To decorate the heavenly abode of the Lord on earth within the temple is one thing, to create the same vision through the mind's eye with devotion is yet another. This is not about proportion or color of hue or form as much as it is about the power to create the vision of the Lord by hand into paper, meticulously capturing every detail without even an inkling of personal imagination mingled with that displayed in reality as per the defined rules of Shilpa Shastra and Samudrika Lakshana.
The Vishnudharmottara describes the methodology of painting, the power to create and imagine and yet remain within the realm of the canons of divine art that describe the true essence of a deity. Artist Silpi, maybe unknown, but he displays such devotion, that is beyond words and leaves us really awe struck, with that "something" in his paintings that we ourselves really don't know how to explain.
When we see the paintings of this artist, there is a sublime sense of awe, there is a sense of emotion that render us wondering whether such power is pure skill and talent or much much more than that. Artist Silpi, follows the canons of art, as well as those described in the Vishnudharmottara that define the rules of divine painting as put down by Sage Agastya himself.
Sage Agastya displeased with the performance of the apsaras in Indra's court, described in mango juice, the form of Urvashi, the epitome of beauty and grace in dance and gave her life to perform at the court. Such was the potency then that her beauty and grace was appreciated by all.
The same appreciation, if it comes from all quarters, be it a perfectionist looking for divinity and grace, or a connoisseurs looking for hue and color, or a lady admiring the jewelery or a layman appreciating the glamor; the painting has achieved its divine status.
This form of Shiva, captured by the artist, indicates clearly that he surpassed every qualification of a divine artist, not just in mere brush strokes, but in his deep devotion for the Lord as well as his immense love for Paramnacharya Chandrasekhar Swamigal.
He is an example of one who attained Nirvana, in his meditation of 40 days, every time he picked up his tools to create divinity in a different form. When we see his paintings of divinity, we are touched by his devotion, by the power of the deity captured in his canvas, by the grace of the Lord living and awakening us to their presence every time we set eyes on them.
This artist is a miracle to us, an example of developing and reproducing beauty through the mind power to create and give life, and not just a painter who got the picture right!
Artist Silpi, is not just another painter, and as I rediscover the secrets behind this great artist, I witness the very grace of divinity dance in my mind.