Wednesday, 21 November 2018

Homage to C V Raman

"Ask the right questions, and nature will open the doors to her secrets." - C. V. Raman

Sir Chandrasekhara Venkata Raman was one of the most notable physicist in the world who did ground-breaking research in the field of Light, which is now known as the Raman Effect, and won him the 1930 Nobel Prize for Physics. We celebrate National Science Day on 28 February every year to commemorate the discovery of the Raman Effect in 1928. C. V. Raman was responsible for laying a firm foundation of scientific research in our country. Due to his initiatives, India has made a mark in the world as a nation with ample technological and scientific capabilities and manpower. Whatever technological development we have seen today it is "Raman Effect"! The very fact that he brought laurels to India as far back as 1930 by winning the Nobel Prize, speaks volumes about his scientific genius. He donated his all money of Nobel Prize to the Freedomfighters.  A grateful nation honored his efforts with a Bharat Ratna in 1954, the top most honor that could be bestowed to an Indian citizen.

Early Life and Education

C. V. Raman was born on 7 November 1888, in Thiruvanaikoil, Tiruchirappalli, which was under the Madras Presidency during British India, where his father was a school teacher. After his schooling there and late at Viskhapatnam, Raman joined the Presidency College in Chennai. In 1904, at the age of 16 he graduated with a gold medal in physics in 1907 obtained the M.Sc. degree from University of Madras.

Early Career

From 1907 onwards, for 10 years Raman worked as an accountant in the government Finance and Accounts services in Kolkata and held a senior position.

In 1917, Raman resigned from government service after his appointment as the first Palit Professor of Physics at the University of Calcutta. He also continued doing research at the Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science (IACS), Calcutta, where he became the Honorary Secretary. Raman would call this period as the golden era of his career.

Rise To Prominence

On 28 February 1928, at the IACS, Raman conducted experiments with K. S. Krishnan and other colleagues, on the scattering of light, during which he discovered the Raman effect, which gave further proof of the quantum nature of light.

Raman spectroscopy was referred to by Ernest Rutherford at the Royal Society in 1929. Raman was the President of the 16th session of the Indian Science Congress held in 1929. He was conferred a knighthood, received several medals and honorary doctorates from various universities. Raman was awarded the 1930 Nobel Prize in Physics. He was the first Asian and first non-white to receive any Nobel Prize in the sciences.

In 1932, Raman and Suri Bhagavantam discovered the quantum photon spin. Raman also held the position of permanent visiting professor at BHU. Raman also worked on the acoustics of musical instruments like violin, table and mridangam. Raman and his student, Nagendra Nath, provided the correct theoretical explanation for the acousto-optic effect or light scattering by sound waves which was called the Raman–Nath theory.

In 1933, Raman left IACS and joined Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore as its first Indian director.

Later Years

In 1947, he was appointed as the first National Professor of Independent India. Raman retired in 1948 from the Indian Institute of Science. He also started the Travancore Chemical and Manufacturing Co. Ltd. which later subsequently established four factories in Southern India. In 1949, he established the Raman Research Institute in Bangalore. He served as its director till his death in 1970 at the age of 82.
Personal Life

He was married to Lokasundari Ammal on 6 May 1907. They had two sons named Chandrasekhar and Radhakrishnan.

Honours and Awards

Raman was honored with a large number of honorary doctorates and memberships of scientific societies. Several roads, buildings, and awards have been named after him.

  •     Fellow of the Royal Society, 1924
  •     Awarded the Knight Bachelor honor by the Queen of England, 1929
  •     Nobel Prize in Physics, 1930
  •     Franklin Medal, 1941
  •     Bharat Ratna: The highest civilian award of the Republic of India, in 1954
  •     Lenin Peace Prize, from the then USSR, 1957
  •     In the science fiction film Star Trek: The Next Generation, the United Federation of Planets Starfleet ship is named Raman after him.
  •     In 2013, the Google Doodle honored him on his 125th birth anniversary.





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The main theme of my life is to take the message of Sanatana Dharma to every home and pave the way for launching, in a big way, the man-making programme preached and envisaged by great seers like Swami Vivekananda. - Mananeeya Eknathji

विवेकानन्द केन्द्र कन्याकुमारी (Vivekananda Kendra Kanyakumari)
Vivekananda Rock Memorial & Vivekananda Kendra : http://www.vivekanandakendra.org
Read Article, Magazine, Book @ http://eshop.vivekanandakendra.org/e-granthalaya
Cell : +91-941-801-5995, Landline : +91-177-283-5995

. . . Are you Strong? Do you feel Strength? — for I know it is Truth alone that gives Strength. Strength is the medicine for the world's disease . . .
This is the great fact: "Strength is LIFE; Weakness is Death."
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Tuesday, 20 November 2018

Mataji Maharani Tapaswin

Mataji Maharani Tapaswini, initially called Gangabai, was a Brahmin woman hailing from the Deccan region of British India. She was born in 1835 in Vellore District of Tamil Nadu. She was well versed in Sanskrit language and the sacred scriptures, related to the Hindu religion. Gangabai wanted to propagate a pattern of female education compatible with the Hindu religious and ethical laws. With this intent, she came to Kolkata. Unlike some other reformers of that time, Gangabai believed that Hindu society could be regenerated from within.

Gangabai's Contribution towards the Society
For the sake of saving her motherland, Gangabai left her home and came to Jhansi where she became an intimate companion of Rani Laxmi Bai, who was a distant maternal aunt of hers. Being united with Rani Laxmi Bai, Gangabai bravely fought the rebellion of 1857. After Laxmi Bai's death, Gangabai came to Nepal, in the company of Nana Saheb, and she spent almost 30 years of her life in volatile for practicing the hardest sadhanas, which probably gave her the name of Tapaswini Mata. There she was preparing for her next mission in life, which was carried out in Kolkata.

Formation of Mahakali Pathshala
With the aim of women's education, she came to Kolkata in 1890 and set up the Mahakali Pathshala (Great Mother Kali School) of Bengal. It was founded in 1893 and this school and its many branches have often been said to mirror a "genuine Indian attempt" at developing female education. This school received no financial assistance from foreigners and employed no foreign teachers. Founders of the institution opposed the concept of co-education and the use of one syllabus for both sexes. Their aim was to educate girls on strictly national lines in the hope that they might regenerate the Hindu society. This was a project consistent with those of nationalist revivalists, who did not automatically oppose reformation in the name of resisting colonial knowledge. Despite their differences with the liberal reformers, they too believed in the relationship between progress and female education and looked to a future where Indian women would play a larger role in the affairs of the country. In May 1897, Swami Vivekananda came to visit the Mahakali Pathshala and appreciated Gangabai's effort to establish a new path for developing the women education.

Gangabai's Method of Educating Women
Gangabai's notion of an ideal education for women was translated into a syllabus which included knowledge of sacred literature and history; an understanding of the myths and legends that spoke about the duties of the daughter, wife, daughter-in-law, and mother; and practical skills such as cooking and sewing. This syllabus was praised by Hindu gentlemen of the middle-class who believed that much of the female education which existed at the time demoralized and denationalized young Hindu women. Cooking lessons were especially popular in the light of the prevalent belief that educated girls avoid the kitchen.

Expansion of Mahakali Pathshala
Financial support for this institution grew rapidly and within ten years there were 23 branches with 450 students. As the school expanded, it published its own Bengali and Sanskrit textbooks. Gangabai turned more and more to supervision while the actual administration of the school was left in the hands of an illustrious board of trustees presided over by the Maharaja of Darbhanga, Bengal's largest landlord.

Affiliation of Mahakali Pathshala The Mahakali Pathshala rose to prominence due to the significance it attached to religious studies, homemaking prowess and the Purdah system. In 1948, the Mahakali Pathshala achieved the status of affiliation to the educational authority of the University of Calcutta. The existence and popularity of this school in the early years of the twentieth century was an indicator of the fact that the conservative elements were finally making room for the concept of female education which was fast gaining ground.


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The main theme of my life is to take the message of Sanatana Dharma to every home and pave the way for launching, in a big way, the man-making programme preached and envisaged by great seers like Swami Vivekananda. - Mananeeya Eknathji

विवेकानन्द केन्द्र कन्याकुमारी (Vivekananda Kendra Kanyakumari)
Vivekananda Rock Memorial & Vivekananda Kendra : http://www.vivekanandakendra.org
Read Article, Magazine, Book @ http://eshop.vivekanandakendra.org/e-granthalaya
Cell : +91-941-801-5995, Landline : +91-177-283-5995

. . . Are you Strong? Do you feel Strength? — for I know it is Truth alone that gives Strength. Strength is the medicine for the world's disease . . .
This is the great fact: "Strength is LIFE; Weakness is Death."
Follow us on   blog   twitter   youtube   facebook   g+   delicious   rss   Donate Online

Monday, 19 November 2018

Eknathji - Man with capital M

Eknathji Ranade : The Man and his Mission

Shri Eknath Ranade, President, Vivekananda Rock Memorial Committee and Vivekananda Kendra, Kanyakumari, Is no more. But he lives beyond death in the inspiring, magnificent Vivekananda Rock Memorial off the Kanyakumari shore and even more in the living, growing memorial–Vivekananda Kendra–a spiritually ­oriented Service Mission, consisting of men and women, specially young men and young women, dedicated to the twin tasks of man-­making and nation-building inspired by the ideals of Swami Vivekananda – Renunciation and Service, Tyaga and Seva. Eknathji lived and died to build, to foster, to nourish with his vision, his will, his wisdom, his life-long Sadhana and Tapas, his sweat, his tears, his blood remaining dedicated and dynamic to the last day of his life, 22nd of August 1982, when he breathed his last at 2.45 p. m. after a sudden, massive heart attack in his office at Madras while on his way to Kanyakumari. He was returning after a long tour which had taken him to Kashmir, Delhi, Ajmer, Ahmedabad, Bombay, Nagpur, Poona, Sholapur, etc., to visit the various Vivekananda Kendra Branches and to meet the life-workers of the Vivekananda Kendra, whom he had trained with such care and affection for devoted, selfless service, which was both a passion with him, as also an inexhaustible source of abiding inspiration to him, which kept him ever a tireless worker, undeterred by difficulties, undaunted by obstacles and problems, accepting them as challenges, as hurdles to be crossed with courage and confidence, treating them as opportunities for strengthening oneself for more work, harder work, more dedicated work, more selfless work.

Mission of Service

Eknath Ranade was a Karmayogi, wedded to work, dedicated to Nishkama Karma, Self-less Seva, of which he was an embodiment and his life a shining, inspiring example. There is no doubt, he will live in and through the dedicated work done by the Vivekananda Kendra through its life-workers at its many branches, in different States, including Port Blair in Andamans, where they are running a school with over 300 students, Imphal in Manipur, Gauhati and Dibrugarh, Tinsukhia in Assam, in so many places in Arunachal Pradesh where they are working among the Tribals, the most neglected children of Bharatmata, running among them for their children, both girls and boys, with the devoted love and labour of their lady-life-workers over a dozen schools, including Residential and Girls Schools, with the co-operation and appreciation of both the people and the Government. The people have been inviting them cordially to open more and more schools in their areas for the benefit of their children and the people in the area, for the teachers, in these schools, some of them as far away and inaccessible as in Tafragaon, are dedicated and devoted souls; who even during vacations do not go on a holiday to their own home but hold camps and like to meet parents and other people, young and old, in different areas to wo(Prof. K. N. VASWANI Ex Vice-President, Vivekananda Kendra, Kanyakumari)rk among them to serve them. They seek to understand them, learn about their manners and customs, their language and culture, to appreciate them and to build bonds with them for their national integration as an invaluable element in the beautiful, multifaced, rich and varied culture of India, which accepts, assimilates and enriches and inspires and unifies us all, and which is like a garland of many flowers, or like a symphony of many tones and tunes, woven into a beautiful inspiring harmony, precious for all.

Unity in Diversity

It has been singing through the centuries, for ages untold, the rich resonant song, the ineffable music of 'Unity in diversity.' which is the need not only of India that is Bharat, but of the whole world, entire Humanity, which without its message of love and wisdom, of Harmony and Unity, would fall a prey to venomous, warring creeds. It would fall a victim to hatred and disharmony and to destruction, devastation and death, through the multiplica­tion of monstrous means of mass destruction devised by modern science, with its enormous efficiency, in its unparalleled unwisdom and exceptional technical competence, misdirected to inhuman ends which may result in diabolic deeds, which would be a shame to civilization and a blot on culture and humanity.

Swami Vivekananda's message proclaimed at the World Congress of Religions at Chicago on 11th Sept. 1893, was therefore the message of Universal Brotherhood, of fraternity and friendship between the nations and among their people, the world over. This message is not only very relevant but even indispensable today to prevent a human holocaust. And Vivekananda Rock Memorial, erected opposite the ancient Kanyakumari temple at the land's end of the Indian sub-continent, where, in Gandhi's words, the three seas meet to wash the feet of Bharatmata, is a national monument in the true sense of the term, for it has been built at a cost of 1.25 crores by collecting small donations of one or two rupees each from lakhs of common people and not only from the rich or the Government. Making it national in this sense too, was to the credit of Eknath Ranade, who had so planned it and pursued this plan with vigour and skill. Karmayogi as he was he used often to quote from the Gita his favourite words "Yoga is skill in action." Built as a memorial to one of the greatest sons of India and a prophet of Universal Brotherhood and World Harmony, the Vivekananda Rock Memorial is like a lighthouse shining in the dark, beckoning to India and the world to follow the path of harmony of religions, of faiths, of races, of creeds and castes. It sends out a message of world unity, of understanding and appreciation, of co-existence and co-operation, and calls for "selfless service of God's creation as true worship of the Lord."

Chosen Instrument for Vivekananda's Dream

Eknath Ranade, the chosen instrument for the spread of the vital, vigorous, man-making, nation-building and world-unifying message, was not only the patient builder of the Vivekananda Rock Memorial which took 6 years to build (1964-1970) being inaugurated on 11th Sept. 1970, and which was a sturdy, impressive, magnificent monument in granite, to the memory of that magnificent personality Swami Vivekananda, but Eknath Ranade was also the wise visionary, the founder of the Vivekananda Kendra, a Service. Mission of active, dedicated men and women, who were to be the living growing memorial to the message of the matter Swami Vivekananda who had said in his wonderful inspiring prophetic words: "A hundred thousand men and women, fired with the zeal of holiness, fortified with eternal faith in the Lord and nerved to lion's courage by their sympathy for the poor and the fallen and the downtrodden, will go over the length and breadth of the land, preaching the gospel of salvation, the gospel of help, the gospel of social raising-up and the gospel of equality." These were the words which were the refrain of the one song which in the course of my 11-year-long, continuous, personal association with Eknathji since 1971, I was privileged to hear again and again and he lived and died to translate this dream of Swami Vivekananda into a living reality, an actual fact, through Vivekananda Kendra, the life-workers whom he taught and trained, among whom he lived and worked and died.

Tireless Worker who will not rest

Eknathji was a tireless worker, an organiser and a great dreamer, with a vision, and a will which will not accept defeat or be dismayed. Even after his last serious, severe and shattering illness when be had a terrible stroke in April 1980 and was laid low, almost near his end and death, he like a valiant, formidable, faith-inspired fighter that he was, gave a long, patient, tough and, victorious fight to Death and won through the battle that time, to the surprise of the doctors and the joy and jubilation of his co-­workers in the Vivekananda Kendra who were like his own daughters and sons, to the joy also of his co-workers in the R. S. S. with whom he had played a heroic and wholesome role in the history of nation-building in India before coming in 1963, at the time of the Vivekananda Birth Centenary Celebrations to his new last phase of work, which was to be a glorious one including the erection of the magnificent Vivekananda Rock Memorial and the founding of the Vivekananda Kendra as a Service Mission, the training of its life-­workers young men and young women, whom he has left behind to work as a dedicated, devoted, determined, humble and harmonious team, to carry on the great task of selfless national service with Swami Vivekananda's inspiring ideals and the example of his dedicated dynamic life before them.

While the doctors described Eknathji's recovery from his serious illness as "a miracle," and several senior Swamis of the Ramakrishna Mission with whom he had very close friendly and fraternal relations as "a blessing," Eknathji himself described it to me as "a second life." He said to me: "Vaswani, I was dead for a few months, I had closed my eyes; but now that I am back, it means God still wants me to work." This was his reply to appeals from co-workers who were like his children in the Kendra to co-workers and friends also in the R. S. S. and the Ramakrishna Mission and other sister organisations, and to admonitions and advice also from doctors, "I do not want to rest and rust. I must work and harder to complete my task during the time granted to me. I shall try to be careful. But life without work, is like death to me. God will keep me as long as He wishes, so let me work." This was his way of withstanding any request for rest by him.

Dream of Vivekananda Kendra, International

He had a dream of Vivekananda Kendra, International, as the third phase of his plan for the true memorial to Swami Vivekananda, his vital message for the world, of selfless service and universal harmony. The first meeting of the General Body of Vivekananda Kendra, International, was held at Vivekanandapuram, Kanyakumari, in his room on 7th June 1982 before he proceeded on 30th June on his last tour of India to meet Vivekananda Kendra life-workers and acquaint himself with and give a further impetus to their activities. For him, it was to be the first as also the last meeting. This he did not know, nor we. But some of his words seem now to have contained an un-understood hint, for he said during that meeting: "We are only making a beginning; coming generations will take up the work afterwards." He was the Founder-President of Vivekananda Kendra, International.

Vivekananda Kendra: A Thought Movement

Eknath Ranade used to call the Vivekananda Kendra, not only a service Mission, with a cadre of dedicated life-workers both men and women, but he also used to call it a Thought Movement, the thought being selfless service. He used to say, how very many or how few we are in the Vivekananda Kendra within our cadre for life will not matter so very much, if we conceive of Vivekananda Kendra as a Thought Movement for selfless service. Let people do selfless service, not for life, for a few years, months, or only days, even for a few hours and not under the auspices of Vivekananda Kendra but under the auspices of any organisation or no organisation at all, absolutely on their own as individuals in their own neighbourhood, in their own family even, teaching or nursing their own servant, whoever is in need but do this as selfless service. The spread of this thought, the inculcation of this idea of selfless service, is the essence of the Vivekananda Kendra work. And spreading this idea even beyond the borders of India, abroad, was his last dream in the form of Vivekananda Kendra, International. He knew that this was only his dream, for he knew he had not the time, not the energy and the strength.

Plan for a Kendra Branch in Every District

But he had cherished another dream, earlier, which he thought was not to be only a dream, but which he wished to translate into a reality. He had thought and planned and also expressed at meetings with life-workers of the Kendra, that with the co-operation and support of well-wishers in all parts of India, in the decennial year of the Vivekananda Kendra, 1982, for Vivekananda Kendra was started in 1972, we should have a branch of Vivekananda Kendra in ever, district of our country. The dream was certainly desirable, but the plan seemed quite ambitious, yet the desire was very much there in him as among the workers. The dream and the plan remain still with us.

Eknathji is no more in his body yet he is still here in his dream, his plan, his example of a dedicated life, his pursuit with determination of a set purpose, from which he would not be distracted, for which he would work resolutely, persistently, consistently with a vigour and a will, with determination and dedication, tirelessly and selflessly. Can we learn from his life, his example, to do so? Shall we try? Let each one answer for himself or herself.

Influences that shaped Eknathji's Life

Who made Eknathji, what he became? Who moulded him? What shaped him? Who gave him the sense of purpose, and the will and persistence to achieve his purpose?

Eknath Ranade was born on 19th November 1914, at Timtal in Amravati District, Maharashtra, in an ordinary household, his father Shri Ramakrishna beings a station master. And not very well-to do.  The father was a strict disciplinarian, which Eknathji himself continued to be the last day, also and even more with himself, which could be considered to be among the secrets of his success with purposes he set for himself to fulfil. His mother Ramabai was loving and devout, the source of his spiritual leanings which took the shape of selfless service and his devotion to Vivekananda's doctrine "Service of humanity is true worship of divinity" which was Eknathji's watchword, life's Mantra.

He was brought up and educated at Nagpur where his eldest brother Kashinath was engaged in some small business. He was educated at the Hislop College, Nagpur, and passed his M. A. in Philosophy from Nagpur University and Law from Saugar University, Madhya Pradesh.

His stay in Nagpur was to be the turning point in his life, the central moulding force which shaped and made him, for during his school days, the more formative years, he came in close contact with that moulder of men into humble, yet heroic, dedicated men­–Dr. Hedgewar, the founder of the R. S. S. ( Rashtriya Swayam Sevak Sangh) under whose magic spell, he was drawn into that movement, joining it in 1938 as a whole-timer, a Pracharak, working for them not only in Madhya Pradesh, but also in the north-east region including Bengal, Assam, Orissa, Tripura, Manipur and Meghalaya. He had learnt Bengali and also come in close, friendly contact with Ramakrishna Mission and during the great exodus from East Bengal to West Bengal, with his organising skill and dedication, he devoted himself body, heart and soul to the relief and rehabilitation of the East Bengal refugees serving them in every way. Due to his sterling qualities and devoted work, his skill and insight, he rose to be the General Secretary of the R. S. S. and served the R. S. S. in that capacity with credit and distinction, till April 1962. Thereafter began the new phase of his life.          

The Last Luminous Phase

He was destined for the nation-building work by Swami Viveka­nanda in the Vivekananda way. To this he came in 1963, in the year of Vivekananda Birth Centenary Celebrations, issuing in January 1963 as his personal homage, to the great Swami, his compilation of Swami Vivekananda's inspiring words under the caption "Rousing Call to Hindu Nation." So the moulding forces in Eknathji's life have been "Discipline," from his father, "Devotion" from his mother, "Patriotic nation-building urge" from Dr. Hedgewar and the R. S. S. and its spiritual orientation and strengthening from the Ramakrishna Mission, and their integration and final fusion and fruition through the vital, vibrating, man-making message and masterful personality of Swami Vivekananda during the last 20 years of Shri Eknathji's life. First from 11th August 1963 as Organising Secretary of Vivekananda Rock Memorial Committee, then as General Secretary for many years and since 1978, as President of the Vivekananda Kendra, Eknathji has left an indelible mark not only on the land and the country in the form of the Vivekananda Rock Memorial, as a fountain source of inspiration for all, but he has made also an invaluable contribution in the sphere of service organisations by founding and fostering Vivekananda Kendra, which through its selfless exemplary work among Tribals in the north-east in Arunachal Pradesh, and its expanding service-activities in the South in Kanyakumari, has earned enormous goodwill and inspired faith in the role which it and such other organisations can play in the sphere of national reconstruction. And so Eknath Ranade, the man with a Mission, will continue to live in and through his chosen life-long mission of selfless service through the Vivekananda Kendra and all such other Service Missions, whose way he has paved by his devotion, determination and dedication and his tireless striving for perfection.

(Prof. K. N. VASWANI Ex Vice-President, Vivekananda Kendra, Kanyakumari)

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The main theme of my life is to take the message of Sanatana Dharma to every home and pave the way for launching, in a big way, the man-making programme preached and envisaged by great seers like Swami Vivekananda. - Mananeeya Eknathji

विवेकानन्द केन्द्र कन्याकुमारी (Vivekananda Kendra Kanyakumari)
Vivekananda Rock Memorial & Vivekananda Kendra : http://www.vivekanandakendra.org
Read Article, Magazine, Book @ http://eshop.vivekanandakendra.org/e-granthalaya
Cell : +91-941-801-5995, Landline : +91-177-283-5995

. . . Are you Strong? Do you feel Strength? — for I know it is Truth alone that gives Strength. Strength is the medicine for the world's disease . . .
This is the great fact: "Strength is LIFE; Weakness is Death."
Follow us on   blog   twitter   youtube   facebook   g+   delicious   rss   Donate Online

Tuesday, 23 October 2018

Sister Nivedita : Love & Compassion

Nivedita was all love and kindness. Her compassion would swell up particularly when she used to come across someone whom nobody loved. On her maiden voyage to India she met a young Englishman on board. The young man was immodest and licentious. That was why he always faced troubles and problems. Therefore his parents wanted to get rid of him by sending him away to India. The fellow passengers on the ship became annoyed with him in no time. No one cared to mix with him. Nivedita's mind was filled with sympathy for him. She one day invited the unfortunate, discarded young man and talked to him in a quiet place. She presented her golden watch to him saying that she hoped he would be able to begin a new life for himself. She presented the watch, the only valuable possession she had with her, as a token of her faith in him. Her mother had presented that watch. Indeed, the young man began a new life thereafter. One year before Nivedita left the mortal plane, she could know from a letter from the boy's mother that before dying in far off South Africa, the boy remembered her with a deep sense of respect.

Not only human beings, but there was no dearth of her love for the animals also. Normally she would not like to ride in the school's horse-driven carriage. When asked, she would say: 'The horses will be hurt.' Ramananda Chattopadhyaya, the editor of Pravasi and The Modern Review, came to meet Nivedita for the first time in a horse-drawn carriage. Getting the news of his arrival, she came out of her house. After an exchange of pleasantries, she advised the coachman to let off the horses and to feed them. She also inquired if the coachman had taken his meal.

Once at the Udbodhan House, a cat was making a nuisance of itself, and an annoyed Golap-Ma took it by its neck with the intention of throwing it out. As Nivedita saw this she cried out, 'Golap Ma, mrityu (death), mrityu (death)!' She was so highly excited, and coupled with her difficulty to speak Bengali fluently, she somehow managed to convey that the cat would die if thrown out.

Saturday, 20 October 2018

Obedience: Important tool of Man Marking

Nivedita used to lay great emphasis on obedience to rules as a part of education. She closely watched her students to make sure that they performed their duties in proper manner. Besides this, she also taught them with great care the basic rules of hygiene. She observed that her simple, naive students might have other good qualities, but lacked in the basic sense of hygiene. So she laid great stress on it. She strictly watched that each of them should use their own clothing and bedding separately.

In her room a bed was always kept laid. When she felt extremely tired she would take rest there for a couple of minutes. One day as she entered her room for taking a little rest she found that one of her students (because of her home at Dacca she used to be called as 'Dhakai Ma') was lying asleep on the bed. Nivedita stealthily walked out of the room lest her sleep was broken. But coming out of the room she asked one of her students: 'Look, Dhakai Ma is very much tired today. Please tell her to resume the school after taking a few days of rest.' Everybody got the message that Nivedita was displeased with the girl. On the one hand, she did not like anyone using another's bed, on the other, such sleeping while the school was on, was the cause of her serious annoyance.

But she would not hesitate in the least to break the rule when necessary. A student named Mahamaya was ailing for a number of days and became extremely weak. However, she continued to come to school even in such physical condition. One day she suddenly fell seriously ill during school and started vomiting blood. No sooner had Nivedita seen this than she took the girl on her lap like her own child, and placed her in her bed. She nursed her with delicate care throughout the school hours and sent her back home cautiously.

Later, it came to be known that Mahamaya was suffering from consumption. Nivedita and Christine tried their best to bring her round by arranging for her medical treatment. An accommodation was arranged at Puri where she rested along with her brother and mother. Both Nivedita and Christine stayed with her and nursed her. But she could not be saved.

Friday, 19 October 2018

THE INDIAN SAN MARCO - 3

The cave I myself like least is Number Two. Here we have side-chapels containing statues of kings and queens or it may be pious patrons of less exalted rank, in one case with a child. The painting also in this cave has in some cases deteriorated in quality, although some great master-pieces are to be found here. There are parts where we can only think that a master has painted the principal figure and left the background or the retinue to be done by pupils or subordinates; and in some places we find fore shadowings of faults that were afterwards amongst the peasant painters to be carried for. there is an air of worldliness in placing the great of the earth almost in a line wiht the Master himself, thought this must have been done long before the paintings were put on the walls, and the fact that some of these are also wanting in severity and style is a mere accident. There is another cave at the other end of the line where we find the same order of paintings as here. I think it must be Twenty-one. Indeed throughout the series from Nineteen to Twenty-six, any painting that remains is very inferior to that in Caves One to Seventeen. The subjects are full of life and energy. The fault is only that there is not the same learnedness and grandeur of treatment as in the best works of the Ajanta masters. Nowhere in the world could more beautiful painting be found than in the king listening to the golden goose in Cave Seventeen, or than the Masque of Spring - which I should have liked to interpret as the entrance of Queen Maya into the Garden of Lumbini - on the top of a pilaster in the same cave. According to the distinguished critic who has just been at work upon them, these pictures have many of the characteristics that appear almost a thousand years later in the best works of the great Italian masters. This is seen not only in genera effects, but also in many of the details in method. The painters knew, for instance, how to graduate the outline so as to vary the intensity of its expression. And the same authority says that the anatomical knowledge shown in the modelling of limb and flesh is almost unapproachable. All this implies not only the advanced contemporary development of painting, but also the highest degree of concentration and respect for the work on the part of the worker. It is this quality which seems somewhat to have lost its intensity in certain instances in Cave two.

My own favourite amongst the caves in Four. But it is unfinished, and appears never to have been painted inside. Its proportions are wonderful-wide, lofty, vast. "This might have been our West minister Abbey!" sighed in an Indian fellow-guest, as we entered it for the first time. And the words exactly express it. It might have been India's West minister Abbey.

But as they stand, it is Cave one that contains the masterpiece. Here on the central shrine is a great picture, of which the lines and tints are grown now dim but remain still delicate. A man-young, and of heroic size-stands gazing, a lotus in his hand, at the world before him. He is looking down and out into the Vihara. About him and on the road behind him stand figures of ordinary size. And in the air are mythical beings, Kinnaras and others, crowding to watch. this fact marks the central personage as Buddha. But the ornaments that he wears as well as his tall crown show that we have here Buddha the price, not Buddha the ascetic. A wondrous compassion pervades his face and bearing, and o his left-that is, to the spectator's right-stands a woman, curving slightly the opposite way, but seeming in every line to echo gently the feeling that he more commonly expresses. This picture is perhaps the greatest imaginative presentment of Buddha that the world ever saw. Such a conception could hardly occur twice. Nor is it easy to doubt, with the gate behind him and the waving palms of a royal garden all about him, that it is Buddha in that hour when the thought of the great abandonment first comes to him, Buddha on the threshold of renunciation, suddenly realising and pondering on the terrible futility of the life of man. His wife awaits him, gently, lovingly, yet with a sympathy, a heroic potentiality that is still deeper than all her longing sweetness. Yashodara had a place, it seems, in the dreams of the monk-painters of Ajanta, and it was the place of one who could cling in the hour of tenderness, and as easily stand alone and inspire the farewell of a higher call. It was the place of one who was true and faithful to the greatness of her husband, not merely to his daily needs. It was the place of one who attained as a wife, because she was already great as a woman. These were the forms that looked down upon the noble Mahratta and Rajput youth of the kingdom of the Chalukyas in their proudest days. Students trained here may have been amongst those who officered the constant wars of their sovereigns against the Pallavas of Conjeeveram, and repelled the invasions that began to fall upon India by the west coast from the late seventh century onwards. In their country homes in the rich Indian land, or round the bivouac fires on the field of battle in the after-years, they would turn in their thoughts to these faces, speaking of a nobility and pity that stand alone in human history. A man is what his dreams make him. Can we wonder that that age was great in India whose dreams were even such as these?


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The main theme of my life is to take the message of Sanatana Dharma to every home and pave the way for launching, in a big way, the man-making programme preached and envisaged by great seers like Swami Vivekananda. - Mananeeya Eknathji

विवेकानन्द केन्द्र कन्याकुमारी (Vivekananda Kendra Kanyakumari)
Vivekananda Rock Memorial & Vivekananda Kendra : http://www.vivekanandakendra.org
Read Article, Magazine, Book @ http://eshop.vivekanandakendra.org/e-granthalaya
Cell : +91-941-801-5995, Landline : +91-177-283-5995

. . . Are you Strong? Do you feel Strength? — for I know it is Truth alone that gives Strength. Strength is the medicine for the world's disease . . .
This is the great fact: "Strength is LIFE; Weakness is Death."
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Tuesday, 16 October 2018

THE INDIAN SAN MARCO - 2

This silent throng of painted worshipers suggests to the mind's eye the worship itself that once filled the little cathedral chapel. We see the procession of monks that must have entered at one door, made Pradakshina about the altar, and gone out on the other side. We see the lights that they carried, the incense they waved, the prostrations they made, and the silent congregation of lay-folk and students who may have looked on them from the back of the nave, as even now at a Hindu Arati one may kneel apart and watch. We hear the chanting of the monks as the incense was swung, and we realise the problem that Buddhism had to solve in giving solemnity and impressiveness to a worship denuded of the slendours and significance of sacrifice. It must have been this consciousness that led to the rapid organisation of a ritual whose elements were all indeed derived from the Vedic, but which was in its entirety the most characteristic and organic expression of democratic religion that the world had ever seen. The history of Christian worship has not yet been written, but it is open to us to believe that when it is, it debt to the Chaityas will be found greater than is now suspected.

The host of saints and apostles brings us face to face with another thought. We see how much the Stupa-shaped altar meant to the Buddhist worshipper. We begin to feel our way back to all that it implied. Sanctified by ages of consecration-for there was a pre-Buddhistic Stupa-worship; Newgrange, the Irish Sanchi, is a thousand years older than Buddha-men saw in that domed mound more than we now can ever fathom. Yet we may look at it and try to summon up all that we have felt for this symbol or for that. How curious are the things to which the heart of man has gone out in its fulness from time to time! A couple of spars lashed together at right angles; a couple of crescent shaped axes back to back; a cairn. And each of these has had the power in its day to make men die joyfully and merrily as a piece of good fortune! Usually it is easier to imagine this when the emblem has taken to itself an icon or image. The crucifix might better make martyrs than the cross, one thinks. The Stupa, with the Buddha upon it, stirs one deeper one deeper than the Stupa or Dagoba alone. Yet here amongst the choir of saints we catch a hint of quite another feeling, and we understand that when the icon was added to the emblem, faith was already dim.

The University of Ajanata departs in its painting from primitive simplicity. Cave Sixteen is highly decorated, and Cave Seventeen a veritable labyrinth of beauty and narrative. Everywhere flames out some mighty subject, and everywhere are connecting links and ornamental figures. Not once does inspiration fail, though the soft brightness today is for the most part dim, and the colours have largely to be guessed at. What are the subjects? Ah, that is the question! Here at any rate is one rendered specially famous, for the moment, by the recent labours upon it of any English artist,* which evidently portrays the Maha Hamsa Jataka from the Jatakas or Birth-Tales. These were the Puranas of Buddhism. That is to say, they were its popular literature. History is to a great extent merely the story of organisation, the gradual selecting and ordering of elements already present. And in that sense the Puranas form a reflection and imitationof the Jatakas. The elements of both were present before. Buddhism organised the one in Pali, and Hinduism, later, the other in Sanskrit. But in some cases it would appear as if the Mahavamsha, with its history of the evangelising of Ceylon, had been the treasure-house of Ajanta artists. There are in some of the caves, notably One, pictures of ships and elephant-hunts which seem to correspond to known fragments of that story. Yet again, in the same cave, there will be another picture of something frankly Pauranika or Jatakyan, -such as the king stepping into the balances, in the presence of a hawk and a dove-and it is impossible in the present state of the paintings to make out the sequence. Here also occurs that political picture which dates the paintings of Cave One as after, but near, A.D. 626. It would be natural enough that the story of Ceylon should dispute with the Jatakas the interest of the Buddist world. It formed the great romance of the faith. The same efforts had been made and as great work done in many other cases, but here was a country so small that the effort told. The whole civilisation yielded with enthusiasm to the stream of impulse that came to it from the home-land of its sovereigns. The Sacred Tree, with the prince Mahindo and the princes Sanghamitta, had formed an embassy of state of which any country might be proud. And the connection thus made had been maintained. We may imagine, if we places, that there were students from Ceylon here in the Sangharama of Ajanta. Kings and nobles would doubtless send their sons to the monasteries for education, even as is still done in the villages of Burma and Japan. The East was early literary in her standards of culture, and the fact that monastic instruction would in no way have benefited a Norman baron need not make us suppose that the ministers and sovereigns of India, early in the Christain era, boasted an equally haughty illiteracy. The whole aspect of the caves, with the Viharas containing the shrine of the Great Guru, tells us of the development which their functions had undergone, from being simple Bhikshugrihas to organised colleges, under the single rulership of the abbot of Ajanta. Hiouen Tsang was only one out of a stream of foreign guests who came to the abbey to give knowledge or to gather it. And we must, if we would see truly, people its dark aisles and gloomy shadows with voices and forms of many nationalities from widely distant parts of the earth. In Cave One is a historical painting of the Persian Embassy which was sent by Khusru II to Pulakesin I about A.D. 626.


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The main theme of my life is to take the message of Sanatana Dharma to every home and pave the way for launching, in a big way, the man-making programme preached and envisaged by great seers like Swami Vivekananda. - Mananeeya Eknathji

विवेकानन्द केन्द्र कन्याकुमारी (Vivekananda Kendra Kanyakumari)
Vivekananda Rock Memorial & Vivekananda Kendra : http://www.vivekanandakendra.org
Read Article, Magazine, Book @ http://eshop.vivekanandakendra.org/e-granthalaya
Cell : +91-941-801-5995, Landline : +91-177-283-5995

. . . Are you Strong? Do you feel Strength? — for I know it is Truth alone that gives Strength. Strength is the medicine for the world's disease . . .
This is the great fact: "Strength is LIFE; Weakness is Death."
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Sunday, 14 October 2018

THE INDIAN SAN MARCO - 1

There is outside Florence a Dominican monastery which is famous for the fact that once upon a time Fra Giovanni of Fiesole-better known as Fra Angelico-lived within its walls and covered them with his saints and angels against the gilded background of heven. Later, it was the one undecorated chamber in this monastery that Savanarola took as his own, when he came as a Dominican to San Marco. The old convent remains to this day for Europe one of the trysting-places of righteousness and beauty. We know not which are more real, the angels that still blaze upon the walls, or the lives that once were lived within them.

Something of the same feeling must have clung to Ajanta in the late fifth to the eighth centuries. A great art-tradition had grown up about its name. It is very likely, of course, that such a tradition was commoner in the India of those days than we can now realise. Perhaps many buildings were covered within with emblazoned literature. Gold and scarlet and blue were often, it may be, united together, to sing the heroic dreams of the time to the eyes of all. But it is difficult to imagine that in any country the splendours of Ajanta could seem ordinary. Those wonderful arches and long colonnades stretching along the face of the hillside, with the blue eaves of slate coloured rock overhanging them, and the knowledge of glowing beauty covering every inch of the walls behind them-no array of colleges or cathedrals in the whole world could make such a thing seem ordinary. For it was doubtless as colleges that the great task was carried out in them, and we can see that it took centuries. That is to say, for some hundreds of years Ajanta was thought of in India as one of the great opportunities of the artist, or maybe as a grad visual exposition of the monkish classics.

We can judge of the length of time over which the work spread, the time eduring which the tradition was growing up, by the fact that the paintings in CAve Sixteen, which is older, are stiffer and more purely decorative, such of them as remain, than those in Seventeen. But even those of Sixteen are not the oldest pictures At Ajanta. When we enter Cave Nine for the first time, we find ourselves in the company of a great host of rapt and adoring worshippers. They stand on every fact of the simple octagonal pillars, with their looks turned always to the solemn looking Stupa or Dagoba. They have each one of them a nimbus behind him. They might Bodhisattvas, but hte feeling of worship so fills the little chapel that instinctively one puts them down as the early saits and companions of Buddha, and turns with a feeling of awe to join their adoration of the domelike altar. They are not arhiaic in the sense of crudity. But they have the feeling of an early world about them. They are like the work of Fra Angelico, but may be anything date from the second century onwards, that is to say a thousand years before his time! In the aisle that runs behind the pillars the walls are covered with simple scenes from the Teaching of Buddha. Here we find the mother bringing her dead son, and the Master seated with his disciples about him. Bu we return to the nave, and, again looking at the forms on the pillar-faces, let ourselves dream for a moment, till we seem to hear the deep Adoramus with which they fill the air around us.


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The main theme of my life is to take the message of Sanatana Dharma to every home and pave the way for launching, in a big way, the man-making programme preached and envisaged by great seers like Swami Vivekananda. - Mananeeya Eknathji

विवेकानन्द केन्द्र कन्याकुमारी (Vivekananda Kendra Kanyakumari)
Vivekananda Rock Memorial & Vivekananda Kendra : http://www.vivekanandakendra.org
Read Article, Magazine, Book @ http://eshop.vivekanandakendra.org/e-granthalaya
Cell : +91-941-801-5995, Landline : +91-177-283-5995

. . . Are you Strong? Do you feel Strength? — for I know it is Truth alone that gives Strength. Strength is the medicine for the world's disease . . .
This is the great fact: "Strength is LIFE; Weakness is Death."
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Saturday, 13 October 2018

The Theory Of Greek Influence On Indian Art - 13

Magadha has produced symbols whose dignity Gandhara was never able to approach. But in complex composition, in power of architectural story-telling, in dignity of the decorative synthesis, it is diffult to feel that the ultimate achievements of Gandhara and her posterity had ever before been approached, even at Sanchi.

It must never be supposed, however, that Gandhara was Europe. In spite of the Western elements, whose existence its art demonstrates, Gandhara was pre-eminently Asiatic. And never again perhaps will the actual facts be better or more comprehensively stated than in the memorable words of Havell, in his Indian Sculpture and Painting.

"Indian idealism during the greater part of this time was the dominating note in the art of Asia, which was thus brought into Europe; and when we find a perfectly oriental atmosphere and strange echoes of Eastern symbolism in the mediaeval cathedrals of Europe, and see their structural growth gradually blossoming with all the exuberance of Eastern imagery, it is impossible to avoid the conclusion that Gothic architecture and Gothic handicraft owe very much to the absorption by the bauhutten of Germany, and other Western craft guilds, of Asiatic art and science, brought by the thousands of Asiatic craftsmen who entered Europe in the first millennium of the Christian era; a period which in the minds of Europeans is generally a blank, because the 'Great Powers' were then located in Asia instead of in Europe. Byzantine art and Gothic art derived their inspiration from the same source-the impact of Asiatic thought upon the civilisation of the Roman Empire. The first shows its effect upon the art of the Greek and Latin races, the other its influence upon the Romanesque art of Teutonic and Celtic races. The spirit of Indian idealism breathes in the mosaics of St. Mark's at Venice, just as it shines in the mystic splendours of the Gothic cathedrals; through the delicate tracery of their jewelled windows, filled with the stories of saints and martyrs; in all their richly sculptured arches, fairy vaulting and soaring pinnacles and spires. The Italian Renaissance marks the reversion of Christian art to the pagan ideals of Greece, and the capture of art by the bookmen, leading to our present dilettantism and archaeological views of art.


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The main theme of my life is to take the message of Sanatana Dharma to every home and pave the way for launching, in a big way, the man-making programme preached and envisaged by great seers like Swami Vivekananda. - Mananeeya Eknathji

विवेकानन्द केन्द्र कन्याकुमारी (Vivekananda Kendra Kanyakumari)
Vivekananda Rock Memorial & Vivekananda Kendra : http://www.vivekanandakendra.org
Read Article, Magazine, Book @ http://eshop.vivekanandakendra.org/e-granthalaya
Cell : +91-941-801-5995, Landline : +91-177-283-5995

. . . Are you Strong? Do you feel Strength? — for I know it is Truth alone that gives Strength. Strength is the medicine for the world's disease . . .
This is the great fact: "Strength is LIFE; Weakness is Death."
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Thursday, 11 October 2018

The Theory Of Greek Influence On Indian Art - 12

Gandhara did really, however, have its period of influence over the sculpture of India. But this period began when its own style had reached its zenith. Comparatively early in the sixth century, incursions of Huns swept over the country, and, in a year to which the date of A.D. 540 has been assigned, we are expressly told of the destruction of monasteries and Stupas in an outburst of vengeful cruelty, by the tyrant Mihirakula. This destruction was not complete, for a hundred years later the pilgrim Hiouen Tsang passed through the country and found many monasteries in full vigour. Still, it cannot have failed to drive large numbers of the Gandharan monks to take refuge in the Viharas and monastic universities of India. This is the event that is marked in the Ajanatan series of caves of Number Nineteen. Here on the outside we have for the first time of the employment of carvings of Buddha as part of the decoration included in the original architectural scheme. It is a secularised Buddha, moreover ; a Buddha who, as already said, has been seen from a new point of view as a great historical character. He receives a banner. He is crowned by flying figures. The chequer-pattern appears here and there, in lieu of the Ashokan rail which is represents. And inside the hall we have that great multitude of Buddhas, in the triforium and on the capitals, in those richly-decorated niches, for which Fergusson's account of the Gandharan monasteries has prepared us. But these represent a more Indianised and religious type than the panels of the outside. The date and source of the new influence is still further fixed by the indubitable fact of the choga, or robe, worn by the Buddha on the Dagoaba.

We have seen that, according to the evidence of the inscription, Cave Seventeen with its shrine, and the cistern under Eighteen, may be taken as completed about the year A.D. 520. It is my personal opinion that the right-hand series of caves from Six to One were undertaken, or at least finished, not long after this date, and distinctly before the arrival of the refugees from Gandhara. Ajanta must have been one of the most notable of Indian universities, and the influence of the north-west upon its art does not cease with Ninteen. The whole interior surface of Twenty-six -probably undertaken by the abbot Buddha Bhadra at some date subsequent to the visit of Hiouen Tsang in the middle of the seventh century- is covered with carvings, culminating in an in an immense treatment of the subject so much beloved by the latest Gandharan sculptors, the Mahanirvana of Buddha. The Buddha in this carving is 23 feet long, and even the curious tripod which seems to support the beggar's bowl and crutch is reproduced. This duplication of a known subject is very eloquent.

We may conclude, then, that a vital artistic intercourse was now maintained between Gandhara and Ajanta, and in this connection the cared ornament of palm-leaves, so reminiscent of the bole of the date-palm, amongst the ornaments of the doorway on Cave Twenty-three, is of the utmost significance.

But a second catastrophe occurred in Gandhara, and the destruction of the monastic foundations in that country was complete. The wars between the Saracenic Mohammedans and the Chinese Empire culminated about the middle of the eighth century in the utter defect and expulsion of the Eastern power(A.D. 751). The Arabs must then have swept Gandhara from end to end, and every monk who had not fled was doubtless put to the sword. India was the obvious refuge of the consequent crowd of emigres, and art and education the only menas open to them of repaying the hospitality of the Indian monasteries and governments. From this period must date the small panelled Buddhas which have been carved all over the older caves,not only at Ajanta, but also at Kanheri, at Karle, and doubtless elsewhere. The great durbar hall at Kanheri (Cave 10) is filled with a splendidly planned and coherent scheme of such decoration. But the artists have not always been so considerate. They have begun their carvings in the midest of older work, and side by side with it-probably wherever they were not stopped by the presence of paintings-without the slightest regard to the appropriateness of the combination, For some become as energetic as the sculptural capacitiees of the artisans of Byzantium had already shown themselves in the Gandharan monasteries.



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The main theme of my life is to take the message of Sanatana Dharma to every home and pave the way for launching, in a big way, the man-making programme preached and envisaged by great seers like Swami Vivekananda. - Mananeeya Eknathji

विवेकानन्द केन्द्र कन्याकुमारी (Vivekananda Kendra Kanyakumari)
Vivekananda Rock Memorial & Vivekananda Kendra : http://www.vivekanandakendra.org
Read Article, Magazine, Book @ http://eshop.vivekanandakendra.org/e-granthalaya
Cell : +91-941-801-5995, Landline : +91-177-283-5995

. . . Are you Strong? Do you feel Strength? — for I know it is Truth alone that gives Strength. Strength is the medicine for the world's disease . . .
This is the great fact: "Strength is LIFE; Weakness is Death."
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Wednesday, 10 October 2018

The Theory Of Greek Influence On Indian Art - 11

For ourselves, however, while we grant the mixture of elements in Gandhara, the question arises whether the latter did not influence Byzantium quite as much as the Western capital influenced it. According to the data thus propounded, we may expect to find amongst these Gandharan sculptures a vast mixture of decorative elements, all subordinated to the main intention of setting forth in forms of eternal beauty and lucidity the personality of Buddha, it being understood that the form of the Buddha himself is taken more or less unchanged from the artistic traditions of Magadha. It may be well to take as our first point for examination the Gandharan use of the Ashokan rail. We are familiar with the sanctity of this rail as a piece of symbolism in the early ages of Buddhism. At Ranchi-undoubtedly a very close spiritual province of Magadha, and intimately knit to Sarnath in particular-we find it used not only pictorially, but also to bound and divide spaces. As we have seen, the gradual forgetting of the meaning of architectural features like the Ashokan rail and the horse-shoe ornament affords a very good scale of chronology by which to date Indian monuments. Nowhere have we a better instance of this than in the Gandharan use of the rail. In the relief from Muhammad Nari we have several stages in its gradual forgetting, ending with its becoming a mere chequer, as at the top of the lower panel. This illustration is extraordinarily valuable for us, moreover, for the way in which the figure of the Buddha is violently inserted amongst strikingly incongruous surroundings. We can almost see the two opposing traditions, by the discord between him with his clothes of the eastern provinces and attitude which forbids activity, and his environment. This Buddha is not,however, a very successful example of the tradition out of which he comes. He was a singularly uneasy and intruded look on the height where he is seen uncomfortably perched.

A second feature that will strike the observant in this picture is the curious use of the lotus-throne. It looks as if the sculptor hand been told to seat his subject on a lotus, but had had a very vague idea of how this should be done. We can almost hear those verbal instructions which he had tried to carry out. In the Buddha from Loriyan Tangai is another instance of a similar difficulty. The sculptor in this second fragment, rightly feeling that the seat, as he understood the order, could not possibly support the hero, had adopted the ingenious device of introducing two worshipping figures to support the knees! Still more noticeable, however, are the two feet, or petals reversed, which he had adopted to make of the lotus-throne from Nepal. At the same time, the early age of the lotus-petal ornament is seen on an Ashokan doorway in the Vihara at Sanchi, the only doorway that has escaped improvement at a later age. Another curious example of the attempt to render symbolistic scenes, according to a verbal or literary description of them, is seen in the picture representing the familiar First Sermon at Benares. There is undoubted power of composition here. To the untrained European eye these beauties may make it more appealing than the old Sarnath images of the shrine type at Ajanta. Still, the fact remains of an obvious effort to render to order an idea and a convention only half understood. And the place occupied by the Dharmachakra is like a signature appended to the confession of this struggle. It will be noted too, that this Charma-chakra is wrong. The Trishula should have pointed away from the Chakra. Other curious and interesting examples of the same kind may be seen in the Museum.

Grunwedel had drawn attention to the question of clothing, but apparently without understanding the full significance of the facts. It will be noticed throughout these illutrations that the artists tend to clothe Buddha in the dress that would be appropriate in a cold climate. Our illustration of the relief found at Muhammad Nari is in this respect specially vauluable It is probably early Gandharan, since the attempt to render the clothes of Buddha and the ornaments of the women correctly is very evident, and, it may be added, extremely unsuccessful. It would appear as if this relief had been commissioned by some monk who was a native of Magadha. But no Magadhan workman would have draped the muslin in such a fashion at the knees or on the arm. Yet the correct intention is manifest from the bare right shoulder. Afterwards Gaharan artists solved this problem by evolving a style of costume of their own for the sacred figures. AS this was their own, they were much happier in rendering it. But another point that jars on the Indian eye is the allusion here made to women's jewellery. The matter has been mentioned as needing particular care-that we can see. But the results are forced and inappropriate, and serve only to emphasise their own failure. Instances of the particular facts abound. It is unnecessary to enter further into detail.

Throughout these illustrations what may be called the architectural ornament is very noticeable. It has no connection whatever with what we are accustomed to think of as characteristically Buddhist. The spacings are constantly made with the stem of the date-palm. and ends and borders are painfully modish and secular. Such a want of ecclesiastical feeling,in sculpture that aims at a devotional use, can probably not be paralleled at any other age or place. The Corinthian finals and floral ornaments, to eyes looking for the gravity and significance of old Asiatic decoration, are very irritating. An excellent example is the Loriyan Tangai Buddha. Here we have a singularly phonetic piece of statuary. The feeling it portrays is exquisite. The pious beasts with their paws crossed are not less beautiful than the peacock which stands with tail spead to proclaim to the world the glories of the dawn of the morning of Nirvana. Yet even here a jarring note is struck in the irrelevancy of the borders, like a piece of school-girl embroidery.


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The main theme of my life is to take the message of Sanatana Dharma to every home and pave the way for launching, in a big way, the man-making programme preached and envisaged by great seers like Swami Vivekananda. - Mananeeya Eknathji

विवेकानन्द केन्द्र कन्याकुमारी (Vivekananda Kendra Kanyakumari)
Vivekananda Rock Memorial & Vivekananda Kendra : http://www.vivekanandakendra.org
Read Article, Magazine, Book @ http://eshop.vivekanandakendra.org/e-granthalaya
Cell : +91-941-801-5995, Landline : +91-177-283-5995

. . . Are you Strong? Do you feel Strength? — for I know it is Truth alone that gives Strength. Strength is the medicine for the world's disease . . .
This is the great fact: "Strength is LIFE; Weakness is Death."
Follow us on   blog   twitter   youtube   facebook   g+   delicious   rss   Donate Online