20 December, 2015

2 worlds and what you should know about it.

All of us live in two worlds but very few of us realize it and are able to feel it. Each day of our life is cramped with so much to do that most of us forget to contemplate and get in touch with our inner self. Each day we wake up do our daily chores, go to work come back, watch T.V and go to sleep and the next day is no different but is that all there is to our life or is there something more?


When I say two worlds I mean the physical world where we live and the spiritual or the inner world which exists within us and there are moments in our life when each one of us is able to connect with that world for a brief moment. These moments can differ and vary from person to person.


To give you an example when you see a child playing carefree and smiling you see pure innocence and whilst you are watching that beautiful smile there is a smile on your face as well which comes naturally you don’t have to force that smile. It’s said that we are all a reflection of god and that at the core we are all as pure as Him. So no wonder when we see the child smiling a smile comes on our face as well.


Two Worlds I


I recall my own personal experience. There used to be an old lady who used to sit outside the temple that I used to visit off and on. She used to accept food and money from people who were kind enough to give it to her but I never saw her asking for money or for food to anyone. I remember one day walking up to her and giving her home cooked food and not food that was leftover or bought from a restaurant; and she accepted it. The following week I went again and she could see me from a distance and she kept looking at me with a strange look in her eyes which I am unable to express in words. I walked up and stood next to her and bent down to give her the food that I was carrying in my hand after receiving the packet of food she reached out for my hand and touched it on her forehead looked up and smiled. I can never forget that smile and her smile brought a smile on my face.  Giving is much more satisfying and yes it does make you happy than when you receive something.


Two Worlds II

This connect does not happen only when we see something nice and happy. This connect with our inner world can also be found when we deal with or look at something painful. We do not smile when we see a person in pain. The expression on our faces changes the moment we see someone in pain. We are able to connect at a deeper level within ourselves.

At the core we are all pure and equal but the physical/material world and the various interactions with different people along with the circumstances make each one of us what we are. We get so caught up in this world trying to survive, trying to make a living that in the whole process we end up distancing ourselves from our core being.

Two Worlds III



In our busy fast paced life our priorities have changed and we are all living more and more in the materialistic world and are busy chasing happiness outside in the physical world when it exists within us. Most people go about their whole life without realizing the inner world at all and some who do are caught in a struggle. There is a constant inner conflict that happens when you are treading in two worlds. There are a very few who find the correct balance and even rarer are those who find absolute bliss for eternity.


Two Worlds IV


This dual world has been written about by our ancestors and you can find them in various religious texts across religions and faiths. We are all souls who live in this physical world through our body and at times experience the inner world.


Two Worlds V



So, while we are going about our life trying to survive and earn a living let us not forget to take time to connect with our inner world. Experience the twin worlds that you live in and try to find a balance. 

Note: The paintings used in this post are created by me and are available for purchase from my site here

25 August, 2015

Update

Hi to anyone who is still around. Its been a long time since my last post. I have neglected the blog for a long time but all with good reason. I have been busy trying to relearn a few things and look beyond just pure paintings and try my hand at designing with the help of digital tools.

I had learnt the basics of Photoshop some 20 years back when it was still in a nascent stage in India. In fact Photoshop is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year since their release in the year 1990. I learnt it hoping to do some creative work but destiny had some other plans and I got into sales.

Twenty years later destiny gave me an opportunity to put to use those skills that were learnt. All thanks to Redbubble (RB) a creative community and marketplace on the world wide web.
I have been a member with RB for the last 3 years. I had to brush up my skills by relearning and updating myself but its been great fun pushing pixels with my mouse for a change than pushing paint with my brush.


RB initially started out with wall art and  then went on to introduce t-shirts and they have been gradually increasing their product range and have more than 30 products (T-shirts, Scarves, Leggings, Pencil Skirts, Tote Bags, Pouches, cases/skins for phones/laptop, Throw Pillows, Duvet Covers, Mugs, Spiral Notebooks, Hardcover Journals etc.) in their portfolio and many more to come.


If you would like to check out my portfolio on RB you can do so by clicking here. I am also selling my creations from a site called  Freecultr (FC) . They are similar to RB and are based out of India. You can find my works on FC here



FC currently is offering Rs. 200 off on all my creations and it is exclusively only on my store. So if you like something from my store you can avail the offer which is valid till 31st October 2015. You need to enter a coupon code during checkout to avail this offer. The coupon code is AAET98. 

 I am currently working on a painting but more on that in my future post. Take care and have a great day.

13 October, 2014

Ganesh Chaturthi

Ganesh Chaturthi  is the celebration of Lord Ganesha  or the elephant headed god as he is popularly known throughout the world. Each year Ganesh Chaturthi is celebrated with a lot of excitement and joy, but what exactly is Ganesh Chaturthi and what does it signify.

The hindu religion has been studied and interpreted by different people in different forms including the myriad rituals that are performed to the deities but the essence of all the interpretations is the same and leads one towards the supreme god.

Celebration of Ganesh Chaturthi is one such festival which reinforces the Advaita vedanta principle. Advaita (non dual in Sanskrit) refers to the identity of the true Self, Atman which is pure consciousness and the highest reality,Brahman , which is also pure consciousness. Followers seek liberation from the birth circle by acquiring Vidya (knowledge) of the identity of Atman and Brahman. 

Lord Ganesha  is praised in the hymn composed by Adi shankaracharya as Ajam Nirvikalpam Niraakaaramekam. This means that he is never born. He is Ajam (unborn), Nirvikalpa (attributeless) and Niraakaar (formless). He is omnipresent. This has also been described beautifully in the following stanza from "Atharvashirsham" which is considered to be the most powerful hymn written on Lord Ganesh.





Lord Ganesha is not outside us he is within us; the individual self is not different from Brahman. This is again described in the following stanza from “Atharvashirsham” where he is stated to reside in the mooladhara Chakra.






The ritual of immersing (visarjan) of the idol in water after few days of worship reinforces the understanding that God is not in the idol, it's inside us. So while we experience the omnipresent in the form we ought to bear in mind our formless reality.  This is the essence of the Ganesha Chaturthi festival.

Another interesting aspect of Lord Ganesh can be found in the first line of the above mentioned stanza from “Atharvashirsham”. He is described as “tvam gunatrayatitah” guna means qualities. There are three primary qualities (gunas) of nature (prakriti). It is present in varying degrees in different permutations and combinations among all living beings as defined in the Bhagavad gita they are  Sattva – (awareness, being), Rajas - (activity, intent), and Tamas - (lethargy, inertia). The role of gunas is to bind all living beings through wants for all objects desirous of their senses thus keeping them under the control of prakriti.

Tamas represents darkness, ignorance, stagnation, inertia, indolence, obstruction, dullness, heaviness and is Black in color.

Rajas represents desire, passion, energy, movement, expansion, greed, restlessness, agitation, craving, attachment and is Red in color

Sattva represents light, truth, goodness, intelligence, knowledge, joy, pure, calm, clarity and the lightness of being and is White in color

This is my abstract version of 3 gunas. If you are interested in buying this painting you can do so over here

 
3 Gunas
The three gunas are present in the divine consciousness and they exist in perfect harmony. When this harmony is disturbed the process of creation begins and all living beings are created possessing these gunas in various proportions.

These gunas are there in all of us in various levels and depending on the circumstances, environment, the food we eat etc., one of these gunas are dominant than the other two during various times in our life.So if we understand these gunas we will be in a better position to curb and cultivate some of our gunas to be able to lead a better life.

I have been celebrating Ganesh Chaturthi for the last three years by making Lord Ganesha at home with natural clay. Here is a pic of the ganesh that was made by me this year.





I hope Lord Ganesha gives us the intelligence to watch our conduct and keep in mind the 3 gunas while we go about our life. Let us endeavor to awaken the consciousness which lies veiled within us.

21 May, 2014

Goals - Do You Really Need One?

Each one of us must have given some thought to this at some point in our life. Some may have had goals, some may have not had any and some wouldn't have bothered to give it a thought at all. I didn't have a goal when I passed out of college. All I knew was I had to work to earn money. I gave it a thought quite late in my life when I had spent almost half of my life working in sales and was seriously contemplating to pursue my passion for arts and take it up as a full time profession.

I used to watch every morning people fresh from their morning bath wearing their neatly ironed clothes and marching along on their way to work. As I watched them I used to think about what drives them to get up every morning and go to work? (Besides the fact that they have to feed their families and earn a living) did each one of these people have a goal in their life? What do you mean by goal? Is it necessary to have a goal what if one does not have a goal?

A whole lot of questions were floating in my mind. What is a goal? According to the dictionary: 

1) Something  that you hope to achieve.

2) The purpose toward which an endeavor is directed.
3) The object of a person’s ambition or effort; an aim or desired result:

Each Individual is different and unique in his own way. Like the saying one size doesn't fit all. Likewise there is no universal solution or rule. Each one is different and so are their needs and solutions.

There are different perspectives of looking at goals. Some are of the opinion that, if you have a goal you are so focused on it that you end up losing a lot of good opportunities that pass you by without you having noticed it. There is also a disappointment when you do not achieve your goal.

There are some others that live life each day as it comes and have very specific short term goals that are achievable. The last category is those that do not have any goal in their life.

Most people do not realize that every day from the time we get up to the time when we go to bed we end up making goals and achieving some of them, but they are so small that we do not want to term them as goals.


What do you think of goals? My own experiences during my transition phase led me to doing a series of paintings on them. You can take a look at them by visiting my gallery page here.

Do let me know what you think about goals in the comments below. I will end this post with this talk by Tony Robbins who is a TED speaker and who talks about - Why we do what we do. There is a bit of profanity in the language he uses but if you can ignore that and without being judgemental of the speaker, If you can try to take the positives from this talk you will find this talk inspiring and make you focus on the why which is essential.






It doesn't matter whether you have a goal or not what matters is why you do a certain thing. I hope this post will make you ponder on goals and on why you do what you do. Take care everyone and have a great day.