Thursday, March 13, 2008

Sing and dance for the Lord - mantra 56

Sri gurubhyo namaha.

The fifty sixth mantra of the Thirumandiram is the last mantra which forms the section titled The greatness of vedas. Here the sage hints at the view that songs, dance, music and other such arts are for the purpose of seeking, praising and uniting with God and not for the fulfilment of the more baser desires of the human beings.

பாட்டும் ஒலியும் பரக்கும் கணிகையர்
ஆட்டும் அறாத அவனியில் மாட்டாதார்
வேட்டு விருப்பார் விரதமில் லாதவர்
ஈட்டும் இடஞ்சென்று இகலல்உற் றாரே. 56 .6.
Vedic Sacrifices
Uncaught in the world's web of woman, song and dance,
Such alone seek the holy sacrifice to perform;
But the unpracticed in austerities do but reach
Desire's Abode, misery to find. 56.6.

Comsong and dance As long as there are songs and music, that the songs are set to, in the world's web of woman there will also be the dancing girls who dance to the song and music. Uncaught Those who do not conform to the path set out by the Vedas for the realisation of Truth; Such alone seek the holy sacrifice to perform will be unfit for the performances of the holy sacrifices, But the unpracticed in austerities as they do not possess the discipline to follow the observances and the many austerities. do but reach Desire's Abode, misery to find Instead, they let their desires and thoughts flow outward into the worldly objects and thus destroy themselves.

* The sage expresses his understanding that song, music and dance were established to realise the truth about God. But instead, when they are used (superficially) for entertainment and satisfying the whimsical desires and lust, they (i.e. the songs, music etc) become incapable of conveying the truth about God. Rather, they become distracting tools that encourage the outward flow of consciousness towards the external sense objects. Thus, those who are caught in the external world become unable to stick to the strict discipline that is required in order to establish oneself firmly on the right path as revealed by the Vedas. And those that are true to the Vedic path, become the accomplished ones, able to understand the truth that is conveyed through the Vedas.

Here ends the second section of the Payiram (Proem) titled ‘The greatness of the Vedas’.