mind, kamalahasan should not have told pitchai, which is demeaning. Also, like you said, hindred years ago, begging was vastly different from begging these days (as the westerners gave their ugly twist to our begging culture), kamalahsan NOW said this and not hundred years ago. So, again, it is in a demeaning sense only.

Ranganayaki, your taking such painstaking efforts to justify and support something plainly wrong with your verbose comments shows only that you take lot of efforts. I wish you did it for the right things. Moreover, you should probably think of following Ramana's spiritual teachings of being silent.

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#43 Re: Kamal Hassan on Tyagarajar

Post by Ranganayaki »

🙂

Dear Ramamatya, you have the amazing power to silence me and any number of people, so please use it: don’t read my posts!

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#44 Re: Kamal Hassan on Tyagarajar

Post by Ranganayaki »

ramamatya wrote: 15 May 2020, 07:33
So, with this worldly mind, kamalahasan should not have told pitchai, which is demeaning. Also, like you said, hindred years ago, begging was vastly different from begging these days (as the westerners gave their ugly twist to our begging culture), kamalahsan NOW said this and not hundred years ago. So, again, it is in a demeaning sense only.
Ramamatya, the principles on which this sanyasi practice is Based are timeless, and they address the purity of heart of each and every spiritual aspirant at any point in time. It is not anything that has become false today. “Bikshai” is better Than “pitchai” only for a prejudiced mind. I myself began in that mode of thinking, and I realized that there is more to it! My first thought about Kamalahasan was,”what an idiot!” But I hadn’t seen the full interview. Doing that really changed my view..

It’s like saying “Allah” and “God” are different. “Allah” Is the Arabic word for god. What else will an Arabic speaker say?

vgovindan
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#45 Re: Kamal Hassan on Tyagarajar

Post by vgovindan »

Re post 36.

History is what written by victors. Had Germany and Japan won the war, Nuremberg and Tokyo type of war crimes trials would have, probably, been conducted at London and New York. Had Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose and his INA won, the Indian political trajectory would have been totally different. Mazagon Dock Navy revolt contributed a lot for British to leave this country hurriedly, but their contribution is all but forgotten. Just because the group led by Gandhiji were the inheritors of India does not mean that all other earlier contributors towards the freedom struggle have no significance.

Gandhiji's ahimsa could not stop the worst kind of genocide that happended at the time of partition. While Hindus and Muslims were equally party to this, Gandhiji steadfastly took only one side, because the other side was not amenable to his exhortations. Seeing this, Nathuram Godse took it upon himself to slay Gandhiji. It was an unpardonable crime, and he deservedly got the noose. But to call him a terrorist - and that too a Hindu terrorist is totally wrong. That way you should name any number of others like Vanchinathan et al as terrorists too. Or is it killing of colonialists, part of freedom struggle and killing of an Indian - who in the opinion of killer, betrayed one group, and ended up 'protecting' those who played a sinister role in partitioning the land, stating that 'we are born rulers and not to be ruled by erstwhile subjects' or words to that effect - an act of terrorism?

Please remember that perceptions vary and such perceptions with reference to a context, are not to be seen through hindsight, but contemporaneously. Seen from this angle, Nathuram Godse was not a terrorist and surely not a 'Hindu' terrorist. He did not belong to BJP.

May I ask whether Kamal Hasan would dare suggest that killers of Rajiv Gandhi as Tamil or even LTTE terrorists? He would not survive even one day here. Similarly with atheism. Atheism per se is not wrong, but when applied to one religion, it is hypocrisy of worst kind. The communists and 'neo-liberals' practise this hypocrisy day in day out.

On the other hand the outburst and ridiculous kind of street noise generated, particularly in social media, by those who announce themselves as Hindus is no less hypocritical, because they don't understand the basic tenets of Sanatana Dharma. To vilify another person or another's God is nothing less than vilification of oneself and one's own God.

May God give good sense to all, otherwise we are in for worser situations than Corona virus which has flattened the Earth like nothing else.

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#46 Re: Kamal Hassan on Tyagarajar

Post by RSR »

May I add a few lines about the above posts by our venerable Sri.Govindan and Ranganayaki madam?
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1) Gandhiji's NaokaLi yathra - near Chittagong, was for saving the lives and honour of lakhs of HINDU women, against the atrocities committed by the hooligans of the majority community there. So called secularists, swayamsevaks and the reds were nowhere to be seen there but Gandhiji, with just a walking stick, ventured into that area. ! Rahula Sankruthyayana, a life long anti-Gandhi, pro-marxist -Buddhist scholar is all praise for that. Essentially, Gandhiji was a Jain- and many factors contributed to the decision of the British to grant independence to India. The glorious victory of Stalin over Hitler, was the chief among them. The mutiny by Royal Navy at Bombay also was a clinching factor. But we must remember with gratitude, the immense sacrifice made by the Bengali Revolutionaries of 'partition of Bengal' years in 1905. led by Anushilan Samithi and Juganthar Samithi. and its echo in Maharashtra led by Lokamanya which led to the incarceration of Lokamanya in Burma's Mandalay jail for Six years. In Tamilnadu then, Barathy, VOChithambaram Pillai, VVS Iyer and MPT Acharya, Neelakanta brammachari, Subramanya Siva were all ardent followers of Tilak Maharaj. This was the period from 1905 to 1919. And 'then came Gandhiji ' and built up a massive public awakening from the Far South to the Far North-West( Frontier Gandhi-Abdul Gaffar Khan)
Even Bengal was influenced. 1919-1948 -those thirty years were clearly of Gandhiji. Even the reds had to work under him. Lenin was all praise for Gandhiji's style. and it may not be known that Lokamanya was all for Lenin! May I add that Hedgewar, was an active Tilak-wing Congress organizer who participated in Non-cooperation movement? ( EMS) . Hedgewar was nurtured by Juganthar during his Calcutta years of studying for Medicine. Hedgewar was all sympathy for the martyrs of HSRA of Asafullakhan, Bismil and Vohra.
( how many of the present generation have even heard of these names?)

http://rsramaswamy.blogspot.com/2013/03 ... onary.html

3) Hinayana Buddhism ( the original) still lives in Ceylon and Burma.
In Ceylon, the monks are provided shelter only in monastery .No food! They take daily food through the bowl- No shame there. No other belonging. and they do play a heroic role in leading the people in times of national crisis. as in Vietnam, Laos and recently in Ceylon.

4) Rajeev Gandhi was a martyr like his mother for the cause of preserving National unity .
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Sanyasa dharmam has been ever the ideal in all the religions. St.Francis of Assissi, numerous Sufi saints of East bengal, Narayana Guru, paramahamsa, ..Vivekananda pointedly asks, how such a huge majority of common people opted for Islam in what is today Bangladesh. and a nation that fought for their beloved language Bengali ( closest to Sanskrit).
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The actor under discussion, wears many colors- black, orange and green and red! just cheap politics. During the grave floods in Chennai some five years back, he publicly dissociated himself from relief work and any contribution- even token contribution. like his counterpart.
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May I request that the forum discussion is strictly confined to carnatic music?
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'pichai edutthuth thinnaaru!'...how wonderfully enlightened and respectful to Thyagaraja Swami!

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#47 Re: Kamal Hassan on Tyagarajar

Post by Ranganayaki »

RSR wrote: 15 May 2020, 11:34
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'pichai edutthuth thinnaaru!'...how wonderfully enlightened and respectful to Thyagaraja Swami!
I really had nothing more to say on this topic and wasn’t going to write any more, but this was a really ingenious way to twist words 🙂.

He did NOT say “pichai eduthuth thinnaru!” It looks very plausible in writing. But I’m betting that RSR has not seen the interview. Because if he had, separating them words in this way would be a very mean-spirited, dishonest way to score a point. But it appears more plausible in reading and writing. But the reality here is the spoken word.

We need to be honest in our criticism.

The words KH used were: “ Dharmattirkku naan paAdara paatillaye.. Thyagayyar Eppadi Raamanai pottri Thanjavur veethiyile pichai eduthu
Paadittirunthaaro, appadi pattra kalai illaye”

(Sorry, it’s too tiring to translate in my flow)

He is speaking of Thyagaraja’s art, vs his commercial interest. He uses the word “kalai” (art) to describe Thyagaraja’s singing. Being an artist himself, just apply common rules of behavior and see how implausible disrespect is.

Now, RSR, without doing sukkumi laguthi, either read this correctly, or listen to the interview with the full context of this snippet, and point out where the disrespect is. Nowhere, except possibly the word Pitchai.

And basically you all are saying that the Tamil language is less dignified than sanskrit. There is no difference in meaning between bhiksha and pitchai.

Kamalahasan is speaking a type of Tamil where in his delivery, you would have to contort your tongue to suddenly say “bikshai.” He gives no inkling that he is a Brahmin or that he knows any English. Throughout the interview, he uses no English words or phrases or little sentences the way we all do. The only English words he uses are “color,” “”pad,” “life,” etc., which he uses in a totally Tamil way. Not a single brahminical word.

So linguistically, in the flow of interview, it would be impossible to first have the presence of mind to suddenly think that he has to switch to a sanskrit/brahminical word so as to not offend you all,( nobody does that).. Also, he would have to suddenly apply brakes to his flitting tongue to suddenly say a sanskrit word. In fact it is because of that difficulty that bikshai becomes pitchai in the first place. It is the same word, no difference.

While it is extremely easy to allege disrespect, if you actually think about it (which you all refuse to do), it is very difficult to suddenly introduce disrespect into a passionate, lively interview. Life proceeds in the simplest way, not in contorsions. Again, if you think about this phenomenon, you will admit that that is true, and that should be your guide in interpreting a situation.

Slow down, think, be intellectually open and honest.
Please treat him the way you would like to be treated - with generosity, not mean-spiritedness.

I am not a KamAlahasan fan, I had never heard of his “mayyam” before this, I have seen none of his movies after “He Ram” and “Anbe Sivan.” Not one. I haven’t seen “Dasavatharam,” which is the only more recent movie name Of his that I can think of. I really don’t care about his career or his politics or his religion.

But this fundamentalist direction, this intolerance, this small-mindedness just does not appeal to me.

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#48 Re: Kamal Hassan on Tyagarajar

Post by shankarank »

Lets say it is indeed great that two movie industry members, in the middle of 2020 amidst a pandemic found it fit to remember the great SrI tyAgarAjA, of all people, as a potential, possible, probable role model against whom they could compare their own existence.

The thing I am concerned is, a movie actor like Kamal has had to really make an explanation for why they charge people money to receive a service, in 2020! That is in fact the real malaise we should be worrying about! :x :lol: Peer political pressure making him think he might have to offer his movies free now? :D

As regards seeking alms: here it is another Buddhist example : https://twitter.com/i/status/1259496299964977153. And there is a post from Suchindranath Iyer ( his point of view is indeed interesting!)

I agree @RSR, Mahatma Gandhi was a real field worker, instead of people stuck at home and twiddling the key boards, especially now!

Us Yankees - we only send our kids to raise funds - the boy scouts , girls scouts. They do the reverse of Bhiksha :lol: . Sell popcorn! Commercial yeah?!

The parents [:cough;] have too much of self respect. Even on tricker treat halloween days ( the parody of the native civilizations) , the parents stay on the side walk. Even if the Candy is free ( remember the free Candy political expression!) the walk way into the house is commercialized. If the kids trip and fall, I may be liable - have to have a $ Million liability built into my home owner's insurance!

You are trying to teach us what it means - UncavRtti! We have a different experience - sir lords!

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#49 Re: Kamal Hassan on Tyagarajar

Post by vgovindan »

Shankarank,
In some of the comments accompanying the twitter video, there is a comparison with Buddhist monks and Hindu priests. In Buddhism, monkhood and priesthood are one and same. But Hinduism has separated the priesthood from the monkhood and converted priesthood as a profession like any other profession. This has a valid reason because monkhood is voluntary and stands way ahead. This must have happened with Hinduism long time back in order to check abuse of position. Even now, the term 'gurukkaL' is applied to priests (in Tamil) but in North they are called pandit or panda. The term gurukkaL indicates that a priest was once considered a guru also. To that extent, the alms taking - is it same as begging, as is commonly understood? - got confined to renunciates only.

One more point, I don't know how far it will be appropriate to call Sri tyAgarAja or for that matter MD as artists in the sense it is commonly understood.

An interesting comparison among religions about alms giving.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alms

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#50 Re: Kamal Hassan on Tyagarajar

Post by Ranganayaki »

vgovindan wrote: 16 May 2020, 06:53
One more point, I don't know how far it will be appropriate to call Sri tyAgarAja or for that matter MD as artists in the sense it is commonly understood.
I guess that is a response to me, without a reference to me 😂. Thyagaraja was not an artist, that was not his purpose. I did not say that it was. But we treat his compositions as art. We can only have an outsider’s view of it and admire the beauty. No matter that we speak if his Bhakti, for us it is art. And KH says that his art is not of the same nature, because he does not do it for charity or in a spirit of renunciation. He wants worldly returns. The context of the comparison was to remember his irritation at people who spoke against commercial cinema, preferring art cinema that was brilliant and made no money.

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