TALK & DANCE To mark Mahavir Jayanti 2017 at Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA), CV Mess, Janpath > 5:45pm on 9th April 2017

Dancer Geeta Chandran
Photo Credit: Sarabjit Singh Dhillon
Time : 5:45 pm Add to Calendar 09/04/2017 17:45 09/04/2017 19:00 Asia/Kolkata TALK & DANCE To mark Mahavir Jayanti 2017 Event Page : Auditorium, Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA), 1, Central Vista (CV) Mess, Janpath, New Delhi-110001 DD/MM/YYYY

Entry : Free (Seating on First-Come First-Served Basis)

Venue : Auditorium, 
Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA), 1, Central Vista (CV) Mess, Janpath, New Delhi-110001
Landmark : Opp. National Archives, adjoining India Gate Lawns
Venue Info : Events | About | Map
Metro : Nearest Metro Station - 'Central Sectt.' (Yellow Line and Violet Line)

Event Description : 
To mark Mahavir Jayanti 2017, The Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA) cordially invites you to : 

LECTURE: The Colours of Desire on the Canvas of Restraint: The Jaina Way
by Sudhamahi Regunathan
Jaina Scholar and Former Vice Chancellor of Jain Vishva Bharati University, Rajasthan
CHAIR: Dr. Sachchidanand Joshi, Member Secretary, IGNCA

Followed by
ANEKANTA – Solo Bharatanatyam by (Padmashri) Geeta Chandran
Inspired by the scholarship of Sudhamahi Regunathan

Dancer (Padmashri) Geeta Chandran's ANEKANTA is a significant moment in dance.
Why is it significant? It is significant at many levels. At one level it is a fascinating continuum to a tradition of imbuing dance with philosophy. It is even more significant that Geeta should have chosen the essence of Jaina philosophy, Anekanta, for her presentation because Jainism has always been considered to be dry and severe. Where is the rasa, people ask. And Geeta is showcasing the answer today.

At yet another level, Anekanta is the mantra for a peaceful non-violent society and by choosing that as central to her choreography, Geeta Chandran is raising an artist’s voice for peace.

Anekanta is a Jaina concept built on the idea that truth is multi dimensional. 

Truth is relative to time, space, context and so many other factors. What may be true for you at this moment, like you are all set to enjoy a dance programme is not true for me. I am running to catch a flight. So truth is relative. One word can mean different thinsg to different people. One idea can be perceived in different ways by different people.  Like our visualization of Krishna: a child, a lover, a God.

Mahavira took this idea even further.  The 24th Tirthankara of the Jainas, he found in his twelve year long penance that every living being had something good in him or her.  So he says in the text called the Sutrakrtanga:

Those who say my faith alone is true and put down other faiths
Are only increasing their bondages and will remain in this cycle of life and death.

So he said every faith has some truth in it. Absolute truth or the whole truth is inexpressible in its entirety because of the limited capacity of words. The idea by itself is not the singular discovery of the Jainas. The Rg vedic verse says Ekam sat bahuda vadanti vipraha…one truth, different people express it in different ways…is an example.

The Jainas have examined the idea closely and in detail. They say that permanence and impermanence co-exists and the example they give of impermanaence is the body and that of permanence is the soul.  They also say that creation and destruction are taking place constantly in this world, in this human body.  But permanence and impermanence, creation and destruction are opposites.  Can opposites co exist?

Yes, said Mahavira, emphatically. Do sun and shade not co-exist? And further, how do you understand beauty, if you did not know something that is not so beautiful. Or how would you know cold, if you did not know hot?

The idea that opposites can co-exist opens many doors. At the social level it shows the way to peaceful co existence. Even those who hold diamatrically opposite views can still be true and do not challenge your truth. In the true sense, this means live and let live.

At the poetic level this became a metaphor for poetry. Poetry used this as dwani or suggestion. Anandavardhana uses examples of Prakrit poetry to illustrate the idea of dwani or suggestion in poetry. The very first verse in which he demonstrates how the meaning is actually quite different from the intent is taken from Hala’s Gathasaptasati a first century work in Prakrit, and Hala was believed to be a Jaina. 

The verse describes a nayika or heroine decorating a clearing which she feels is very good for her rendevous, when who should enter but a monk! She is not able to tell the monk to go and does not want him to stay either. So she tells him, “ Of course you may stay, but do you know that a tiger mauled a deer by the river yesterday.” She hopes the monk will fear this eventuality!

Suggestions made way for symbols; like the lotus, the bee, the sugarcane and so on…the symbols are common to the Indian ethos so to say they are only Jaina symbols would be entering an area which is dimly lit. The sugarcane symbolises the Ikshvaku vamsa, for example and both Rama of the Vedic tradition and Rishbaha, the first Tirthankara are said to belong to it. Some proper names too are common, but then we are talking of times when there were no “isms” and the movement between faiths was porous and intellectual.

As a rich tapestry of symbols, poetry and prayer sought to explain life, the single pervading thought was: Akashat patitam toyam yatha gachati sagaram…just as drops of rain gather up to fill the ocean so do all our prayers make for the divine, be he Madhava, Keshava or Kaivalya, the Absolute Truth.

Related Links : Talks Dance 
TALK & DANCE To mark Mahavir Jayanti 2017 at Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA), CV Mess, Janpath > 5:45pm on 9th April 2017 TALK & DANCE To mark Mahavir Jayanti 2017 at Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA), CV Mess, Janpath > 5:45pm on 9th April 2017 Reviewed by DelhiEvents on Sunday, April 09, 2017 Rating: 5

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