Paush Amavasya Vik Samvat 2070. Yugabda 5115: Janunary 1, 2014

1.   FESTIVALS: If Winter comes, can Spring be far behind—P.B.Shelley. Vasant Panchami, the initiator of spring in Bharat, falls on 5th day of Magha Shukla corresponding to 4th February this year. The festival is more commonly associated with Maa Saraswati, the goddess of learning, wisdom, knowledge, fine arts, refinement, science and technology. The day is celebrated as Saraswati Puja in eastern parts of Bharat and as Sri Panchami in other parts of Bengal. The ritual of initiating education to children, known as Akshar-Abhyasam or Vidya-Arambham/Praasana, is one of the famous rituals of Vasant Panchami. The color yellow plays an important role in Vasant Panchami as it is related to the bloom of mustard flowers during this period. Celebrants usually wear yellow garments, Saraswati is worshiped in a yellow dress, and sweet saffron rice and yellow sweets are consumed within the families. The festival is celebrated by the Bharatiya diaspora all over the world.

2.  Dwindling number of Parsis a concern: rashtrapatiji: Expressing concern over the population of Parsis worldwide shrinking to about 1.4 lakh, Rashtrapati Pranab Mukherjee on December 27  urged the community to address the issue "pragmatically and sensitively". Inaugurating the 10th World Zoroastrian Congress, he lauded Parsis for their immense contribution to Mumbai in particular and Bharat as a whole. He referred to the contributions of Dr Homi Bhabha, Homi Sethna, JRD Tata, Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw, Admiral Jal Cursetji and Air Marshal Aspy Engineer, and named Ratan Tata, Fali Nariman and Zubin Mehta among the 25 greatest Bharatiya living legends.

3. VAIDYARATNAM AYURVEDA MUSEUM: Showcasing the richness, the variety and the evolution of the Ayurveda heritage of Bharat, the museum was established and is maintained as one of a group of institutions collectively known as the Ashtavaidyan Thaikkattu Mooss Vaidyaratnam group of institutions, located in Thaikkattussery, near Ollur in Thrissur District in Kerala.
The museum was inaugurated by Dr. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam, former Rashtrapati, on 27 December 2013. The exhibits in the museum include diorama presentation of the history of Ayurveda from mythological period to modern times, a library of texts on Ayurveda, descriptions of various branches of Ayurveda, an exclusive section on Susrutha, a picture gallery, a 3-D gallery, and a digital library.

4.  My Take, Rashtra Sarvopari, and Drishtikon, by LK Advani released: "Whatever Advaniji speaks or writes is pramanik and the national interest is always above everything for him. There are very few political leaders in the country like Advaniji, who follow extraordinary transparency in their life,” said Rashtriya Swyamsevak Sangh Sarsanghachalak Mohan Bhagwat, while releasing three books based on the blogs of octogenarian BJP leader  LK Advani in New Delhi on December 17. The three books— My Take is in English, while Rashtra Sarvopari and Drishtikon are in Hindi. Yoga guru Baba Ramdev and Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha Smt Sushma Swaraj were also present on the occasion.
 “I have worked as per my conscience and my inner voice even though at times I have had to hear criticism from my opponents as well as from my own people,” Advani said. The 86-year-old former deputy PM credited his frugal eating habits and clean conscience for his excellent health. 

5. THEY SWAM IN THE PATH OF SWAMIJI: Under Swami Vivekananda 150th Jayanti Celebrations, an ‘All Bharat Swimming Rally’ was conducted at Kanyakumari recently. Swimmers hailing from fishermen community residing along the coastal areas of the country participated in the rally and swam the distance from the shore to the Vivekananda Rock. They did dhyana at the Swaami Vivekananda Rock Memorial situated in mid sea at the southern tip of Bharat. Bula Chowdhry, MLA (CPM) and former national women’s swimming champion was the Chief Guest of the event. 
She observed: ‘Swami Vivekananda is the only answer for the present day problems,’ recalling how Swamiji swam across the turbulent waters and reached the Rock. He drew inspiration from this land and shook the whole world by his powerful speech at Chicago, she added.
Kshetra Samparka Pramukh Mohananji, Kshetra Pracharak Stanumalayan, Prantha Sanghachalak Dr. M L Raja and other adhikaris graced the event.  Earlier a Samudra Pooja was also performed.

6.  RSS calls for debate on Article 370: Alleging that the parties in power in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) are misusing Article 370 ‘to accomplish their personal agenda’, RSS Akhil Bharatiya Sah-sampark Pramukh Arun Kumar called for a debate on it while addressing a seminar, "Article 370: Reality and Myths", organized by Jammu and Kashmir Study Centre in Jammu on December 25.
Maintaining that J&K has been "mis-quoted", "mis-handled" and "mis-carried", Kumar said nationalist forces all over the country have decided to take political discourse of the state by highlighting issues, which remained unheard due to vicious campaign of some forces of the Kashmir Valley.
Former Law department head of Jammu University K L Bhatia said, "Article 370 was not part of the draft constitution prepared by the drafting committee headed by B R Ambedkar."
" was introduced in the Constituent Assembly of Bharat by Gopalaswamy Ayyengar after persistent persuasion by the representatives from J&K, that is National Conference headed by late Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah."

7.  The psychological barrier between people of J&K and rest of the country must go: Jammu & Kashmir unit of Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) organised a seminar on ‘Benefits and Harms of Article 370’ in Jammu on December 18. Former Justice of J&K High Court Justice GD Sharma presided over the seminar. The speakers were of the unanimous opinion that the Article is a psychological barrier between people of J&K and rest of the country and it must go.
Initiating the discussion, eminent columnist Daya Sagar said Article 370 is a barrier in the total constitutional integration of J&K with Bharat. Eminent historian Prof Hari Om demanded abrogation of Article 370 and full constitutional integration of the State with the rest of Bharat. Prof Varinder Gupta said Article 370 gives special status only to those who are already enjoying power.
Dr Jatinder Singh, Sunil Ambardar and others also spoke on the occasion. Justice G D Sharma also supported the demand of abrogation of Article 370 and said this Article is harmful for the common masses of J&K. National vice president of ABVP Dr Narinder Singh said since 1990 ABVP has been holding debates all over the country on Article 370.

8.  Don’t ignore repeated Chinese intrusion: A high level delegation of Janjati leaders from Arunachal Pradesh under the banner of Arunachal Vikas Parishad urged the policy makers, top political leaders including Up-Rashtrapati Hamid Ansari, Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha Smt Sushma Swaraj and Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley, and the Army Chief General Vikram Singh to create a sense of responsibility among the political and bureaucratic elites of the state to overcome the Chinese menace. The delegation stressed the need to strengthen the remotest border area of the state.
The delegation included Arunachal Vikas Parishad Chairman Pratik Potom, and other officials, Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad activist Smt Joram Aniya Tana, Gyati Rana from IFCSAP, Vanvasi Kalyan Ashram president Jagdeo Ramji, Adhyaksh Purbanchal Kalyan Ashram Ranjit Bhattacharya, and NE Convener of Faith & Culture forum of ABVKA Ramesh Babu.

9.  Memorable Pravas to Bogota, Paipa and Duitama in Colombia: Abhimanyu -- Nov 23rd - 30th, I accompanied Saumitraji for pravas to Colombia in South America. At the airport, Edwin and Carlos, the translator, received us along with few people from Vaishnava community, who are followers of Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math (SCSM) from Navadeep, West Bengal. We were taken to a home in Bogota city, which also works as makeshift temple. During the evening, we participated in Kirtan sessions at the home in Bogota. Next day, Sunday, we drove to city of Duitama, where we stayed at the home of a doctor, Anandamoy, who had recently traveled to Bharat with his wife Erica. Over the course of week we came to realize that this Vaishnava community has very sincerely transformed themselves into complete devotees of Sri Krishna, despite having very little physical contact with people of Bharat.
The men in the community wear dhoti or kurta-pajama and women wear Saris as much as possible! Surprisingly, they wear Bharatiya clothes even when they go outside of their home. All the initiated men keep a Shikha, and many of them would even wear dhotis during the kirtan sessions. All of the devotees have adopted a Hindu name such as Radharani Devi Dasi, Dwija Hari Das, Lakshmi Rani Devi Das etc. They do daily Sri Krishna kirtan in morning and evening, with special services on weekends and fast on all Ekadashis too. At the moment, devotees are looking to build a big Sri Krishna temple in Paipa to help expand their efforts.
We were extremely well treated by folks in Vaishnava community. It appeared that the people had not only learned about Atithi Devo Bhava but have fully imbibed it. We were always served before anyone else and that too in larger quantity than the rest! We received vegetarian meals all the seven days, and every meal was different. The food was mix of Bharatiya and Colombian, and was always followed by a different sweet item e.g., Halwa, Malpua etc. We were served freshly cut Colombian fruits every morning, along with coffee and large different variety of teas and fruit juices throughout our stay. Although we all met for the first time, we pretty soon got along as though we know each other for a long time. When we departed Paipa on Tuesday evening to come back to Bogota, there were many teary eyes during the farewell. One kid Kesavananda, about 3 years old, didn’t wanna let go of Saumitraji. He was fine with leaving his mom behind and coming with us in the car!
During our stay, we met heads of various section of Dharmic society in Colombia. Amazingly, working like a true Gatanayak, Edwin has already been in contact with various Mathas, Sampradays and organizations in Colombia. Among many people, we met a Governor of Native-Colombian Muisca group in Paipa, a professor who is studying Native-Colombian tribes and culture, a Shaivite devotee, a catholic woman who runs the yoga and meditation practice. Notably, we had a skype call with a swamiji called Ashram Maharaj from Mexico. He is native mexican and part of Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math. He is a very good English speaker and travels to various places in South America. Additionally, we visited very well run Sai Baba Center in Bogota. There are multiple such centers in Colombia and they exist throughout all South American countries.
Additionally, we met a Brazilian devotee who lives in Colombia and has traveled to Bharat 45 times and donated money for building various guest-houses for religions tourism in Bharat. He does his best to promote Vedic philosophy throughout South America by giving talks at various places.
We also visited an Ayurvedic Treatment / Spa center in Paipa. This center has been created by a Colombian doctor, with training from Bharat.
We met only 3 people from Bharat in our week-long stay in Colombia. We met Chitransh, a Pratham Varsh Shikshit swayamsevak, who has lived in Colombia for last 1.5 year. He speaks very well Spanish! Other 2 Bharatiyas were Chitransh’s roommates. There are only few hundred people of Bharatiya origin in all of Colombia, and most of them work for companies like TCS, Wipro and Infosys on small projects.

10.  NON-CITIZEN SHOULDN’T BECOME EDITOR: HC – Delhi High Court on December 17 observed that it was desirable that non-citizens should not be the editors of any publication in Bharat. A bench comprising Justices Pradeep Nandrajog and VK Rao said that since the Parliament was set to consider the new Bill on the related issue, the court was not intended to pass any order in this regard.
“If being a citizen of Bharat is the pre-requisite of the three pillars of democracy: The Legislature, The Executive and The Judiciary; no person can be elected to a legislature unless he is a citizen of India, no person can hold a public post if he is not a citizen of India, no person can hold the office as a judge if he is not citizen of Bharat, it would be illogical that a person who is the pivot of the Fourth Estate is not a citizen of India,” said the judgement highlighting the role of Fourth Estate in Bharat. The court observed that “citizenship kindles a sense of patriotism and loyalty and thus it may be desirable that a person who is not a citizen of Bharat should not be an editor of a publication in Bharat”.
The order came on a petition filed by BJP leader Subramanian’s Swamy against The Hindu newspaper for appointing a US citizen as its editor in 2011. Swamy challenged the appointment of Siddarth Varadarajan as The Hindu’s Editor, citing that he was a US national.

11.  Flawless mission: The Strategic Forces Command (SFC), fired the long range Agni 3 missile with a range capability of over 3,000 km from Wheelers Island, off the Odisha coast on December 26.
Agni 3 missile is equipped with advanced high accuracy navigation system and guided by an innovative guidance scheme.Quoting an SFC spokesman, “Such successful training launches clearly indicate our operational readiness to meet any eventuality as also establishes the reliability of this deterrent component of Bharat’s Strategic arsenal”.

12.  Malviya Jayanti at BHU: Banaras Hindu University organised several programmes to mark the birth anniversary of its founder Pandit Madan Mohan Malviya on December 25. BHU vice-chancellor’s prayers and rituals at Vishwanath temple were followed by the completion of week-long Shreemad Bhagwat Parayan. More than 11,000 diyas were lit at (RGSC). Several cultural and fine arts events were also organised to mark the occasion.

13.  Yoga Room at Chicago's O'Hare Airport: "The yoga room (opened on December 11) provides a space for yoga practice as well as a place to relax or meditate," said Rosemarie Andolini, Chicago Department of Aviation commissioner. "This is yet another amenity to help make the travel experience at O'Hare 'best-in-class.’" O'Hare's yoga room has a sustainable bamboo wood floor, floor-to-ceiling mirrors along one wall, exercise mats and an area to store personal articles and garments.
A wall-mounted video monitor plays soothing sounds and displays yoga exercise techniques and images of nature. And to provide privacy and let in natural light, there are frosted windows along one side of the room. The yoga room at Chicago's O'Hare airport continues a trend begun by San Francisco International Airport in January 2012, when it opened the world's first yoga room at an airport. Located in the refurbished Terminal 2. Yoga rooms can also be found at airports in Dallas, San Francisco and Burlington, Vt.

14.  Bharatiya Population Up By 48% In New Zealand: The population of Bharatiya ethnic group in New Zealand has risen by 48 percent to 155,000, latest census statistics show. The five largest ethnic groups were New Zealand European, Maori, Chinese, Samoan and Bharatiya. New Zealand's resident population grew 5 percent to 4.24 million between 2006 and 2013.

15. SHRI VISHWA NIKETAN: Pravas: Saumitra Gokhale, Samyojak Vishwa Vibhag is on a tour to Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania. Dr. Sadanand Sapre sahsamyojak returned from his tour to Mauritius and South Africa.
Visitors: Nitin Deeal and family -- Mauritius, Shivkumar – Sydney, Australia, Vinay Sharda – Toronto, Canada.   

FOOD FOR THOUGHT: Politics should be in accord with the Dharma i.e., that which sustains the society, with the eternal laws that govern human relationships, and should maintain harmonious concord in all such fields. — Shri Guruji.

The legend called
Balasaheb Deshpande

Virag Pachpore

The late Ramakant Keshav alias Balasaheb Deshpande, founder of Akhil Bharatiya Vanvasi Kalyan Ashram, was a top ranker legendary personality in modern Bharat. Born in a traditional Brahmin family on December 26, 1913 at Amaravati in Vidarbha, he became an RSS swayamsevak in his teen age and received indelible impressions in patriotism, discipline and Hindutva.
A graduate from Hislop College, Nagpur, Balasaheb was appointed by the then Ravi Shankar Shukla Government to work in tribal dominated Jashpur area as ‘Regional Officer’ of the ‘Tribal Development Scheme’.
In this area, Christian missionaries were those days converting the simple tribal people to their religion by using all means fair and foul. The entire education system was controlled by these missionaries there.
No other agency was allowed to work without the permission of the missionaries. Balasaheb opened 100 government schools in 1948 in just one go in the tribal areas to counter the missionaries work, overruling all objections and difficulties. Surprised at this achievement, Thakkar Bappa visited Jashpur and as a token of appreciation, gave him Rs 251/- as prize for his accomplishment. But the goverenment machinery was not in a mood to give free hand to Balasaheb in his mission in Jashpur. Shri Guruji advised him to give up the government job and start an independent mission for the welfare of the tribal brethrens.
The Christian missionaries had been working in Bharat since 1793 with a mission to convert the people here to Christianity. These missionaries concentrated in Bastar, Chhota Nagpur, Assam and North-eastern areas and other tribal areas of the country. Balasaheb vowed to change this situation and with a firm resolve he resigned from government job and started the Vanvasi Kalyan Ashram in 1951.
He was assisted by Morubhau Ketkar, a senior Pracharak of RSS on the instructions of Shri Guruji. The Jashpur principality and its royal family always supported the activities of Kalyan Ashram.
The work was two-fold: To bring back those tribals who were converted to Christianity by fraud, allurement or some other means and to inculcate in them a strong sense of belonging to the Bharatiya culture and religion. At the same time, the Niyogi Commission, appointed by the Madhya Pradesh Government exposed the anti-national character of these Christian missions and their missionaries.
Balasaheb accepted the challenge of the tribal areas and with his undaunted courage, untiring zeal and uncompromising commitment plunged into the mission of his life. Education was his basic instrument to reach to the tribal people and once he made a place for himself, he served them treating them as his ‘god’. He gave them love and affection which they wanted very much and in turn realised the highest satisfaction of his life- both mundane and spiritual.
Vanvasi Kalyan Ashram is a mission of national renaissance. It has been the most difficult and daunting task. Balasaheb pioneered this seemingly difficult mission and achieved success. –
Satyameva Jayate
Truth Alone Triumphs

Narendra Modi

My dear sisters and brothers, The law of nature is that Truth alone triumphs — Satyameva Jayate. Our judiciary having spoken, I felt it important to share my inner thoughts and feelings with the nation at large.
The end brings back memories of the beginning. The devastating earthquake of 2001 had plunged Gujarat into the gloom of death, destruction and sheer helplessness. Hundreds of lives were lost. Lakhs were rendered homeless. Entire livelihoods were destroyed. In such traumatic times of unimaginable suffering, I was given the responsibility to soothe and rebuild. And we had wholeheartedly plunged ourselves into the challenge at hand.
Within a mere five months however, the mindless violence of 2002 had dealt us another unexpected blow. Innocents were killed. Families rendered helpless. Property built through years of toil destroyed. Still struggling to get back on its feet from the natural devastation, this was a crippling blow to an already shattered and hurting Gujarat.
I was shaken to the core. ‘Grief’, ‘Sadness’, ‘Misery’, ‘Pain’, ‘Anguish’, ‘Agony’ - mere words could not capture the absolute emptiness one felt on witnessing such inhumanity.
On one side was the pain of the victims of the earthquake, and on the other the pain of the victims of the riots. In decisively confronting this great turmoil, I had to single-mindedly focus all the strength given to me by the Almighty, on the task of peace, justice and rehabilitation; burying the pain and agony I was personally wracked with.
During those challenging times, I often recollected the wisdom in our scriptures; explaining how those sitting in positions of power did not have the right to share their own pain and anguish. They had to suffer it in solitude. I lived through the same, experiencing this anguish in searingly sharp intensity. In fact, whenever I remember those agonising days, I have only one earnest prayer to God. That never again should such cruelly unfortunate days come in the lives of any other person, society, State or nation.
This is the first time I am sharing the harrowing ordeal I had gone through in those days at a personal level.
However, it was from these very built up emotions that I had appealed to the people of Gujarat on the day of the Godhra train burning itself; fervently urging for peace and restraint to ensure lives of innocents were not put at risk. I had repeatedly reiterated the same principles in my daily interactions with the media in those fateful days of February-March 2002 as well; publically underlining the political will as well as moral responsibility of the Government to ensure peace, deliver justice and punish all guilty of violence. You will also find these deep emotions in my recent words at my Sadbhavana fasts, where I had emphasised how such deplorable incidents did not behove a civilised society and had pained me deeply.
In fact, my emphasis has always been on developing and emphasising a spirit of unity; with the now widely used concept of ‘my five crore Gujarati brothers and sisters’ having crystallised right at the beginning of my tenure as CM itself from this very space.
However, as if all the suffering was not enough, I was also accused of the death and misery of my own loved ones, my Gujarati brothers and sisters. Can you imagine the inner turmoil and shock of being blamed for the very events that have shattered you!
For so many years, they incessantly kept up their attack, leaving no stone unturned. What pained even more was that in their overzealousness to hit at me for their narrow personal and political ends, they ended up maligning my entire State and country. This heartlessly kept reopening the wounds that we were sincerely trying to heal. It ironically also delayed the very justice that these people claimed to be fighting for. Maybe they did not realise how much suffering they were adding to an already pained people.
Gujarat however had decided its own path. We chose peace over violence. We chose unity over divisiveness. We chose goodwill over hatred. This was not easy, but we were determined to commit for the long haul. From a life of daily uncertainty and fear; my Gujarat transformed into one of Shanti, Ekta and Sadbhavana. I stand a satisfied and reassured man today. And for this, I credit each and every Gujarati.
The Gujarat Government had responded to the violence more swiftly and decisively than ever done before in any previous riots in the country. Yesterday’s judgement culminated a process of unprecedented scrutiny closely monitored by the highest court of the land, the Honourable Supreme Court of India. Gujarat’s 12 years of trial by the fire have finally drawn to an end. I feel liberated and at peace.
I am truly grateful to all those who stood by me in these trying times; seeing through the facade of lies and deceit. With this cloud of misinformation firmly dispelled, I will now also hope that the many others out there trying to understand and connect with the real Narendra Modi would feel more empowered to do so.
Those who derive satisfaction by perpetuating pain in others will probably not stop their tirade against me. I do not expect them to. But, I pray in all humility, that they at least now stop irresponsibly maligning the six crore people of Gujarat.
Emerging from this journey of pain and agony; I pray to God that no bitterness seeps into my heart. I sincerely do not see this judgement as a personal victory or defeat, and urge all - my friends and especially my opponents - to not do so as well. I was driven by this same principle at the time of the Honourable Supreme Court’s 2011 judgement on this matter. I fasted 37 days for Sadbhavana, choosing to translate the positive judgement into constructive action, reinforcing Unity and Sadbhavana in society at large.
I am deeply convinced that the future of any society, State or country lies in harmony. This is the only foundation on which progress and prosperity can be built. Therefore, I urge one and all to join hands in working towards the same, ensuring smiles on each and every face.
Once again, Satyameva Jayate!
Vande Mataram!
-- Written on Blog, 27 December 2013

The secret of existence

MP Ajith Kumar

The metaphor of cosmic dance is quite beautifully expressed in the bronze image of the dancing Siva. It is not just art but also science par excellence, says MP Ajith Kumar
All things... are aggregations of atoms and by their movements produce sounds. When the rhythm of the dance changes, the sound it produces also changes... Each atom perpetually sings its song, and the sound, at every moment, creates dense and subtle forms.”
This dance as described by Alexandra David-NĂ©el in Tibetan Journey offered a mystic and spiritual experience to Fritjof Capra, a leading scientist of our times. It inspired him to write his classic work, Tao of Physics. Sitting by the ocean one late summer afternoon, he saw all his former experiences snowballing into an unbearable ecstasy.
“I saw the cascades of energy coming down from outer space in which particles were created and destroyed in rhythmic pulse. I ‘saw’ the atoms of the elements and those of my body participating in this cosmic dance of energy; I felt its rhythm and I ‘heard’ its sound and at that moment I knew that this was the dance of Siva, the lord of dancers”, he said.
The metaphor of cosmic dance is beautifully and profoundly expressed in the bronze image of the dancing Siva — Nataraja. Created during the 10th century or earlier in south India, the citadel of Indian art and philosophy, the image of the dancing Siva is the most excellent creation of the Chola art (an age of refinement of Dravidian art and architecture under the imperial rule of the Chola dynasty from 850 CE to 1250 CE).
Marked with classic grace, grandeur and perfect taste for creativity, the image of the dancing god has attained worldwide recognition and is an esteemed sanctum of classical art. With its complexity that baffles a philosophical explanation, the Nataraja image has infused the scientists as well as artists with awe and inspiration. For, it is art at its best; it is science par excellence as well.
Symbolically representing the cycles of creation and annihilation, the king of dance upholds rhythm and exaltation. He is surrounded by the flaming aureole of the prabhamandala, the circle of the world which he both fills and exceeds. Playing the tambourine with one of his right hands, he draws all beings into his rhythmic motion and exhorts them to take part in the dance which represents the merciless act of universal annihilation.
His flying locks and the blown scarves depict the speed of this universal movement, which crystallises matter and reduces it to powder in turn. In one of his left hands, he holds the fire which annihilates and devours the world in this cosmic whirl. He is also crushing a demon with one of his feet; he dances on the bodies of the dead. It is the dance of total annihilation — samhara — but it is the dance of creation too, symbolising the divine mercy. Like Shelley’s West Wind which is a juxtaposition of creation and annihilation, the God of dance too executes many steps sending vibration into the potential elements lying dormant, and exhorts them to dance to life.
Are creation and annihilation separate entities? The Bhagavad Gita refutes the notion. What one sees is only the world that is visible, but its end remains invisible. In between this beginning and end, one locates the cosmic dance in its camouflaging speed. Speed, as both philosophy and science say, forms visibility. The word jagat then represents world that is always in the process of rapid movements. It is this swiftness that makes the world loka and the subject to the eye, lochana.
The world (or loka) is visible because it is jagat (the one that moves in speed). The lord of dance thus combines in him all the three aspects — creation, preservation and destruction — which in their final fusion result in creative unity. Aspects of ananda and samhara thus embrace in perfect harmony where the ostensible opposites cease to differ from each other and samhara leads to the final bliss, ananda. Everything the Taittiriya Upanishad says is the expression of ananda. Born of ananda, they return to ananda. Shiva is the infinite time, Mahakala, with no beginning and end and the infinite space with circumference everywhere and centre nowhere. Time and space are mere constructs of mind which vanish when the ultimate bliss (ananda or shivam) is attained. His dance is thus symbolic of the dynamic universe which dances its way to the infinite ecstasy.
One of the Lord’s right hands is making the gesture of reassurance — abhayamudra — that creation is within destruction and vice versa. That the merciless nature of this universal determinism has in it the touch of mercy is the generative principle of future. He bears a broad smile, both at death and life, at pain and joy alike, as he combines in himself the pain of annihilation and joy of creation. It is the sport of life and death in which all things fall in their proper stead finding their explanation and logical conclusion.
Finally comes the backside view of the statue. The steadiness of shoulders upholding the world and the majesty of the torso symbolise the stability and immutability of the substance, while the leg’s gyration in whirling speed speaks of the vortex of phenomena. Also, the dance stirs up the psychic planes.
Shiva dances in tillai, the centre of the universe. It takes place at Chidambaram, the mental horizon. The idea behind the cosmic dance brings modern physics, ancient mythology, and religious art in unity. It is philosophy at its best. It is, as Ananda Coomaraswamy said, “poetry but nonetheless science”.
(The author is Associate Professor, Sanatana Dharma College, Alappuzha, Kerala)

-- 29 December 2013 | The Pioneer