Sitar som provocerar

”Skräckklassikern” The Reptile från 1966.

Mr och Mrs Spalding har bjudit hem sig till Dr Franklin, en osympatisk teolog som forskar på ”the primitive religions of the East”. Doktorn tvingar sin dotter (Jacqueline Pearce) att spela sitar för gästerna – ”Anna is an accomplished musician. Quite brilliant, in fact” – och hon börjar (mitt) i Yaman.

Men hypnotiserad av doktorns ”malajiske” betjänt byter hon strax till Bhairav, och då blir doktorn vansinnig och slår sönder instrumentet.

Nattetid förvandlas Anna till ett orm-monster och biter ihjäl grannarna. Och det är ”betjänten” som förhäxat henne. Dr Franklin är bara en bricka i spelet.

The Reptile

Det kan vi avslöja eftersom behållningen inte är handlingen utan Don Banks musik. Ni kan gott se filmen bara för att höra den.

JV

Fake Buddha Quotes

Buddha, sitar

Via fakebuddhaquotes.com:

From time to time there are Fake Buddha Quotes that just make me shake my head in disbelief. This is one of them:

It’s not just on Twitter, but on Goodreads, and in a fair number of books.

Ja, det är klart att det är fel. Någon sitar fanns ju inte på Buddhans tid (före vår tideräkning!). Det här störde oss också. Men experterna på fakebuddhaquotes.com vet såklart varifrån det kommer:

In a fuller version the original quote is:

Fair goes the dancing when the sitar’s tuned;
Tune us the sitar neither low nor high,
And we will dance away the hearts of men.

The string o’erstretched breaks, and the music flies;
The string o’erslack is dumb, and music dies;
Tune us the sitar neither low nor high.

The fake quote has substituted “as” for “us.” Presumably this is taken to mean “tune yourself as the sitar.”

This isn’t, as you probably already worked out, from the Buddhist scriptures. It’s from Sir Edwin Arnold’s epic poem, “The Light of Asia,” which is a Victorian biography of the Buddha. To be fair, the Light of Asia is loosely based on the Lalitavistara, which is a Mahayana Sutra. But the speaker here isn’t even the Buddha, but a temple dancer. (Arnold calls her a “Nautch Girl,” although those were more along the lines of erotic dancers.)

With the mention of the sitar there’s an obvious reference to a sutta in which the Buddha gives advice to the Bhikkhu Sona, who is having problems living a monastic life, despite putting great effort into his practice. The Buddha compares Sona’s erratic striving as being like a lute (vina) which is sometimes too tight and sometimes too slack.

“Now what do you think, Sona. Before, when you were a house-dweller, were you skilled at playing the vina?”

“Yes, lord.”

“And what do you think: when the strings of your vina were too taut, was your vina in tune & playable?”

“No, lord.”

“And what do you think: when the strings of your vina were too loose, was your vina in tune & playable?”

“No, lord.”

“And what do you think: when the strings of your vina were neither too taut nor too loose, but tuned to be right on pitch, was your vina in tune & playable?”

“Yes, lord.”

“In the same way, Sona, over-aroused persistence leads to restlessness, overly slack persistence leads to laziness. Thus you should determine the right pitch for your persistence, attune the pitch of the faculties, and there take up the object [of meditation].”

Fler felcitat från Buddhan på fakebuddhaquotes.com.

Månadens foto, februari 2014

Kailash Raj: The Sadhika

En akvarell av Kailash Raj till salu för 155 dollar på Exotic India: ”The Sadhika, or the Woman Dedicated to Practising Music”.

Och vad har hon för det?

Exotic India har mobiliserat professor PC Jain (litteratör/estet) och dr Daljeet, ansvarig för Nationalmuseums miniatyrgalleri i New Delhi. De berättar:

Whatever her personal identity, she represents here a sadhika, a female musician who practises music with intrinsic dedication of a devotee more on lines of penance for spiritual elevation. Her portrayal is close to the personification of Todi Ragini, which again represents the Indian cult of the deification of music.

In her simple elegant costume the sadhika has on her face the glow of a penance doer. Her eyes are fixed in void away from all material objects. She is essentially in meditative demeanour and yogic posture, to which her bare feet, untied hair, paucity of ornaments [allt är relativt], absence of make-up [tveksamt!], bare floor and unadorned chamber [nåja] aptly correspond. The position of her feet too is a posture of yoga.

Ja. Det börjar ju bra.

With her fair complexion, proportionate figure with well defined body parts, impressive height, prominent breast and slanting thighs, large eyes, broad forehead, attractive features, round face and thick hair, she is the model of unique beauty.

Så var det alltså ändå det det skulle handla om.

Tavlan ser ju vi också. Inte ska hon måsta skyla sig för att spela lite Rudra-veena i hemmets helgd, men det kan tyckas vara något av en idealiserad kropp, ingen självklar icke-sexuell halvnakenhet. Men tar det emot så mycket att åtminstone försöka både ha kakan och äta den? Att åtminstone avstå från att göra en grej av det vore väl första steget mot att avbilda kvinnliga musiker som musiker först och främst.

VK