Thursday, November 06, 2008

shastric prog rock

It turns out that Jon Anderson's inspiration for "Tales from Topographic Oceans" was a footnote in Paramahansa Yogananda's "Autobiography of a Yogi", a book I read several years ago that still sits on my shelf. The footnote, found on page 104, is not hard to find and briefly, ever so briefly, outlines the four classes of shastric scripture -- shruti, smriti, purana and tantra.

I will always remember how during my first extended stay in a foreign country*, as a seventeen year old in southwest France, I sat on the bed in the room of my host family, staring out at the window, psychologically sore from weeks of cultural dislocation, and the idea of that record struck me as something of a miracle.

It remains, decades after the fact, a miracle.

*The first non-US territory I set foot on was the Caribbean island of St. Martin/St. Maarten.


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