Posting Date: November 12, 2009
Ivan Pulinkala publishes book on karma and reincarnation
By Scott Singleton
Ivan Pulinkala, director of the dance program at Kennesaw State University, recently completed his first book, “Piper of the Soul: A choreographic and scholarly exploration of the doctrines of karma and reincarnation.” Pulinkala originally developed the concept of the book for his master’s thesis at Mills College in Oakland, Calif. Although he had been intending to turn his thesis into a book for years, he did not begin the process until he was approached by Lambert Academic Publishing.
On the topic of the book, Pulinkala explains, “Based on Hindu philosophy and religious literature, 'Piper of the Soul' investigates the doctrines of karma and reincarnation in the context of modern society. The Hindu god Krishna is referenced as a representation of the supreme power, calling all souls to the creator.”
The issues of karma and reincarnation are investigated using Krishna as the representation of the supreme power. The literature depicts the sound of Krishna’s flute as magnetizing, causing women to leave their husbands and enjoy a sensual union with the supreme. Pulinkala explains, “The metaphorical significance parallels the calling of the individual souls by the supreme creator. In search of this ultimate nirvana, we pass through hundreds and thousands of life cycles in a quest to attain 'Moksha' or purity.”
Pulinkala’s background also influenced his interest in the topic. Raised in a Christian family within predominantly Hindu New Delhi, India, he encountered two drastically different philosophies for existence. “Writing this book was my way of investigating these two doctrines of life.” He hopes the book will appeal to multiple constituents since it concerns “a powerful and fundamental quest about human existence.”
On the choreographic aspect of the book, Pulinkala says, “The book also serves as documentation for my choreographic thesis that was developed based on this research.” Additionally, the book offers valuable insight for students of dance. “It is beneficial because it gives them an example of how scholarly research can culminate in creative activity.”
In addition to “Piper of the Soul,” Pulinkala recently published an article in Art Concerns on a related subject. “The Sensuality of Indian Movement” is an examination of the dichotomy between the sensuality that is depicted in Indian art and the conservative nature of Indian society. Pulinkala describes the article as an "investigation of the effect years of foreign invasion had on the tantric ideas of sexuality and spirituality that were historically a celebrated aspect in Indian art."
“Piper of the Soul” is scheduled for release in January 2010.