Rony George- Location of History in a Spiritual Ecosystem: Looking at “Madhuram Gayati” by O. V Vijayan

Vinod, V.B.  Location of History in a Spiritual Ecosystem: Looking at “Madhuram Gayati” by O. V Vijayan. Indian Literature.53.2 (250): 2009. JSTOR. Web. 15 June 2016.

 

The major argument of this paper is that O V Vijayan is basically a historian who is trying to bring about a philosophical and spiritual way of understanding history. To substantiate this point, the author says that a different sense of ecology is employed to show the connectedness of all entities in the universe in a spiritual matrix in the primary text.

The primary text engages this ecosystem on philosophical and spiritual levels. To drive home the point, the author refers to Vijayan’s  path-breaking work, The Legends of Khasak and the ‘Puranam’ about the evolution of plants and animals starting from just two entities. Vijayan laments over the loss of humane values as a result of the intrusion of machines into all spaces around us.

All of his novels are rich with references to folktales, oral histories and stories of evolution. The novels like The Legends of Khasak and Generations are only a few among the many examples. Thus, the objective of locating history in a spiritual ecosystem spans over all the works of the author. In doing this, Vijayan achieves certain key goals. It is a very effective way of resisting western philosophy which is largely incapable of dealing with realities and aesthetics of the orient. This is done by constructing a seemingly imaginary world, flora and fauna and infusing a completely different philosophy into them. Personification is a strong tool in this regard. Departing from the western tradition, what Vijayan creates is an expansive, liberal narrative space, where the western counterpart is imperialistic and manipulative.

In this particular primary text, there are a lot of examples for these arguments. The banyan tree which restores the purity and neutralises the harm done by machines on the other half of the world. Transcendentalism at its best is what the novel offers for the critiques and readers.

However, the article says that O V Vijayan looks at history not as available records but as the content that emerges out of deep meditation and heightened consciousness of connectedness in the universe. This is not completely correct because Vijayan looks into specific historical incidents and major turning points to narrate his tales. In most of his works, things like the world war and freedom struggle becomes very important moments in the unfolding of the events.

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