Priorities

We all have priorities in life. Things that we need to do most importantly of the several other deeds we spend our time upon. The question is, do we do that? I really wonder how many of us would give a sincere reply to that. If at all we do, I think a majority of the answer wouldn’t be affirmative. So then, why is it that man doesn’t prioritize his needs and deeds. If you observe, there is a direct relationship between our needs and deeds. If we prioritize our needs, that will guide our actions.
So logically if our needs are misplaced, I think, there is no way one can clearly see the priorities of life. As a student, at this stage, my need is to get good grades to ensure a good job when I graduate. So I must obviously prioritize my studies above the rest. But then, isn’t it rather painful to follow the rules and regulations? The mind rebels at the thought of regulations. The travails of studies, the colorless days of working on assignments and projects somehow seem to be less important to the more pleasureable ways of dispensing the time we have in idle activites of mind, rationalizing that under the pretext of “All work and no play” stuffs. I am not bringing into consideration the issue of legitimate hobbies that we indulge in to take a break amidst the more mundane works. But, I am more concerned when the priorities are interchanged.
So what makes one to change them? Is it because, by nature, we are more attracted towards anything that involves less work on our part or one that is less taxing? Man’s inherent tendency is to reap the maximum benefits by putting in the minimum amount of work. Probably this is the other face of the coin.
Then shall we call being responsible, all about being able to prioritize the needs effectively and acting accordingly? If it is so, how responsible am I?

Such is the human nature!!!

Man is probably the most complex of all the beings. Not just anatomically but psychologically, philosophically and what not. What is it that makes him so complex? Is it the plethora of thoughts that run in his mind? Is it the pattern of those thoughts, that are just so undiscernable even by the most sophisticated machines? After all, all this sophistication was also a result of that brain-power!
How often I have marvelled at the thought process. Why do we think all that we think? And what influences our thoughts? Rather, how are we so influenced by our thoughts? What exactly are these thoughts, that are so powerful that they can actually destroy or develop their own originators! These questions have still remained unanswered, questions that often sway along in the idle mind, that indulges itself in such musings.
So, they say, society influences the mind, upbringing, environment influences the mind, the company one keeps, and these days, even food seems to influence our thought process. So much for man calling himself independent eh?
Whatever it is, the whole thought process of the man seems to be bordering on the perilious frames of self-destruction. What more, in his mindless dance, he is not even realizing that the evil he is brewing for his fellows will consume him too!
Friends are not really friends, lovers not the true loved ones, hypocrism galore …. amidst this chaos, I am searching for the solitude and peacefulness of the heavenly bliss of love! Will I find it? Can I make others see it? I just want to shoot these questions out, and let them drift off in the space. Another new addition, to the mass of such void questions waiting eternally for an answer.

The magic of Pancharatnas

Shri Tyagaraja is one of the trinities of Indian Classical Music and rightly so. His compositions are so rich in devotion and melody, that it enthralls the listener and creates a field of devotion and music around him. One certainly has to listen to the “pancharatnas” to know the power that music can bestow and truly feel the magic of it.The Pancharatnas the 5 most famous compositions of Shri Thyagaraja, and veritably among the most complicated ones. They are brimful, and ooze out the devotion from all sides that fills the heart of anyone with a true ear to music and creates such bliss in the being, that it is lifted up to the heavens. One has to listen to “dorakuna ituvanti seva” to feel the longing that the devotee is having for his Lord.Coming back to the Pancharatna kritis:The first one being: Jagadananda kaaraka, in Adi Taala and nattai raagaThe second one is : Dudukugala nanne dora, also in Adi Taala; Gowlai raagaThe third being: Sadhinchane O Manasa, Adi Taala; Aarabhi raagaThe fourth one is : Kana kana ruchira, Adi Taala; Varaali raagaThe fifth one is : Endaro mahaanubhavulu, Adi Taala; Sri raagaThese 5 compositions mark the pinnacle of one’s classical music knowledge. Some of the wonderful rendering of these songs are done by Shri Maharajapuram Santhanam and Shri Maharajapuram Vishwanatha Iyer, Smt. M.S. Subbulakshmi, Dr. M. Balamurali krishna and among the more recent singers, Unnikrishnan and Harini

Music – The Sound of the soul

naahaM vasaami vaikuMThe na yOgi hRudayEravou
madbhaktAH yatra gAyaMti tatra tiShThAmi nArada

Music is a rhythmic, ordered sound produced by a synchronized movement – scientifically speaking. But in the realms of art, music is an enchantment. The power of sound enters into the mystic levels, when it alleviates itself into music. The cacophonous, incoherent sounds that otherwise may seem so disordered and incomprehensible, suddenly gain new meaning and importance. Music becomes a language, of the heart, of the soul.
Right from my childhood, I seem to have a passion for music. It is beyond my comprehension and in the present situation out of context, to dwell on the whys and wherefores of this. I love classical music. The short but significant 1 year that I spent learning Classical music, did succeed in opening up my mind and heart (ears followed..) to the aarOhaNas and avarOhaNas, the swaras, taaLas, raagas, and bhaavas. My whole being rose up and met the beauty of music.
What followed then, was years of association with various forms of music. What is going to follow now, here in this blog, is a journey through them.

The perils of Change

Today I was listening to the song “karunaalu baa belake”, and was also reminded of the original english poem “Lead Kindly light” by Newman. What followed was a series of thoughts that meandered about thinking about this whole process of change.Although, it is obvious that the hall mark of the song was certainly not this change. The song is more of a prayer. Nevertheless, it springs forth from this change. The author repents for getting lost and is again asking for the guidance, begging the light (GOD), to not mind his slight waywardness. Well, least of all, I am not intending to write a treatise on this. But what I am wondering is the perils of change. Change signifies the movement from a state of equilibrium to that of activity, restlessness, and chaos or even viceversa. The turbulence is more rampant in the former, as I see it or rather as I am experiencing it.

Why is change so hard to put up with? Is it something in the very nature of everything, to fight or resist the shift? Why is man always clobbered with the issues of morals? change probably wudn’t have been such a bad phenomenon after all, if it didn’t have the strings of morality attached to it. Especially when u r stuck with the choice of choosing between a well settled ill to an off throwing virtue. There is the fear, that broods the heart and eclipses the virtues that it wants to breed.

Words like determination, will power, etc. all seem so hollow. How can man ever fight himself? It takes discipline, and one has to just give in to it. But its always the first step that’s so painful. Its more tougher than asking a total stranger out for the first time. Why is it so? Am i really searching for an answer? I am not quite sure. But for the moment, I just want to throw this question into the void; the vaccum in the space, and just let it adrift, off my mind.

My first blog!!!

Hmm… rather interesting. Isn’t it? It is like that odd feeling one probably gets, when going out on the first date! To kiss or not to kiss goodnite. This is my first blog, and yet, am quite clueless about what I want to write here! Well things apart, lemme get to the basics, ahem!

Name: Praveen Shivashankar

What am I doing?: Interesting question… and am still clueless about the answer, suffice it to say that I am a Master’s Student.

My Interests: Hmm… now that’s something, where shall I start? Drawing, Painting, Reading, Writing (Poems, Stories, essays), Philosophy, Psychology, Spritualism, Dance, Classical and light music, Astronomy, Quantum mechanics, Vedic mathematics, and so on.

Well, things did warm up a bit eh? Good! Let’s hope this doesn’t end up becoming one of those numerous one night stands I have had in terms of blogging and writing in my journal and the like.