The Theosophical Society is now headquartered here in a large property in
the Adyar area of Chennai. The Theosophical Society, founded in 1875,
is a worldwide body whose primary object is Universal Brotherhood based on
the belief that life, and all its diverse forms, human and non-human, is
indivisibly One. The Society imposes no belief on its members except the
belief that there is no one right belief. The members are united by a common
search for Truth and desire to learn the meaning and purpose of existence by
engaging themselves in study, reflection, purity of life and loving service.
Theosophy is seen as wisdom underlying all religions when they are stripped
of accretions and superstitions. It offers a philosophy which, they say,
renders life intelligible and demonstrates that justice and love guide the
cosmos. Its teachings aid the unfoldment of the latent spiritual nature in
the human being, without dependence or fear. In other words, you are God and
you you need to come to that realization! This Banyan tree, the 2nd
largest in India, is grown from an offshoot of the Banyan tree under which
Buddha was "enlightened."
The Old Testament may condemn Ashtarah poles, but here it is fine to worship
On entering the headquarters one sees
in the alcove behind a marble platform on the north side of the hall a
figure in plaster of H. P. Blavatsky. When Colonel Olcott passed away
in 1907, a plaster statue of him was placed by the side of Madame Blavatsky
and an inscription engraved on the pedestal: 'The Founders of the
Theosophical Society: Helena Petrovna Blavatsky 1831-1891-Henry Steel Olcott
1832-1907'.Bust of Ann Besant, after whom the nearby area of Besant Nagar is
named. The Emblem of the Theosophical Society. It combines the symbols
of the major religions of the world, except the basic cross of Christianity,
and all are wrapped in a SERPENT! (Which they say represents wisdom)
Kalakshetra literally means ( Kala - Arts, Kshetra - Field or Holy place ) a
Holy place of Arts. This Centre was started in1936 in order that India
may once again revive and develop its ancient culture and set a standard of
true Art in its new life after its freedom. It seeks to build up the
character of the young through the Art and create a true Centre of
International Understanding through the one universal language - Art. In the
words of Dr. Annie Besant - "Art is an attempt to bring down within the
vision of ordinary mortals some of the Divine Beauty of which the artist
catches glimpses, strives to translate these into colours, sounds, forms,
words, by creating pictures, melodies, sculptures, poems and other
literature." "Beauty diversified into the arts is the true refiner and
uplifter of humanity. It is the instrument of culture, the broadener of the
heart, the purifying fire which burns all prejudices, all pettiness, a
coarseness. Without it, true democracy is impossible, equality of social
intercourse an empty dream." "Art is the international language in which
mind can speak to mind, heart to heart, where lips are dumb. The arts need
no translations, they speak the universal mother-tongue. Centuries do not
age them, Custom does not stale them. Boundaries do not exist for them.
Their message is for every country, for every tongue. Art will permeate the
whole atmosphere of the New Civilisation which is on the threshold."
At the College of Fine Arts, music, dancing, painting and
crafts are taught to students of both sexes from India and from other parts
of the world. A "gurukula" atmosphere prevails within the campus and
students are encouraged to lead simple lives. Throughout the year, special
cultural programmes are arranged for the benefit of the students, so that
they may learn to appreciate true art and the ancient culture of india.
From its inception, the College's faculty has included teachers of repute.
To name just a few, Tiger Varadacharya, Veena Krishnamacharya, Mysore
Vasudevacharya, Karaikudi Sambasiva Ayyar, Budalur Krishnamurti Sastri, M.D.
Ramanathan and Papanasam Sivan in music, in addition to Rukmini devi
herself, Pandanallur Meenakshisundaram Pillai and Mylapore Gowri Ammal in
Bharata Natyam and Chandu Pannikar in Kathakali. The curriculam of the dance
students includes classes on dance theory which is based on the work
Abhinaya Darpana, and selected portions of other ancient texts on art and
literature. The traditional form of dance in all its purity and dignity is
the trademark of Kalakshetra. Music is a subsidiary for all dance students.
They are encouraged to learn vocal music. The art of Indian make-up,
traditional costumes and theatre craft are learnt gradually by the advanced
and post graduate students through participation in the various Kalakshetra
productions and in their preparation.
PRODUCTION AND PERFORMANCES
Among Kalakshetra's major activities is the one relating to production and
presentation of dance-dramas and the like. Apart from solo Bharata Natya
recitals and such items as Kummi and Kolattam (folk dances), a considerable
part of Rukmini Devi's work in Kalakshetra pertains to new productions.
This work is indeed its unique contribution to art. These performances
serve several purposes:
1. They are part of Kalakshetra's effort to make available to the public the
best of Indian classical arts.
2. They are intended as an essential training for the students and teachers,
who become thoroughly familiar with preparing for and participating in
public performances which, though performed by amateurs, are kept as far as
possible to professional standards.
Park" a one million square feet IT park , has been inaugurated on 4
July-2000. All 100% of the available space in TIDEL already stands marketed.
It is estimated by real estate consultants that there is need for 2 million
sq.ft. of additional space for IT Companies in Chennai in the next two
years. TIDEL-II is being planned for which a Detailed Project Report
is being prepared. Tidel has identified power supply and connectivity
as two critical requirements of software companies. TNEB, VSNL, DOT, STPI
have extensively been involved in providing power and communication / uplink
facilities. VSNL is creating a structured communication backbone terminating
OFC / PCM cables at each office by offering unlimited bandwidth. TIDEL
is also adopting a similar architecture for establishing parallel backbone
for future private service providers and STPI. SNL is offering
media diversity by providing direct to Satellite connectivity, terrestrial
through OFC and also Microwave facility for transmission of data.