Sunday, 15 February 2015

Article - Education in Spiritual values through Bharatanatyam: Part V Tanjore Quartet margam: A journey in space and time with the Divine Spirit - Chandra Anand

As explained by Balasaraswati, Bharatanatyam is an artistic yoga, a means to reveal the spiritual through the corporeal and the Tanjore Quartet margam is the space created to divulge the knowledge about the spiritual self. To elucidate this sequentially:
Alarippu corresponds to Vedanta philosophy.  “The Vedanta philosophy, in one or another of its forms is closely bound up with the religion (bhakti tradition) of India…The Vedanta Sutra deals with Vedanta or the final aim of the Veda. It is also called the Brahma Sutra, since it deals with the doctrine of Brahman. The Self (Atman) is existence, knowledge and bliss…Atman is the same as Brahman; the essence of the subject, the deepest part of our being is one with the essence of the world. ”


Put in a Nutshell 
“Spirituality in Hindu philosophy …defines spiritual practice as one’s journey towards moksha, awareness of self, the discovery of higher truths, true nature of reality, and a consciousness that is liberated and content.”[16] The Tanjore Quartet margam imparts this knowledge through its structure or lineup of items. It makes an effort to understand life and reality, which is the function of natya, by analyzing human emotions in its innumerable tones through abhinaya. It has made a judicious use of rhythm, movement and feelings and thoughts for the expression of the inner self or the embodied being. It puts forward at the outset the truth of the human life (allaripu), then the zenith that a human being has the possibilities to reach (varnam) and then the realities of life (padams and javalis) and ends expressing the hope to attain or regain the epitome of life (shloka). It explains Hindu philosophy through bhakti marg by which the common man can contemplate on God - the Supreme Truth, goodness and beauty of which perfect happiness essentially consists easily.

Tanjore Quartet margam educates and elevates society by giving the spectator a foretaste of moksha, the ultimate spiritual experience through rasa - experience. This elevating experience perhaps can be credited for the increase in viewership for Bharatanatyam; for encouraging the spectators to view the art for the charm and magic that envelops them after a presentation; and stimulating them to take keen interest in the presentation.

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