Articles

Symbols of tradition

(This is the second and concluding part of the article on shodasha upacharas. The first part was published on April 20) Deeparadhana or the ritual of moving a lighted lamp in front of the deity, is an integral part of the upachara, for two reasons - it was the only means of light in the past, and because of its symbolism of removing ignorance. As a consequence several types of lamps evolved – those that were stationary (a fine example from the Chola period can be seen in the Government...

Beauty of bhakti

Six years to translate 100 poems — each of four lines — seems like an inordinate time even for an academic. But Archana Venkatesan’s translation of Nammalvar’s Tiruviruttam is time well spent. The 255-page slender volume is a must-have for lovers of Tamil Vaishnavite literature and, in general, lovers of metaphor-laden love poems. Among the 12 Vaishnavite saints who sang in Tamil during the Bhakti movement, Nammalvar of Alwar Tirunagari is a favourite for many. His...

From a bygone era

The Brihadeeswara temple built by Raja Raja Chola (985-1014AD) in Thanjavur is one of world’s most famous monuments. Most people believe its claim to fame is its magnificent size and intricate craftsmanship. What is less known is the fact that the temple has the best preserved Chola period murals that date from the time of the construction of the temple. Hidden from view by Nayak paintings that were painted over them in the 17th century, the murals were discovered in the 1930s and since...

On Padam, Javali

At an age when traditional compositions compete with new compositions on the concert platform, padams, to a large extent, and javalis, to a lesser extent, have all but disappeared though they were at one time the cherished pieces of a musician's repertoire. In his recent lecture organised at Carnatica, scholar Dr. Pappu Venugopala Rao explained with simplicity and clarity what padams and javalis are. The audience was given a mind boggling list of classifications of the various types of...

Flowering landscapes

The Natrinai is a collection of 400 poems in Tamil that scholars date to the 1 – 3 centuries ACE. It is part of a larger collection called the Sangam literature. The poems are authored by more than a hundred poets, some women and some whose names have not survived. All the poems are organised on the basis of five landscapes that govern the content and metaphor of the verses. The landscapes are – Kurinji (Hills and mountains), Mullai (forests), Marudam (Pastoral fields), Neidhal...

Travelling across time

W ith more than 5,000 entries by around 100 scholars aided by more than 250 musicians, the Sangit Mahabarati is a magnificent tome — actually three tomes that has everything that is worth knowing about Indian music — classical and folk, Hindustani and Carnatic. The Oxford Encyclopaedia of the Music of India in three volumes, is a must-have for those seriously interested in any aspect of music. At Rs. 9,950, it does not come cheap, but chronicling a more than 2000-year-old tradition...

Symbol of royal authority

A s any courting couple today chooses their favourite spots to meet, temples and art galleries will possibly be at the bottom of the list. This was however not the case back in the second and third centuries ACE as one can see in the Paripadal. A detailed description in part 19 talks of the lovers climbing up the Thiruparankunram hill and the lover explaining in detail the paintings there to his beloved. The text even lists the paintings that include predictably the God and Goddess of love! The...

Reviving a tradition

Water continues to be a precious resource, and rains just as important for our well-being. Marabu Foundation, based in Thillaisthanam, has since 1989 been supporting the dying practice of Javantharai, a 45-day Kolattam festival, once popular in the villages of central and south Tamil Nadu. The fest is for girls, aged between five and 16. A potter makes a little image of a cow and calf and the customary nine grains are made to sprout. It is for this ‘temporary’ deity that girls...

Keeping traditional style alive

Today, youngsters do not take up the fine arts as a profession and even if a minority do, their preference is western contemporary art. Therefore it is a pleasant surprise to hear that a young artist had been involved in the Thanjavur Tamil University publication (2010) on the Chola murals of the Brihadeswara temple. The work was done by Prof. Chandrasekaran and he was assisted by Elancheziyan. Elancheziyan does not have long hair, pierced ears or the shoulder bag that most artists of today...

Time-tested techniques

Today, youngsters do not take up fine arts as a profession and even if a minority do, their preference is western contemporary art. Therefore it is a pleasant surprise to hear that a young artist had been involved in the Thanjavur Tamil University publication (2010) on the Chola murals of the Brihadeeswara temple. The work was done by Prof. Chandrasekaran and he was assisted by Elanchezhiyan. Elanchezhiyan does not have long hair, pierced ears or the shoulder bag that most artists of today...

Talks

Eroticism in Temples of Tamilnadu


Eroticism in Temples of Tamilnadu
following link : https://youtu.be/6iS-WruwYA4