|12.5 × .10 × 12.5 cm
In India, the worship of the mother goddess is a living tradition which has existed in the Indus valley civilization, for more than four thousand years, since well before the Aryan migration and the advent of Vedic religion. Developing and broadening through the millenia, it has also been adopted and incorporated into Buddhism, and has grown into a rich and vibrant cult which is practiced today across all castes and divisions of Hindu society. The rituals surrounding worship of the goddess vary widely throughout India and the Himalayas, but they invariably include pilgrimages to temples and sacri.ces to the goddess as well as the creation and perception of images and the utterance of sounds.
Goddesses are venerated as consorts of the gods, but her followers regard them as aspects of the one great mother goddess who is perceived as the supreme force and creatrix of the universe. She has an ambivalent and contradictory character, benevolent as well as terrifying. She is addressed as Devi or Shakti, the divine energy, but is known by other names as well: Amba, Ambika, Jagadamba, Kali, Bhagvati, Bhavani, and many others. Most commonly she is called Durga, and is usually represented surrounded
by Karttikeya, the god of war, Ganesha, the lord over all obstacles, Saraswati, the goddess of music and learning, and Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth.
This CD contains a wide variety of selections, ranging from the bamboo .ute bansuri to sitar, harmonium, percussion, female and male vocals; the famous bells of the Durga temple in Varanasi are also heard as are acoustic/electronic sounds by David Parsons.
This recording, and In Praise of the Goddess (13267-2) were inspired by and produced for GODDESS: divine energy – A major exhibition exploring the myriad imaginative expressions of divine female power in the art of India and the Himalayas at the Art Gallery of New South Wales in Sydney (13 October 2006 – January 2007) in cooperation with Radio Berlin Brandenburg (RBB), Berlin Germany.
Goddess – Divine Energy Music from India by Celestial Harmonies
Review by John Williams
This CD was produced as an accompaniment to an exhibition at the Art Gallery of New South Wales in 2006.
It has eight tracks showing a wide diversity of Indian music.
The cover notes are detailed and provide a wealth of information about Indian religion and specific deities.
It opens with the bansuri, one of the oldest instruments in the world, made from a hollow piece of bamboo into which seven holes are drilled.
The sound produced in ‘Full Moon’ is haunting.
Priyanka Mallik sings in ‘Hamari araja suno’.
She is from a family of performers with a long standing in India and is the first professional female performer from that family.
The track ‘Dhun’ features Krishna Chakravarty on sitar.
Krishna studied under Ravi Shankar (and other teachers) and plays the instrument with passion and great skill.
She is one of the few female players who have received recognition as masters of their art (or should that be mistresses!).
This was my favourite track on the CD and was wonderful to relax to.
‘Chautal’ is an exciting track for those who like percussion.
Pt. Ramji Upadhyaya was a master exponent of the pakhavaj, considered to be the king of Indian drums, and he solos in a memorable performance.
‘Jaya jaya jaya Durge’ features Priyanka Mallik’s father Premkumar singing accompanied by Ravishankar Upadhyaya playing the tabla.
‘Arti Bells’ features the bells from the Dirga Temple.
Arti is the name of a ceremony performed in all Hindu temples several times a day.
While the bells ring, the priests shake and rattle huge Damaru drums.
‘Awakening Devi Durga’ is a self-explanatory title.
Durga is the most venerated goddess in the Hindu religion.
The song is presented each morning to awaken her.
The pure voice of Bengali singer Aparna Chakravarty creates a haunting memory.
The final track ‘Maitreya’ is composed by David Parsons.
Maitreya is the future Buddha, the embodiment of loving kindness and compassion.
David includes chants collected from India and New Zealand in this tribute track.
This CD won’t be to everyone’s taste but if you like Indian music it would be a must-have in your collection because of the expertise of the performers on every track.
5 in stock (can be backordered)