Drawing on religious and poetic texts about the god Śiva, Kanya Kanchana weaves a remarkable piece about movement, art, cosmic cycles, and other enormities. Expansive, lyrical, and more than a little mind-bending. Make time for this one.
“In the night of Brahma, Nature is inert, and cannot dance till Shiva wills it: He rises from His rapture, and dancing sends through inert matter pulsing waves of awakening sound, and lo! matter also dances appearing as a glory round about Him. Dancing, He sustains its manifold phenomena. In the fulness of time, still dancing, he destroys all forms and names by fire and gives new rest. This is poetry; but none the less, science,” Coomaraswamy writes.
There has been a long line of physicists—Einstein, Bohr, Schrödinger, Heisenberg, Oppenheimer, and many others—who, regardless of whether they are confounded or outraged or intrigued or inspired by Indian intellectual traditions, engage with its philosophies, texts, and practitioners. But it is not until Capra’s much-lauded and much-criticised 1975 book The Tao of Physics that the door to such crossovers is unlocked in the popular imagination. When a door is open, all sorts of things tend to blow in, but I digress.