DEFINING INDIAN IDENTITY-THE PORTRAYAL OF RELIGIOUS ICONS


Kasturi tilakam la laata palake vakshasthale kaustubham,

Nasaagre nava mouktikam karatale venum kare kankanam

Sarvaange hari chandanam cha kalayan kanthe cha muktaavalim,

Gopastree pariveshtitho vijayate Gopaala choodamanee.

THE PORTRAYAL OF RELIGIOUS ICONS

Apart from the basic differences in the ideas and thoughts of various religious traditions of this world, there is a fundamental difference in the visual characterization of the religious icons. The first thing that strikes the mind of the reader of religious scriptures is the difference in the way the scriptures portray their icons. I have seen The Holy Bible, The Holy Quran and no image comes before my eyes. I have to really struggle hard to imagine as to who is speaking to me.These Scriptures have several characters which are clearly human but there is no description of their physical attributes and the portrayal is lacking in information that would help the reader to develop a visual image. If you read the above verse, the beautiful image of Lord Krishna automatically comes before you without any effort. I define this as Indian Identity, it is a reflection upon our nature and our literature does a marvellous job giving life and color to the icons and I feel it becomes very easy for me to get connected to them and listen to them as they guide us in our spiritual journey.

Yasya smarana matrena, janma samsaara bandhanaath

Vimuchyatey Namasta tasmye, Vishnave Prabha Vishnave.

Just remembering Vishnu’s name could deliver us from the trappings of samsara and the remembrane becomes all the more easier when you recall the image.

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