Monday, March 23, 2009

Parampara, Guru Shishya parampara, Traditions etc

Who after the current gurus will bear the torch of gharanas. Guru Birju Maharaj, Krishna Mohan, Jaikishan, guru Vemapti chinna satyam, Dhananjay(s), Respected Sitara Devi, apart from them there are non gharanedar gurus, Dr Padma Subramaniam, Maya Rao, Meneka, Damyanti Joshi, Guru Kumudni Lakhia, Rhoni Bhate. I think instead of listing separately as gharanedar and non gharanedar gurus will not be fair enough. Since in our(Indian) traditional education system the gharana is handed down to the disciple by the gurus. There is no compulsion for a guru to choose his kith and kin as successor.     The most promising student gets the seat "gaddi". And it has been practiced since ages. I think this has helped in keeping our tradition of music alive for so many centuries. The period has continuously seen the invaders from all the sides. from length to breadth of this subcontinent. Often we are told that "one land" "One Nation" Theory is very recent in India. Earlier this land was full of fights between small kingdoms without any idea of our motherland or so to say India as a one nation. In the east the Nagas, the forces from China, Tibet Burma etc were mingling with the AHOM kingdomsin Assam and in Manipur. Down south has seen the  import from Europe, Africa, and from east also. Christian, Jew, Arabic, Persian Eastern cultures came to our southern shores. In the west we hear that even from far land of greek, arabic and mangols came to our nation. The HUN, KUSHAN, YAMAN etc. Thereby the point is that even then the tradition of music has been kept live in this nation which always refers to the "sage Bharat" or the Natya Shastra or the fourth VED. that means the lineage has been there with minor ups and down. And it could have only been made possible through this "GURU SHISHYA parampara" teacher and student tradition.
After the Independence all broke loose. The Ethics and the tradition got full freedom. Thus a student from Delhi learns the dance of Manipur and a student of punjab can learn the arts and dance of Keral and vice e versa. Now we have satellite gurukuls (schools). schools run in USA or far away lands on the name of guru living in Tamil Nadu. Or the Guru has become very mobile,  reaching far away lands for many months of a year.
During the dark ages, of 1000 to 1900 AD, (if I am permitted to say so) all the credit goes to the community looked down upon by the civilized community, the dancer community, who has kept alive this art of music and dance of this land through those hard times. No one can deny this aspect. It is true from Jammu Kashmir to the Kanya kumari and from Gandhar to the Manipur. ALL the places must be full of such stories and names and even Palaces where all the saga had been enacted. Most of the palaces and the HISTORY is known to us due to the contribution of this community. I am saying so since in palaces these women lived inside the walls and their progeny worked in the palaces itself thereby contributing in the workforce also. not only in the arts.
These were known as Devdasi, MAHARI (attached to Temples), Rajdasi, Tawaif etc etc Kalavantalu, Kalavant, few ladies who became stalwarts of classical Hindustani Music were from Gomantak samaj, this is the community who lived in and around the Goa, Karnataka and Maharastra. They must be repsected for what they have gifted us. It is due to them we have inherited this rich heritage

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