Defining Indian Identity -The portrayal of religious icons

Defining Indian Identity – The portrayal of religious icons.

कस्तूरितिलकं ललाटपटले वक्षःस्थले कौस्तुभं
नासाग्रे नवमौक्तिकं करतले वेणुं करे कंकणम् ।
सर्वांगे हरिचंदनं सुललितं कंठे च मुक्तावलिं
गोपस्त्री परिवेष्ठितो विजयते गोपाल चूडामणिम् ।।

kastūritilakaṃ lalāṭapaṭale vakṣaḥsthale kaustubhaṃ
nāsāgre navamauktikaṃ karatale veṇuṃ kare kaṃkaṇam .
sarvāṃge haricaṃdanaṃ sulalitaṃ kaṃṭhe ca muktāvaliṃ
gopastrī pariveṣṭhito vijayate gopāla cūḍāmaṇim ..

With the fragrant kasturi-mark on the forehead, the precious Kaustubha gem on the chest, the lovely pearl-jewel at the nose tip, the flute in the palm and the kankan (bangle) encircling the hand, the scented sandalwood paste all over the body, the pearl-necklace around the beautiful neck, surrounded by milk-maids – may victory be yours, O crown gem of Gopalas.


Defining Indian Identity – 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.

Defining Indian Identity – The portrayal of religious icons

yasya smaraNa-mAtreNa janma-samsAra-bandhanAt
vimuchyate namas-tasmai vishNave prabhavishNave.
Om namo vishNave prabhavishNave.

[ My salutations to that superior diety vishNu, by a mere thought of Whose name all persons are freed from the bonds of samsara (birth and death).

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

Defining Indian Identity – The portrayal of religious icons.

Published by WholeDude

Whole Man - Whole Theory: I intentionally combined the words Whole and Dude to describe the Unity of Body, Mind, and Soul to establish the singularity called Man.

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