Shankarabharanam’ was an iconic movie which developed a cult following, resuscitating Carnatic music and traditional Kuchipudi dance form in the then undivided state of Andhra Pradesh. The cinematic venture triggered off production of meaningful cinema, with story lines based on art and culture of the states south of the Vindhyas.
Some years later Shankarabharanam was remade in Hindi and attempted to showcase Hindustani classical music (sung mellifluously by Rajan and Sajan Mishra) and classical dance forms to cinema lovers of north India.
SPIC MACAY, has over the years been stimulating and advancing the cause of classical music (vocal and instrumental) and dance forms to the connoisseurs of art and culture. These extremely laudable attempts essentially target the avante–garde as well as university students.
Gurudev, among others believes in reviving and showcasing our rich cultural heritage to vast swathes of the Indian and world population. Art of Living became the platform for both aspiring and accomplished artistes to perform, individually or in large groups through symphonies, ensemble and orchestras.
Devotees are aware that to mark 25 years of its existence, Art of Living organised the Silver Jubilee celebrations between 16th and 18th February, 2006. The event, the first of its kind in several respects is fondly remembered by the followers of HH Sri Sri Ravi Shankar among others for the evocative display of cultural fireworks.
The event exhibited the tapestry of Indian culture and traditions to an estimated 2.5 million people.
That was just the beginning……………..
Gurudev has over the years transcended all boundaries and we have been treated to several performances by eminent artistes and also by tyros and promising amateurs, who otherwise might have remained in the confines of anonymity . ‘Your ability to take risks is directly proportional to your success,’ says Guruji. By taking such gargantuan risks, Art of Living has a presence today in 155 countries.
One can add another S to the of Art of Living path- Symphony; the others being Sadhana, Satsang, Seva and Spirituality which together make the organisation so unique.
‘While witnessing a dance recital such as Kuchipudi, I would like to see a thousand hands of Durga emanating,’ says Sri Sri Ravi Shankar. That should be the indelible impression created on the minds of the viewer. Or imagine 2000 artistes playing the veena, or 2000 artistes playing the sitar, the flute, the mridangam, pakhavaj or any other instrument, in unison. The energy levels would increase manifold and the event becomes an arresting visual treat for the observer who in turn is transported to a divine stratosphere.
Over the years Gurudev has been promoting Indian classical music, dance and our variegated traditions at several places in the country during satsangs and through special programmes. Indian culture is now not merely confined to the traditional Kutcheries and Sabhas or elite auditoriums. It is denizens of the country who have been exposed to various folk and classical forms.
Come March 11th and artistes from across the globe would be performing under one roof and celestials in heavens would watch the cosmic spectacle unfold on planet earth- World Culture Festival.
Only the fortunate few can view traditional and esoteric art forms in a live performance. The majority view it electronically or through the social media. WCF will be one occasion when the potentate and the populace will witness the events together in harmony.
It may be mentioned that prior to entering the sanctum ( garbha griha) , a devotee can see engravings and embellishments of various artistes , dancers and singers on the walls of our temples . This has been part of our rich cultural heritage.
Those familiar with Tamil may have learnt a famous rendition:
‘Karpagavallinin Porpadangal Pidithen
Nargathi Aruvavai Amma
Parpalarum Potrum Padimayilapuriyil
Sirpam Migunda Uyar Singara Kovil Kondu’
The verse translates to’ I seek refuge in the golden feet of Karpagavalli (Goddess Parvati) , who is resident in a resplendent temple replete with finest sculpture and praised by one and all …… Oh goddess! Grant me a good standing………’ This verse eulogises Karpagavalli (Goddess Parvati) of Mylapore( in Chennai).
The 7 acre stage of the World Culture Festival will be a holy temple where the Gandharvas would be performing. And seated amidst all Gandharvas would be Narayana himself.
See you in Delhi. JGD
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