Hi. I'ts me Rachel, and I wanted to talk about Mahen's new collection of paintings and the special significance it has for both of us. The message communicated through the art as a spiritual path for Mahen, and for me, the deep connection it has into my own journey with Kundalini Yoga.
The collection is aptly titled "The God Within", and the message is simply that divinity, or spiritual awakening, is to be found in the self. Within and not without. It is a celebration of our individual freedom to investigate spiritual truth and to personally experience a spiritual dimension within ourselves.
Wings, Acrylic on canvas
Tadasana, red and gold Acrylics on antique wooden window shutter
Over the years, both Mahen and I have gone through many changing spiritual views. We are both not conventionally religious at all. Temples and churches are buildings we rarely enters, but the strange, euphoric, elated feelings Mahen experiences sometimes, during his meditative process of painting, has led him to believe in something else. A spirituality and a consciousness within. The very same experience that resonates through my Kundalini practice. My belief of going deeper into one's consciousness and reaching oneness by connecting to the God Within, the inner or higher Self, the dormant Kundalini energy.
Kundalini rising, Acrylic on antique wooden shutters
Woman walking, metallic green acrylic on antique wooden shutter
Ganesha is represented as gravity, the galactic glue, and he sits upon the Muladhara Chakra, the ganglia of nerves outside of our central nervous system, at the base of our spine. Yoga texts identify seven chakras or energy centers in the body, rising from the sacrum, the base of the body, to the skull. When seated in the primary position of meditation, the lotus position, the spine is closest to the earth, grounding energy in gravity at the first energy centre, the muladhara chakra, which, as we know, is governed by Lord Ganesh.
Only when this first chakra is activated will the serpentine energy of kundalini uncoil and begin its ascent, upwards through the spine, activating each energy centre until it explodes into the crown chakra. an experience described as “feeling the self dissolve into a thousand petalled lotus of light”. In this state individual consciousness merges with universal consciousness and all illusions of separateness dissolves, and that alone remains which is soundless, formless, has no beginning and no end.
This self realization and cosmic energy is said to be found within all of us. And like the powerful forces that bind together the atomic systems, protons, neutrons, electrons, quanta, quarks and other sub-atomic particles, this energy works deeply within us, within our spiritual sphere, within the profound depths of our mind itself.
Meditation, acrylic on orange board
Reflection, acrylic canvas
Now, Mahen sees Ganesha as a mirror to the soul, not as an often misunderstood "favour granting god", and this collection of paintings attempts to express this very idea. That divinity exists within every soul, and discovery of the supreme self will come from within, where Ganesha's presence and image feels like something more. As Mahen says, "it goes beyond the symbolism and the teachings. He poses for me in my mind, and the images he brings to me transcend convention, formality, dogma and even gender. Their meaning is sometimes obscure even to me".
And so, as this collection of art is titled, the search continues, for both of us, on a journey to experience the spiritual dimension of "The God Within".
First public exhibition of this collection: Galle Art Trail, 16th-20th January 2019, Amangalla Hotel, Galle Fort, Sri Lanka.
God within yogic meditation, Acrylic on antique solid wooden Sri Lankan door