Pandit Pran Nath

20 04 2018

Finally, people are posting stuff on youtube regarding the master of Indian vocal music.

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Some classical Indian dance

19 11 2010

Posted before a few years ago.





On idols

17 08 2010

In India, the metaphysical Principle is regarded as both transcendent and immanent, being simultaneously supreme and accessible. Therefore, the hieratic icons, imbued with the mysterious presence of God, are likened to the deep pools where water is always available. The god Vishnu, who manifests and incarnates himself in many different ways, instructs his devotees that he, Vishnu, can be worshiped in embodied form only. So, allegedly, this mode of worship is revealed by Vishnu himself. There is no worship without the manifest forms and icons, ‘therefore humans should construct the Imperishable One in human form and worship him with utmost devotion’.

-Algis Uzdavinys, Philosophy and Theurgy in Late Antiquity





Free Pandit Jasraj concert

6 08 2010

Almost three hours of music found here





Fundamentalism and modernity

14 06 2010

Editorial note: I’m unavailable until Thursday. Posts will continue to appear, but this blog is on auto-pilot

I highly recommend the article, Rush Hour of the Gods by William Dalrymple (found via the Western Confucian blog). The article makes many counterintuitive points that I think any student of modern religion needs to take into consideration. While his analysis of Islam in south Asia was known to me, his analysis of modern Hinduism was particularly informative. Such an “ancient religion” is really not so ancient all things considered, and modernity has come to shape it just as much as it has contemporary Christianity.

My own exercise here is to compare and contrast what is going on with Hinduism and Islam in India with the long evolution of Catholicism in Latin America. In both cases, nationality, technology, scholarship, and the media are striving to define what Catholicism, Islam, and Hinduism are on a national and international scale, often in contrast with more local manifestations of these faiths.
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Pandit Bhimsen Joshi

17 04 2010


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Generic weekly music post

16 04 2010

And… Pandit Jasraj sings a raga





Jag Mein Sundar Hai Do Naam

11 04 2010

Anup Jalota sings in the honor of the Hindu deity, Rama





On the kiss

9 02 2010

My heart, bring me some sign plucked from the roses of hope’s garden
You cannot bring a flower in bloom? Bring me an autumn leaf
Companion of my begging days, get up and go out quickly
Pawn anything- your life, your clothes- and bring abundant wine
O God, You have brought forth all this from what was non-existent
Bring me a kiss or two, brought from the corner of her mouth

– from The Seeing Eye: Selections from the Urdu and Persian Ghazals of Ghalib, translated by Ralph Russell





Notes on alchemy

12 11 2009

Mercury was, for them, the seminal essence of a god who (pro-)creates the universe sexually; indeed the origin myth of mercury tells us that quicksilver first arose when Siva spilled his seed at the end of a long bout of lovemaking with his consort, the goddess Parvati. This seed once spilled, became polluted through its contact with the earth. The alchemist’s craft therefore consists of returning mercury, through a series of chemical reactions of incredible complexity, to its original pristine state. Once he has perfected it in the laboratory, the alchemist may then ingest this mercury, which then transforms him into an immortal human, a “second Siva”.

-David Gordon White, “The Ocean of Mercury: An Eleventh-Century Alchemical Text” in Religions of India in Practice
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