It was one of those afternoons when you simply don’t feel like doing anything. All you want to do is just be. On one such afternoon, I lazily walked around my home with no purpose or aim in mind, nothing to organize, nothing to sort, nothing to do except just be. My eyes wandered around the rooms and hallways as I climbed up the stairs and then came back down, just simply taking everything in. There was no urge to re-arrange anything or pick up anything.
That was when a few pieces of artwork on some of the walls in the house made me stop for a few moments.
Now these artworks have been with me for many years now, and I happen to glance at them everyday in my home as I pass by that area, busy with whatever might be that moment’s task at hand or in mind. But then sometimes what we think we see everyday, we don’t really ‘see’. Isn’t that so?
In the outwardly and mundanely busy lives that we generally lead, we forget that there was perhaps something deeper which had attracted us to a particular piece of art in the first place. We just bring it home, hang it up and then carry with on our outer lives comfortably in our homes, without much attention to all that surrounds us in our living spaces. This is unconscious living.
That afternoon was different. That afternoon I not only saw these particular artworks, I think I actually heard them. I heard them as they spoke to me of how things come into being, how the entire existence comes into being. May be a story of srishti, manifestation.
Now I know the artist behind these creations, I know her rather well. And I also know what stage of life, what life experiences she was going through when she painted these. I can’t say I was or am fully aware of her inner state of being when she painted these particular pieces. I mean who can ever fully know one’s own inner state of being, let alone another’s?
But I remember when I first saw these particular works in her studio, I felt deeply drawn to them. (I could only afford prints of these works, not the originals). I felt drawn perhaps because in some ways what these paintings are trying to express or capture resonated deeply within me. Or perhaps the partially revealed and partially hidden essence or spirit in these works spoke directly to or heard some unexpressed or inexpressible thoughts or feelings within me.
May be what these works resonated with weren’t really thoughts or feelings, but something else. May be they were just some traces or fragments of things I had read or heard somewhere, or may be just a kind of an awareness, a hunch of some kind, or an inkling of sorts. Maybe another partially-expressed and partially-veiled form of some essence, trying to reveal or hide itself in its own way.
May be years had to pass before I could actually hear these artworks speak to me. May be I had to grow some more, or a whole lot more, before I could receive what these artistic creations were meant to express, particularly for me.
I am still not able to express in my unripe words the story I think I heard from these artworks that particular afternoon. So, like always I will rely on the words of my Gurus because for me Theirs are the Words which express the Truth. Theirs are the Words which help me remember always that:
“Behind the appearances there is a subtle reality much closer to Truth; it is that one we are trying to show you.”
~ The Mother, CWM, Vol. 15, p. 8
So once again, Theirs are the Words which reveal to me what I think I might have heard that afternoon as I stood in front of these art pieces at my home.
“What in Europe is called creation, the Aryan sages preferred to call srishti, projection of a part from the whole, the selection, liberation and development of something that is latent and potentially exists. Creation means the bringing into existence of something which does not already exist; srishti the manifestation of something which is hidden and unmanifest.”
~ Sri Aurobindo, CWSA, Vol. 17, p. 226
“Do not forget even for a moment that all this has been created by Him out of Himself. Not only is He present in everything, but also He is everything. The differences are only in expression and manifestation. If you forget this you lose everything.”
~ The Mother, CWM, Vol. 15, p. 5
“Nirguna, Saguna are only aspects taken by the Divine in the manifestation. It is the Mother who manifests (creation is only manifestation) the Saguna or the Nirguna Ishwara.”
~ Sri Aurobindo, CWSA, Vol. 32, p. 64
“The manifestation of the love of the Divine in the world was the great holocaust, the supreme self-giving. The Perfect Consciousness accepted to be merged and absorbed into the unconsciousness of matter, so that consciousness might be awakened in the depths of its obscurity and little by little a Divine Power might rise in it and make the whole of this manifested universe a highest expression of the Divine Consciousness and the Divine love. This was the supreme love, to accept the loss of the perfect condition of supreme divinity, its absolute consciousness, its infinite knowledge, to unite with unconsciousness, to dwell in the world with ignorance and darkness. And yet none perhaps would call it love; for it does not clothe itself in a superficial sentiment, it makes no demand in exchange for what it has done, no show of its sacrifice. The force of love in the world is trying to find consciousnesses that are capable of receiving this divine movement in its purity and expressing it. This race of all beings towards love, this irresistible push and seeking out in the world’s heart and in all hearts, is the impulse given by a Divine love behind the human longing and seeking. It touches millions of instruments, trying always, always failing; but this constant touch prepares these instruments and suddenly one day there will awake in them the capacity of self-giving, the capacity of loving.”
~ The Mother, CWM, Vol. 3, p. 71
“Beyond the manifestation there is no differentiation, that is, there are not two, there is only one. It was at the moment of creation that it became two. But before that it was one, and there was no difference; as it was one, it was only one. There were countless possibilities, but it was one, in fact it was one, and it was only in the creation that it became two. The differentiation is not something eternal and co-existent. It is for the creation, and in fact for the creation of this world only.”
~ The Mother, CWM, Vol. 7, p. 155
Artist: Bindu Popli