• This forum contains old posts that have been closed. New threads and replies may not be made here. Please navigate to the relevant forum to create a new thread or post a reply.
  • Welcome to Tamil Brahmins forums.

    You are currently viewing our boards as a guest which gives you limited access to view most discussions and access our other features. By joining our Free Brahmin Community you will have access to post topics, communicate privately with other members (PM), respond to polls, upload content and access many other special features. Registration is fast, simple and absolutely free so please, join our community today!

    If you have any problems with the registration process or your account login, please contact contact us.

(st) thyagaraja's cow

Status
Not open for further replies.

DR.C.NARAYANI

Active member
respected sir,the article you have posted ,is very disturbing.and makes us feel v.bad about it .(by this article in out look we give chance for others to talk ill about us .)where are we? and what for our customs .
 

sangom

Well-known member
K, I remember having written more than once in this forum, about the fact that mridangam and kanjira vidwans were always looked down upon by TRUE brahmins, including vocalists, as impure. In fact, my parents used to recollect an era when the vocalist and violinist would not eat in the same "panthi" (batch); similarly, a mridangam/kanjira vidwan's son/daughter was never accepted for marriage by true blue brahmins. Possibly DKP was the first to break this taboo and marry into PMI's family. I don't know, but.
 
OP
OP
K

kunjuppu

Well-known member
why i deleted the starting post of this thread!

barring my personal God, i would like to imagine that i look at all aspects of this universe with an irreverence, bordering skepticism.

the public here has been inundated, ofcourse, by my various shenanigal attitudes right from sambhaar saadham to socrates.

but it took me only a second to delete a post, which i had thought atleast twice before posting.

first because the request came from narayani, and worded so politely, that it was an offer that i could not refuse.

i think, my last statement on the post (which if the public has not already read, may not have a chance to read, unless they have instant messaging to their email, and if you do, kindly do not post it back here), was the proverbial straw that broke the camel's back.

my own view of the article, was more one of irony:

- that the people who make these mridangams are dalits, whom we could not find a spot in hindu fold, and whom we drove into the willing handness of christianity over 100 years ago in the time of thyagaraja

- that these have a great tradition, yet these are unknown to any one barring the famous vidwans themselves (in contrast, the violin maker stradivarius is more famous than most people who play his violin)

- the ambiguous attitudes of the brahmin vidwans re percussing an instrument made of cow skin, specifically killed for the instrument

- the dalit xtians who make the mridangam, still have not moved up the social scale inspite of conversion over several generations, which convinces me that dalits should retain their hindu fold and have better chance of social and ecnonomic mobility, thanks to changing times!

- the close professional relationship between the vidwan and the mridungam maker - like his own aasthana viswakarma :) but never publicly or fully acknowledged :(

- the beauty of this drum mridungam - the only one of its breed, which in addition to the beat, also possess timbre distinct enough to follow 'thaalams' on its own

hope this explains what thoughts were triggered by this article. i was looking forward to comments from a few, but i do not wish to violate the sensitivities of a gentle lady like dr. narayani.

once again, my unconditional apologies, madam !!
 
Last edited:
OP
OP
K

kunjuppu

Well-known member
K, I remember having written more than once in this forum, about the fact that mridangam and kanjira vidwans were always looked down upon by TRUE brahmins, including vocalists, as impure. In fact, my parents used to recollect an era when the vocalist and violinist would not eat in the same "panthi" (batch); similarly, a mridangam/kanjira vidwan's son/daughter was never accepted for marriage by true blue brahmins. Possibly DKP was the first to break this taboo and marry into PMI's family. I don't know, but.

dear sangom,

PMI missed being our sambandhi, his daughter by 2nd wife, marrying a male cousin of mine.

the girl and boy liked each other. all was set to go and only then we found a skeleton is PMI's closet..

the boy's parents, did not approve of PMI's domestic arrangement - a first manaivi in kalpathi, and marrying a second time. the said girl was the second thunaivi's daughter !!
 
Last edited:

Raji Ram

Well-known member
............i think, my last statement on the post (which if the public has not already read, may not have a chance to read, unless they have instant messaging to their email, and if you do, kindly do not post it back here), was the proverbial straw that broke the camel's back..........

No to worry, Sir! The moderators have stopped sending e-mail notifications for the new posts in the threads
we write, for the past four days! So, the deleted post can never be viewed by the public. :peace:

I do not know what you wrote about Saint's cow.... So I can not reply to that post! :tape:
 

Nara

Well-known member
With due apologies to my friend K, I would like to reinstate the link,

www.outlookindia.com | Thyagaraja's Cow

I would like to justify my action by citing Keith Olbermann's reading of a story by James Thurber called Oliver and the other ostriches, click here for a video of it. I give below an abstract.

"An austere ostrich of awesome authority was lecturing younger ostriches one day on the superiority of their species to all other species. One ostrich named Oliver doubted the wisdom of his statements, especially that they could become invisible by burying their heads in the sand. Suddenly a herd of rogue elephants stampeded through the area. All the ostriches except Oliver put their heads in the sand. He took refuge behind a rock. All were destroyed except Oliver. Moral: Thou shalt not build thy house, nor yet thy faith, upon the sand."

Hope K, Dr. CN, and others will bear with what may seem to them as impudent.

Cheers!
 

amala

Well-known member
I missed it...but thanks to Nara mama i can read what the fuss was all about. Its really sad though not just the cow, but the goat and buffalo. I shall never look at a mridangam the same way ever again.

PS: I'm sure there must be some other way around it.
 
Last edited:

Nara

Well-known member
K, I just don't understand the reason for your self-censorship. First, I didn't see anything critical in the Outlook article, it was a very informative one and a well written one as well.

Besides, the article is already out in a widely read publication. So, if that article was going to do any damage, you deleting the link here cannot mitigate it in anyway, all it would do is make some of our members why may not have seen the article, a little less informed.

Sorry K if you think I am making mountain out of a molehill.

Cheers!
 

Raji Ram

Well-known member
I knew all about the making of mridhangam only today! The skin is brought from slaughter house.

So sad to go through this article. I think ganjira is made of 'udumbu' skin. They are also slaughtered,

to make music! I think vegans will never play these instruments, for sure. :pout:
 

Raji Ram

Well-known member
...........
PS: I'm sure there must be some other way around it.
Dear Amala, I think there is a research in making fiber glass mridhangams but not too sure how far they have come!

Don't know whether they replaced only the wooden part with fiber glass!
 
OP
OP
K

kunjuppu

Well-known member
K, I just don't understand the reason for your self-censorship. First, I didn't see anything critical in the Outlook article, it was a very informative one and a well written one as well.

Besides, the article is already out in a widely read publication. So, if that article was going to do any damage, you deleting the link here cannot mitigate it in anyway, all it would do is make some of our members why may not have seen the article, a little less informed.

Sorry K if you think I am making mountain out of a molehill.

Cheers!

Nara,

there was a very catty remark at the end of my posting... 'the camel's last straw'. without those words, my post was as bland was thayir saadham without the uppu :)

anyways, i feel, my raison d'apologie carries the message that i wished to come across. without anyonee's sentiments getting hurt.
 

Nara

Well-known member
Folks, I am a confirmed vegetarian, bordering on being vegan but for my dear wife to whom I am indebted more than my chosen vegan forthrightness.

But, science, the only source of rational knowledge, assures us that we are who we are because our fore-parents, really really old fore-parents, were NVs. Not just NVs, but scavengers, feasting on the leftover scraps of meat sticking to bones of abandoned carcasses and the leftover bone marrow. The brain of our species grew larger and allowed us to be the most successful species on earth because our fore-parents had a taste for NV.

I get nauseous at the sight of meat or at the thought of breaking raw egg, but that is because I was brought up that way, not because humans were naturally averse to NV. To me, unnecessary cruelty is what is objectionable, not slaughtering domestic animals for meat.

If the life of a cow gives rise to beautiful music, I say the cow gave its life for a cause greater than itself compared to the life of a Brahminist, a follower of Brahminism, not necessarily a Brahmin, that left nothing but misery to others who lived along its side.

Cheers!
 

sangom

Well-known member
Folks, I am a confirmed vegetarian, bordering on being vegan but for my dear wife to whom I am indebted more than my chosen vegan forthrightness.

But, science, the only source of rational knowledge, assures us that we are who we are because our fore-parents, really really old fore-parents, were NVs. Not just NVs, but scavengers, feasting on the leftover scraps of meat sticking to bones of abandoned carcasses and the leftover bone marrow. The brain of our species grew larger and allowed us to be the most successful species on earth because our fore-parents had a taste for NV.

I get nauseous at the sight of meat or at the thought of breaking raw egg, but that is because I was brought up that way, not because humans were naturally averse to NV. To me, unnecessary cruelty is what is objectionable, not slaughtering domestic animals for meat.

If the life of a cow gives rise to beautiful music, I say the cow gave its life for a cause greater than itself compared to the life of a Brahminist, a follower of Brahminism, not necessarily a Brahmin, that left nothing but misery to others who lived along its side.

Cheers!

Nara,

I get a problem here when it is said "If the life of a cow gives rise to beautiful music, I say the cow gave its life for a cause greater than itself", which does not appear to be true per se. The cow giving up its life (getting slaughtered without its will) gives rise only to a simple gross instrument. If you (I presume you are as expert a mridangam vidwan as I am) or I, were to handle that instrument, it will be possible to make people vacate whole streets in a matter of minutes;).

The unfortunate cow, therefore, has to shed its life and the mridangam has to come to the hands of a maestro. Even then mridangam produces only rhythm, not music, imo. And, to me, today's carnatic music performances have become unhearable because of the percussions overriding the vocal or main instrument all throughout, with the help of mikes kept very close. Many vocalists/instrumentalists seem to prefer such an (unholy) arrangement because the mistakes in singing, playing the violin, veena, etc., will get drowned in the din. Secondly, the mridangist does no longer supply the rhythm, he/she goes on making a sound for each syllable of the song and swaras so that there is no chance of any தாளப்பிசகு (error in rhythm) getting noticed.

I will therefore like to assert that the mridangists may switch over to the rhythm pad and scientists and engineers improve the rhythm pad so that it produces a sound as close to a beautiful and ideal mridangam over the range of sruthis usually handled.
 

subbudu1

New member
This is a sad fact that while the brahminists continue to play the mridangam the poor leather makers were treated as untouchables. If they had been treated better they would have continued in hinduism. If so, then the mridangamists and all their descendants must be treated untouchable for the same reason. Whoever causes the demand for this leather is himself equally guilty. He must if he believes in tradition must take up atonement for go hatya.

Is there a limit to the hypocrisy that happens in the name of caste or is there no end, with newer and newer facts coming to light?
 

happyhindu

Well-known member
I will therefore like to assert that the mridangists may switch over to the rhythm pad and scientists and engineers improve the rhythm pad so that it produces a sound as close to a beautiful and ideal mridangam over the range of sruthis usually handled.
That means no more Mridangams and Mridangists?

Sir, am able to understand your post # 3 -- been coming across some smrithis which do not allow music to brahmanas.

So now am wondering about the tradition of Carnatic sangeetham -- where did it originate from?

The yal (lute) of different kinds (peri-yal, palai-yal, sengotti-yal), padalai (one-sided drum), etc were known in sangam age. So artisans who crafted musical intruments were part of the Tamil society quite a long time back.

The rathakara carpenter was downgraded in Baudhayana smrithi. Since musical intruments are made of wood it may perhaps mean that the makers of musical instruments went down in social position, together with the rest of the artisan groups.

Thanks to Nara sir for putting back the link.

The last paragraph in the article says it all :

Irrespective of whether a cow-slaughter ban is effected, the mridangam-makers expect a little more respect from the players. And from society. "We deserve to be treated better than the cows," says Rajamanikkam.
 

mskmoorthy

Well-known member
Just a few links - how the technology may help

from Georgia Tech: (Here machine improvises the human person playing mridangam by listening) Dangum performed by Jagadeeswaran Jayaprakash (mrdangam) and Alex Rae (electronics) at Listening Machines 2008. Dangum is a duet between improvised mrdangam and a machine improviser, that 'listens" and generates responses in realtime. This work was done at the Georgia Tech Music Intelligence Group (paragchordia.com ) Dangum at Listening Machines 2008 ([url]http://paragchordia.com) GTMIG on Vimeo[/URL]
http://vimeo.com/1725961Slow Theka at Listening Machines Concert 2008
 

Raji Ram

Well-known member
......
I will therefore like to assert that the mridangists may switch over to the rhythm pad and scientists and engineers improve the rhythm pad so that it produces a sound as close to a beautiful and ideal mridangam over the range of sruthis usually handled.
I heard a veena concert of Smt. Jayanthi Kumaresh with the rhythm pad as accompaniment.
Wow! What all magical sounds it produces. It should be heard to believe! Concert was outstanding! :clap2:
 

DR.C.NARAYANI

Active member
respected sir,i am sorry .i know i takes a great work&time to post an useful&informative news.it was an eye opener .the details of this instruments known to me only after i went through the post.there are many mythological stories,saying that lord nadhiumperuman ,plays it.the role of this instruments in the field of music is so great.even in schooling ,in physics,it is taught as a percussion instruments .but not their details.(i think i did not hurt any person feelings,opinion.)thanks for sharing my views
 

sangom

Well-known member
Just a few links - how the technology may help

from Georgia Tech: (Here machine improvises the human person playing mridangam by listening) Dangum performed by Jagadeeswaran Jayaprakash (mrdangam) and Alex Rae (electronics) at Listening Machines 2008. Dangum is a duet between improvised mrdangam and a machine improviser, that 'listens" and generates responses in realtime. This work was done at the Georgia Tech Music Intelligence Group (paragchordia.com ) Dangum at Listening Machines 2008 (Parag Chordia) GTMIG on Vimeo
http://vimeo.com/1725961Slow Theka at Listening Machines Concert 2008

It may be possible to further improvise the electronic machine so that all the nuances will be reproduced by it. But it is only an "improviser"; will it have AI?
 

sangom

Well-known member
May not be possible, Sir! Please listen to this demo by one young artist.

Mridangam Master - YouTube

Smt. Raji Ram,

Though there may be no substitute to the wood and leather mridangam today, the physics (of vibrating membranes) would mean that it should be possible to make something equally good. I was looking at this Tilak Mridanga developed by Iskcon.

I am hopeful that even if our indigenous artists throw their hands up and keep quiet, the westerner will find the opportunity to get an international patent on some good quality fibreglass-rubber mridangam and make money ;)
 

Raji Ram

Well-known member

I could collect some more information about Fiberglass "Balarama" Mridanga:

mdngf-01.jpg



A mridanga is a traditional Bengali clay drum, used to accompany devotional bhajans and kirtans. Very intricate

rhythms can be performed by the expert players. This mridanga has a body made of high quality fiberglass and is

unbreakable, unlike clay. All the other parts, including heads, bumpers and straps can be replaced. The drum can

last a lifetime. Includes a tuning key. Limited supply, handmade in USA.

Comes in 4 colors: red, yellow, blue and white.

:peace:
 

sangom

Well-known member

I could collect some more information about Fiberglass "Balarama" Mridanga:

mdngf-01.jpg



A mridanga is a traditional Bengali clay drum, used to accompany devotional bhajans and kirtans. Very intricate

rhythms can be performed by the expert players. This mridanga has a body made of high quality fiberglass and is

unbreakable, unlike clay. All the other parts, including heads, bumpers and straps can be replaced. The drum can

last a lifetime. Includes a tuning key. Limited supply, handmade in USA.

Comes in 4 colors: red, yellow, blue and white.

:peace:

Smt. Raji,

I heard this Balarama mridanga but felt this could be improved by concerted attempts. BTW, how do you insert image on the body of the post?
 

Raji Ram

Well-known member
.....BTW, how do you insert image on the body of the post?

Not a big task Sir! Please follow these steps:

Right click on the image to be copy pasted. In the box that appears, left click 'copy image URL'

Now, go to advanced option and let the message box appear.

Left click on 'insert image' provided in the row which gives B I U etc options.

Insert image dialog box appears.... Left click again on 'from URL' on the top.

Right click in the strip provided for URL and then left click 'paste' in the box that appears. Final left click is OK.

(If you use a lap top, then all left clicks can be done just by the 'tapping'.)

For inserting images in photoes in my other threads, I make a picasa album for public viewing and take URL

from those images.

If you try once, you will get it easily, Sir.

(hope TBS Sir will not comment... from cow ...... to tutorial!!) :blah:
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top
Thank you for visiting TamilBrahmins.com

You seem to have an Ad Blocker on.

We depend on advertising to keep our content free for you. Please consider whitelisting us in your ad blocker so that we can continue to provide the content you have come here to enjoy.

Alternatively, consider upgrading your account to enjoy an ad-free experience along with numerous other benefits. To upgrade your account, please visit the account upgrades page

You can also donate financially if you can. Please Click Here on how you can do that.

I've Disabled AdBlock    No Thanks