Thursday, February 25, 2016

An Ancient Concept of Sport in Modern Perspective

SPORT is a comprehensive term used commonly at different occasions with different shades of meaning e.g. competitive sport, traditional sport, kinder sport, aqua sport, aero sport, adventure sport, winter sport. Concept of the term ‘sport’ can be formed on the basis of specific characteristics found common in all these activities labeled as sport. 
Enjoyability:  All sportive activities are enjoyable. Participant participates in sport voluntarily because it gives him pleasure. Similarly, millions of people witness matches in stadium or through electronic media. Why? because of the inherent principle of pleasure present in it.  Sport may be individual type or a group activity, remains always enjoyable. So, while formulating concept of sport, the principle of enjoyability is considered on priority.

Voluntarism: Participation in sport is always a voluntary move. Mind of a child is prepared for play. So, this voluntarism must be nurtured. There cannot be act of compulsion in it.
Social acceptability: Any activity brought under the banner of ‘Sport” must have social acceptability. Every society has its own culture and socially acceptable practices. Activities going against these conventional practices cannot be accepted by the society as sportive activity.
In view of these three parameters required to be considered while defining and formulating concept of the term ‘Sport’ it is attempted to project the term “KRIDA” which is Sanskrit word equivalent to the term ‘SPORT’. Sanskrit is one of the oldest languages developed in India and most of the ancient literature and texts are in this language. Ancient Vedic literature dates back to at least 5000 years BC. It is in these Texts - the term Krida is found profusely used to connote the meaning of Sport.
Krida is defined: The physical activities in which people participate and which delight them. The broader sense of the term includes all recreational activities in which one gets pleasure in participation. S`is`u krida is referred to as child sport. Adult play is based on politico-social needs and play activities of cultural significance; Raas Krida is a dancing form of sport, Jala-Krida is water sport, Kanduka Krida is ball sport; S’ailadhirohan krida means rock climbing sport; As’wa Kanduka Krida means Horse Polo sport. Whatsoever be the basis of sport, the eternal principle of enjoyment remains the same. The concept they had formed about sport clearly indicated their inclination towards deriving recreation, fun, enjoyment and pleasure through sporting activity. They had separated the term ‘physical exercise’ from the term sport. The exercise in Sanskrit is called ‘Vyayam’. It is aimed at building strength and fitness. A separate chapter is written on the term ‘Vyayam’ in ancient medical Texts. Element of enjoyment has little significance in this term.
Pure Joy or Anand: Apart from material pleasure, krida is also viewed in terms of spiritualism. The joy or Anand that one derives from voluntary participation in sport.  According to ancient theory of joy or happiness, there is no distinction of kind between physical good and spiritual good, the two are commensurable in terms of each other. Physical good is itself an aspect of ‘bliss’. The physical bliss, which is the first step for achieving spiritual bliss, is obtainable through the medium of sport- the bliss that is non-polluted, and perfectly pure should be the output of sport. For achieving such a pure bliss the sport which is free from competitions, commercialism and brutality should also be of different type. The sport in which one gets completely engrossed, the sport which is of individual type, non-competitive and that makes the individual forget everything around him. In this theory of joy, though the emphasis is on ‘Krida’ or sport, equally important is the body or S’arira that has to be swift, firm and strong. Such a type of body is obviously possible only through sport and physical education.
The principles of voluntarism and social acceptability are properly safeguarded as they are inherent in this philosophy. From a very different perspective sport was viewed by ancient Indians. Not frustration, but pleasure, no hatred, but love, no competition, but cooperation, no materialism, but spiritualism, no commercialism, but amateurism, etc. are the inner characteristics of ‘sport’. When can we have such type of sport possessing these characteristics available to our younger generation? 


1 comment:

madhuwagh said...

Nice, informative one ! Thanks a lot !