Saturday, May 02, 2009


Yoram Singer visited NY and asked, why Indian culture accepts suffering as a given, in movies and beyond, sometimes even aspiring for it. Dont know, but to understand anything in life, you need to watch John Lee Hooker on the left, start slow, strum, suffer in a silky voice, and simmer your Saturday down.


Blogger rgrig said...

7:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...
links to the same page. What is the connection?

7:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A preliminary response:
Suffering in the Indian tradition is somewhat rooted in the notion of purging, of becoming holy, hence the long history of asceticism and respect for it. Even beyond asceticism, you see examples of equating suffering with holiness everywhere: Sita suffered from injustice from her husband, and this elevates her status, Ram suffered from the weight of his conscience, Gandhi called the suffering untouchables Harijans: "children of God".

Of course, in the Buddhist traditions, suffering is only seen as an effect, as an artifact of desire. In the Sufi and some other ascetic traditions, suffering is irrelevant.

Thanks for the John Lee Hooker video, you have successfully "simmered" my Sunday down :-).


10:12 AM  
Blogger rgrig said...

Before reading your post I didn't know that "Indian culture accepts suffering as given." But I knew that in Romania there is a debate on the meaning of what is widely considered as the best anonymous poetry (Miorita). One interpretation is that Romanians accept fate and suffering as given; the other interpretation is that it's good to stay cool and plan even for the worst contingency. The latter is far less popular, but I prefer it.

If you have read it, then I'm curious how you interpret it.

I hope the connection is more clear now.

5:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi D:
I guess I am curious how suffering came to be considered holy, so ascetics would aspire to it and Ram/Gandhi would elevate it. Go Sufis! :)

Hi rgrig:
The connection is indeed clearer now, thanks! I accept the former view. Not much cool about spinning an yarn to others about ones death, and elevating the life after.

-- metoo

6:18 AM  

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