When I go to teach a class today there are , largely speaking, two types of responses which I get. The first one is when there is no response, where the student has already decided that Mathematics is not for her & she has switched off. The second is where the question is asked before my sentence is over and a complete answer is expected.
An era has ended with the passing away of Ustad Rahim Fahimmuddin Dagar. Artistes of his times like Pt. Mallikarjun Mansur , Smt. Gangubai Hangal, Ustad Bismillah Khan, Pt. Ram Chatur Mallicik, Ustad Nasir Aminuddin Dagar, Ustad Asad Ali Khan & other’s used music to transcend the form. They had reached a stage when they had very few desires left. I remember visiting Pt. Ram Chatur Mallk’s residence in Darbhanga, Ustad Bismillah Khan’s barsati room in Varanasi & Smt. Gangubai Hangal’s little house in Dharwad.
Save the Tiger …and maybe also the ‘Rudra Veena’ - a SPIC MACAY Perspective
When Ustad Asad Ali Khan passed away a few years ago, it suddenly struck me that future generations would not possibly hear the Rudra Veena played in the majestic ‘Khandarvani’ style, that he had mastered. A legacy passed down through many generations has only one doubtful inheritor. When the tiger was getting extinct the dwindling numbers were carefully recorded & great efforts were & are being made to make sure that our children and their progeny do not miss out on this beautifully evolved animal.
Many new initiatives have and are been taken in education which are laudable. The Right to Education Act (RTE), the Continuous Comprehensive Evaluation initiative (CCE) and changes to the class X board examinations, a major step up in the use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) at all levels and a revamp of higher education are all very positive steps. However, unless there is a much greater Heritage Input HI) into education it will remain incomplete.
Today the young person has got a lot of freedom to explore. With the internet, the mobile phone and the television the youth is being exposed to the best and the worst at a very early age. In previous generations, social and familial structures had created some norms based on the experience which had to be adhered to. But with globalization, all rules have broken down and the inexperienced teenager (or even sometimes the small child) is left to find her own way.
As a child, my parents took me to many ashrams. I have fond memories of watching The Mother playing tennis at Sri Aurobindo Ashram in Pondicherry, of the smell of freshly baked brown bread and of witnessing the table football game there. I remember the serenity of the Shahenshahi Ashram in Rajpur, the beautiful bhajans of the Swamiji and the gushing waterfall not very far away. The Shivananda Ashram in Rishikeskh was very special. Swami Chidananda had an all pervading glow in his eyes. He would attract people without speaking a word.
A young person today is much more aware than someone a few decades ago.This could be due to Darwin’s Theory of Evolution and the technologicalrevolution. However, time is required for information to become knowledge.A greater time lag is needed for it to transform into wisdom.Once a direction becomes clear through knowledge, a lot of hard workis required to acquire wisdom. The process also needs patience, a certaindegree of faith and an open mind, all of which are at a premium today.Consequently, a bright and hard¬working young person is likely to fall intothe trap of ‘I know it all’.
Swami Vivekananda once asked Swami Ramakrishna how he could also see God. Swami Ramakrishna replied that experience (anubhav) was one of the greatest aspects of life. It is through this that one can have a glimpse of the Almighty. He went on to say that Swami Vivekananda had read too much and that came in his way not allowing him to experience the truth. This day and age is particularly designed for ‘experience’. Faith has fallen to an all-time low and can only be revived in an individual by his or her own personal experience.