Jan 31, 2023

Original or Inspired?

 A few days back, I randomly chose a Harris Jayaraj playlist on Spotify and started to listen while cooking dinner. His top hits came one after another and I was humming them happily. Then came a song that sounded familiar but also a little different. I haven't heard of it before and it sounded lovely. I was curious to know about the album. The song was "Thaen Kaatru" from the movie "Gethu", sung by Haricharan and Shashaa Tirupathi. Any ARR fan would immediately say that this is "inspired" by the song "Pookkale satru" in the movie "I"🙂

Though I'm a Rahmaniac, I love both songs. I don't mind such "inspired" versions. Frankly, I prefer Harris' "Oru Manam" from Dhruva Natchathiram over ARR's "Khamosh Raat" from Thakshak.

Such inspired versions are slightly different interpretations.

They might simplify the original tune to an easy-to-listen format.

They might elevate the lyrics to the forefront, keeping the familiar tune as a comforting support.

As I pondered over this experience, I felt this can also be extended to spiritual knowledge.

When we appreciate a specific concept that has been well explained by a new-age author, there have been instances where people might suggest that we refer only to the original sources (Bhagavat Gita, Upanishads, talks by J Krishnamurti, books written by Indian scholars, and philosophers of the past) and not the modern interpretations.

No doubt, the original sources are super valuable and authentic in their messages. But these could be complex to understand, interpret and apply to today's circumstances. When a new-age author explains the same in simplified language with relatable examples, it builds up our interest and curiosity to go deeper into the subject. It helps us take the initial steps towards complex subjects like philosophy and spirituality without feeling overwhelmed by the need to learn a new language (say, Sanskrit) or getting lost in the volume of original texts.

It is perfectly okay to start with understanding the modern-day interpretations written by new-age authors (even if they are from non-Indian origins). Eventually, we will reach a state where we will be able to appreciate and connect with the original sources.

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