Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Ideas Unfolding.....

Unfolding Bud

One is amazed
By a water-lily bud
With each passing day,
Taking on a richer color
And new dimensions.

One is not amazed,
At first glance,
By a poem,
Which is tight-closed
As a tiny bud.

Yet one is surprised
To see the poem
Gradually unfolding,
Revealing its rich inner self
As one reads it
Again and over again.

- By Naoshi Koriyama

"Unfolding Bud" by Naoshi Koriyama is a beautiful poem, which though looks simple, has a lot of in-depth meaning.

I was teaching my son this poem yesterday and the verses set me thinking.....And here I am, expressing my thoughts on it...

The transformation of a water-lily bud into a magnificent, beautiful flower is a gradual process and a process through which, the blooming flower gains more vibrant colors and newer dimensions as it grows, with each passing day.

Here the poet compares the unfolding of the bud with one's understanding of a poem. Just as a tiny bud remains tightly closed, when one reads a poem for the first time, it sounds dull and uninteresting. But with each passing day, through repeated reading of the poem, the inner beauty of the poem unravels itself beautifully and expresses itself beautifully one fine day...

Well, I now proceed to extend this analogy to classical music too...

I think it holds good for both a performer and a listener. When one sings/listens to a particular composition or a raga for the first time, the true meaning might not reveal itself fully. For a performer, continuous practice of the same phrases or the same song adds a lot of color, meaning and dimensions to it. This is how the beautiful process of internalization happens. As a listener, repeated listening never results in boredom. On the contrary, each time one listens to the same music, a fresh dimension, a fresh meaning, a fresh interpretation opens up in one's mind. This is when we realize that each one of us is endowed with a unique degree of creativity ! And this makes us realize how blessed each one of us is !  

While constant innovation of some kind is necessary, every artist believes in this concept of "repeated renderings" of a particular raga or composition. We try and make it "our own" and the more we sing the same kriti in, say, raga Kalyani or Bhairavi, the more bhava or "feeling" we are able to portray through the music. New dimensions of the raga unfold each time and the experience is total bliss.   

“Inner peace is impossible without patience. Wisdom requires patience. Spiritual growth implies the mastery of patience. Patience allows the unfolding of destiny to proceed at its own unhurried pace.”
― Brian L. Weiss, Muchas Vidas, Muchos Maestros

Another important virtue that one needs, in order to be able to appreciate and understand the "unfolding of a bud" or "unfolding of a piece of music" is patience. The things in Nature and our own spiritual nature are so beautifully linked...And once we start understanding and appreciating this vital link, life becomes more beautiful and creativity becomes unlimited..

So, let's all start looking at things around us with more care, with more awareness and let us try and achieve that inner peace through the virtue of patience and awakening of the mind..



Vijay Pravin Iyer said...

Beautifully worded. Loved these wordings 'The things in nature and our own spiritual nature are beautifully linked

jvrjam said...


L.V.Mahadevan said...

Very apt.Raga alapana develops like that

nagraj said...

A serene Article written with lucidity, clear choice of vocabulary, like an adept literature student with heart and fondness(I thought you were a CS graduate). Applying this analogy to CM is befitting and convincing.
Your standpoint as a performer is understandable. But, the one as a listener; we could find you in our shoes. Words implying that the rasika is also creative to take up repetitive listening, is a fresh thought. General wrong notion that ‘a performer beats about the same raga or composition just because he is comfortable with it’ is beautifully clarified in the daylight.
keep writing, keep singing... We will keep following with ‘patience’(as denoted in the article)

N Murali Mohan said...

I kept watching the picture with awe and then with "patience" after reading the article!!! It is too delicate for me to comment... I thought.

After looking at it for some more time, the delicacy reminded me of few words in Jaya Deva ashtapadi... Kusuma sukumara.

lalita-lavaNga-latA-parishIlana - kept observing it. And left with no words! Honest.

Neethu Sreedhar said...

wonderful insight...i happened to go through ur blog accidently...i am not a poem lover.but ur writting is good
thanku for sharing the poem.please visit mine too

ravi srinivasan said...

Gayathri Ji

I came to a presentation by you on Muruga at Tattvaloka some time back.. i remembered the tune of a tiruppugazh a lot (it went 'perumalae' at the end and i loved that).. i would like to know if it was Nada Bindu and if you have a recording of it available online?

Btw, I liked the quote and the poem!