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Japan Society, NYC
March 2018

Eulogy to a MENTOR

Rand Castile Eulogy

with music

Mahamaya's

Uma's Bells

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A Tribute to a Mentor and Visionary

 

Rand Castile

 

 

Ranjit Makkuni

March 2018

 

I am a designer and musician, and my design and musical works have been exploring bridges between the spiritual wisdom of Asia and the modernity we find ourselves in today.

 

Although I grew up in India, in the 70s,  I came to study computer science in the US in the 80s, and landed my first job at Xerox Palo Alto research center.. There I was in Palo Alto, taking refuge in the newly found tech Nirvana,  and from that base,  over the years our earliest research has grown to take over the world…But happy I was in my tech heaven I was ignorant of the wealth of culture that I had left behind,

 

Within months of joining Parc, I had visions of Buddha forms appearing out of the blue, yes sitting in the tech offices of Palo Alto, -- yes no kidding—And one of my first projects at Xerox PARC was to invent and discover multimedia forms for learning, and this research was occurring in a world  otherwise filled with text.

 

As part of my explorations, we wanted to bring to the Tibetans new tools to capture and disseminate their culture through new media, and one thing led to another, I was ending up looking for a collaborator, and lo!and behold!! I landed at Rand’s doorsteps at the Asian Art Museum.

That was a turning point not just for computer sciences and multimedia learning research;but, for me too !... because of Rand, I got to see the riches of Asia all concentrated in one treasure chest, all cultures side by side, and all under one roof in The Asian Art Museum. The museum and Rand’s programming of the museum helped me become aware of my own ignorance of Asia, and later the riches of Asia….

 

Therefore, meeting Rand was my return to Asian wisdom and the rediscovery of Asian creativity.

 

Rand was a hidden guru teacher like figure, helping all of us to see the magic of Asia…and its spirituality expressed through its art and I am truly grateful.

 

Later all my works in new technology and design would be influenced by Asian art, my designs would be inspired and reflective of  Asian spiritual themes and the world would be better because of that! The museum works on Banaras, the eternal city of Lord Shiva, the Gandhi museum, the Goddess and Music museum, the Planet Health museum all trace links to the my learning at  Rand’s Asian art museum of San Francisco.

 

I am thankful. It was my good Karma.

Music of Uma's Bells, courtesy of Mahamaya Experience. (2018) all rights reserved.

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REVIEWS

Soulful presentation

Mithilesh Kumar

Glad that you brought Asian art, all of it to India and South East Asia..

Lama Wangyal, Dharmshala

Didn't know Asia was leading  such innovative thinking.

Sara Blackmore

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(c) 2018  Ranjit Makkuni

(c) 2018 The  Mahamaya Experience

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