Origin of sound depicted creatively

April 8th, 2009 - 6:35 pm ICT by ANI  

By Smita Prakash

New Delhi, Apr.8 (ANI): Noise. That is the first thing that strikes us when we, urban Indians, wake up in the morning. Hardly any of us is blessed to be woken up to the sounds of birds chirping or waves lashing against the shore, or winds crashing against hilltops. More often than not, we wake up to alarms ringing or to dogs barking, vendors shrieking, cars reversing, servants shuffling, kids complaining, pressure cookers whistling. Jarring sounds that bring a frown to the face.

What is the origin of sound? According to Hindu mythology it began with the vibrations of cosmic movements. These movements originated from Lord Shiva’s drum. Noted Bharatanatyam exponent Jayalakshmi Eshwar recently in New Delhi’s India Habitat Centre presented this theme.

Kala Shruti or ‘Sounds of Time’ showcased the origin of sound. According to the scriptures, after the long silence at the end of the last age, out of the deluge gradually rustling movements gather momentum and a powerful sacred sound Om or Aum emerged from the three syllable A-kara (shape), U-kara (shapeless), M-akara (neither shape nor shapeless but existing)…hence Aum or Om. Jayalakshmi and her students depicted the five elements that reside in the human body. These five elements are also embodied in Lord Shiva and worshipped in five temples in South India. Many of us would have visited these temples without knowing the significance of the idol or the theme of these temples. For example, in Chidambaram,in Tamil Nadu, is the Natraja Temple which is probably on every tourists itinerary. In the sanctum sanctorum is what is called the Chidambara Rahasyam. The secret of Chidambaram. What is that secret? It is not visible. But only those who care to research or talk to the priest would know that the secret is that Natraja/Shiva is worshiped as space. The other four temples in this category are: Thiruvanaikaval Jambukeswara (water), Kanchi Ekambareswara (earth), Thiruvannamalai Arunachaleswara (fire) and Kalahasti Nathar (wind).

The concept and choreography for this rather esoteric composition was by the dancer herself. Jayalakshmi is a student of the late Rukmini Devi Arundale of Kalakshetra. Her dance movements are at once graceful as well as textbook correct. Rukmini Devi believed in the purity of style while giving way to innovation and creativity within the limits of tradition. Her students, Jayalakshmi being one of them, adhere that too, in letter and spirit. (ANI)

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