Monday, November 29, 2010

Indian Scluptures - Katherine Brobeck

Tamil Paaramabariyam
(Tamil Heritage)
invite you and your friends to an interview of
Katherine Brobeck
(An American enthusiast of Indian sculptures):
Interviewer
S. Swaminathan
(Tamil Heritage Trust)
at 5.30pm on the 4th of December, 2010
at Vinobha Hall, Thakkar Bapa Vidyalaya, T Nagar.


About Katherine Brobeck:
Katherine Brobeck (67 years) is an enthusiastic aficionado from the US. Her present major interest is sculptures of Tamilnadu, with special emphasis on those belonging to the Pallava, early Chola, Muttaraiyar and Irukkuvelir periods. She has been traveling extensively and presently on her 13th visit to India. Here is a brief autobiographical sketch.
“I am 67, born and raised in the SF bay area, California, my father was an engineer at Oak Ridge project, World War II; then chief engineer at University of California, Berkeley Radiation Laboratory. I was admitted to a good college, studying music, but dropped out in '63, no direction, floundered until mid-80s when I re-discovered a love of India, Sabhu as 'Elephant Boy' in the early Korda film, & rekindled in the old USA book, “Ripley's Believe it or Not. . . opening with sadhus at Kasi, performing extreme tapas: following the sun cross the sky each day until blind, holding up one arm until muscles atrophied, etc.  [I was only 8] but that extreme quest for GOD inspired me. Winter '93-94 worked in a small orphanage in eastern Gujarat, Bilimora, and after that felt confidant to travel all over India to ancient, obscure sacred sites.
“I work as a clerk in a public library in New England, USA. Every other year I go to India. I've now travelled extensively in India 12 times -- Dwarka to Sundarbans, Madurai to Delhi.
“My greatest joy is to look hard at each image and notice each telling detail. 'Faces' make the greatest impact on me - even if the body is fine, if the face is inexpressive, I'm not be too impressed. I'm quite fussy in judging something '1st rate.'  I know little of the classic aesthetic but judge by my own responses. I would like to help out in preservation [of early murthis especially], in any way I can.
“On my trip Jan '07, I was inspired by Narthamalai, Kodumbalur, Sendalai, Kudimiyanmalai, Thirugokarnam, Keezhaiyur & the two koils at Tirumayam. My two favorite temples in all India are Vijaylaya Cholesvara, Narthamalai; & Malegitte Sivalaya, Badami, Karnataka.
“There are also many murthis I can't identify which I would love to know about, their puranas, etc.”

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

ASTRONOMY (PART I of 2) - R. Gopu

Tamil Paaramabariyam
(Tamil Heritage)
invite you and your friends to a lecture on
ASTRONOMY (PART I of 2)
by
 R. Gopu
at 5.30pm on Saturday, 6th, November, 2010
at Vinobha Hall, Thakkar Bapa Vidyalaya, T Nagar.
Abstract:

Astronomy may be described as the earthly pursuit of celestial objects. It has inspired brilliant science and also fooled brilliant scientists. It is perhaps the oldest, most organized and most methodical of sciences, but it has influenced and in turn been influenced by religions, superstitions, politics, wars and importantly, mathematics. It has gone through brief periods of brilliance and long periods of stasis. Astronomers have started some wars and stopped at least one.

Indian astronomy has its roots in the Vedanga jyotisa sastra. It was later developed under several siddhantas like the Surya Siddhantha, Paitamaha Siddhantha and Vaasishta Siddhantha, until the arrival of the great astronomer, Aryabhata, whose works provoked admiration, commentary, refutation, correction and a school of astronomy that lasted over a thousand years, especially in Kerala.

The oldest civilizations of Mesopotomia, Egypt, Greece, India, China and Meso America performed methodical observations of the night sky. They have left us a wealth of interesting artifacts, literature, symbols. It is fascinating how much their methods have differed even though the objects of their observations have been mostly the same.

The first lecture will discuss Astronomy of Ancient Cultures, their Number systems, calendars, interpretation of celestial events and cultural perceptions. It will also discuss the development of zero in different cultures and ancient astronomical instruments, and lost and languishing manuscripts.

The second lecture on Indian Astronomy will discuss the major phases in Indian astronomy and the works of geniuses like Aryabhata, Varahamihira, Brahmagupta, Bhaskara, Paramesvara and Nilakanta Somyyaji; the various schools, debates and controversies that raged over a thousand years (some still continue); influence of Babylonians and Greeks, effect on Arabs, Persians and Europeans.
______________________________________________________________________________________
RSVP:
A. Annamalai: Gandhi Study Centre - gandhicentre@gmail.com; 94441-83198
Badri Seshadri: Kizhakku-p-padippakam - badri@nhm.in; 98840-66566
T. Sivasubramanian: siva.durasoft@gmail.com; 98842-94494
S. Swaminathan: Marg Constructions - sswami99@gmail.com; 2467 1501