Tuesday, 7 March 2017

Indian Aesthetics !

The deeper you dig the better the treasures!!!
I was fascinated as I kept reading about the history of classical dance of India, its rich cultural traditions. Classical dance having very strong Hindu fundamentals was always associated with worship and rituals and therefore it was clothed in sanctity. Hinduism is nothing but a way of life and it accepted that laws governing the conduct of man and society are man-made and it has to be flexible and dynamic subject to change, thus it does not say that set of rules made thousands of years ago should be valid today.
since ordinary people could not have the erudition to read and understand great Epics, the profound philosophies were translated and presented in the form of parables and stories in these epics for the guidance of common people.  These great Epics like Ramayana and Mahabharata were later translated in the form of poetry so that they could teach greatest truths of life in an easy way without taxing the mind. These spiritually evolved tales were told to children to teach them fundamental truths of faith, religion, and morality. Traditionally, dancers viewed the creative process and suggested a divine truth and regarded art as a means of experiencing a state of bliss.
An awareness of the salient features of the vast background of Indian dancing could help formulate some of the demands traditionally made on the spectator. The Spectator was also expected to have an inner preparedness to receive this vision and be a potential artist.  Thus all Indian arts, especially the arts of music and dance require a trained and initiated spectator as well.
For a traditional Indian dancer/artist, regardless of the field in which he/she worked, artistic creation was the supreme means of realizing the universal Being.
Art is always considered as a Discipline...and this discipline is a means of achieving a state of complete harmony of life which leads to a recognition of one's truer self. Each aspect leads to another, the spiritual, mental and physical discipline required in the search for complete harmony is nothing but 'YOGA'. There is some similarity between Hindu's ideology as I can link the theoretical work of John Dewey(1934) and Eliot Eister(2002) who have looked at the arts broadly. They have established the significance of the expression of creativity, lived experience, learning through the body, and the power of the arts to encapsulate cultures.
Accepting this major concept of Hindu spiritual and philosophical thought the artist was indeed like the worshipper, and art became a spiritual discipline.