In the Indian art tradition, an artist’s first and the most important recognition is the school of thought, or the parampara (Gharana) that he or she hails from. Following a certain parampara fixes ones place in the overall art and artists map. It is identification as important as ones lineage. The artists search is not for a unique self; instead it is for submerging himself in a perennial flow. And when the artist does identify himself, it is only in order to situate or contextualize himself in an ongoing discourse, which is larger than himself. The Guru or the teacher is very significant, as he passes on to the student fine nuances and the essence of generations of traditions. The maturity of an artist is gauged by the extent to which he has mastered the intricacies of his Gharana under the guidance of his Guru.
Every once in a while there emerges a great artist, a dynamic Guru, who redefines and reshapes the existing norms and becomes the fountainhead for a new tradition, a new Parampara, enriched by the past yet bearing the individual stamp of this personality.