THE BALLADS

  1. The Ballad

The word Ballad is derived from the word “Ballare” which means to dance. Originally a ballad was a song with a strong narrative substance sung to the accompaniment of dancing. “A ballad differs from a lyric in being descriptive rather than impressionistic, the telling of a tale,not the expression of a mood ; while technically it is simpler;more primitive,less wrought upon as an art form,” says compton-Rickett. The minstrel or the bard would sing the main parts, and the dancers would sing the refrain or certain linesĀ  which were frequently repeated. Often it was in the form of a dialogue. Thus the popular ballad had a strong dramatic element : the audience were not merely passive listeners, they danced and sang along with the bard. There was a strong sense of participation and ,consequently, the entertainment was much greater. As the ballad generally narrated some local event, they were easily understood by the audience even when they were most allusive. Loves, battles or heroic, exploits, some supernatural incident, or some local events, were the cheif themes of the ballads.

The Oral Tradition

The ballad was originally oral literature. It was folklore. Ballads were passed on orally from generation to generation and, in the process, they were much ” altered, modified or suppressed, and new circumstances suggested opportune additions”. Oral tradition changed the form of the ballad. “Like money in circulation it lost, little by little, its imprint; its salient curves were blunted; and long use gave it a Polish it did not have originally,” says legouis. The exact facts to which a ballad owned its origin grew misty with the passing of time, the ballad became romantic and acquired the charm of the remote. We hardly ever know them as they were originally.

Great Age of Ballads

The ballads had been very popular since the earliest times but the impulse to make them was the strongest in the 15th century, and it was also to this century to which the earliest written specimens belong. Not only were numerous ballads of a very high quality made and sung, but two of the very finest English ballads were also reduced to writing for the first time in this period.

GLOBAL FAITH IN THE AGE OF SCIENCE

  1. THE WORLD VIEW OF THE OLD PHYSICS

The scope is to discuss the eligibility of Nirankari Mission for becoming the Global faith for entire mankind irrespective of caste,creed, colour or nationality. In this regard,the role of science is very crucial and relevant.Any Mission to become global must reckon with the world view arising out of scientific doctrines that are being accepted by the people all over the world. So it has been considered relevant to discuss some of the scientific concepts especially pertaining to physics (I.e .upto Newton) and the new physics has been undertaken.

In the old physics ,there were some generally accepted assumptions. First was the concept of Absolute Space .Space was considered an empty container that was independent of the physical phenomena and always remaining similar and immovable. Then the Time was also Absolute having nothing to do with the motion in the material world. It always flowed uniformly without regard to anything external. Apart from space and time,matter consisted of material particles that were small, solid and indestructible. Matter had basic building blocks of different sizes but with homogenous stuff. The world was a perfect machine presided over by a creator from outside. It was called mechanistic world-view.

THE WORLD VIEW OF THE NEW PHYSICS

At the end of the nineteenth century,the basic concepts of old classical physics got changed. The theories of electrodynamics and evolution shattered the mechanistics conceptions. The theories of relativity and the Quantum theory changed the world of physics in the most fundamental way. Science bade farewell to the notions of the Time and Space as cosmics absolutes. It also refuted the traditional concepts of Matter with its elementary solid particles, the fundamental material substances, the casual nature of physical phenomena and the objective description of nature,etc.,etc.

In view of this the cosmosis not a machine made of different building blocs or parts. The cosmos is one,integrated,unified whole, whose so-called parts are inter-related and inter dependent. In the new physics ,Matter is no longer solid or fundamental as was considered in the old classical physics. Matter came to have a dual nature. Sometimes it is a particle limited to a very small volume and sometimes it is a wave covering large region of space . The transformation of an electron from particle to wave and vice-versa looked strange yet it was true. In any case ,this paradox questioned the very basis of mechanistic world-view. Matter was no longer real and solid as it was thought to be. At the sub-atomic level,Matter does not exist with certainty at definite places and instead shows only a tendency to exists.

 

According to Neil’s Bohr

Isolated material particles are abstractions,their properties being definable and observable only through their inter- action with other system.”