Meditation

Enlightenment Pocketed

Lotus Koan.
Image by Marek Studzinski from Pixabay.

“The enjoyment of art is an act of recreation, or rather of creation in the reverse direction, towards the source of intuition, i.e., an act of absorption, in which we lose our small self in the creative experience of a greater universe.”

Anagarika B. Govinda

I happen to have a small sweet book titled Art & Meditation (actually a few years back I took it from my brother), written by Lama Anagarika B. Govinda – an artist, a Buddhist monk, traveller and writer.

Sharing his paintings, poems and thoughts with us, he talks about the ineffaceable, elusive yet real, sublimely beautiful link between art and meditation; how true art merges with true religion and vice-versa.

It is not digressive or sluggishly cumbersome, this thought, rather it is stimulating for the one who is not in a hurry.

The author wishes his essays and artwork to serve as koans i.e. ‘meditative problems’ for his readers that churn our thoughts and act as an impetus for continuing the search.

I have gone through this insightful book twice now. What struck me this time was its size, how come Lama Anagarika Govinda’s lectures on art and meditation along with his artwork were capsuled in such a tiny book?

Of course, there must be other collections of his essays and pictures, surely in not-so-tiny a book.

But here I would intentionally turn this coincidence into a grand undertaking and happily say something ambitious.

This beautiful book holds, yes-yes it does, the secret to enlightenment and simply because of its humble, calm and forgiving nature, affordable price, elucidations of the artwork and colour schemes given and the profound ideas shared.

With these balmy thoughts, I will read this book again in the near future for then it will reveal a new secret to me.

Leaving you with an edifying thought –

“Art in itself is a sort of a paradox, a Koan in the deepest sense of the word, and that is why the followers of Zen prefer it to all other mediums of expression. For only the paradox escapes the dilemma of logical limitation, of partiality and one-sidedness. It cannot be bound down to principles or conceptual definitions, because it exaggerates or abstracts intentionally in such a way that it is impossible to take it literally: its meaning is beyond the incongruity of the words.”

Anagarika B. Govinda

Enlightenment, Pocketed-

Calm mind beams

Together with the heart.

Haiku – Jagriti Rumi

Also read other posts on art and meditation –

Buddhahood

I wish to SEE Tibet

Thunderous Applause… And the Warli Drama Unfolds

कलाकार/ Artist

Transient Permanence


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Lord Jagannath’s Eyes

Lord Jagannath by Vrindavan Das.
[Source – fineartamerica.com]

One eye says that the play is on.

The wheel of Time moves ceasing for none, winning over oceans, mountains, the sky, the wind and the fire.

People crowd to clench forms and beliefs, together they build and destroy. They wait to gauge for more and what is better.

Look now, how they shine, bright like fireflies, honest to the core; look now, how they lure, how they trick the tricksters, how they slay a man’s soul.

Speak not, for they are at work, cross-legged monks, meditating on what is less; speak not, for you will fail to express how chaotic is the chaos.

Rising high is the music of unity and harmony; falling face down is the corrupt, fake cry of every rigid mind.

Knowing the beginning, waiting for the end, it walks, it lingers, we walk, and we linger.  

Tala Pattachitra, Palm Leaf Painting – Odisha’s ancient art form.
[Source –
ethnicpaintings.com]

Second eye says that it is all absolute bliss.

There is no Space or Time and it binds none; the ultimate end and the ultimate start merges with the absolute existence.

Flowing in a silent music, dancing always, the ripple reaches the centre.

The Brahman breathes; formless, it is of the colour peace.    

Lord Jagannath’s eyes are the universe we see and the universe we can’t see. The happy devotee who bows, who worships, who sings, who gazes gets mesmerized by one of the universes, and by Lord Jagannath’s smile.

Our million eyes find a million revelations in Lord Jagannath’s eyes.

*

Lord Jagannath, Lord of the Universe.
[Source – harekrsna.de]

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The Answer

Your eyes are sweetly closed, you are smiling peacefully, and you are meditating…but how? How do you do it?

I am listening to my breath and the music my heart plays. My eyes are closed yet I see all the colours ever so vividly. I feel so light as if I am flying and thus I smile. I am meditating, I am living in the moment, in the second. I can feel the spirit inside me. You are asking me how to do it…but the answer lies within you.

Search for it, not once or twice or thrice, do it all the time, ceaselessly, until you find no further need to explore. When time and space vanish and you are present everywhere.

Is this the ultimate search? Will this solve everything?

When you start looking for something, it becomes the first step. It can take a long time for the search to end but it should not hamper your spirits. This is only possible if the question that you have asked is correct.

I am painting you in different colours…you somehow are choosing the colours for yourself. I don’t know how you are doing it but then it is only making the painting more alive. I don’t want to part yet I’ll have to; you’ll look good in the big palace, not in this old hut. You are almost complete now….

If you believe, truly, that I should stay here with you, you will see me here even if I leave.

*

[Source – Google]

*

[The painter after finishing the painting of the Buddha, sent it to its owner for which he was awarded a good sum of money. He stayed gloomy as he wanted to have the talking Buddha to himself.

He thought about the last words of the Buddha for a long time…days passed and then months.

Sitting quietly and pondering upon those words he felt calm and just then he realised that the mud wall of his hut had an impression on it that looked exactly like the painting of the Buddha… he was entranced!

All the walls of his hut had turned into the painting of the Buddha and slowly the roof and the floor as well.

The painter smiled and closed his eyes, feeling serene and unaware of the fact that his own body was turning into the painting of the Buddha.]


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