Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for May 26th, 2013

Baba

This entire posting is composed of 3 parts:(1) Posting: My Notes From Baba’s Museum: Dioramas;
(2) Point of Information: Mosquito: How Gods And Goddesses Are Created;
(3) Prabhat Samgiita #3287;

== MY NOTES FROM BABA’S MUSEUM: DIORAMAS ==

Namaskar,
Most are aware about the magnificent paintings of Lord Shiva and elaborate dioramas of Lord Krsna which Baba has bestowed upon our Ananda Marga society. In particular, this letter focuses on the making and significance of the dioramas depicting Lord Krsna’s life.

Note: For those who may not be aware, dioramas are miniature sculptures that represent an entire scene and this whole artistic yet life-like creation is set inside a glass encasement and put on display.

VARIOUS VISITS TO BABA’S QUARTERS

Like many margiis, by Baba’s divine grace, I got numerous opportunities to visit Madhu Malainca – i.e. Baba’s Quarters in Lake Gardens. On several occasions I was there for gardening projects and other callings etc. While on site at the Baba’s Quarters, there were many things I saw those days – some I understood and some not.

Generally though I did not like to ask any questions. Mostly I thought that, ‘According to His liking Baba will explain or not explain; and whichever way He chooses that will be perfect.’ So like this many of the visits passed by His grace.

HOW THE DIORAMAS WERE MADE

Those dioramas about Lord Krsna are very special and that Baba Himself ordered them to be hand-crafted.

Baba had called & paid the top, expert sculptors, artists, and craftsmen of Kolkata and described to them in great detail how they were to make these dramatic dioramas. Baba gave them very elaborate instructions and monitored their progress up to the very last detail. In that way, under Baba’s meticulous direction, those dioramas were made by the finest artisans of Kolkata. Altogether it was a massive project as there were numerous casings of dioramas – each specially designed and hand-crafted with tremendous attention to detail.

WHY WERE THEY MADE

In brief, we can say that there are two fundamental reasons why the dioramas were made.

First, Baba has used the dioramas to clarify existing misunderstandings. Specifically, the various religions of the world are filled with dogmas which have led to exploitation, suffering, and stagnation. Not only that, such religions have created a plethora of gods and goddesses – that are numerous and contradictory in nature. The common person does not know what to believe. In His many discourses, especially in His books Namah Shivaya Shantaya and Namami Krsnasundaram, as well as in His dioramas etc, Baba has uncovered these myths and given the real history and dharmic meaning. And verily we see that many of the dioramas clarify half-truths and dogmas propagated by certain religious bodies.

Second, Baba made these dioramas because He wants to get His message and teachings to people through various media. Not everyone reads literary essays; not everyone attends dharmic seminars, especially children & young kids. People learn in different ways. The dioramas are an avenue to present dharmic teachings through a visual display. With a relatively quick look, a person can get the basic meaning of what is going on. But to understand it more deeply, study and critical evaluation is needed. If, however, one is already aware of those related teachings, then the dioramas serve as a quick reference and reminder to the key idea. Thus the dioramas are a way to convey knowledge. Actually, such visual presentations create a deeper imprint in one’s memory as people often organise their thoughts and memories with images, not words.

Nowadays, the various news agencies use diverse media: the written word, television, radio, blogs, videos, podcasts etc. By these avenues, they get their message out to a wide audience. Similarly, one of the medias which Baba has chosen for delivering His message is sculpture in the form of these dioramas.

So these are two fundamental reasons why Baba commissioned artists to create these dioramas.

Following is a description of Diorama #4 for everyone’s knowledge and understanding.

THE ELABORATE SCENE DEPICTED IN DIORAMA #4

Diorama #4 is so very dramatic. The scene takes place inside one hall of Krsna’s uncle’s house. Three female attendants and a male guard are standing around completely shocked. And the lady of the house is also present. And they are all astonished by one tremendous event. Because there sprawled out on the middle of the floor is one gigantic demonic female monster. She has huge fangs, long claws, over-sized arms, wild eye balls, dinosaur-like feet, and so many other nasty qualities. And this female demon is quite enraged – on her death bed. She is lying on her back with her chest exposed and there on one of her breasts is the baby Krsna.

By the entire scene one can understand that this is the famous moment which Baba has recounted numerous times where the evil secret agent Putana put poison on her breast in an attempt to kill the baby Krsna. But Krsna being well aware of Putana’s evil ways had to save Himself so He bit into her breast thus making the poison go into Putana’s blood – thereby killing the female spy Putana.

EVIL SCARY MONSTER

So what is the righteous reason behind Baba’s depiction in Diorama #4 where He presents one woman, Putana, as one evil, scary monster.

In reality, Putana was an intelligence agent (undercover spy) so surely she looked like a motherly lady. Because if really Putana looked like a monster then none of Krsna’s family members would have allowed her to go near the tender young baby Krsna. To be effective, spies always must fit in naturally and be able to perfectly play the needed role. As a top-calibre spy, certainly in real life Putana looked like a caring, loving mother etc. In His diorama, Baba designed the image of Putana in a way that clearly reflects her standard of mind and intent.

In each and every art form or media of creative expression, the artist has a special technique for presenting their subject. In literature, a writer can directly state, “Putana was an evil-minded and demonic lady.” And by this way the reader will understand. Similarly, a painter has their special technique – through the use of colours and facial expressions etc – for expressing that Putana was a bad and nasty lady. In that same manner, Baba ordered the sculptor of this diorama employed visual effects to present the idea that Putana was a demonic creature whose sole intention was to murder Lord Krsna. That is why Putana was sculpted with fangs and claws etc. This was Baba’s artistic way of conveying His dharmic message about the demonic-minded Putana.

SHINING THE SPOTLIGHT ON DHARMA

Here the main point is Baba is teaching everyone where dharma lies. That is the secret behind the presentation of all His dioramas – and certainly diorama #4 as well. Because Baba wants to teach sadhakas the truth that Putana is an evil being and that Krsna was perfectly justified in killing her in self-defense. And the best way to capture this is to present Putana as some demonic character. This art form was used to clearly and graphically portray her mental state and depraved actions.

By this way everyone will understand that Putana is some horrid creature. Otherwise if Putana was displayed in her actual physical appearance, then after seeing the normal figurine of Putana, ordinary people will not be able to understand the nature her deeds. When in fact Putana really was a wretched creature.

“[Putana] took a different path, the negative path – they [Putana and other intelligence personnel] wanted to destroy the very nucleus of the universe, Lord Krs’n’a, the greatest treasure of humanity.” (1)

Thus Putana’s entire character was very black – negative and evil-minded. From start to finish she was dastardly. That was her inner nastiness; she was an enemy of dharma. So to depict her in a befitting way Baba has chosen to apply demoniacal traits to her physical body. And by that way everyone – even children – will reach the dharmic conclusion that Putana was one scary figure who got the negative death that she deserved. By this way no innocent observer will mistakenly sympathize with Putana. Rather all will be pulled forward on the path of dharma; and the enemies of dharma will be exposed naked. That is the beauty of Baba’s dioramas about Lord Krsna. Such clairvoyant depictions put a spotlight on the path of dharma for everyone to follow.

USING CLAWS AND FANGS

By this entire scene Baba is also paving the way for how we are to move ahead. He has created one pathway for us all to follow. Because during His advent He has not at all depicted His own greatness; rather He has explained Lord Krsna and Lord Shiva through His comprehensive books – Namah Shivaya Shantaya & Namami Krsna Sundaram – and by these dioramas etc. But about His own Self and His own life experiences, Baba has not said much. That He has graciously left for us to do. Thus Baba has bestowed that honour on His devotees and He has shown us how to spread the grandeur of Parama Purusa in the right way.

So just as He has done in those dioramas, we should also apply all the artistic, theatrical, and literary talents of the humanity to highlight His greatness and at the same time employ those same talents to reveal the nastiness of those who opposed dharma. So when we present the life history of Shrii Shrii Anandamurti ji we should honor Him and reveal the sinister intentions those who tried to hurt and defame dharma – such as Indira Gandhi, Jytoi Basu etc. Our writers and artists must depict despotic rulers like Indira Gandhi in the darkest way possible – using claws and fangs etc. By this way it will be perfectly clear to one and all that Indira Gandhi was wretched and negative like Satan. Because those who oppose dharma are enemies of the humanity.

This is the dynamic task which Baba has shown us how to do. And by this way we can glorify dharma and guide the humanity where dharma lies. So on this point – like so many others – we should follow His all-knowing example.

SHE WAS A MEMBER OF THE INTELLIGENCE DEPT

Here below is Baba’s dharmic description of this monumental and historical event which ultimately was depicted in Diorama #4. By Baba’s below analysis we can easily understand that Putana was one evil woman.

“Why did the child Krs’n’a kill Putana? She was a member of the intelligence department…Putana was one such female intelligence agent employed by [the demonic] Kansa, king of Mathura… Krs’n’a did not plan to go to them and kill them, but He was obliged to strike back in self-defense when they made an attempt on His life. He could easily have killed Pu’tana’ Ra’ks’asii with his occult powers, but He did not. Putana attempted to suckle Krs’n’a after applying poison to her breast, but Krs’n’a bit her breast sharply, and the poison got into her bloodstream, and she died. Even nucleus of the universe, Lord Krs’n’a, the greatest treasure of humanity. Vraja Krs’n’a had to kill them as a last resort. He did not kill them for the sake of killing, but to counteract their evil tendency to destroy human solidarity.” (2)

Similarly Diorama #4 represents the exact same dharmic idea that the demonic woman Putana who tried to murder the baby Krsna was a completely horrible person. And by depicting her as one enraged demon then everyone can understand that indeed this lady is negative. And that it was needed for Krsna to kill her – because of her bad deeds.

And we A’nanda Ma’rgiis should do the same for Baba by glorifying His divine advent and presenting His nefarious opponents like Indira Gandhi as beastly monsters. Then even simple people can easily recognize the dastardliness of Indira Gandhi as well as understand & appreciate Baba’s greatness and glory.

MERELY THE EXPRESSION OF MEAN PROPENSITIES

“When the movement is towards the sentient force, that is, when the mutative force overpowers the static force and the sentient force overpowers the mutative force, in that case the psychic movement is called psycho-spiritual. This type of movement gives birth to true art and science; whereas that knowledge which creates numerous obstacles and problems for the human society is not at all wisdom, but merely the expression of mean propensities of mind. When nothing great is created, then cheap sentiments emerge for low-grade art, literature, architecture, sculpture.” (3)

PARASITIC WEEDS OF IMMATURE EXPRESSION

“The human mind has two main functions: thinking and recollecting. The human being is predominantly a mental being. So the greatness and excellence of human beings lies in their thinking capacity, intellectual subtlety and brilliance, and wisdom. Human beings, in the process of expressing their creative faculties, externalize the colourful and varied ideas of their psychic world in a variety of ways: on canvas with colours and brushes, in poetry and literature with the strokes of their pens, and in sculpture with the subtle use of hammers and chisels. Their philosophical ideas, their scientific observations and experiments, and the study and analysis of various branches of knowledge are exclusively within the psychic preserve of the human mind, and have been honoured as the golden harvest of the psychic realm. But if there is a lack of pramá in the psychic sphere, then many omissional and commissional mistakes and defects are bound to enter into their art, architecture, literature, philosophy, science and other branches of human knowledge. Dance may lose its rhythm, painting may lack proportion, music may lose the harmony of its melody and rhythm, and in the various branches of literature there may be an overgrowth of the parasitic weeds of immature expression.” (4)

BRINGING THOUGHT OR IDEA INTO THE WORLD OF FORM

IS HIS ARTISTIC SÁDHANÁ

“Sculpture, which are considered to be the subtlest of all the arts, that we find the true expression of the wonderful aesthetic quality of the human mind. In the calm stillness of a painting or sculpture, everything has to be vividly expressed – laughter and tears, hopes and fears, gestures and language. Indeed, painting and sculpture beautifully bridge the gap between the mundane and the supramundane.”
“In painting and sculpture, as in drama, the question of naturalness or unnaturalness arises, and here, too, the same answer holds true: the mode of expression must be chosen to suit the sentiment expressed. In fact, to raise the question of naturalness or unnaturalness in painting is absolutely unfitting. At the time of giving physical expression to his or her mental image, the artist is not bound to reproduce a particular part of the body according to physiological science. Giving form to a thought or idea is what is important; the artist is not a teacher of physiology. Bringing thought or idea into the world of form is his or her artistic sádhaná.” (5)

SCULPTORS SHOULD BE GIVEN FULL FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION

ARTWORK SHOULD BE ACCESSIBLE TO THE PEOPLE

“Painting and sculpture, the two subtlest art forms, are the most lacking in popular encouragement and sympathy. It may be argued that in countries where idolatry is prevalent, sculptors have been able to preserve their art due to popular support, and the problem of their subsistence is thus being solved without government aid. Is this not, some say, the most significant sign of popular support? I cannot persuade myself, however, that the people of idolatrous countries are connoisseurs and patrons of sculpture. There is no doubt that the people of such countries buy images from the image-makers, but they do this due to the inspiration of their religion and not out of love for art. If love of art were their motivation, then they would certainly not throw those symbols of art into the water after worship. The situation is different where people buy images of metal, wood or stone to permanently establish a deity in their homes; but there, too, the buyer’s intention is not to encourage art. Although they pay some attention to the beauty and sweetness of the image, they do not give a free hand to the sculptor to create it as he or she wishes and the artists’ work remains confined within the boundaries of the religious eulogies to particular gods; they seldom have any opportunity to display their own original ideas. Hence the observation that the people of idolatrous countries patronize art by buying images is not correct – they only help to preserve a particular class of artists.”
“In order to encourage the art of sculpture, sculptors should be given full freedom as artists, or else their creations will be mere made-to-order, commonplace things. These artists should be free to sculpt images of human beings, animals, natural objects and all natural and unnatural events. Then, freely giving shape to new ideas, they will go on producing new gods every day, and the dhyána mantras of the gods will evolve around the products of their art. Then alone will art find its justification. The artists’ creations will not remain confined within the four walls of the temples, but will rather be in close contact with the common people in all spheres of social life. Statues, deities and other creations will attain a place in every field of life – in homes, drawing rooms, clubs, schools, parks, and indeed, everywhere. Sculpture must also be popularized by occasionally holding exhibitions.” (6)

MOULD THE IMAGE OF THE GODDESS AFTER THE IDEAL OF A HARLOT

“Keeping this refrain in mind, they must continue in their relentless effort to fight against the seemingly indomitable might of hundreds and thousands of obstacles which are deeply rooted in age-old superstitions that are firmly entrenched in petty selfishness. Their pens may break into pieces, their brushes may be compelled to draw only lines of water on the canvas, and their histrionic flows may end in mute protests, yet their efforts must continue unceasingly. Each of their petty defeats shall be strung together as pearls in the garland of victory.”
“When for age after age society spins in the murky eddies of evil and vice, when individual and collective knavery masquerades as intelligence, when hypocrisy, bribery and fraud are the yardsticks for measuring the ability to lead – it is then that the genuine followers of Bháratii [the goddess of learning] must struggle on in spite of constant humiliation. Only taunts and insults will be their fate. Those who are afraid of these insults are incapable of offering anything really lasting to humanity. How can people who lack moral strength, under whose feet the soil is not hard and strong, invite anyone in to a cool, refreshing shelter and impart happiness to them? It may be possible to drag oneself through life by sucking the blood of others like social parasites, but this will not bring fulfilment to either sáhityikas or their readers.”
“The artist or sáhityika who assumes the responsibility of leading humanity along the path to light from the caverns of darkness will have to heed the road signs on that path. It is not possible to guide others with mere cheap, superficial knowledge, like a half-baked pandit who reads a half-a-dozen books and then spouts a few mouthfuls of grandiloquence, and who has obtained a doctorate by plagiarizing others’ works. Rather it is necessary for the sáhityika or artist to have a keen and vigorous insight, without which all their endeavours will prove fruitless. Merely juggling words or depicting defects in society will not satisfy the hunger of the human mind – and such creations of art are indeed valueless for social progress as well. One must know the path, and one must also know how to move on it. If those who have not comprehended what the form of society will be, allow the trends of the past that have shaped the present to proceed unchecked, they can never lead society to the path of perfection. They will in fact thrust society into darkness in the name of social reform; they will encourage license in the name of freedom. Instead of modelling a woman after the ideal of a goddess, they will mould the image of the goddess after the ideal of a harlot.”
“Sáhityikas are epoch-makers and so they are the sages and seers of society. They cannot afford to forget their dignified calling even for a moment. They are the messengers of the mute masses, the guardians of society. Their slightest mistake may result in catastrophe, and even a small amount of caution may open up many new possibilities. So a person whose thought and expression is not restrained had better not meddle with the practice of art.” (7)

Namsakar,
At His lotus feet,
Chandramohan

REFERENCES:
1. Namami Krsnasundaram, Disc 19
2. Namami Krsnasundaram: Disc 19
3. A Few Problems Solved – 5, Heterogeneity in Aesthetics
4. A Few Problems Solved – 8, Pramá – 1 / Dynamic Equilibrium and Equipoise
5. A Few Problems Solved – 1, The Practice of Art and Literature
6. A Few Problems Solved – 1, The Practice of Art and Literature
7. A Few Problems Solved – 1, The Practice of Art and Literature

The section below demarcated by asterisks is an entirely different topic,
completely unrelated to the above material. It stands on its own as a point of interest.

***************************************************

Mosquito: How Gods And Goddesses Are Created

In India, this is the typical way in which gods and goddesses are created. Wherever the masses are not well-educated then they are prone to superstition. And when superstition sprouts these types of gods and goddesses are created to resolve the issues and problems of the common people. This is the typical formula. All such gods and goddesses were created in this way: Durga, Sarasvata, Vishnu, Laksmii, Ram, Ganesh, Hanuman, Kali, Surya, Jagannath, etc.

“In many cases people are devoted to upadevatás out of fear and sometimes they are worshipped in the hopes of obtaining something. Banabibi [The Lady of the Forest] is there to save one from the grasp of the tiger. Besides her, there is Dakśińa Ráya; out of fear of cholera people worship Olái Cańd́ii; out of fear of smallpox they worship Shiitaládevii; out of fear of snakes, Manasá. These are all upadevatás. The women of a household will sometimes worship Lakśmii year-round to bring happiness in the family; Śet́erá as well as Suvacanii is worshipped in the ritual peace ceremony; Śaśt́hii and Niila are worshipped to bring welfare to one’s children; and out of fear of illness Shmashánkálii and Rakśekálii are worshipped. In Sanskrit they are all classified as upadevatás because they are not Parama Puruśa, the object of meditation in the spiritual world. Besides these, there are many other upadevatás such as Mangalacańd́ii, Áshánbibi, Satyapiira, etc. Upadevatás are also called folk [laokik] gods and goddesses. Some of them have dhyána mantras and some do not; some of them also have dhyána mantras in the local or state language and some do not have that either. In many cases the gods and goddesses of the Buddhist and Jain eras came or are coming to be worshipped as upadevatás in the post-Buddhist and post-Jain eras. Those spiritual aspirants who follow the paths of knowledge, action and devotion, of course, do not bow their heads to upadevatás. They practise the sádhaná of the singular Parama Puruśa.”
“Some people call ghosts upadevatás out of excessive fear, that is, they accept them as minor gods and goddesses lest they be angered by being called ghosts. In Sanskrit, however, the word upadevatá is not used to mean “ghost” – for ghosts the word apadevatá is used. Upa means “near” and apa means “just opposite”. Apadevatá means “one whose nature is just opposite to that of a god”.” (Shabda Cayanika-2, Discourse 9)

Here is an excerpt from a recent news article about what is going on in India. At present, in Jharkhand’s Bokaro district, there is an outbreak of malaria and mosquito-related diseases.

“Hundreds of suspected dengue [& malaria] cases have been reported in the district. The health department is yet to wake up. We have sought a shield from the ‘mosquito god’ and tried to appease it by…” (Times of India)

Here is a link to the full newspaper article…
***************************************************

Prabhat Samgiita #3287″A’ka’she a’loke bhese ja’y tava mahima’ri katha’…” (PS 3287)

Puport:

O’ Parama Purusa, You are the most magnificent One. The tale of Your glory and grandeur is floating and permeating throughout each and every molecule of the vast, blue sky and in the effulgence – everywhere. O’ my Lord, Your story,
the story of the ever-present, Ancient One, is glittering in all the realms: in both bhuloka and duloka – in the physical and spiritual worlds. Baba, You are so gracious.

O’ Ancient, Divine One, You are eternally, ever-new. You are always, intrinsically with everyone – just like their vital force, just like their pra’na. You always remain present in my feeling, ideation, and intuition. For that reason this eternal longing of my heart is for You and You alone.

O’ Parama Purusa Baba, with the flow of effulgence You color my mind, and You are sitting in the depths of my ideation playing Your divine flute in the deep core of my heart. You are so compassionate: You do not neglect or overlook anyone. You graciously goad everyone towards divinity; You show everyone the path which leads to immortality.

O’ my Lord, O’ Baba, please shower Your causeless grace; I surrender at Your lotus feet…

Read Full Post »