Thursday 30 June 2016

Teaching is trending this summer season but the emphasis is on learning more and more, from divergent sources. Gurus and gharanas don't matter much more; neither do banis or boons! Who, except a handful, really even know the difference? Gone are the days when a ward sat at the feet of a master to learn seriously for long - 10/20 years. Today 20 weeks seems like eternity!
Lack of REAL gurus has also led to this situation. What are REAL gurus? First and foremost they are NOT in the market. So, they are free of the money angle. Or ego. Or awards. They are not waiting to teach. Only if they feel convinced the seeker is genuine, capable and serious would they take on a ward.  Not like now, come-pay-your-way, learn-abhinaya in a weekend workshop! These gurus also knew EACH and EVERY aspect of dance, not just items. They knew music, they knew literature and they knew shastras. What are shastras? We use words loosely often in India. Shastras are basically four types: Shruti - the recited ones like the Vedas; Smruthi - the remembered ones like the epics Ramayana and the Mahabharata; Shloka - the ritual ones like Tantra and Mantras. Add the Puranas, the rites. 4 r's.

So, how many so-called gurus of today know even one ASPECT or one DEPT. fully or correctly? Not even ten in the whole country, 2 in each form if we are lucky and most of them are about 75, hence last remnants of another era. New gurus, who are basically teachers - acharyas - know only what little they acquired from their gurus and are today palming it off as knowledge or deep art. A case of some better than none?

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