Dance in the Liturgy

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Nav Sadhana Kala Kendra celebrated its 12th Deekshant Samaroh in the presence of hundreds of artists, well wishers along with the parents of the graduating students… The three hour long Indian classical dance and music programme kept the audience in spell bound silence.

Prof. Gyanedra Bajpai from Bhatkhnade Music University, Lucknow, was awarded for his excellent performance in Bharatnatyam… Adding to this the performance of M.A. music students and final episode on Victory of Good over Evil in pure Bharatnatyam steps by M.A. and B.A second students was enthralling. On this occasion Bp. Raphy Manjaly the president of the institution, presided over the function and in his speech congratulated the students for their hard work and discipline with which they staged their Arangetram.
5. Nav Sadhana Kala Kendra dance troupe performing in Mumbai MangaloreanCatholics digest no. 2204 Dec. 9, 2010

Posted by: "Bombay Catholic Sabha, Kalina" Thu Dec 9, 2010 7:40 am (PST)

Students of the Nav Sadhana Kala Kendra, Varanasi, UP are performing in Mumbai at different parishes/ schools till Dec 13th. The students come from different faiths & through Bharatnatyam/Hindustani vocal music perform drama with a biblical background all very tastefully done under the able guidance of Fr Paul. Don't miss their shows.
9th Dec morning performing at St Anne, Fort.
9th Dec evening performing at The Holy Name Cathedral, Fort.
10th Dec morning at St Anthony's High School, Vakhola
10th Dec evening at St Anthony's Church, Vakhola.
11th Dec morning at St Blaise High School, Amboli.
11th Dec evening at St Blaise Church, Amboli.
12th Dec evening at St Michael’s Church Mahim.
13th Dec morning at Palghar (Mr Albert D'Souza)
For more information contact Fr Paul (99355151559)



For all the grand promise in its title, the NBCLC, an institution founded by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India [CBCI] has been, by virtue of the mandate given to it by the CBCI, by far the greatest promoter of error in the Indian Church ever since its inception in 1966/7.
What is the NBCLC?

1.1 Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India [CBCI] site EXTRACT

In October 1966, C.B.C.I. instituted the Commissions for Catechetics and Liturgy and decided to start the Centre to organize and animate liturgical and catechetical renewal in India. In 1971 the Centre's area of service and research was broadened and became known as the National Biblical, Catechetical and Liturgical Centre. It was "set up in Bangalore to promote and co-ordinate the renewal of Christian life in the Church according to the principles outlined by Vatican II council."

Its present chairman is Most Rev. Bernard Moras, the Archbishop of Bangalore. Its present director is Fr. Cleophas Dominic Fernandes. Fr Antony Kalliath is assistant director. Some its earlier directors were Fr. Amalorpavadoss, the founder, Fr. Jacob Thekkanath, Fr. Paul Puthenangady SDB and Fr. Thomas D’Sa.

Fr. Amalorpavadoss [1932 – 1990] was the brother of Simon Cardinal Lourduswami, then an Archbishop.
1.2 Institute for International Theological Education: NBCLC, Bangalore EXTRACT

N.B.C.L.C. has been at the forefront in the work of inculturation and of the promotion of the arts in religious and spiritual practice. They are home to the liturgical dance troupe "Nrityavani," have been blessed with the work of artist in residence Jyoti Sahi* … as well as many gifted pastoral theologians. At N.B.C.L.C. we will have discussions on inculturation, attend a mass which includes the use of traditional Indian Dance…

Tribal Women dancing during mass to celebrate the harvest, photo: Annette Kletke

Points to note: there is dance during the Mass; “traditional Indian Dance” means Bharatanatyam et al.

*Prominent inculturationist artist in the Catholic Ashrams movement. Read about him in the concerned report. He is responsible for a lot of the Hindu-ised art and sculpture in the NBCLC and elsewhere in the Church.
1.3 NBCLC turns 40 SAR News, February 21, 2008 EXTRACT

The National Biblical Catechetical and Liturgical Centre, founded in February 1967 in Bangalore by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India, turned ruby this year. The objective of the Centre is ‘Renewal in Bible, Catechetics and Liturgy’.

Father Amalorpavadoss, also known as Swami Amalorananda, was the founder-director of NBCLC. Over the years, it organised a hundreds of training programmes, which have been attended by thousands of priests, nuns and the laity.
The present NBCLC director, Father Thomas D’Sa, spoke about the Centre’s achievement in the last forty years, in an exclusive interview to Amarnath Dinesh Roy.
SAR News: Father Amalorpavadoss strove much for inculturation, especially in liturgy. But don’t you think a lot of ignorance still prevails with regard to inculturation. Don’t the laypeople still misread it as 'Hinduisation of the liturgy', especially when other scriptures are read during Christian services?
D’Sa: Our people have failed to make a distinction between Indian culture and Hinduism. These are two realities that are so blended with each other. But there is a subtle distinction between Hinduism and Indian culture.
Indian culture existed in India even before Hinduism came into existence. Hindus have imbibed the Indian culture before us. That is why Indian culture looks seemingly identical with Hinduism. So when we go for inculturation, we take elements from Indian culture and not from Hinduism. When Indian culture is interpreted according to Christian theology, we call it Christianisation rather than Hinduisation.
SAR News: With the overwhelming influence of the West on our culture, especially in cities, do you think inculturation is acceptable?
D’Sa: Inculturation is becoming a difficult process because of globalisation and westernisation, which are spreading across the world and affecting all the cultures. However, there is more consciousness among the peoples of the world to keep their cultures alive; not only in India, every culture everywhere in the world is trying to preserve its culture.
There are 10 percent of people among the Christians who are trying to keep the Indian culture alive even though they are westernised. For example, there are 120 Christian children learning classical dance.
SAR News: The present day liturgical music seems to be too jarring and lacking rules. Don’t you think there should be some effort to bring in the Gregorian climate?

D’Sa: I believe all the music of all the countries is good and there is nothing against Gregorian music or Indian music. It has its own solemnity, gentleness and ability to lead you into contemplation. You get that divine feeling when it is done in a proper manner. Even our bhajans are very devotional, slow, and meditative. Ordinary people find it easy to sing.
SAR News: Pope Benedict XVI is opening the doors once again to the Tridentine Mass. Wouldn’t that be undoing the process of inculturation? 54.

D’Sa: I wouldn’t say its undoing the purpose… it is to bring more “reconciliation” and “inclusiveness”. The purpose seems to be good, but it goes against the Vatican Council II. In itself, it’s a good objective.
SAR News: Would it be right to look at NBCLC as a religio-cultural centre?

D’Sa: This not a religio-cultural centre. It makes use of culture and art forms to achieve its objectives. It is not a centre where culture is promoted but it studies the culture and relates according to the context. It is largely a centre for the three Rites to come together. It is known as a centre of unity and still remains biblical, catechetical and liturgical. These three renewals are brought about through inculturation.
SAR News: Has NBCLC opened its doors to programmes for dialogue between other religions?
D’Sa: This has been so from the beginning. Now, the momentum has changed; it is down to earth and more practical. We have people of other faiths coming here to learn the cultural art forms. There is a dialogue of faith… people of different faiths living together and children from other faiths reciting ‘Our Father’ in chapel. END
1.4 Hindu woman assists Catholic faith formation The New Leader, October 1-15, 2004

The 45-year-old Hindu woman, Durga Devi, is the most senior staff at the National Biblical, Catechetical and Liturgical Centre. There she also edits Catholic publications and drafts training schedules for Catholic Religious and laity, besides preparing the altar for Mass.

Fr. Thomas D’Sa, director to the faith formation centre acknowledges Durga as "the link" between the directors. Through her service, "she has played a major role in shaping the Indian face of Christianity," the priest said.

Like her priest and nun colleagues, Durga has chosen not to marry. She says she is married to Christianity and that the center is her "second home" where she is treated as a family member. Fr. D’Sa said Durga has become "a role model" for many visiting Church people through "her spirituality and devotion".

At the Indian Church’s premier Catholic “Faith Formation Centre”- the NBCLC, Durga Devi plays a pivotal role. She “edits” - that is, she decides - what may or may not be carried in Catholic publications! A self-confessed Hindu, not a Catholic with a thorough understanding of the Bible, the Catholic Catechism, the Documents of the Vatican Councils, etc. is permitted by Fr. D’Sa and the ecclesial authorities to play “a major role in shaping the Indian face of Christianity”.

In this Catholic “faith formation centre”, it is not faith in Christian revelation that is primary, but “spirituality”. Fr. D’Sa eulogises the “spirituality” of Durga Devi. It would be interesting to know what exactly the spirituality of Durga Devi -- who chooses to continue as a Hindu in the heart of one of India’s premier Catholic catechetical institutions -- is.

In several reports, I have underlined the trend of more and more Catholic priests to propagate a religion-less spirituality, a spirituality that does away with any form of religion, especially an organized, structured, hierarchical one, a spirituality that rejects any claim to superiority over others’ faiths and with which people of all religious persuasions are equally comfortable.

Unless I am completely wrong in my assessment of the NBCLC’s activities from all these news reports that I reproduce here, having a Durga Devi at the helm of affairs in the CBCI body, the NBCLC, would be like appointing me to take executive decisions at a Brahmin Math.
1.5 More information about the NBCLC from my notes- Michael

As NBCLC Director [1966-1985] guiding the Catholic Ashram Movement, Fr. Amalorpavadass was responsible in forming the Ashram Aikiya [AA] fellowship. So the NBCLC is a founding member of the heretical Catholic Ashram Movement. The NBCLC journal "Word and Worship" was started during the period of Fr. Amalorpavadass.

During 2005 alone, the NBCLC offered 30 seminars, symposiums, leadership courses, catecheses, workshops on liturgy, dance and drama, art, architecture, music and culture, Indian Christian Spirituality and Dialogue, God-experience, contemplative retreats etc. for laity, catechists, seminarians, priests and religious. With the evidence on hand, it requires little imagination to guess the content of these courses. I know lay persons who have attended them. Without exception, they have been exposed to the type of ashram syncretised spirituality that I have elaborated on in the Ashrams report.

Some of them confess that they picked up their interest in occult alternative medicines like reiki and pranic healing from their animators at the NBCLC. Fr. Paul Puthenangady SDB, a former Director, had himself told me [in 1999 at the Divine Bible College, Muringoor, where he was one of the resource persons] that these therapies were harmless and Catholics could practise them. A diocesan parish priest and a Mother Superior of the St. Joseph of Tarbes order who are related to each other and also distantly related to me, and who are both in their late 60s, shocked their conservative families on their visits home in Bangalore after doing courses at the NBCLC, when the priest celebrated an 'Indian rite' mass which had a lot of ‘innovations’ [abuses], and both the nun and the priest used the Om mantra and swore by yoga and eastern meditations.

Somewhere between 80,000 and 100,000 Catholics have been affected by the NBCLC courses since they commenced.
In Find Your Roots and Take Wing, page 27, ashram-founder Vandana Mataji says, "A very significant document was published in 1974 by the NBCLC after a research seminar of about 50 scholars on non-Biblical scriptures." In all the ashram writings the authors take the support of the NBCLC, for which I can give numerous references. 55.

Brian Michael of Mumbai in his Yoga and Paganization of the Catholic Church in India, 1999, said this about the NBCLC:

"The paganization of the Church in India was devised by Fr. Amalorpavadas and his brother Archbishop Lourduswami. The temple of the Centre of the Bishops’ Conference in Bangalore was built by Fr. Amalorpavadas. Its tower is in Hindu style with an empty pot on top called kalasam. The Hindus believe that, according to agamic rites, it becomes an embodiment or sacramental in-dwelling of the deity of the temple… A pagan symbol continues to be atop the church of the Bishops in Bangalore. Is this not paganization with the Bishops’ approval? [Inside the temple,] on both sides there are grills. One grill is of Brahma, Shiva and Vishnu. Another is that of the dancing Shiva [Nataraja]."

I believe that these have since been removed after protests by Hindu organizations. While I have written about the errors and abuses being propagated by the NBCLC and by people associated with it in every other report and article of mine, I will, God-willing write a separate article solely on the NBCLC and its Hindu-isation of the Indian Church- Michael Prabhu

2.1 Nrityavani EXTRACT

Our Nrityavani is a small dance troupe set up in 2001 June at National Centre or popularly known as NBCLC (National Biblical Catechetical & Liturgical Centre), Bangalore. This troupe is an off-shoot of Nav Sadhana Kala Kendra*, a post-graduate college of dance and music set up in Varanasi since 1996. *See page 53

NBCLC was established in 1967 by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India (CBCI) to bring about renewal in the Church in the areas of Bible, Catechetics and Liturgy in answer to the clarion call given by the II Vatican Council to measure up to the signs of the times. Much water has flowed since 1967. The Centre has made enormous contribution to the Church in the nation. Now the time has come to enhance the triple objectives of the Centre through the media of arts, dance, music, painting, architecture, etc.

Nritya means 'dance' and vani means 'voice'. Nrityavani, therefore, stands for ‘Voice of Dance' literally speaking. In our context, it could mean 'the music of dance'. Dance is communicative, so also is music. We wish to communicate the Gospel through the medium of dance and music, as a new step in our mission of evangelisation and inculturation.

The voice of God, the loving Words of God** have been communicated through dance and music in Sacred Scriptures to his beloved people. We do so today through Nrityavani.

Since the only Words of God and Sacred Scripture for Catholics are contained in the Holy Bible and in the teachings of the Church, we will examine in the following pages if there is any truth in their claim of using the medium of dance in a “mission of evangelisation and inculturation”.
2.2a Bangalore: Young Talents Present Beautiful Blend of Art and Spirituality by Jessie Rodrigues EXTRACT

Bangalore, May 6, 2008: Sunday May 4 was an auspicious day in the history of Nrityavani at St Charles School Auditorium, wherein 25 girls had the opportunity to present two months of hard work and dedication in a beautiful form of art and spirituality. Nrityavani of NBCLC presented ‘Nrityarpana,' an initial performance of children’s dance career.

The chief guest of the event was Archbishop Bernard Moras of Bangalore. Picture below.

The programme began with lighting of the lamp with 'Gayatri Mantra'*** sung by Suchita and Elizabeth… Fr Thomas D’Sa then took the opportunity to welcome the guests…

The children then performed 'Padam' enacting the fondling of Krishna as a child. Immediately after that, there was the 'Keerthanai' based on ‘Bhakti Raga’ in praise of Lord Natrajan of Chidambaram.

It was mostly about Krishna and Natrajan [=Shiva]. A “mission of evangelisation and inculturation”??

**The NBCLC promotes all scriptures equally. That is why “Words of God” and not “the Word of God”.

2.2b Bangalore: NBCLC Conducts Inter-Religious Prayer Service by Jessie Rodrigues, February 7, 2010 EXTRACT

The NBCLC group gave an introduction to the prayer service, followed by bhajans and a prayer dance. The uniqueness of the programme was the reading from Hindu scripture, Holy Quran and Holy Bible followed by reflection and prayer after every reading.

We have already noted, on page 55, that just a few years from its inception, the NBCLC hurriedly published "A very significant document… after a research seminar of about 50 scholars on non-Biblical scriptures."
Fr. Thomas D’Sa, Director, NBCLC

Bharatanatyam and other dance by Nrityavani - at the altar and during the Liturgy of the Holy Mass

2.3 Maundy Thursday Observed at NBCLC in Indian Style by Jessie Rodrigues April 06, 2007 EXTRACT

Bangalore: Maundy Thursday was solemnly observed in NBCLC, Bangalore in Indian Style* with hymns, bhajans and shlokas in English, Hindi, Kannada and Konkani on Thursday, April 5. *The Indian Rite of Mass

NBCLC director Fr Thomas D'Sa and nine concelebrants offered the Mass.

The ceremony started with a Bharatanatyam dance depicting the Last Supper, by Nrityavani troupe.

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