Archive for August, 2010

Astrology

Posted by Freddy on Aug-28-2010

The myriad stars in the cosmic sky have great significance in human life. They existed even before the origin of human race. The great astrological scholars have thrown light on the impact of stars in human life. Even the great scholars in astrology couldn’t close their eyes to the significance of stars and planets on Earth and the Human race and thus originated the era of astrology.
Astrology is the study of the Sun, the Moon and the planets of the solar system and how they influence the character and personality of a person. Astrology developed as an outcome when it bowed as a branch of astrophysics. The belief in a connection between the cosmos and terrestrial matters flourished astrology. Astrology is a science which has greater influence on both western and eastern cultures.
Astrology is believed to have its origin in Babylon. Babylon was the first organized system for astrology. Later astrology spread to countries like Syria and Greece. Thereafter man began to worship the forces of nature and the stars showered the light. The accurate calculation of trajectory of stars and planet calculated by our ancestors laid the foundation for astrology. The Holy Bible reveals the legend of the Kings who set out to see Jesus, identifying the direction by looking at the star.
The main traditions used by modern astrologers are Hindu Astrology, Western astrology, and Chinese astrology. In many countries, astrology was influenced by their culture and tradition. The Aryans and the Dravidans became the Godfathers of Indian Astrology and they moulded the Indian astrology according to Hindu mythology, influenced by the concept of the thirty three crore deities. Natural calamities were considered as the anger of various Deities. They regarded cyclones as the anger of God “Vaayu”, lightening as the arrogance of God Indra and flood as the tears of God Varuna. They clasped the stars to predict the natural calamities. The 27 stars and the 9 planets laid the foundation for structuring the Indian Astrology. Later they transferred their astrological doctrine to their successors as Sanskrit slogans and numerical.
Several innovations have occurred in contemporary astrological practice. In the past, astrologers often relied on close observation of celestial objects and the charting of their movements but no the modern astrologers use data provided by astronomers which are transformed to a set of astrological tables called ephemerides, showing the changing zodiacal positions of the heavenly bodies through time.

Natya Shastra

Posted by Freddy on Aug-21-2010

Natya Shastra is an ancient Indian treatise on the performing arts, encompassing theatre, dance and music. Traditionally attributed to Sage Bharata, it was written during the period between 200 BC and 200 AD in classical India.

Natya Shastra is an encyclopedic work written in Sanskrit. It has 37 chapters dealing with various topics that are necessary for the production and presentation of drama before the spectators. The text consists of 6, 000 sutras or verse stanzas and the passages are composed in prose form.

Natya Shastra has influenced music, classical Indian dance and literature. It covers stage design, music, dance, makeup and every other aspect of stagecraft. It is very important to the history of Indian classical music because it is the only text which gives details about music and instruments of that period.

Sage Bharata describes fifteen types of drama ranging from one to ten acts. The principles for stage design are laid down in some detail. Individual chapters deal with aspects such as makeup, costume, acting, directing, etc. A large section deals with meanings conveyed by the bhavas and rasas. Natya Shastra ranges from issues of literary construction, to the structure of the stage or mandapa, to a detailed analysis of musical scales and movements, to an analysis of dance forms that considers several categories of body movements, and their impacts on the viewer.

It describes four kinds of Abhinaya or histrionics. They are described as Angika – motion of body part, Vachika- speech, Aharya – costumes and makeup and Sattvika – which describe internal emotions which are expressed through minute movements of the lips, eyebrows, and ear.
Natya Shastra is considered as an important text in fine arts from centuries and is also sometimes referred to as the Fifth Veda.

The Academy Awards

Posted by Freddy on Aug-14-2010

The Academy Awards are accolades by the American Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to recognize excellence of professionals in the film industry, including directors, actors, and writers. It is the most prominent award ceremonies in the world. It is also the oldest award ceremony in the media, and its equivalents, the Grammy Awards. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences itself was conceived by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer studio boss Louis B. Mayer. Although there are seven other types of awards presented by the Academy the best-known one is the Academy Award of Merit, popularly known as the Oscar statue. It is made of gold plated britannium on a black metal base depicting a knight rendered in Art Deco style holding a crusader’s sword standing on a reel of film with five spokes.

The first Academy Award was held on May 16, 1929, which was hosted by actor Douglas Fairbanks and director William C. de Mille. The first awards were presented at a private brunch at Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel with an audience of about 26 people. Winners had been announced three months earlier of their triumph for the first Academy Award. This system of declaring the winner was changed for the second Academy Award and the results were given to newspapers for publication at 11pm on the Academy Award night, which was then followed for more than a decade. Later it was modified and a sealed envelope was used to reveal the name of the winners since 1941.

The first Best Actor awarded was Emil Jannings, for his performance in The Last Command and The Way of All Flesh. The honored professionals were awarded for all the work done in a certain category for the qualifying period. . Since the fourth ceremony, the system changed, and the professionals were honored for a specific performance in a single film. As of the 82nd Academy Awards ceremony held in 2010, 2,789 Oscars have been given for 1,825 categories. Till date, 302 actors have won Oscars in competitive acting categories or been awarded Honorary or Juvenile Awards.

Contributions of the British Raj

Posted by Freddy on Aug-6-2010

As the coin has two facets, the British colonialism in India also had both positive and negative facet. The British government ruled India for more than two centuries. It started with the White Man’s Burden, the responsibility of the cultured white race to civilize the uncivilized black race. White Man’s Burden is the term used by the imperialist to justify their noble policies.
The British came to India in the beginning of seventeenth century. They came as mere traders. Slowly they broke the monopoly of the Dutch on spice trade by establishing the East India Company. The East India flourished and the British grew powerful administrators of the country. During their reign they brought many changes in education, agriculture, manufacturing, mining, transport, communication and the political system.
The industrial revolution was a major turning point in human history. The Industrial Revolution in the 18th and 19th century marked major changes in agriculture, manufacturing, mining, and transport had a profound effect on the socioeconomic and cultural conditions
During the reign of the British government they brought changes in the political system in the country. India was brought under a single administration and later these developments brought by laid the foundation for the present political administration in India. During the British Raj, education which was considered as the privilege of high caste society was offered to all without any bias.
The British has contributed a lot for the development of India. They built roads and railway roads which made it easier to travel across India. About thirty million acres of land was brought under cultivation. The English also built many institutions in India and laid the foundation for a productive government.