I offer my obeisance to you, Rev. Sri. Om Swamiji and please Bless me to pursue my Artwork passionately till my last breath🙏🕉
Art is Divinity indeed🕉 I felt drawn towards art since I was a child, but never could learn it or pursue it as other priorities were meant to be kept foremost. This inner passion unknowingly brewed slowly and remained undeterred though. I only realised my true worth when I was in early forty’s. For every role I played I kept pushing this very worthy passion deep in a corner within, which was my Higher Self. They say the Divine has a purpose for every Soul and probably He kept watching me go through every grind , all the pitfalls (as I only tried to find my solace , security and love in others) and He smiled and lifted me at every step, every deep hurt , every tear, some moments of joy and peace too, so that one fine day I acknowledge and regard my inner Divinity my Passion. I know I found it a bit late but glad I realized it. Trust me, for I can speak only from my experience, that if we have or we keep pushing and brushing away our inner Passion our journey also stubs in unexpected stops and unhealed movements in life too.. For only a blooming heart can create miracles .
I shall share a bit here as to what inspired me to paint…
This post would be incomplete without his name and I would love to take the opportunity of paying my tribute to the majestic eminence of my favourite artist Sardaar Sobha Singh Ji.
An artist I had never met or even heard of, much of the details I got through google and came to know how big a Sadhak he was in his works. I bow down in gratitude to the Divine in him🙏
Sobha Singh was born on 29 November 1901 in a Sikh family in Sri Hargobindpur , Gurdaspur district of Punjab .
During his 39-year stay at Andretta, S. Sobha Singh painted hundreds of paintings. His main focus was Sikh gurus, their life and work. Esp Guru Nanak Devji portrait he made in honor of the 500th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak in 1969 is the one most people believe to be the visage of Guru Nanak. I am sure the world has seen Guru Nanak Ji through his soulful works of Art.
The originals of his works are displayed in Sobha Singh Art Gallery at Andretta. The general public can also visit his studio in Andretta. Andretta (Palampur) in Himachal Pradesh , is so popular because of the Sobha Singh Art Gallery and many of the visitors from all over the world including tourists visit this town to see his art.
His earliest painting was of Guru Nanak Dev as a child, painted in 1934. Guru Nanak Dev, the child, is held by his mother Tripta in her lap. She is surrounded by women of the household. His portraiture of Gurus was a manifestation of his devotion to the divine souls. He said, “I have painted Gurus to inspire people.” he held Guru Nanak as manifestation of his meditation. He looked upon Guru Gobind Singh as his ‘inspiration incarnate’.
Asked why he does not paint the hardships of life suffered by common people, he replied It is already painted everywhere. The stark poverty, suffering, misery, pain and tyranny are there in every nook and corner for all to see. Is there any need to paint. it on paper? I only want to paint beauty and the goodness of life, which are getting rarer day by day. With me, the concept of ‘Satyam, Shivam Sundaram’ becomes ‘Sundram, Shivam and Satyam’ (Beauty, Goodness and Truth) in that order. One of Sobha Singh’s Greatest Masterpieces – “Guru Nanak” in the “Aashirwad” pose. This was created during late 50’s.The hand of Guru Nanak was recreated by a renowned palmist Pundit Agnihotri of Hamirpur after a thorough study of the ‘Janam Patri’ of Guru Nanak. Such was the dedication of the great artist Sobha Singh Ji .He was honoured with ‘Padam Shree’ one of the national awards, by President of India.
Kindly do watch this documentary which throws much light on his life and contribution to the Universe in the form of his Art🙏
The most rewarding bit and the common factor here which makes me smile more today is the Himachal connection. Little did I know that Sd. Sobha Singh Ji resided in Himachal and our Rev. Sri Om Swamiji is residing in Himachal too an abode of Siddhas and Saadhaks.
I would now relate my passion my journey towards art how I picked up my brush…
It’s December 2020 already and felt a lot more could have been added by me in this gifted time. Strangely, just few days back I picked up my sketch notebook and pencil and started drawing a horse face from a small postcard lying on the table. . It really was a magical moment and memories of the year 2007 just flashed when I returned back from U. K.
I had just shifted base from London back to my hometown Calcutta ( Kolkata) and enrolled for Bihar School of Yoga for my classes on yoga. During few days of the classes, I started to get visions during the meditation ( the session was always winded up with deep Om meditation ) of someone guiding me to pick up my paint brush and to start to paint.
I got really serious, because since childhood I was drawn towards Art but never got the opportunity, for priority was studies. I longed to draw and paint and would sometimes wonder how Artists could paint so well, give life to the plain big white canvas with just strokes of their brushes and bit of paint. The colours once adorned had the ability to speak profoundly to you. I sometimes wished I had a huge art gallery , where under one roof artists could come together, share their works , their experiences and connect beautifully to this Divine gift which is a world full of Saadhna.
So after my yoga class I finally headed to the Canvas and Craft store. I bought oil colours, paint brushes ( took the idea from the outlet owner itself, who was kind enough to help) easel. The best and surprising bit was I took Canvas of almost 5 feet in sizes and few of them were 3 feet in size. Now when I look back I still wonder , that how could I even chose to buy such big canvases when I could barely paint or sketch. But the confidence in me during that point was so high, as if I knew the Art world and it’s works for ages.
The big task back at home after setting up everything as I now stood in front of the easel which smiling held the huge blank Canvas for me, speaking to me already to recreate life in it. It felt like the canvas was more excited than me. But that’s what happens when our own energies feel elated and the same feel and frequencies reflect and effect on the outside too. And I thought of creating a figure painting of Sohini Mahiwal. This was a painting which haunted me , followed me for years. Let me share the experience.
I was visiting my friend in Delhi for a couple of days in the year 1988 and this painting adorned her living room. It was a massive painting, it’s magnificence gripped me so much that I stood there watching it for good hour or so. I spent the rest couple of days sitting mostly in her living room as I wanted the whiff of the painting in my every breath to seep in. What a creation! and in my hearts of hearts spoke to the Divine to grant me the ability to paint this magnificent piece and promised to myself that one day I would paint it and offer my respect to the original artist Sardaar Shoba Singh Ji and above all prove to myself that I could paint on my own. Today when I think of this incident I feel this is what your inner passion does to you. It takes you beyond this mundane world, it uplifts you and one should never ignore this Inner Call.
Today after almost 21 years, during my yoga meditation this realization appeared like Divine…with just a bleak idea of colour mixing , I prayed to Maa Saraswati and started to sketch from the tiny picture of Sohini Mahiwal on this massive canvas.
Days just flew by… after good month I could finish the painting. Undoubtedly the Master will always remain a Master , but I felt good I could offer justice to the original painting of the great Artist Sobha Singh Ji and shall eternally remain thankful to him for instilling that seed of inspiration that eventually lead me to become an Artist . For in that one year of time I made almost 40 Paintings.
Would love to share below this painting of Sd. Sobha Singh Ji that inspired me years ago.
The vision I got in my meditation to pick up painting, and I made my first canvas ( below) the painting of Sohini Mahiwal which was my dream..could do a bit to give justice to it.
Today’s post by Rev. Swamiji’s carried a very profound and deep message for me, for I do feel that I should have pursued my passion , my artworks.
In his words…
Those who experience emptiness and a void in their life are plagued, if not constantly hounded, by the inner turmoil of finding their purpose in life. The purpose of your life is not to merge into the supreme consciousness; that’s an outcome. It will happen anyway, for everything goes back to its source, eventually.
No matter which colored bin we put ourselves into, we are fully recyclable. Before death picks up the bin of your life and empties it in the truck of samsara, the good news is, it is possible to find your life’s purpose. How, exactly? you ask.
Nothing is more frustrating and boring than being directionless. That’s where purpose in life comes in; it gives you direction.
What you find meaningful may appear completely pointless to others, and that’s okay. In fact, the criterion of what you care about has little to do with what others think about it. Your purpose in life doesn’t need to be grand or groundbreaking, it just needs to be something you care about deeply. The rest builds up on its own. If truth be told, in chasing grandness, we often lose the purpose itself.
I think today I found what my purpose of life is, which I kept postponing and somewhere felt incomplete in some corner within , true that I longed to take out my passion to the best of my ability… no one stopped me…but I allowed outer circumstances to form an excuse .
Shall keep sharing my works from time to time. Keep sending your smiles and good wishes:) Jai Sri Hari 🙏😊
Some of my previous artworks of 2007….2009
Life, a clean canvas, the creative flow is a process of surrender to the Divine Source, where the three H, the hand, the head and the heart come together and create master strokes , we then sit back calmly to gain perspective of the hues and shapes on the canvas, erase the unnecessary, form the missing links which comforts our mystical self that needs restoration , dares fate, and makes the soul grow well in pure gratitude. We are the creators indeed of our masterpiece. I bow down to my Passion today.
It’s not about good art or bad art, it’s all about setting the clean slated canvas up, being courageous enough to picking up the paint brush, dipping freely in the colours granted and with a deep breath of love and prayer awaken the intuitive formation, play and heal the elemental being and sit back and smile watching the self so well created. Let’s relive our Passion today🎼 We are all Artists in the flow , aren’t we🍃
Thank you for dropping by and wishing the very best of peace and harmony to everyone in life 🙏🕉
Jai Sri Hari🙏🕉