This is #Navaratri / #Dasara.

For long & even today, Dasara is synonymous with #Mysore. It is also the nADa-habba - the State Festival of Karnataka.

Dasara as the State Festival are a contribution of the #Wodeyar dynasty.

“May they prosper forever” - the Yadukula Santana.

Vijayadashami as a Festival has a very long history. Many classical texts trace it back to Mahabharata, although the Vyasa Bharata does not say anything. It, of course, goes back to Ramayana.

In the Classical era & subsequently in the preBritish references are galore.

The Vijayanagar Kings made Vijayadashami - Dasara a very big event, which is recorded by many travellers.

But its the Wodeyars alone who carried this festival to the Modern times. They transformed a cultural/religious event into a State/Civilizational Festival.

Their Design and Celebration of the Festival represents the transformation of the Tradition into the Modern without loss of the Core and Continuity. One of those greatest achievements of Saatatya.

So much so that the Modern State is compelled to follow the Tradition.

Thus, the Dasara State Festival of Karnataka is one of those few achievements of ours in the last 200 years where Modernity did not trump the Tradition, where the Time did not suffer a break and discontinuity.

One of those few experiences that we can access on our own terms.

The Dasara Festival of Karnataka is actually a Metaphor for what the Wodeyar Dynasty of Mysore achieved at the larger Civilizational level.

Because of the Wodeyars, Karnataka stepped into Modernity without conflict with the Tradition.

That is a history not yet told.

Something extraordinary happened in the Mysore State between 1880 to 1950. This process was certainly anchored by the Wodeyar dynasty while others played a key role as well.

Nalvadi Krishnarajendra Wodeyar deserves the biggest credit for anchoring along with his mother.

The Nature of this Renaissance is stunning.

1. Mysore created a unique form of administration consisting of the King, King’s Office, The Dewan, Council of Ministers, semi-elected representatives with limited powers, modern administrative units with an Indic character.

The King kept a close eye on International Developments. He was himself trained in the best traditions of the India and the West. He was keen to bring every development in the world to the Mysore State but on our own terms. As a result, Mysore saw Modern democracy very early.

2. Modern academic disciplines and scholarship flourished in the Mysore State. As a result you see humongous development of Humanities. The Mysore narratives ensured that the traditional perspectives were well retained in the Modern scholarship - at least until recently.

3. An entire movement of Navodaya Literature shaped up. Kannada got a Modern form and expression while mirroring its own cultural past even as it faced the present.

What our ancestors wrote between 1900 to 1950 continues to inspire Kannada readers even today.

More importantly, whatever is appreciated of post-1950 it is so only if it retains Continuity with the previous fifty years. What sought to break this Continuity has sunk without trace within 10-20 years of its end.

Even as the Navodaya Literature continues to flourish.

4. On Technology and Material Progress, we simply need not say anything thanks to Sir. M. Vishweshwaraiah.

While he is celebrated as an individual and rightly so, important to note that Sir MV represented Mysore’s best step forwards towards Modernity.

10s of stalwarts quietly engaged with Sir MV. Its in this engagement full of conflict and collaboration that Mysore took definite steps towards Modernity retaining its character.

This process was anchored by Krishnarajendra Wodeyar and the environment of Mysore.

5. Take any Modern Institution of that era in the World. Mysore had an equivalent and with a unique Indian character. So many things revived/thrived in Mysore during this period - Yoga, Sanskrit, Classical Music.

This was possible only because of the vision of the Wodeyars.

6. Not just that. If you look at the great stalwarts who were born between 1880 to 1950, there was something extraordinary out there. Their thought has survived to this date.

In summary, an entire region strived to digest international developments on its own terms.

This entire process is best represented to stalwarts of Karnataka. DVG and Masti Venkatesha Iyengar. In their writings you can see a virtual history of those 50 years.

DVG’s writing demonstrates how the society was retaining its character inspite of change.

Masti on the contrary was showing how the society was changing while striving to retain the character.

The same substance but with a different rythm.

In summary, Mysore evolved into a form of Society and Organization that best demonstrates what could have happened to the rest of India if it didn’t suffer Colonial assault. For, because of the Wodeyars, we suffered least of this assault.

But, unfortunately, this version of Indic Modernity has gone unrecognised and unrecorded. We have dynastic histories. But we do not have a Civilizational and Cultural History of India in the Modern form.

That must start from Mysore.

Having already written a book on Mysore, somebody like Shri. @vikramsampath is in the best position to undertake this - if he considers the cause worthy.

For, we need to recognise Mysore’s civilizational achievement. There may be a lesson or two in this for Bharatavarsha.

I will end this thread on a personal note.

When I was in 5th Standard, I remember sitting in the Geography class. “India is a Developing Country”. I read that for the first time. It was in the context of industrialisation and diary products.

I did not understand that sentence. NZ was presented as a Developed Country. The teacher explained but it did not make sense. The class ended.

I looked out of the window. The Malleshwaram Lawn Tennis Grounds were visible. Beyond that the beautiful Malleshwaram Playgrounds.

I imagined everything that was beyond. Malleshwaram, Majestic, Basavanagudi, Jayanagar, stretching into the outskirts of Bangalore, all towns, beyond that the City of Mysore, all towns where I spent considerable time in and around Mysore, the Villages that I had visited…..

Nothing could be force-fitted into this binary of Developed and Developing.

I just decided to suspend an acceptance of this binary for a future date. Decades lates I understood that this binary only represented the overall material production dimension.

Psychologically I never accepted the inferior status of Developing country from a civilizational stand point. It just represented a technical reality in one dimension.

This was possible because of the confidence that Mysore State passed onto the Modern State of Karnataka.

Psychologically I never accepted this inferior status of Developing Country at a Civilizational level (I have seen this negative impact elsewhere). It merely remained a technical reality in dimension.

This confidence is the contribution of the Old Mysore State.

Mysore State passed on this confidence to the Modern State of Karnataka through its creative engagement with Modernity and confident remoulding of it to contain the Civilizational substance of Bharatavarsha.

“chiramabhivardhatAM yadu-kula santAnaM” is for this reason.

This Civilizational History, this cultural and intellectual achievement of one region of India needs to be told.

The rest of Modern India needs to know this - in its journey to become India - that is Bharat.


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More from @SaamaanyaJ

10 Oct
Its important to celebrate @vikramsampath

Multiple achievements - all important to our Civilization.

1. Mainstreaming of Shri. Savarkar

This alone puts Vikram Sampath in very big league. The 90s saw enormous vilification of Savarkar by the left, centre and their combo-s.

The JNU, The Hindu, The Front Line produced tonnes of selective outrage around Savarkar. AG Noorani was the the forefront. The possible emergence of BJP/RSS had all of them in high alert. This became an instrument of determining if one got a position in academics.

Calmly, confidently Vikram Sampath has ensured that Savarkar is mainstreamed. The 2014+ environment definitely an enabler. But it is his personal conviction, the rigour, faith in the discipline that made the difference.

We now have a path to elevate other personalities.

Read 9 tweets
21 Sep
#Purana #Epic

The Question is how do we read our Itihasa-Puranas? The two are not exactly the same. They are used together because they are a Twin. There are overlaps and parameters ought to be different.

For the purpose of this thread, we will talk about them together.

1. Are they Histories? Absolutely No. Reading them as History results in 2 problems.

A. Severely reduce the overall Scope of Itihasa-Puranas. We will cheat ourselves by losing the primary purpose they have served.

B. Will result in an endless loop iof Proof/Evidence search.

2. In which case, dont have have anything to offer in the dimension of History?

They do. Just that it requires a different kind of discipline which we have not fully evolved. The Historical information in the Itihasa-Puranas have suffered 3 kinds of assault.

Read 29 tweets
19 Sep
Hearty Congratulations to Swarajya. The importance of Swarajya can never be understated.

The word, the magazine, the history.

I distinctly remember the time when there was buzz in the nation about the restarting of Swarajya, even before Shri. Jaggi joined. Bharateeya-s had gained enough clarity that we needed an exclusive magazine/media institution that served the civilization from within.

We, of course, had also gained enough confidence that there were enough readers and that there was a need to scale.

Kudo-s to the founders for seeing that opportunity and confidence in the society.

Read 10 tweets
14 Sep
The Seven Levels in which Life is organised in Bharateeya Parampara.

1. The Philosophy (The Tatva and the Siddhanta)
2. The Principles (The Sutra)
3. The Social Organizations – (Kula, Jati, Varna)
4. The Tradition – (The Sampradaya)
5. The Practices – (The Shastra Paddhati)

6. The Customs (The Achara and Reeti)
7. The Rituals (The Karma)

Level-1 is the Philosophical Top

Level-3 to 7 is the Life Organised at the bottom

Level-2 that connects the two is the Confluence you are referred to. That is anchored by the Paradigm of Sutra.

Level-3-7 if they are truly Bottom-Up ie., with absolute control to the individual and the community, it is because of the Conceptualization of Sutra and the ease with which Community/Individual can indulge in its operation and instrumentation.

Read 6 tweets
14 Sep
Adding the #Kula #Jati #Varna Paper into this thread, which I wrote a few months back.…
The Paper establishes the KJT-Complex from the first principles of Purushartha and Srishti-Sthiti-Laya.

It proposes a change and reconstruction of the same for the Modern World to face the Triad of Modernity, Industrial Revolution and Monotheistic Assault.

In order to make a meaningful change in the Bharateeya Samudaya, we ought to understand how the Kula-Jati-Varna Complex (KJV Complex) has emerged from the Srishti-Sthiti-Laya perspective and the Purushartha.

The KJV Complex are instruments and enablers of the Purushartha.

Read 5 tweets
13 Sep
#Thread - slightly longer one on #Kula, #Jati, #Varna and the Traditional View covering history and traditional thought.

And some musings on the #Smriti -s

Among the three

- Kula was the most real and coherent entity
- Jati was an aggregate of Kula-s
- Varna was the characteristic of an aggregate of Jati-s. It was more a perspective or View.

Will elaborate on Varna later in the thread.

The organization of Kula was around a “Profession” and a custom designed Tradition/Sampradaya from the larger Hindu Philosophy.

A Kula always moved together because it was minimally self-contained for the “Purushartha Practice” in that Profession

Read 40 tweets

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