OCTOBER 2, 2016
After yoga, now Missionaries of Charity into Bharatanatyam
Mother Teresa girl makes Bharatnatyam debut
By Fr. C.M. Paul SDB, Kolkata, April 18, 2012
A girl who practically grew up with Mother Teresa nuns made her debut Indian dance recital yesterday (17 April) in front of her Bharatnatyam gurus (masters), scores of Missionaries of Charity Sisters and well-wishers at a performance held at G.D. Birla Sabhagar Auditorium Kolkata.
“It was in deed a dream come true for me… to do something beautiful for God,” said Dipika Das echoing the words of Blessed Mother Teresa her inspiration to pursue the spirituality of Bharatnattyam.
Speaking to UCAN Dipika said, “I stay with the Missionaries of Charity at Shanti Dan Tengra (Kolkata) for almost 20 years with my mother.”
Dipika’s mother died in 2010.
The plot of land at Tangra which the then Chief Minister of Bengal Sri Jyoti Basu donated to Mother Teresa to start a rehabilitation centre for women prisoners some 20 years ago, today houses also the MC Brothers who take care of AIDS patients.
Dipika born at Bongaon, an Indo-Bangladesh border town in the North 24 Parganas district of West Bengal.
Coming from a family of musicians, Dipika was introduced to Bharatnatyam and yoga by her parents. She had initial dance training under the guidance of local Bharatnatyam exponents of Chidambaram Nrittya mandir.
Dipika successfully completed Master’s degree in Fine Arts (Dance) from Rabindra Bharati University, Kolkata in 2007, with specialization in Bharatnattyam.
Dipika is presently a student of Nrityashree, Chennai, under the training and guidance of one of India’s outstanding senior guru and Padmabushan awardee bharatnatyam exponent, Prof. C.V. Chandrasekhar along with Smt. Jaya Chandrasekhar and Smt. Manjari Chandrasekhar.
“Dipika is very positive, hardworking, ardent and persevering student of dancing. We can only bless and encourage her to come up in life'” said Smt. Jaya speaking on behalf of her husband who could not be present at the event due to recent eye ailment.
A disciple of Manjari, Dipika is grateful to Kolkata Jesuit Fr. (Dr.) Saju George, Ms. Nirmala Lawrence and Smt. Anjana Thakurata Banerjee other Bharatnattyam exponents.
Superior General of the Missionaries of Charity Sr. Prema presented special mementoes to Dipika’s gurus and the four member music troupe from Chennai.
1. Father Gabriele Amorth, the famous exorcist from Vatican says YOGA is Satanic. This story also published in Zenit and other Catholic and secular newspapers.
2) Former Hindu guru Rabi Maharaj, “No part of Yoga can be separated from the philosophy behind it.”
3) BHARATANATYAM AND YOGA By Yogacharya Dr. ANANDA BALAYOGI BHAVANANI and Yogacharini Smt. DEVASENA BHAVANANI, YOGANJALI NATYALAYAM, PONDICHERRY-13, SOUTH INDIA
“Bharatanatyam is a Yoga, if Yoga means union. For surely this ancient art is one of the most beautiful and satisfying ways of expressing the human longing for union with the Divine. As an art form, Bharatanatyam demands conscious understanding of body, mind and emotions. The sincere dancer must understand the nature of Bhakti and Jnana and the innate longing in all living creatures for Samadhi or cosmic consciousness. The ‘Divine dance of energy’ in the universe, so graphically and beautifully represented by Lord Nataraja, the lord of dance is the source of inspiration for all Bharatanatyam artists who understand the deeper aspects of their art. Especially for the youth, this Divine art is a boon for it shapes the body into graceful controlled beauty, the mind into alertness and sensitivity and the emotions into controlled and purified receptors for the deepest inner longings of humankind. Lord Shiva himself blesses those young people, who take to this art, offering their profound interest, their love and their discipline as Dakshina. Such true Sadhaks then find that Satyam, Shivam and Sundaram – truth, goodness and beauty do flower in their lives, boons granted gladly by the lord of dance to his ardent devotees.” –Francis
Sorry, Francis. I beg to differ on your comment and your belief system. I wish you were right… Gandhiji proved himself a better Christian than his Christian British masters. He also showed that he had better grasp of the teachings of Christ, than the Christians of his day. –Fr. C.M. Paul
What I wrote was not only my opinion but also the opinion of people with experiences and them I have quoted in my comment. Hence when you say that you beg to differ, be specific and clear. Say specifically: Francis I beg to differ with Rev. Father Gabriel Amorth, Shri Rabindranath Maharaj, the Documents Orationis Formas, Dominus Iesus, Jesus Christ the Bearer of the Water of Life, etc., etc.
Where ecumenism was concerned and in his infamous Dominus Iesus document of 2000, he dismissed all reformed churches as not churches “in the proper sense”. They were merely “ecclesial communities”. All other faiths were “gravely deficient”. In 1997, he (the Pope) described Buddhism as an “auto-erotic spirituality”. Hinduism was based on a concept of reincarnation resembling “a continuous circle of hell”. –Francis
2. Gandhi was never interested in the historical Jesus or virgin birth, signs and wonders. He never believed Jesus was raised from the dead. He also questioned perfection of Jesus, as he said that Jesus was near perfect but not as perfect as God. He also believed that Jesus had psychic powers and that his miracles were magic. Gandhi believed there is only one God but many paths and this rejects supremacy of Jesus above all things. Gandhi believed in self salvation by underestimating God’s absolute holiness, and an overestimating of mankind’s goodness. Gandhi’s idea is rooted in the Eastern, and New Age philosophies. Mr. Paul it is immaterial to compare Gandhi with Christians. –Benjamin
3. Bharatanatyam (dance of Nataraja) is a dance of Hindu god Shiva. It is a Hindu sacred dance which was performed by prostitutes in Hindu temples in ancient days. Fr. Saju George, S.J. ‘dancing priest’ known for his dance. He performed Bharatanatyam even at Balaji Temple, Birmingham. Don’t get shocked!!!
Dance of Shiva by Jesuit Saju George in Vienna church. Is it allowed in the sanctuary? –Francis
4. Every performance will start with vandana, adoration, of Ganapati, Shiva, or Vishnu.
Legend has it that dance originated from Brahma, the Supreme Creator, when he was approached by Indra and other deities to provide a means of amusement that could be seen and heard by all. Thus Brahma created the Fifth (Panchama) Veda, or NatyaVeda, a quintessence of the main four Vedas, by combining Pathya (words) of Rigveda, Abhinaya (communicative elements of the body movements, cf. mime) of Yajurveda, geetham (music and chant) of Samaveda, and rasam (vital sentiment and emotional element) of Atharvaveda. Then Brahma handed NatyaVeda to rishi Bharata to write it down and spread it in the material world. Bharata-guided the demigods (Gandharavas and Apsaras) in performing natya, nrtta and nrtya before Shiva.
Bharata along with the apsaras and gandharvas performed Bharatanatyam for Shiva who asked Thandu Maharishi to develop it further into a Thandava (which only much later came to mean “masculine”) style of dance, the Cosmic Dance of Shiva. Shiva imparted Lasya Natya to Parvathi who taught it on to Usha (the daughter of Banasura). Usha passed it on to the gopis of Dwarka who then taught the women of Sowrashtra.
From Indra, who has been called the leader of dancers in the Rig Veda, all the divinities of the Hindu pantheon have themselves danced on one occasion or the other. Most of the gods – Ganesha, Murugan, Kali, Saraswati, Krishna – have their nritya-murti, dance forms. To top it all, there is the Supreme Bhagavan Shiva as Nataraja, king of dancers. The story of the gopis dancing with Sri Krishna is nothing but an allegory of the humane soul dancing with the Infinite. Radha’s dance with Sri Krishna is nothing but the jiva’s union with Paramatman. Dance was an integral part of temple rituals and there were temple dancers as well – this is not something that happened by chance, it was the direct result of a continuous process of thought and living.
The feet keeping to time, hands expressing gesture, the eye following the hand with expression, the ear listening to the dance master’s music and the dancer’s own singing – by harmonizing these five elements the mind achieves concentration and attains clarity in the very richness of participation. The inner feeling of the dancer is the sixth sense which harnesses these five mental and mechanical elements to create the experience and enjoyment of beauty. Bharatanatyam is deeply rooted in Hinduism. –Aby Paul
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Categories: Hinduisation of the Catholic Church in India