It's a marked day, here on THE JUNOON GURUKUL at AVASARA.

Through our many discussions, in the lead upto this pilot, we had repeatedly pressed on the need for everything said/taught/communicated to remain religiously neutral; to in fact remain completely apart from religion and all the inevitable complications associated with it. One of the key explanatory portfolios of The Junoon Methodology and Ethos (titled, "FREED") does focus on our neutrality in this aspect, amongst others.

In keeping with our ethos,

Our girls were introduced to Shiva today as a being who is both very human and ironically, supernatural. The paradox is a natural consequence of him being more than most can be and yet retaining all that is human and flawed and decent within him.

According to Hindu Philosophy, he is the Lord of Dance, the Adi Yogi - the first practitioner of the ancient Art of Yoga and therefore, naturally, (since dance is the highest form of Yoga), the cosmic dancer.

The girls were read to. This was a piece that describes everything human in the divine, which is what makes the Lord, the energy, this particular being so relatable, worship-worthy and godly.

Only when our girls see these very human characteristics in the figures that have been worshipped and therefore, danced to or deemed as the very origins of dance, will they be able to justly impersonate them or illustrate their stories (or anybody's for that matter) through Classical Dance.

I think, what we realised as a class - as I had hoped we would - is that Shiva is simply a phenomenon albeit so large, that helped explain the beginnings, the practice, the performance and the perpetuation of dance over time. (Which made him influential and powerful in multiple ways.)

He was/is a human being who used it as a means of non-verbal communication - the most effective one at that. And that is an explanation for what makes Classical Dance such a strong means of expression, available to human beings.

Shiva is mighty and soft; compassionate and passionate; sensitive and perceptive; flawed and striving; soulful and light and deeply devoted to his responsibilities, his Art and what he wants to put out and preserve in the world.

And that is exactly the profile of a Classical Dancer.

Human or Divine.

Always aspiring to a Shiva within.

We had some interesting responses and deliberation in the classroom. Some healthy argument even. Feisty, logical, emotional - a mix of it all!

I'm stoked for two reasons:

One, that there was no mention of the word "religion" save for the time they were told not to mention it or perceive the piece being read from that dimension or any pre-conceived notions they may have had or heard.

Two, that the class listened and learned and breathed it all in, journeying spiritually, as is the underlying quality of any immersive experience!

High-five on another dimension tactfully added to their time at the Gurukul as well as their strong, spongy, growing minds!


You will find the piece that was read out to our girls, in an audio-recorded version at the bottom of this page in a section titled "Sound Bites from The Junoon Gurukul" labelled Episode #1:


All the Junoon Portfolios can be found on our site - they lead from the homepage or header itself.