“Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life."
( 18inches x 24inches on Canvas)
All this is full, All that is full.
From fullness, fullness comes.
When fullness is taken from fullness,
Fullness still remains.
Aum Shanti Shanti Shanti
I call this painting Aham Brahmasmi. This painting is very special to me because this is my first composition on a canvas and is also my first oil painting. For this painting I employed a technique called Mischtechnik, under the guidance of Daniel Mirante, who is a great artist and a fantastic teacher. This technique belongs to the Renaissance period. Mischtechnik means ‘mix technique’. It involves painting by coating on several layers of paint giving the canvas a slightly three dimensional feel.
Aham Brahmasmi is an acknowledgement of the fact that you are all of creation and all of creation is you. Everything is tied together by virtue of being that same substance. Some people believe that all of creation resides in each and every one of us and that all of us are qualitatively united. However, this takes into account our being post birth, then what about before our birth? If questioned about what we were before being born, most of us will say we were nothing. And what happens when we die? What are we then? We go back to being that ‘nothing’. Similarly, the world too began from nothing and will one day go back to being nothing. That nothingness is Shiva.
He is the source of everything, like the soil that forms the base for all creation. Shiva has no beginning or end. He created himself out of nothingness and because of this he is known as Swayambhu. Even though Shiva is identified as the god of destruction, he was the one who created everything in this world. Furthermore, even his destruction is for the purpose of restoration. According to Hindu mythology, Shiva destroys so that the universe may be re-created more perfectly. In fact, his role as creator should be emphasised more than his role of being a destroyer. His major part in creation is often overlooked as Shiva is most famously associated with getting angry and opening his third eye thereby destroying everything. But only because of this destruction, is there room for creation. Hindu mythology claims that the universe regenerates in cycles. At the end of every such cycle, Shiva is responsible for obliterating the universe and this gives rise to more and better creation.
WINGS OF LIGHT
(24inches x 36inches on CANVAS)
(24inches x 36inches on CANVAS)
Knowledge is not just limited to how many facts you know or how many books you have read. Knowledge is also about experience and procedural knowledge which forms the practical side of knowledge that is how to do things. Knowledge has always been one of the most valued and precious gifts in the history of the world. According to Indian philosophers, it is important to have knowledge so that you can escape the cycle of life and death and attain moksha. But according to most people, being knowledgeable helps one go through life with more ease.
It provides a base for certainty in this uncertain world and drives fear away. Fear is most often caused by what we do not know. Thus the more we know, the less fearful and we are and thereby knowledge has the power to set us free from this fear. Just as Miles David once said, “Knowledge is freedom…” There is a saying in Hindi that roughly translates to “When God has to put you through a tough time in life, he first corrupts your mind” meaning that in this phase of life, you will not be able to properly employ what you know. Even the worst of times can be combatted through knowledge and information. Knowledge, just like love, does not reduce upon sharing in fact; it grows as much as you distribute it to those around you. There is no end to knowledge and everyday, in the smallest activities there is scope to learn more and more, and everyday, you have the power to uplift yourself.