Agamas in Indian Dramatics and Musicology

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Item Code: NAL113
Author: Gautam Chatterjee
Publisher: Indica Books, Varanasi
Language: English
Edition: 2016
ISBN: 9788186117231
Pages: 208
Cover: Paperback
Other Details 8.5 inch X 5.5 inch
Weight 290 gm
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Book Description
About the Book

In the ancient lexicons of Vedic and classical periods, the influence of Agama has been parliamentary and pivotal. Natyaveda by seer Bharata is a magnum opus dates back to 5th century B.C. The other important works in musicology such as Brihaddeshi, Abhinavabharati and Sangitaratnakara are from post-Vedic and medieval periods, distinguish Composed by the great Saivite polymaths. Thus the streams of Agama consciousness and the works of Indian art and poetics went together in the creative evolution of Indian mind. It was obvious to trace and deconstruct the inter-influence in modern cultural mileu. This research work is the outcome.

About the Author

Gautam Chatterjee is an art connoisseur and aspirant of Agama through Consciousness studies. An oft-quoted author ov Various books including ‘White shadow of Consciousness’, Dr. Chatterjee has a lineage of Pt. Ishvarchandra Vidyasagar with deep Sanskrit tradition and has been a close associate of Thakur Jaidev Singh .His readings on Tantra and drama with film art are extensive.



Gautam Chatterjee in his seminal work on Indian Dramatics and musicology deals with the influence of agama and its intrinsic bearing mainly on Natyasastra, the fundamental work on Indian aesthetics. The author glorifies Natyasastra as the compendium of art and science of all performative wisdom. The speciality of this magnum opus is that it is rooted in profound empirical knowledge and highly speculative innovation.

The author gives an extensive elucidation of the thirty six chapters of Natyasastra, in an attempt to bring about the myriad dimensions of aesthetics given therein. Along with Natyasastra, the author also deals with Brhaddesi of' Matanga, Abhinava Bharati of Abhinavagupta and Sangita Ratnakara of Sarangadeva, Many of the creative minds behind these works on aesthetics belong to rsi lineage, who are endowed with metaphysical and ontological wisdom. The human mind is on a perennial quest, a journey towards supreme consciousness. It is a voyage from the unknown to the known, from the temporal to the eternal, from the most gross to the most subtle. The realization of the Brahma is the ultimate goal of this journey, which is nothing but self realization. This fundamental Indian concept differs from the Western approach to the reach out towards consciousness, which accommodates the dual aspect of " I " and God, the former being represented by the body and the latter, the mind. The Western concept of looking at heaven as an ideal haven after death is essentially associated with this philosophy. Unlike Agamas in Indian Dramatics and Musicology this, the seer mind envisages the inclusion of body, mind and atman as essential media in this voyage. Nevertheless, the idea that prevails in the following aupanisadika dictum may be noted: "Purnamadah purnamidam,
Purnat purnamudacyate’
That is whole, this is also whole
This whole has derived from that whole,
Purnasya purnamadya
After delivering this whole
What is left is also whole.
Here, instead of the three earlier mentioned components, we find that- the emphasis is more on the non-duality, even while stating the illusory two-ness of the same. The seer mind has realized the truth as differentiated from the illusory reality and has drawn conclusions by virtue of their speculative genius. In this metaphysical journey, the seer mind has evolved the disciplines of Nigama and Agama, Sruti and Smrti respectively as the twin functional modes of perception and delineation. Nigama is composed of the Vedic wisdom while Agama and Tantra represent the pre and post Vedic insight and interpretation of truth. Both constitute streams of consciousness for self realization. Shri Chatterjee in his present endeavour of aesthetic study remarkably relates his findings on the great seer tradition to the contemporary mind and contextualizes the time-tested values lying hidden and latent in the human consciousness. His noteworthy attempt in presenting this thesis on aesthetics at a time when the academic studies on India's contribution to the world are to be readdressed, reinterpreted and revitalized is laudable and inspiring.



Indian wisdom reflects the Indian mind. The Indian mind is the fountainhead of all effulgent wisdom flourished in the region and outside, named Bharatavarsa .The term 'Indian mind' simply implies the mind of people staying in this region (further called India) anthropologically through millennia. The mind of people is not meant as the evolutionary mind of society or common people but the (collective and reflective) mind of Indian philosophers which, out of unconditional love to humanity, points out the fundamental problems of human life, man faces and suffers. They suggest the way to eradicate sufferings and attain a blissful life. This exclusively creative mind prescribes certain wisdom as vision- integral and distinct. This mind does not put forward any philosophy in western sense but offers wisdom out of its own realization. This mind is self-effulgent and timeless, like the mind of Vedika seers, or the mind of Buddha. Common mind is tortured from worldly and philosophical trauma follows the path prescribed by this creative mind, and gets benefitted and liberated. Such Indian mind is constituted with a long, deep and profound tradition of seers and sages to reciprocate in a distinct order. It is impossible to understand India without understanding its basic philosophies'. The truth of pure consciousness, the transcendental wisdom, unlike semetic view, revealed before the Indian seers, is manifested and encapsulated as Veda. Even if there was an earlier and even more significant civilization than this, it had dissolved into the Vedika culture, and this self-consciousness has found its embodiment into spiritual thinking', In time they became the creators of all time major texts of wisdom i.e. the wisdom of transcendental journey, the wisdom of inner life, the wisdom of society, and the wisdom of art and culture. In Indian cultural milieu, we find this vast heritage of ontological wisdom composed by the seers and not by the ordinary author or common mind. Panini, a great ancient seer in his Astadhyayi, has categorized four levels of creator viz. drsi, prokta, upajmata and krta', Drsi were those who witnessed the truth but never wrote or collected anything, or if collected-compiled sutras, never took credits, like Vedika seers, Buddha, Socrates and others. The term' drsi' later became 'rsi' for the seers. Prokta' were those who collected, compiled and wrote the things witnessed by dra; like Buddhist monks or Plato. They who discovered any discipline of art, science or philosophy, were called upajmata. Maharsi Panini offers himself in this category as he discovered the discipline of grammar. Other poets and writers, in general, are called krta.

In the Vedika period, seers composed a lot in the discipline of philosophy, religion, metaphysics, grammar, science, mathematics and arts. Veda was incomprehensible for them to decipher, thus created linguistics, etymology, grammar, logic, Yoga etc. Actually Veda was the point of beginnings for all disciplines of knowledge, especially Rgveda. Rgveda is also the source for the development of the Indian schools of philosophy. All systems of knowledge are to understand the essence of Veda, even the Tantragama, In ancient Indian philosophy, there have been two streams of consciousness as the means of self-realisation viz. Agama and Nigama. Vedas are regarded as Nigama whereas the explanation of wisdom in different terms is regarded as Agama and Tantra. The Veda and the Saivagama constituted a common basis of philosophy. Similarly we can easily trace an inevitable relation between Agama and art, especially temple architecture. The major factor that brought about the rise of temple culture is Agama literature". The Agama texts set out to codify the temple construction and formalize the worship procedures were already in vogue. The texts, therefore, rely not only on the architectural styles and religious sanctions that had evolved by the time the Agama was considered necessary, but also on regional costumes and practices". So the worship or paja in temple had become the parliamentary position to link art with Agama. The Agamika puja was preceded by bells and shells, whose sound announced the starting of worship and put the congregation into a praying mood. This overture was followed by the acarya entering the ritual space with invocation of a god-or several gods-to the site. The Natyacarya did a similar performance as he addressed his prayers to Hindu gods at the start of theatre consecration. Thus the effect on drama-music treatises has been either Agamika or Nigamika, as Agama and Nigama originated, went and developed together in ancient and medieval periods.




  Foreword by Kavalam Narayana Panikkar 5
  Introduction 7
Chapter I Fundamentals of performing Arts 13
Chapter II Agamas 99
Chapter III Intertexuality, Consciousness and Hermeneutics 133
Chapter IV Influence and Reflection of Agama on Natya Veda and Brhaddest 155
Chapter V Influence and Reflection of Agama on Abhinava Bharati and Sangita Ratnakara 167
Chapter VI Significant findings 189
  References 193
  Bibliography 201


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