Saturday, December 12, 2009

The Nath Tradition


Chakras of the Subtle Body, 1823
Rajasthani painting from the Nath tradition of yoga.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Shri Saraswati




















Shri Saraswati is the Goddess of art, creativity and learning, residing in the Swadisthana Chakra.
In Indian iconography it is common to depict the deities seated on lotuses, symbolising their residence in the flower-like chakras in the subtle body.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The Spheres


The Deity from whom Proceed the Nine Spheres

There are seven main chakras within the body. There are also two centres above the crown chakra. This makes a total of nine centres. Each of the chakras has a left, centre and right aspect. In each aspect dwells a different angelic aspect of the Divine.

Monday, June 29, 2009

El Greco


Fabula, El Greco, c. 1600
This wonderful painting is incredibly modern for 1600. The Self-realised painter El Greco depicts a youth blowing on an ember in order to light a candle, overlooked by a monkey and a fool. Perhaps the monkey on the youth's right side represents the quickness and agility, but waywardness, of rajas; while the fool on the youth's left represents the dullness of tamas.
Giving Self-realisation is like one candle lighting another.
The Self realises itself. There is no source of enlightenment beyond the Self. Indeed there is no thing beyond the Self. However, one Self-realised person may ignite Self-realisation in an "other".

In the Sufi tradition, Self-realisation is believed to be transmitted through generations of Sufi masters. This transmission is called Baraka.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Matisse


Henri Matisse, Sur la Terrace

"It seems to me that the way art may be said to imitate nature is by the life that the creative worker infuses into that work of art; the work will then appear as fertile and as possessed of the same power to thrill, the same resplendent beauty that we find in the works of nature. Great love is needed to achieve that patient striving towards truth, that flowing warmth and an analytic profundity that accompanies the birth of any work of art; but is not love the origin of all creation?"
Henri Matisse, "Matisse on Art", Jack D. Flam (Phaidon 1978)