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Teacher

O teacher – a tribute to you

In Indian culture, teacher is given a higher position than father and mother.

5th september is celebrated as the Teachers day in India, in rememberance of Late Indian president, Dr Sarvapalli Radhakrishnan. He was a teacher, who later held the president’s post in India

All over the world, a teacher holds an exalted place. It is the teacher who is responsible for the pupil’s  welfare and education. So, teacher or guru is given a special place all over the world from ancient times to today.  It has been seen that teachers have played a pivotal role for the welfare of their pupil.  There are numerous examples available where a teacher has done everything for their pupil and pupils have attained greatness because of their teacher. In the following paragraphs, we will discuss about the teacher and pupil relationship across various cultures.

Teacher’s relevance in Japanese Culture

Teacher and pupil relationship exist in different forms, such as mentor and protege. In Japanese culture, we have heard about Sempai and Kohai. These terms have been made popular by the movie, “The Rising Sun”.

In Chinese culture, Mandarins were the teachers, who imparted education by travelling throughout the country. This was a tough job, but tells in volumes about the significance of teachers.

In Indian mythology and context, some important teacher student relationships are detailed as following:

Chanakya and Chandragupt

This is probably the best example of mentor and protege relationship in Indian history. Chanakya, the teacher of Chandragupt, has planned for his disciple’s ascendancy. He executed the plan well. Chandragupt went on to rule all over India. Later on, he was supported by Chanakya in governance as well. This is worth mentioning that both of these have humble beginnings, but their desire to overcome obstacles was so powerful, that they became the supreme powers.

Chanakya – The teacher of Chandragupt

Ekalavya and Drona

Another great example of Guru Shishya relationship from the times of Mahabharat. Drona did not teach Ekalavya. But he did not hesitate once when he was asked for his thumb by his Guru, Dronacharya. Drona has done this to ensure that his pupil, the great archer remains the best in the business. Drona has gone out of the way to ensure that Arjuna gets his due.

Read about Ekalavya and Drona

Drona – teacher of Arjuna

Arjuna and Shri Krishna

Perhaps you would wonder that this alliance is not written in terms of teacher and pupil alliance, as they were friends, Nar and Narayana. But think of it, this was Shri Krishna’s preachings, which made Arjuna to fight the war of Mahabharat. Shri Krishna was his supreme teacher. He guided him to victory. While other given him the knowledge, Shri Krishna ensured that Arjuna won his war. This is why we can treat him as the Supreme Guru.

Krishna and Arjuna – Nar and Narayan

Parshurama and Karna

This example isbjust opposite of Drona and Arjuna, here the teacher cursed his pupil. Where as Drona ensured that his pupil gets benefited. Anyway, Karna’s quest for knowledge cannot be faulted.  When he was denied by Parshurama, he arranged somehow that he becomes his teacher. Here the fate did the trick.  Karna was born as a Kshatriya, but he did not knew this. In absence of this knowledge, he has to bear the brunt of something he was not responsible for.

Sage Vasistha and Lord Rama

Vasishtha , one of the Saptarshi’s was the teahcer of Lord Rama and his brother Laxman. Rama helped his teacher later, as he killed demons. These demons were creating problems for Sage Vasistha. This is how, Ram paid gurudakshina to him.

Ramakant Achrekar and Sachin Tendulkar

Another very good example of this relationship is Sachin and Ramakant. People say that what Sachin is today is because of the training given to him by his teacher Ramakant Achrekar. For his contribution, Sir Achrekar has also won the Dronacharya award.

Ramakant Achrekar and Sachin Tendulkar

Shane Warne and Terry Jenner

Lot of people know about the genius of Shane Warne, but few know that this legend has been trained by the Terry Zenner, himself a leg spin bowler.  He played nine test for Australia and revived the art of leg spin, which is increasingly becoming a rarity in Cricket.

Tery Jenner – the teacher
Terry Jenner and Shane Warne

Bhishma – Brihaspati and Parshurama

Bhishma was the son of Shantanu and Ganga, and he had two teachers. Thus Parshurama was the teacher of Bhishma and Karna both, but yet, Bhishma did not like Karna. This was the reason Karna did not fight the war of Mahabharat under the commandership of Bhishma.

Prahlad’s – In Indian mythology, Prahlad was the disciple of Vishnu. His father, Hirankashyap did not like this and tried to kill his own son. Such was the devotion of Prahlad, Vishnu took the Narsimha avatar to save his disciple. Again, an example of teacher saving his disciple.

In Greek Mythology too, there is a story on teacher and student, but it is quite similar to Karna and parshurama story, where the teacher has cursed her pupil, archane.

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Indian Mythology

Japanese wedding

Japanese Wedding

Japanese wedding can be either a traditional or a western one. It can be either arranged or love. But first of all the couple should be legally married by filing for the marriage at local government office. Actually the documents are required for further ceremonies to be held.
In a traditional shinto ceremony an elaborate ceremony is held at shinto shrine.
Traditional Sinto Japanese wedding at the shrine, with bride
wearing Japanese wedding Kimono (Uchikake)
Whereas in a western one the ceremonies are held in a chapel, it can either be a simple or an elaborate one. Before the ceremony there is a rehearsal in which bride’s mother lowers her daughter veil, signifying the last act which she can do before giving her. Then bride’s father walks the bride down the aisle to her groom. This is followed by a procession in which the wedding celebrant wear a wedding cross, or a cana which symbolises a couple’s commitment to share life together. They give brief welcome and speech before announcing bride’s entrance. This ends with bowing of groom to bride’s father who does the same in return. Now starts the service, after the reading of Bible there is prayer and short message, explaining the sanctity of wedding vows. Bride and groom share their vows, exchange rings and at last sign register and then are declared a new couple.
Nowadays, both traditional and western style ceremonies are merged and marriage is conducted in a way, which is called contemporary style wedding. In this on the wedding day all the participants get ready in their formal Japanese attire. Bride attire consist of an extravagant kimono, heavy makeup, a wig and head covering. Photographs of bride groom and their relatives are taken which is considered as an essential part of wedding day. After this lengthy photo shoot they go to shinto shrine, where priest conduct ceremonies. Firstly the bride and groom are purified, then they exchange nuptial cups of sake. Due to western influence instead of shinto shrine they may go to a hotel where all activities takes place. The couple often exchange wedding rings and take vows. After all the wedding ceremonies are over there is a reception. This include dramatic entrance by bride and groom, speeches and other performances. Bride has to change her dress for 2-3 times. After speech session, cake is cut and then it’s time to eat and drink. During this both bride and groom again change their outfit and at the end they wear a western style of attire. After the last costume they perform a candle service, in which they light candles on the table where their parents are sitting then all the candles placed on guest tables. Then reception ends with a flower presentation ceremony, where newly wed couple present flower to their parents.
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Indian Mythology

Madhubani painting – A folk art

This folk art painting originated in a small town Madhubani in Bihar, India. This is known as Mithila painting or Madhubani painting of Bihar . This art is characterised for its distinctive style, bright colours and natural paints. Today this art is popular not only in India but is very popular internationally.
The time of origination is not very clear. According to a legend it came into vogue during the time of Ramayan. At the time of sita’s wedding his father King Janak ordered the artists to decorate the city. Initially women use to paint on the walls and doors of their homes. Today also you can find this art done in many houses in Mithila.
Theme of Madhubani painting is religious and revolve around Hindu deities like, Krishna, Shiv, Ram, Durga, Lakshmi, Saraswati. It also depict natural objects like sun, moon, holy basil (tulsi). It also include themes of social events like, wedding, child birth. The space left after the main theme is normally filled with designs of birds, animals, flowers and geometrical designs.
The brush used for the Madhubani painting is made of cotton wrapped around a bamboo stick. The paints used are natural colours, deep red is obtained from a flower (kusum), green from bel tree, light yellow from turmeric mixed with banyan leaf milk, blue from indigo and orange from palash flower.
For commercial purposes, these are done on hand made papers,cloths and canvas, but the theme and equipments of painting is still the same.
Few Madhubani designs.

Slowly and gradually this folk art of painting has crossed the traditional boundaries and reached the connoisseurs of art at national as well as international level.
Categories
Indian Mythology

Chinese wedding and ritual of three letters

Chinese wedding

Chinese wedding is a ceremonial ritual within the society. There are six rituals also known as three letters and six etiquette.
Wedding involves three letters. First is the request letter, which is formal request for wedding which is sent from groom’s family to a bride family.Second is the gift letter, which accompanies the gifts of groom family to bride’s family shortly before wedding. And third is the, wedding letter which is given on the date of wedding which is formal acceptance of bride in groom’s family.

Six etiquette’s of Chinese wedding

Proposal: When an unmarried boy’s parents find a potential daughter-in-law. They then locate a matchmaker whose job was to assuage the conflict of interests and general embarrassments on the part of two families largely unknown to each other when discussing the possibility of marriage.
Birth dates: Then the match maker compares the birth dates of two and only if they are compatible according to Chinese astrology next step is followed.
Brides price(Bethrothal gift) now groom family arranges match maker to present bride price with bethrothal letter.
Wedding gift: now groom’s family will sent lots of gifts like cakes, foods and other religious things to bride’s family.
Arranging the wedding: both family will arrange a suitable day for marriage according to Chinese calendar mythology.

A wedding procession with a bride’s sedan

And finally, wedding ceremony which is the final and elaborate one. Firstly, a wedding procession is taken from brides house to groom’s house. This consist of traditional band, bride’s sedan,brides dowry in the forms other than money.Welcoming the bride: the procession stops at the door of groom, where it is welcomed. There are several ceremonies to be followed. Actual wedding ceremonies: Now the exchange vows in west, and pays respect to earth and heaven, to, grooms family and to each other. This is followed by a reception which is known as wedding banquet. All guest give gifts like cash or jewellery in red envelope.