Friday, March 20, 2009

Devotion and Technology

Many months back, in a temple, I witnessed that, during the pooja, the drums and bells were automated. It was motorized and was activited upon pressing a switch. I recently saw this in another temple at Coimbatore. It definitely serves the purpose.

A few months back in Trichy, for a procession, a band from Kerala was enlisted. They were playing full swing, and I was able to look at the faces of the instrumentalists. Mostly, they were oblivious to the surroundings - especially, the jalra (it was huge, about 10-15 times the regular one used in kachcheris). Every time it made a sound, it was reverberating within me. I did not want to move away from the place. It was mainly the way they were playing together in a way they gave themselves to it.

Contrasting both of the approaches, I feel there is no substitute for the conscious presence of a human being in an activity. I am a gadget freak (sort of) myself and I pay attention to tools, automation wherever feasible. But when it comes to devotion, I think we are hitting the border of something else and we need human involvement here.

Another example of the second category is of course the Nadha Aradhana in Dhyanalinga.

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