Bhakti Art Illuminations: A Compilation of Devotional Artwork
Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada annd Jadurani Dasi
  • ISBN 13 : 9781733491013
  • year : 2021
  • language : English
  • binding : Hardbound
This comprehensive anthology displays the devotional art-works of Syamarani dasi in the context of the personal stories, teachings, and meditations that inspired their creation. Weaving together hundreds of paintings, including detailed close-ups, this luxurious volume presents half a century of her artistic and spiritual development. Opening this book gives the reader an opportunity to bathe the intellect in universal truths and awaken the soul to pure transcendental senses and emotions. Readers require no prior base of knowledge to unlock the pro-found mysteries within the art. Bhakti Art Illuminations reveals the philosophic and esoteric aspects of the work, with an in-depth analysis vis-a-vis the ancient Vedic scriptures they elucidate, such as the Bhagavad-Gita and the Srimad-Bhagavatam, as well as classic poems and songs in the Gaudiya Vaisnava tradition. Each pain' ting has its individual meaning, g, as well as its contextual meaning in relation to a greater body of work. The art in each gallery highlights stories (true histories), teachings, meditations, and secrets. The stories accompanying the art are taken directly from authentic Vedic and Gaudiya Vaisnava scriptures. Some of the most prominent teachings transmitted through the stories are spotlighted, while others are only hinted at. The meditations are alluded to through verses, kirtanas, or prayers that are the basis of the paintings. Many of the secrets, the deeper meanings of the paintings, are also revealed herein. Included is a glimpse into to the artist's creative process, detailing the stages of a painting's development from start to finish, including letters and conversations with her spiritual teachers. TYPOGRAPHICAL FEATURES CHARTS Various expansions of Sri Radha-Krsna are depicted throughout the galleries and are also discussed in the quoted texts. To show the relationship between Sri Krsna's associates and expansions, we have included an appendix of beautifully illustrated charts. ELLIPSES The philosophy and chronicles within the transcendental texts presented by Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada and Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja are often detailed and extensive, too lengthy to include in a coffee-table art book. Therefore, to ensure the potency of their direct words, instead of writing our own summary for each painting, we have chosen to use ellipses to indicate the larger body of text that is their source. Ellipses are not used at the beginning or the end of a quoted text; they are used only when paragraphs or sentences have been omitted. BRACKETS Words in square brackets are clarifiers added by the editors of Srila Prabhupada books (published by Bhaktivedanta Book Trust - BBT) or by the editors of Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja's books (published by Gaudiya Vedanta Publications - GVP). Because the excerpts we have used have been separated from their complete context, further clarification is required. The editors of Bhakti Art Illuminations have thus enclosed their editorial insertions in squiggly brackets, { ), to mark the difference. GLOSSARY Sanskrit words and terms are usually explained in parentheses or brackets. In addition, since there are many Sanskrit words and terms throughout Bhakti Art Illuminations, a glossary has been included. DIACRITIC MARKINGS We chose to use standard diacritic spelling and markings (rather than phonetic spelling), as used in all the books of Srila Prabhupada and Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja. These standard diacritic markings indicate the pronunciation of Sanskrit and Bengali words. Pronounce a like a father, I like ea in neat, You like of in root, r like ri in rip, m and n like ng in hung, s and s like sh in shy, and c like ch in chap. TEXT There are several editions of Srila Prabhupada books, as well as several editions of his Veda base Folio. In most cases, we have taken text from the most recent Veda base. Despite our best effort to present Bhakti Art Illuminations, we are aware that mistakes probably still crept in. We pray that you kindly excuse us for them. We are convinced that, because the art within it was inspired and directed by transcendental personalities, and because the translations and commentaries of these personalities within it are without mistake, this book is sure to enliven and enlighten inquiring, minds and spiritual seekers for all time. About the Author Syamarani (Jadurani) dasi, a practitioner of bhakti-yoga (the yoga of devotion), hails from humble beginnings in post-war New York City and became part of the counterculture of Greenwich Village in the turbulent 1960s. Her life changed one day when, walking through Tompkins Square Park, she heard a deep, soulful voice resonating a simple chant. Following the sound, she came upon a majestic elm tree, underneath which sat a robed, saintly-looking personality, clearly from India, surrounded by a small crowd. Struck by his dignity and spiritual presence, she felt a desire to learn from him, and in due course she became one of his first disciples, receiving from him the spiritual name Jadurani dasi. Srila A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada thereafter directed her to create paintings, to illustrate his translations and explanations of ancient Vedic texts. Her life was now a vibrant combination of devotional practice and sacred art. She completed hundreds of paintings under his guidance until he left this mortal world in 1977. In 1992, on her pilgrimage to the holy land of Vrndavana, India, she met 8rila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja, who was able to ignite and fan the same spiritual zeal in her heart that 8rila Prabhupada had, further inspiring her practice of bhakti-yoga and developing her artistic talent. Upon the completion of her renowned Seva-kurija painting of Sri Radha-Syamasundara (Krsna), he affectionately nicknamed her Syamarani dasi. Her almost 400 devotional works have inspired thousands of people over the years in their spiritual practice. She is one of Gaudiya Vedanta Publications' senior editors and also regularly travels the globe, teaching the philosophy and practice of bhakti-yoga, all the while continuing to paint