Wednesday 5 July 2017

Performing Arts and Yoga - Taalam: column by Leela Venkataraman

Yoga as a means of stilling the mind and bringing about unity of mind and body is no doubt an invaluable discipline. While one can rejoice in its spread to several corners of the globe today, one wonders if the hype being associated with Yoga is not sometimes erring by losing sight of its real merits in the glamorising.  With the top political dispensation having such faith in Yoga, the way artistes hailing from different art forms, are passionately trying to display the closeness of their art to Yoga, is a kind of politicisation of both Yoga and art that one needs to be wary of. A Yoga spirit accommodating undiluted concentration of mind /body in the search for one’s self through whatever discipline one is seeking is what is recommended in our performing arts – which are also different pathways to self realisation. Art disciplines need to be pursued with a yogic spirit for Arts as ‘sadhana’ in the ultimate state can achieve that complete harmony (samarasya) and sense of total release resulting in ananda - a state of oneness abolishing all forms of duality. This karmasu kaus’alam as the Gita says of concentrating all energy in pursuit of the journey one embarks on demanding the offering of the best one has to the best one seeks, is a yagna or sacrifice demanded of the seeker. What is implied in the Indian context of inter relatedness amongst disciplines,  is not being sought to be articulated in peculiar ways.

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