April 14, 2012
Anjanaya asana Instructions:
1. Sit in the vajra-asana (thunderbolt pose) comfortably.
2. Kneel up on your knees until your back, buttocks and thighs are aligned.
3. Extend your left foot foward bending your left knee at about a 90 degree angle.
4. Place the palms of your hands together at the heart in the anjali-mudra.
5. Raise your arms stright up keeping the palms together while bending the head backward and looking up.
6. Slowly bend backward stretching the arms backward and straightening out the right leg. Hold this position for as long as comfortable while breathing gently through the nostrils.
7. Come back to the vajara-asana (thunderbolt pose) then reverse the posture by alternating legs.
Anjanaya asana – The Salutation Pose
The anjaneya-asana combines several postures and mudras (gestures) in a fluid, evolving flow that combines motion, stretching and holds. It delivers great benefits for the back, arms, chest, legs and hips. Regular practice will strengthen concentration and improve balance. Perform this posture with a sense of reverence and praise. Take a moment to reside in silence and peace as your hands are held at the heart in the gesture (mudra) of salutation (anjali-mudra). Keep the intention of praise in mind as you extend your arms skyward. Feel your entire body-mind-heart extending outward in recognition of the sacredness of life.
April 14, 2012
Ustad Ali Akbar Khan’s disciple, Rajeev Taranath once told journalist Renuka Narayan an interesting story behind the name of the Raga ‘Lankadahan Sarang’.
It is interesting to believe that Hanuman had played a new Saranga based raga immediately after setting the city of Lanka under fire?
Renuka Narayan writes:
“Just as old Hindu temples each have a sthala puranam, or founding legend, most classical ragas have an ‘aithihyam’ or creation history. This raga’s aithihyam is that after Sri Hanuman set fire to Lanka, he fell into a mood of great embarrassment at having behaved so wildly, that too with Devi Sita in the vicinity. Since he was a highly educated and divinely gifted person, he was moved to express his remorse through the composition of a somberly beautiful raga, full of reflection and tranquility. ‘Lankadahan Sarang’ means ‘The Sarang Scale Composed After the Burning of Lanka’”
Please listen to Ustad Ali Akbar Khan rendering Raga ‘Lankadahan Sarang’
compare it with Richard Wagner’s composition ‘Ride of the Valkyries’ which has been widely used in war time newsreels and in many Hollywood film war scenes including in the the air bombing sequence Apocalypse Now, the 1979 film based on Vietnam war.
What role music has been playing vis-a-vis war?
(many thanks Gopalakrishnan)
April 14, 2012
Sun Wukong , also known as the Monkey King is a main character in the classical Chinese epic novel Journey to the West . In the novel, he is a monkey born from a stone who acquires supernatural powers through Taoist practices. After rebelling against heaven and being imprisoned under a mountain by the Buddha, he later accompanies the monk Xuanzang on a journey to retrieve Buddhist sutras from India
Sun Wukong possesses an immense amount of strength; he is able to lift his 13,500 jīn (8,100 kg or 17,881 lbs) staff with ease. He is also superbly fast, able to travel 108,000 li (54,000 kilometers or 33,554 mi) in one somersault. Sun knows 72 transformations, which allows him to transform into various animals and objects; he has trouble, however, transforming into other people, because he is unable to complete the transformation of his tail. He is a skilled fighter, capable of holding his own against the best generals of heaven. Each of his hairs possesses magical properties, and is capable of transforming either into a clone of the Monkey King himself, or various weapons, animals, and other objects. He also knows spells that can command wind, part water, conjure protective circles against demons, and freeze humans, demons, and gods alike.
The origin of Sun Wukong is considered by some American, Chinese, and Indian scholars to be influenced by both the Hindu deity Hanuman from the Ramayana and elements of Chinese folklore