Sunday, October 23, 2016

Mingling of cultures produces caricatures

The multi-level stage at the ongoing Rashtriya Sanskriti Mahotsav at IGNCA has a curious combination of structures. This tendency in India for "mingling of cultures" at times produces caricatures. The fusion dance items presented, yesterday, also seemed to be failures. The backdrop, however, reminded some of the famous architectural blendings attempted in the past:

1. [Victoria Terminus Station, in Mumbai, is an outstanding example of Victorian Gothic Revival architecture in India, blended with themes deriving from traditional Indian palace architecture.]

2. [The Secretariat Building was designed by the prominent Britisharchitect Herbert Baker in Indo-Saracenic Revival architecture. They have broad corridors and each building is topped by a giant dome, while each wings end with colonnaded balcony. Much of the building is in classical architectural style, yet it incorporated from Mughal and Rajasthani architecture style and motifs in its architecture. These are visible in the use of Jali, perforated screens, to protect from scorching sun and monsoon rains of India. Another feature of the building is a dome-like structure known as the Chatri, a design unique to India]

3. [The Ramakrishna temple at the Belur Math is designed to "celebrate the diversity of Indian Religions" and resembles a temple, a mosque, a church if seen from different positions. The ground plan is in the shape of Christian cross. The central dome is derived from European architecture of the Renaissance period. The high entrance with their lofty towers is like a South Indian Gopuram and the pillars on both sides represent Buddhistic architectural style. The windows and balconies inside the temple draw upon the Rajput (Hindu) and Mughal (Islamic) style of north India. The three umbrella-like domes on the top built in Rajput-Moghul styles give an idea of thatched roofs of the village Kamarpukur. The circular portion of the entrance is an intermingling of Ajanta style with Hindu architecture]

4. [Triveni was one of the first buildings by noted American architect, Joseph Allen Stein (1957-1977) in India, who also designed several important building in New Delhi, likeIndia International Centre and India Habitat Centre, Lodhi Road. Designed in modern architecture style, the complex is noted for its "multiple spaces for multiple purposes" and use of jali work (stone lattices), which was to become Stein's hallmark.] 

In this context, what Godwin wrote a decade back comes to mind:

[Savitri Era Open Forum: I do not believe in "cafeteria style" spirituality Dec 30, 2006 - The Absurdity of Absolute Relativity posted by Gagdad Bob. I am as comfortable in a Catholic or Orthodox service as I am in a Vedanta or Jewish temple, so long as they radiate the sacred. However, I am definitely not "eclectic." I do not believe in "cafeteria style" spirituality. It is more like being able to appreciate, say, Arvo Part, Dexter Gordon, Merle Haggard, and James Brown. Each is a musical "avatar" who conveys real musical light, but I wouldn't want to blend them. One Cosmos Under God Robert W. Godwin at 12/29/2006 06:44:00 AM Posted at 10:25 AM]

Sri Aurobindo wrote The Synthesis of Yoga and enunciated Integral Yoga. His philosophy has aptly been characterised as the meeting of the East and the West. May the spirit of human unity and World Union pervade the whole globe. [TNM55]

Misc. References:

The Integral Advaitism of Sri Aurobindo - Page xi
Rāmacandra Miśra - 1998 - ‎Preview
In the same 'way, there is a meeting of the Vedantic and Tantric thought in his system. His philosophy combines in itself the best elements of Indian and Western thought, both ancient and modern. SriAurobindo has reinterpreted and recreated Indian religious and philosophical thought and the modern Western idea of ...

Integral Education Thought and Practice - Page 6
R.n.pani - 1987 - ‎Preview - ‎More editions
On December 8, 1907 he presided over a separate meeting of the Nationalists at Midnapore. But the Surat Congress held by the end of December that year marks an epoch in Sri Aurobindo's life as much the life of the National Congress, for it was here that the Congress was split into two groups-the moderates and the ...

The Meeting of the East and the West in Sri Aurobindo's ...
1956 - ‎No preview

Journeys East: 20th Century Western Encounters with Eastern ...
... also meeting Aurobindo and the Mother.31 Krishna Prem is interesting for several reasons: he spoke Hindi and Bengali fluently, achieved some competency in Sanskrit and wrote several commentaries, in strictly orthodox vein, on the Upanishads and the Gita; he rigorously adhered to his renunciate vows and lived a highly ...

The Antithesis of Yoga - Page 262
Jocelyn - 2009 - ‎Preview - ‎More editions
Roslyn went the next morning to a Pour Tous (all Auroville) meeting under the Banyan.It was hard for ... People from all over the world had come to Auroville to participate on the land owned by the SriAurobindo Society, or on new lands that they could buy and donate to the Sri Aurobindo Society, develop, and leave. The Sri ...

Indian Philosophy in English: From Renaissance to Independence
Nalini Bhushan, ‎Jay L. Garfield - 2011 - ‎Preview - ‎More editions
References Sri Aurobindo. (1949). The Life Divine. Pondicherry: Sri ... “Aurobindo's Concept of Llā and the Problem of Evil,” International Philosophical Quarterly 16: 3, pp. 315–329. Burtt, (1956). “East and West in Sri ... The Meeting of East and West in Sri Aurobindo's Philosophy. Pondsichery: Sri AurobindoAshram. Odin, S.

Guru English: South Asian Religion in a Cosmopolitan Language
For full-length expositions of Savitri, see Aurobindo's Letters on Savitri, 29:725–816; Iyengar,Aurobindo; A. B. Purani, Sri Aurobindo's Savitri: An Approach and a Study ... and Athenian than to the Anglo-Saxon, but owing to the accident of British domination, our intellects have been carefully nurtured on a purely English diet.

Combining Indian and Western Spiritual Psychology: Applications to Health and Social Renewal
D Oman, NN Singh - Psychological Studies, 2016
... spiritual experiences. Exemplars of this mode of knowing include many religious founders and mystics, such as the Buddha, Jesus, Moses, Plotinus, Ramana Maharshi, Saint Tuka¯ra¯ma, Mahatma Gandhi, and Sri Aurobindo. All ...

[HTML] The Info List-Dandi March
L Irwin - (dandi march) The SALT MARCH, also known as the DANDI MARCH and the DANDI SATYAGRAHA, was an act of nonviolent civil disobedience in colonial India initiated by ...
[PDF] Lifestyle Change as Climate Strategy
D Nissen
... The world belongs to Man. Oil is here for us to use. Spiritual • “I am part of the [planet] protecting itself.” – John Seed • “We are on the brink of an evolutionary leap in consciousness.” – Sri Aurobindo Large Footpring • I want my MTV and like my campus' . ...

[HTML] Social contract
H Grotius, T Hobbes, J Rawls
Project Gutenberg Self-Publishing - eBooks.
Women Architects and Modernism in India: Narratives and contemporary practices
M Desai - 2016

The conundrum of communalism - The Pioneer › state-editions
3 mins ago - ... and there was a tendency towards a mingling of cultures, even some heroic attempts were made to discover or create a common religion built out of these two apparently irreconcilable faiths,” says Sri Aurobindo.

The New Indian Express-1 hour ago
While Sri Aurobindo handed over to her the Karmayogin's charge beforeleaving for Chandernagore and then Pondicherry, Tagore addressed her as “Lokmata”.

The New Indian Express-1 hour ago
In one of his memorable essays titled 'The Ego and the Realities' scripted in 1939, Sri Aurobindo wrote that “it is not easy for the customary mind of man, always ...

He's going to Kolkata to visit a friend, a batchmate from Insead who runs the Sri Aurobindo Institute of Culture in the city. For the most part though, his weekends ...

The Daily Star-17-Oct-2016
From the Neo-platonic sages like Plotinus to modern Indian Sri Aurobindo or Swami Vivekananda we see all but the same reference of the ancient mystic ...

Daily News & Analysis-12-Oct-2016
"So long as war does not become psychologically impossible, it will remain or, if banished for a while, return," wrote Sri Aurobindo in an April 1916 essay, The ...

New Straits Times Online-10-Oct-2016
He stated that Gandhi proved to the world the might of non-violence and ... Madan Lal Dhingra, Veer Savarkar, Mangal Pandey, Aurobindo and many more ...

Daily Nation-08-Oct-2016
... Gandhi (centre), also known as Mahatma Gandhi, in Bombay (now Mumbai), ... Rabindranath Tagore and spiritual leader Sri Aurobindo are there, as are the ...

(Pics TNM 2016: ‘Rashtriya Sanskriti Mahotsav’ organised by Ministry of Culture at IGNCA, New Delhi)

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