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BHAKTI ART ILLUMINATIONS - Jadurani Dasi
A Compilation of Devotional Artwork, Paintings & Giclee / Artbook
- Author: Jadurani Dasi (Syamarani Dasi)
- Publisher: 2021, GauraVani Publications
- Binding: Hardbound, Silk ribbon, Dust jacket, Decorated Case, Custom made Carton case
- Pages: 444, profusely Illustrated
- FREE SHIPPING WITHIN INDIA
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Bhakti Art Illumination, A Compilation of Devotional Artworks by Syamarani (Jadurani). History's most transcendental artbook.
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, 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.
ABOUT THE ARTIST: SYAMARANI DASI
After graduating from Music and Art High School in 1964, Syamarani dasi became a student at New York City College, majoring in art and history. In 1966, at the age of 19, she met her spiritual master. Syamarani Didi's artistic journey is marked by several distinct stylistic phases over the years, paralleling her technical and spiritual growth.
Recognized by her use of joyous, vibrant jewel tones, effulgent lighting, ideal beauty, and meaningful hidden details, her art is often described as sacred, visionary, Indian, and even postmodern. Drawing extensively from the Vedic literary heritage of India, Syamarani Didi's work comprises esoteric, historic, and allegorical subjects in ancient and modern day contexts. Her allegorical works include compelling, easy-to-understand depictions of complex philosophical themes, as in "The Cycle of Birth and Death," "Mahavisnu," and "The Sage Sees with Equal Vision,"and her historic works include depictions of saints and kings from ancient times. Her most well-known and widely loved paintings are her ground-breaking portrayals of the Divine Couple Radha-Krishna and Their pastimes, most notably "Venu-Gita" and "Seva-Kunj," which have achieved pop-icon status in India. These images have been absorbed into the Indian psyche and now permeate mainstream culture through the proliferation of pirated posters, stickers, unauthorized advertisements, and film. Yet, Syamarani Didi remains virtually unrecognized and anonymous, rarely having held an exhibition, and never having taken a penny as profit from her prolific work.
A NOTE FROM THE ARTIST
The last thing I would have imagined myself doing is publishing my own art book. From the mid 1970s – when my colleagues and I were painting for Srila Prabhupada's translations of the Vedic classics – up until 2006, it was the furthest thing from my mind. Even after I received the personal request from my siksa-guru Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja to publish an art book of my own paintings, I hesitated. I was reluctant to compile and display my own work. I did not want to show off. My work was clearly not superior to the work of my fellow bhakti artists. Moreover, I also knew that any merit my work possessed was due to Srila Prabhupada, Srila Gurudeva, and my associate artists. I thought, "If I personally create an art book of my own works, I will surely get lost in false pride, which is one of the main causes for becoming weak in spiritual life." Nevertheless, on several occasions, Srila Gurudeva requested me to publish an art book. He told me, "Just as other coffee-table books of devotees' artwork have been published, I want you to create one with all the paintings you did for your Prabhupada and for me."
Then, in Hawaii, while looking over some computer printouts of his art team's bas-relief murals, he reiterated his desire and told me to give a copy of the art book to the Prime Minister of India. Regarding the purpose for Srila Gurudeva's request, my understanding is this:
(1) To inspire people to learn more about Sri Krsna's glory.
(2) To encourage readers, through art, to go deeper into the bhakti philosophy, whether they are already engaged in the practice of bhakti or not. A picture is worth a thousand words.
(3) To show the glory of my gurus, the real artists. I am but one of their paintbrushes. It is they who manifested the paintings – by their mercy, empowerment, guidance, and teachings.
(4) To give a sense of peace and happiness to viewers, by which, worldly problems automatically reduce.
One day in 1974, Srila Prabhupada commented about the extremely long hair that a couple of my fellow artists and I were sometimes painting on Krsna and His associates. Visibly disturbed, he made statements like, "They are painting Krsna with too much hair, like a hippy. They have this tendency." And, "This painting is not good. It is like a hippy dance. It is like a plaything. They have painted crows in the picture." I understood that we were small children, that he was encouraging us in the beginning to paint in any way we could. Later, in 1974, once we were able to accept more teaching, he corrected us. While those pre-1974 paintings are still present in Srila Prabhupada's earlier published books, most have been substituted for improved versions in later editions. For this publication, in order to please him, I requested my friend Kamala Melzack, a graphic designer, to help me to trim the hair of Krsna and His associates.
I tell this history in more detail in my memoir, "The Art of Spiritual Life." - Syamarani dasi
INSPIRED BY LORD BRAHMA'S PRAYER
When Sri Krsna ordered Brahma to create this universe, Brahma beseeched Him, "I pray that I not be materially affected by my works, for thus I may be able to give up the false prestige of being the creator." He prayed that the residents of this universe would be able to see Sri Krsna in the Creation, and not himself.
I am an insignificant atom in comparison to the great Brahma, but I have a similar prayer. I pray that the readers appreciate that I am not the 'doer' of the art in Bhakti Art Illuminations. Any mistakes in the book are mine, but anything good about it belongs to my spiritual masters. If the respected reader is inspired to make a deeper connection to Sri Krsna and His associates and thus feels spiritual happiness, then my gurus' purpose is fulfilled. If they are satisfied, they will bless us all to progress on the path of that yoga which connects us with the Supreme through loving service. It is this that brings happiness and harmony. Once the root of the tree is watered, automatically the leaves, twigs, and branches receive nourishment.
ABOUT THE BOOK
In this exquisite (10½" by 11½") 450-page art book articles include:
• The ancient roots of Bhakti Art
• This unique art in the making
• Brief histories of the artist's training by her two spiritual masters
• The intimate relationship between the two spiritual masters
• An interview with the artist
Srila Prabhupada Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja's Gallery
• 145 paintings, including descriptions from Srila Prabhupada's books
• Seven line-drawings
• 33 paintings by other Bhaktivedanta Book Trust Artists, and 17 collaborative art paintings
Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja's Gallery
• 19 paintings with descriptions from Srila Maharaja's books
• 43 line-drawings by the artist's team and twenty of their bas reliefs, also with descriptions
• The painting process, illustrated. From sketch to completed work.
• Charts clarifying relationships between personalities in the paintings
• Glossary of Sanskrit words and terms
- TITLE: BHAKTI ART ILLUMINATIONS
- AUTHORs: Syamarani Dasi (Jadurani Dasi) alongwith Caitanya-sakti Dasi, Gaura-Krsna dasa and Jaya Sri Dasi
- PUBLISHER: GauraVani Publications
- ISBNs: 9781733491013 978-1-7334910-1-3 1733491015 1-7334910-1-5
- EDITION: First, 2021
- PAGES: 444, profusely illustrated art book,
- SHIPPING WEIGHT: 5000 grams
- FREE SHIPPING WITHIN INDIA
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