Saturday, March 3, 2012

Bodhisattva Padmapani

In Sanskrit, Bodhisattva (बोधिसत्त्व; Pali: bodhisatta) is either an enlightened (bodhi) existence (sattva) or an enlightenment-being. Padmapani is ‘Holder of the Lotus’. This is the Sanskrit name of the bodhisattva Avalokitesvara - “The Lord who looks down (with compassion)”. He is the one who embodies the compassion of all Buddhas and is one of the more widely revered bodhisattvas.

Title : Padmapani
Size : 20" x 30 "

This collage is a depiction of the oldest and most famous of murals in India – ‘Padmapani’. 
Photo of Padmapani at Ajantha
Sometime during the 7th century, Buddhist monks painted frescoes on cave walls in what is now famous as the Ajantha caves in India.

Padmapani - the embodiment of compassion is one of these.

Buddhahood can be attained only after various lives of bodhisattva. Bodhisattvas are beings who work for the enlightenment of others, not just themselves. Sometimes it is said that Bodhisattvas make the ultimate sacrifice of giving up their own salvation (Buddhahood) out of compassion for other sentient beings.

The Buddha is not decorated; statues of bodhisattvas are for they need not be monks. They may live in society and dress like everybody else. The only difference is on the inside. Bodhisattvas exist in the world just to help others.

It is believed that Bodhisattvas manifest where they are needed in many forms. They might be friends or strangers, young or old, a tradesman, a salesperson or anyone. They might be you. Whenever needed help is given without selfish attachment, there is the hand of the bodhisattva. When we see and hear the suffering of others and respond to that suffering, we are the hands of the bodhisattva.

Trees in Evening light

Size :  10.5" x 7.5 "

The evening light in Mumbai just before the beginning of summer is beautiful.

All colours take on a golen hue. It is as if one were looking through yellow coloured glass.

When the light turns everything golden at the twilight hour, we know that summer has arrived.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

My first guest post

I have just had the opportunity to do a guest post and that too on the blog of an accomplished artist and collagist of many years experience - Kathryn Uster. What can I say, I am thrilled!!

Here is the link to my post on Kathryn's blog
(btw, I believe this counts as my art blog post for the month of February).
And this is the link to Kathryn’s website

Kathryn's art is brilliant.  Her eye for detail and bold colourful palette draw the viewer in and impart a sense of peace.   I urge you to visit and view her remarkable collage artworks.

And this is my guest post on Kathryn's blog.

Finding Our Zen 

I met Kathryn at the yahoo collage group and since then, she has been my guru in many collage related ways. As a collagist I still have a long way to go and the sum total of my knowledge and experience is limited by the number of years I have spent doing this. So in my guest post on her blog today, I thought I would share what collage means to me. 

I think creating a collage is almost like Zen meditation. It is uplifting and fulfilling at the spiritual level. Let me explain. Zen is the Japanese word for the Mandarin Chán, which in turn is derived from he Sanskrit word dhyāna meaning ‘meditation’. 

Personally, I find meditation tedious. Have you tried it? I find it difficult to sit down quietly for a length of time, with legs crossed, eyes shut, and concentrate on thinking nothing so we can give the brain a chance to rest and reboot as it were. I am told one needs discipline and training to be successful in meditation. Rather unregretful, I admit to being not concerned that I am not good at meditation, because I have a happier alternative. 

I love making paper collage. This is the next best thing to Zen meditation. I am convinced of it. I usually collect all the paraphernalia required and either stand at the dining table or sit on the floor. One could compare this to getting ready for meditation. Once I have decided on the broad idea of what I want to do, all I have eyes for is the colours that I am looking for. I find that without any effort on my part I am able to block out all the ambient noise and focus just on the tiny pieces of colour paper that I need at the moment. Sometimes I might spend hours bent over adjusting tiny bits of paper with tweezers and paint brush, unmindful of physical exhaustion. I am in Collage Heaven.

Meditation is said to calm the mind, so does collage making. Collage making is a very soothing and relaxing activity. I find that it quiets my mind, makes it more tranquil. It helps me forget the stresses of daily life. As a consequence, sometimes I also forget to fix dinner. 

Meditation is the process to know your consciousness – that you are not defined either by your body or your mind. You are just the witness to what is happening around you. Collage making does the same for me. These bits of paper have a mind of their own, and somehow they make themselves into a picture while I just watch out that they are glued well and flat, and stay within the overall theme. Sometimes these bits of paper can even change the theme and one can do nothing about it but go with the flow and bear mute witness. But that is a story for another day. Each torn piece of paper finds the right spot for itself like a jig-saw puzzle. Slowly the hazy idea in my brain gets created on paper. Each piece of paper torn by hand is unique in shape and size; thus, the collage creates itself to which I am merely a witness. So I believe collage is a kind of Zen. What does your Art mean to you? Do write in with your views and let’s compare notes.