INDIAN CULTURE

BY DR. RAJA SHASTRI

 

Dr. Raja Shastri, a reputed global management consultant is presently the President of consulting company CreCorp Consulting & Strategies Pvt. Ltd.. He is M. S. from MIT- Boston and MBA from Harvard Business School, with a Ph.D. in Management Psychology. Former associate of the legendary Marketing Guru Dr. Philip Kotler, Dr. Shastri is also a scholar of Indian culture and classical music. 

In this fortnightly column, Dr. Shastri would deal with various intricate aspects of Indian culture ranging from languages to philosophy to music.

 

CULTURE COLA : 2 (by Dr. Raja Shastri) 

GURU-SHISHYA PARAMPARA

(MASTER-DISCIPLE TRADITION): 

In the world of Indian Classical Music, one story has been making rounds for more than 300 hundred years. The story goes as follows:

In the seventeenth century, when the doyen of Gwalior School, Ustad Hassukhan had almost gone blind due to old age, a young man in his twenties went to him late in the evening. After the initial pleasantries, the young man told Hassukhan�s aide that he was a disciple of one of the disciples of Hassukhan. On hearing that, Hassukhan said to the young man: �Shakal Dikhao!� � meaning �Show me your face.� The young man moved as close as possible to Hassukhan, yet wondering how this blind octogenarian would be able to see his face. To his surprise Hassukhan repeated: �Shakal dikhao!� Utterly confused when the young man looked at the aide, he said: �Sing what you have learned!� He didn�t understand what is the relation between face and singing, but nevertheless sang a composition taught to him by his Guru. When he finished singing, Hassukhan put his hand on young man�s head and said: �Indeed, you have learnt from my disciple.� To Hassukhan, the face of the young man or his identity, was his music! 

This should explain in nutshell, the concept of the Guru-shishya parampara in the Indian Culture. In ancient India, when a person completed twelve years of age, he used to go to the Guru�s house and stay with him for next twelve years acquiring the in-depth knowledge. Indian culture believes that the Guru is next to God. (And even Gods had Gurus. Lord Krishna stayed with his Guru Sandipani.) The Guru�s duty was not only to teach the student a specific subject, but also develop the overall personality of the student. The Guru was supposed to give his student a character, versatility, confidence, strength and overall vision of life. The ideal Guru was supposed to be the best friend of the student. He was supposed to be � what we call today � a friend, philosopher and guide! 

The life in the fast lane today probably does not allow the Guru (and also the disciples) to attain such relationship in the present days. But the fact remains that we do find the glimpses of such relationship even today in the art field. Wish it was in academic field too.  

 

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WATCH OUT FOR NEXT FORTNIGHT COLUMN IN SEPTEMBER 2000

 

 

 

 

 

 

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