On Being Guided by Purpose
With fourth-generation gospel musician, composer, educator, and performer extraordinaire, Dr. Raymond Wise, I was honored to discuss spirit, purpose, and the inner sources of strength as reflected in THE KURAL: Tiruvalluvar’s Tirukkural.
Here are a few highlights and where in the video you can find them:
- Energy and spirit. 4:36
- Being guided toward purpose. 7:44
- What no one can take away from you. 9:11
- Looking to the heights. 13:02
- Inner strength and outer strength. 16:03
- Commonality and connection between different world traditions. 19:21
Raymond Wise, Ph. D., a native of Baltimore, Md., began his musical career at the age of three, singing gospel music with his family singing group “The Wise Singers.” Professor Wise earned a B.F.A. in Music from Denison University (Granville, Ohio). He did additional studies in Opera, Art, and German at the Institute for European Studies in Vienna, Austria, and in African-American History, Music, and Dance at San Francisco State University in San Francisco, California.
He completed an apprenticeship in the business and recording of Gospel Music with the Walter Hawkins Corporation in Oakland, California. Professor Wise earned a Masters in Music Education, Ohio Teacher’s Certification, and Doctorate in Music Education from The Ohio State University, with a dissertation titled Defining African American Gospel Music by Tracing its Historical and Musical Development from 1900 to 2000.
Professor Wise currently serves on the faculty of Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana, where he serves as Professor of Practice in the African American African Diaspora Studies department and instructs courses in African American music. He is the associate director of the African American Arts Institute, an IU division devoted to the perpetuation and performance of African American music and art. Wise conducts the African American Choral Ensemble. He has also served on the faculties of The Ohio State University, Denison University, and Trinity Lutheran Seminary.
Here are the verses we talked about, in both English and Tamil:
One who has has energy—without it
What does one have
உடையர் எனப்படுவ தூக்கம் அஃதில்லார்
உடைய துடையரோ மற்று
Let thought aspire to the heights—even
Unachieved it achieves
உள்ளுவ தெல்லாம் உயர்வுள்ளல் மற்றது
தள்ளினுந் தள்ளாமை நீர்த்து
Even the elephant immense and sharp-tusked
Fears the tiger’s attack
பரியது கூர்ங்கோட்ட தாயினும் யானை
வெரூஉம் புலிதாக் குறின்
Strength within is strength overflowing—those
Without it are trees not men
உரமொருவற் குள்ள வெறுக்கைஅஃ தில்லார்
மரம்மக்க ளாதலே வேறு
From chapter 60, “Having Energy.”