Shri Rama Sita Vivah
This colorful Madhubani art is an artistic depiction of the great episode of Ramayana, where Lord Rama tied knot with the beautiful Sita. Mandap is set in the royal kingdom, all engrossed with colorful flowers and curtains. Kamlesh has beautifully described the scene keeping in view all iconic aspects of Madhubani art. This type came into existence from a town named Mithila in Bihar and is characterized by line drawings and other geometric patterns displaying wedding scenes from the universally known epic, Ramayana.
The bride and groom (Sita and Ram) are adorned in deep yellow garbs of divinity and Sita’s royal red chunri is loaded with lavish floral patterns. Their standing posture and side faces highlights them in motion of taking the ritualistic seven feras of togetherness around the sacred agni (fire). The wedding ceremony is attended by people of the town and other prince and princesses; all the males acquire seats on the left and females towards the right. Everyone is garbed in beautiful colors of yellow, orange, pink, red, blue etc giving a vibrating touch to the environment and spreading ample amount of happiness, love and blessings in their hearts for the newlyweds.
The fairy decorations of flowers, leaves, lights and fancy curtains beautify the ambience with its colorful and resplendent vibes. As a part of the iconic Madhubani art, entire painting is filled with minute designs of flowers, spirals and kalash (water pots). The artist has brushed his colorful palette in creating the most magnificent scene and figures while efficiently displaying their emotions of love, joy and romance. Having this bright colored painting on any plain wall will accentuate the beauty of the room creating a mesmerizing charm in the viewer’s eyes.
The Ethereal Devi TaraThe queen of the Buddhist heavens, Devi Tara is the embodiment of the feminine principle. She is the merciful and compassionate mother, and gives birth to life and affirms it with Her nourishment. She is like a mother to Her devotee, extending to the mortal Her unconditional love and protection from adharma that permeates the cycle of existence as we know it. In Her beauteous face and Her queenly stance, the Devi Tara has all these qualities writ large in this composition.
She stands on the receptacle of an inverted lotus, as is the norm with peace-loving deities of the Hindu and Buddhist pantheons. Her body language is dynamic, Her gaze turned lovingly to the realm (existential) beneath Her. Her sashes and the ample train of Her silken dhoti float about Her lithe, yogini’s form. On the palms of both hands is the cakshurindriya, as is characteristic of Devi Tara’s many roopas. In Her left hand is a blooming, larger-than-life lotus. The solid gold of the devi’s roopa, from her skin to Her lush clothing and vine-like crown and ornaments, is punctuated by the dreamy black of Her shoulder-length curls.
This murti is a fine example of Nepalese handiwork. Gold-gilded copper being an elite medium, Buddhist lord- and devi-sculptures like this one are signature collectibles for the spiritually inclined.
Deep-Lake Pure Pashmina Shawl from Uttar Pradesh with Sozni Floral Hand-Embroidery All-OverDyed the colour of the loveliest of Kashmiri lakes, this mass of pristine pashmina - which literally folds into almost nothing - has been handwoven and embroidered with great skill and care. The valley is famous the world over for infusing the soft wool of the changra goat with unparalleled exquisiteness, and this number is a fine example of the craft. Its pure diaphanous beauty is set off by the luxuriant sozni in the foreground of the shawl. A distinctly feminine palette of natural pastels have gone into the embroidery, the style of which is endemic to this region of the subcontinent.
Chaturbhujadhari Lord Ganesha, Seated Under The DuskThe pattachitra of Orissa is a folk-art variety of Indian miniature paintings. While ‘chitra’ is the vernacular word for ‘image’, ‘patta’ is the word for an especial type of canvas that characterises these works. They are fashioned from fabric and treated with a highly specific organic solution in order to achieve the desired texture. The same is then painted on with mineral-based pigments, employing a skill that has been handed down in artisan families across generations.
The one you see on this page depicts a fair and stately Lord Ganesha. He is seated in lalitasana on a double lotus pedestal, His vahana the mouse gently grazing the resting knee. In His posteriormost hands He cradles a mustard snake whose long, slender body forms an arch above His head. Another of its kind holds His protruding tummy in place, in keeping with His traditional iconography. Note the raised trunks that emerge on either side from the base of His gold crown.
The altar painted around the central figure has been finished with perfect symmetry and attention to detail. The pillars are decorated with lotus-petal motifs, the arch above them with vines of varying form and colour. Note how the black background of the composition sets off the fine complexion of the son of Shiva in the foreground.
Tibetan Buddhist Deity Vajrapani - Made in Nepal
One of the earliest Boddhisattvas of Mahayana Buddhism, Vajrapani is the indestructible hand of Buddha, by being his protector and a power of mind to overcome obstacles of pride, anger, hate and jealousy; Vajra means ‘thunderbolt’ or ‘diamond’ and Pani means ‘hand’, he is the one who holds Thunderbolt Sceptor, symbolizing the power of compassion. He is always depicted in a taut posture representing the active warrior pose with the outstretched right hand brandishing a Vajra and left deftly holds a lasso to bind the demons.
Apart from his usual iconography, what strikes most is the unique color combination of chocolaty brown and metallic silver to highlight his key features; Sculpted in a wrathful expression symbolizing yaksha to generate fear in the individual to loosen up his dogmatism. He wears a skull crown with the red hairs standing on end; dense bushy eyebrows, third eye on forehead, serpent coiled around his neck and the loin cloth made of tiger skin are some of the major attributes to justify his wrathfulness. The sculptor has depicted all the features and elements in extreme realism.
Vajrapani Buddha stands here on a supremely carved lotus pedestal with a flamboyant prabhavali at the back having a complimenting gesture of rigorous and fiery carving such that of the Buddha himself. He is often depicted in front of Buddha temples justifying his nature of being Shakyamuni’s protector.
Peach Ayesha Long Choodidar Kameez Suit with Embroidered Flowers and CrystalsAn elegant and decidedly feminine number, this three-piece Indian suit would be a classic pick. The base is a dense peach colour set off by hints of gorgeous red in the hem, the sleevelines, and the bits of embroidery on the neckline and bust, the upper sleeves, and the panel along the hemline. The beauty of this dress is brought out further by the glittering sequins that strategically complement the embroidery. This, together with the straight fit, low hemline, and the stylish choodidar, makes this suit a good pick for glamorous dos.
Shri Yantra (Shri Chakra)Yantras are a fascinating spiritual merchandise of the east. The Sanskrit word translates to ‘instrument’. Indeed the yantra with its characteristic maze-like curves has been discussed in tantric texts as the gateway between the microcosm and the macrocosm. This unusual Madhubani – unusual because of the vivid pigments that fill the lines of the yantra – will add stability and purpose to your space.
Flame Scarlet-Red and Beige Printed Batik Sari from Madhya Pradesh with Painted Border and AnchalSimplicity and an appeal of the basic characterises the sarees produced in the Central Highlands of the subcontinent. Fashioned from pure homegrown cotton for a texture that remains unparalleled in the rest of the world, this saree would be a fine pick to wear to poojas. The rich red of the sheer field brings out the white and gold paint of the border, while the beige of the pleats is superimposed with batik prints. Together with the folk batik prints, the hand-painted border of this saree conveys a charming sense of the rustic.
Brahma Stems From The Navel Of Sheshashayi Vishnu Upon Dashavatara BaseA handsome prince lies (‘shayi’) within the coils of the multi-hooded Sheshanaga, dreaming the world into being. The tall crown on His head grazes the underbelly of the sacred serpent. In the posterior hands are the conch and the discus; a lotus in the anterior right, while the left He rests upon the hip as He lies on one side. At His feet are the beautiful and devoted Bhoodevi and Shreedevi, His wives, pressing against His muscles, lulling Him into divine slumber. From His navel emerges the stem of the padmasana (lotus-throne) of Lord Brahma, whose four heads have been carved with perfect detail despite the relative scale. He is Lord Vishnu, prince of paraloka, the absolute form of the oft-descended avataras.
The ten avataras, called dashavatara in the vernacular, are to be found in a row at the base of the ensemble. Each of the dashavatara figurines have been carved with superb precision and detail, just like the Lord Brahma miniature above. On either edge of the top of this base are seated Lord Garuda and Lord Hanuman, flanking the bed made by Sheshanaga’s coils. While the former is the divine mount (‘vahana’) of Lord Visnua, Lord Hanuman embodies unconditional love of Lord Rama, one of the dashavataras.
The aureole stems from either side of the central ensemble, perfectly symmetrical and finished with traditional engravings. From the tops of these pillars float a network of vines, within the lengths of which nestle a discus to the left and a conch to the right (Vaishnava implements). The large Kirtimukham at the zenith completes the composition.
The Humble Yet Powerful KamandaluThey say a sadhu (ascetic) lives by three tenets. He comes and he goes, but does not stay; he sees and he listens, but does not say; he eats and he drinks, but does not taste. Indeed he goes through life with a threshold degree of detachment, upon which his sadhana (spiritual practice) is based. Amongst his minimal possessions are the staff, to help him navigate harsher terrains, and the kamandalu, wherein he gathers whatever bhiksha (edible alms) he may chance to receive.
The lustrous brass kamandalu that you see in this painting sums up the Indian yogic idea of asceticism. It is big enough to hold a scarcely sufficient meal’s worth of food at a time. From the tanned and lined hand from which it dangles, the sadhu to whose service it belongs seems to be a veteran yogi of the lower reaches of the Himalayas. The distinctive saffron of his robes contrasts sharply with the green grass reflected on the body of the kamandalu, an unusual subject for an oil painting.
It is in the kamandalu that he accepts all his bhiksha, irrespective of the state or the taste palette of the offering in question. Everything - textures and tastes - blends therein, a reinstatement of the third of the basic tenets of asceticism. The kamandalu is practically his lifeline, the only remaining link between him and life as we know it. Any day now, he would no longer need even the humble kamandalu.