This I BelieveShankar, Uday 1953-11-11
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And now, This I Believe, a series of living philosophies presented in the hope they may help to strengthen and enrich your life. Here is Edward R. Murrow.
This I Believe. Uday Shankar was an art student in London, when he met the great Pavlova and was persuaded to revive the disappearing dance styles of his native India. Now one of his country's foremost dancers, he has given ancient, traditional rhythms new vitality and importance with his imaginative interpretations of them. Here is Uday Shankar's creed.
I have believed in the essential goodness of man since I was a small boy. There may be occasions when this goodness is temporarily shrouded and darkness may envelope the universe. But it is to man’s self-renunciation that the temporary darkness will be dispersed eventually and peace will dawn upon the world. I believe also that nature is man’s best benefactor. It is on nature’s lap that man grows up and comes to know and enjoy whatever is beautiful, true, and a pathway to happiness. I believe very profoundly in the conception of a great supernatural force, a very just God. Not
even the smallest particle could ever exist without the influence that constantly flows from this unseen force. I also believe that whatever is ordained by God is irrevocable; but what God wills is always for the best.
I believe it was by God’s supreme will that I became a dancer. As a dancer, I try to give expressions to truth which is hidden in the deepest depth of the human heart. I wander about in search of beauty and good. Whatever is beautiful is real art to me, and truth is like life. As a lover and worshiper of beauty, I never can bring myself to a belief in the
absolute power of machinery. Man, in my opinion, is far above machinery, which can never bring a [meaning to] art. It is man who can do so, provided he follows the ideals set forth by great men of all ages, of all countries. I believe, however, that harmony between men and machinery can bring prosperity.
I believe that as an artist, I am successful to the extent that I can use my imagination and creative arts and exercise my talents, infusing life into divine creations. Finally, I do believe, and there is no way out of it, that God
almighty is the creator of all—the good and bad, peace and cures—all come directly from Him—that He lives in his creations and He speaks and acts through them. It is because I believe this that I love and respect man. It is man who inspires me to do my part in life and instills hope and courage in me. That is why my prayers to God are actually offered to man, and it is man’s goodwill that sustains me in my work.
That was Uday Shankar, a dancer who has done much to stimulate interest in India's rich and ancient culture.