Kim Waters's paintings reflect her interest in a number of artistic traditions, along with her interest in spiritual life. The sacred arts of India, the teachings of her guru, A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, and the poetry of Rabindranath Tagore, have been incessant sources of her inspiration. Her colorful compositions feature icons and pastimes from various scriptures. Besides drawing, painting, and illustrating, she is also a sculptor. For her painterly style, she draws freely from classical Indian art, Persian miniature painting, Medieval and Renaissance illumination, Celtic folklore and Victorian book design. Her work has been exhibited throughout the United States. It has been published in Illuminations from the Bhagavad GUd and The Butter Thief, co-authored with Chris Murray; Enchanted Tales: An ABC Fantasy; Devi Temple and The Vrindavana Activity Set, among others. She is currently working on 78 paintings for a contemporary Tarot deck. A multi-talented artist, Kim has also recorded six albums of songs and chants under the name Rasa, dedicated to Swami Bhaktivedanta and his disciples.
Chris Murray is the director of Govinda Gallery in Washington, D.C., which he founded in I975. He has organized over 250 exhibitions in museums and galleries of many of the leading artists of our time, from Andy Warhol to Annie Leibovitz. He is the author of over fifteen books on visual culture. His love of India and its spiritual culture has led him to travel there frequently. Murray first met His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada in I97I at the London Hare Krishna Temple. He studied with Srila Prabhupada since that time in India, Europe, and America until his guru passed on in I977.
Bhagavad-gita is like the sun, shining for everyone. It is not a sectarian doctrine meant for a particular faith or a class of people. It is the Song of God, meant for the enlightenment of us all. Bhagavad-gita is the essence of all Vedic literature.
"Veda" means knowledge, and Lord Krishna, the original source of the Vedas, is the speaker of Bhagavad-gita. By studying this transcendental literature, we learn from Krishna Himself. Krishna declares in the Gita that "he who studies this sacred conversation worships Me by his intelligence."
Though first spoken long ago, Bhagavad-gita. remains utterly vital today.
It is not sentimental but practical- a handbook of wisdom for our troubled times. Arjuna experienced many difficulties on the Battlefield of Kurukshetra. Today, we are likewise burdened with many serious problems. War, poverty, pollution, and greed are everywhere and getting worse. We live in an age of anxiety. But the heart of the Lord is mercy, and in Bhagavad-gita Krishna gives us the knowledge by which we will be purified when performing activities. This mitigates our suffering. If people are interested in increasing their own happiness and that of society at large, the Gita. can show them the way. Krishna spoke Bhagavad-gita to illuminate us, to take us from the darkness of ignorance to the light of knowledge.
This book is a celebration of the glories of Bhagavad-gita and its author, Lord Krishna. It presents a selection of verses from the Gita (one should read it in its entirety to fully relish the sublime philosophy) and illustrations of some of Krishna's wonderful pastimes and activities.
Krishna's nature is transcendental. He is the Supreme Beauty, and He resides in everyone's heart. His form is all-attractive and unlimited. In the spiritual world, love rules supreme. It is by love and devotion that Krishna may be known, and this is the natural function of the soul.
In such a spirit, this book is offered to Krishna and his intimate devotee, His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, and his followers. If this book gives them some transcendental pleasure, then our efforts are a success.
Deep within the forest comes the sweet sound of a flute. Like a tiny bird alighting on the smallest branch to sing, the gentle music weaves a melody. And I am healed of care and woe. And I am soothed from constant thoughts of "me" and "mine". What is this sound? The "I" that "thinks" is mesmerized into a pleasant calm. My footsteps lead me where no path has been. Peacocks calling in the canopy. All creation bows to this sweet sound. Time stands still. The forest sighs. There within the deepest glade the blue child stands. Govindal Garlanded, jeweled with crystal flowers. How His eyes gaze upon all form How His transcendental being glows, like a halo for the world to see. In Him I am free.
I write a spontaneous poem as I look at this wonderful work, Illuminations from the Bhagavad-Gita, by Kim and Chris Murray. How apt the title: to "illuminate" the wisdom from ancient Vedic literature. An inspiration for humanity today. Chris has selected the classic verses and brought his extensive knowledge of Indian art to this beautiful book. Kim, with her deeply emotional painting, has brought forth an exquisite vision of the Deity at play in our midst. We are enriched
The time is five thousand years ago; the scene is a battlefield at Kurukshetra, India. A chariot bearing a charioteer and an archer stands between the opposing phalanxes of two armies.
The battle that is about to begin is the inevitable climax of years of political intrigue. It will be a fratricidal war, to determine who will occupy the throne: righteous Yudhisthira, the eldest son of the deceased King Pandu and thus the rightful heir, or his treacherous cousin, Duryodhana, who is trying to usurp the kingdom. Conchshells, bugles, and drums sound as two huge military forces
poise for battle. At this point Bhagavad-gita begins. From the chariot between the armies, the archer Arjuna beholds the soldiers on the enemy's side - many of whom are his own relatives - and becomes overwhelmed with compassion and familial affection. Weeping, he lays down his weapons and refuses to fight.
Arjuna then humbles himself before his chariot driver, who is no ordinary charioteer but the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Krishna. Accepting Krishna as his spiritual master, Arjuna asks for help in his moment of crisis, and for a time the world stands still as the Lord instructs Arjuna, and by extension all humanity, in the wisdom of Bhagavad-gita, the Song of God.
The Supreme Lord says: "While speaking learned words, you are mourning for what is not worthy of grief. Those who are wise lament neither for the living nor the dead. Never was there a time when I did not exist, nor you, nor all these kings; nor in the future shall any of us cease to be."
The Supreme Lord is situated in everyone's heart and is directing the wanderings of all living entities.
Lord Krishna enlightens His worshipers from within their hearts: Out of compassion for them [the constantly devoted souls], I, dwelling in their hearts, destroy with the shining lamp of knowledge the darkness born of ignorance.
He also enlightens these devoted souls from without through His representative, the spiritual master:
Just try to learn the truth by approaching a spiritual master. Inquire from him submissively and render service unto him. The self-realized soul can impart knowledge unto you because he has seen the truth.
Lord Krishna, although immanent, is simultaneously situated transcendentally in the spiritual world of eternal bliss and knowledge. And the transmigrating soul, after being perfectly enlightened by Lord Krishna (the Super soul), the spiritual master, and the cu«, can enter the spiritual world:
One who knows the transcendental nature of My appearance and activities does not, upon leaving the body, take his birth again in this material world, but attains My eternal abode, O Arjuna.
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