Thursday, 12 January 2012

Article - The Science of Tantra and the Art of Natya: A co-relative study - Dr. Padmaja Venkatesh (Suresh)

The term Tantra has a wide connotation. Originally, it must have stood for knowledge which is spread - 'Tantrayate vistāryate jnanam anena' – i.e. by which knowledge is spread or developed. A Tantra Sāstra paradigm (Nātya can also be called as one such paradigm) exemplifies conception of supreme personality of God, the dual aspect when God himself becomes the Universe beyond Purusa and Prakriti - the complete, whole, an undivided 'one'.  

Siva promulgates his teaching in the world below in the Tantrās which exist in the form of dialogues between Devatā and his Sakti, the Devi in her form as Parvati. Siva and Uma are again attributed with creation of Nātya at the behest of Brahma who appealed on behalf of the Gods. What is that element, that essence or that principle that connects ONE to the dance, connects dance to LIFE, connects one to audiences, crossing all barriers? Is it the body owning a spirit, that is wanting to express something or is it the spirit that has manifested into this form in order to express? One realizes through this journey that although one may not believe in the Gods which are unique to the various religions, one cannot disagree with what is believed to be the good, positive energy and the presence of consciousness, all these being ‘universals.’ How has the dance started, its infinite quality, its correlation with Indian philosophy, the Tāntrik and Vedic aspects, the symbolic representation of rituals and worship? 

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