What should it be for?
What can it be for? So it is useful to check in on times and places that were not so conflicted.
- Secret Lotus Mystic Poetry Enlightenment by Muata Ashby!
- The Profound Symbolism of the Baha’i Lotus Temple.
- Doing Something Stupid: The Checklist.
Consider, for example, the art of Bon, the centuries-old indigenous religion of Tibet, presented in a beautiful exhibition at the Rubin Museum of Art. The purpose of Bon art was, unequivocally, to help achieve spiritual enlightenment. As Buddhism took hold in Tibet, it cross-pollinated with Bon. The Western nonspecialist can learn some of the basic history and vocabulary of Bon art from wall labels. Made with fine brushes and colored pigments on unstretched rectangles of fabric, Bon paintings typically are rigidly symmetrical, grid-based compositions with large central figures surrounded by dozens and in some cases hundreds of smaller ones.
The Profound Symbolism of the Baha’i Lotus Temple
Serene, Buddha-type figures seated on lotus-flower thrones preside over many paintings. Others portray so-called wrathful deities: muscular, blue-skinned monsters with multiple heads, arms and eyes who stomp on small humans and demons while grasping to their chests half-naked female consorts who appear to be in states of sexual ecstasy.
Though they are scary to behold, wrathful deities are not evil; their ferocity is directed at enemies of Bon. Drawing in for close study, you discover details rendered with eye-straining miniaturism: jewelry, plants, animals and domestic objects as well as intricate decorative patterns. The Bon art in this show displays little of the realism of Persian and Indian miniatures, but it is similar in its drive to activate every square centimeter of the picture. One set of paintings from the 18th or 19th centuries is unusually marked by nonsymmetrical, nonhierarchical compositions.
Even if you know little about Bon art and religion it will be obvious that Bon paintings are not just for entertainment or aesthetic delectation. What may be less clear is that they are based on an elaborate system of meditative practices intended to lead to psychic liberation from the continual pains, pleasures, desires and frustrations of human existence.
The program entails submission to an enlightened teacher and active effort on the part of the student through reciting prayers and visualizing during meditation. View all New York Times newsletters. The retinue of peaceful and wrathful deities stands in these gusts and flames.
They wear ornaments made of bone. Each deity holds weapons. They stand in wrathful postures.
The flame burns without a lamp; The lotus blossoms without a root; Flowers bloom in clusters; the moon-bird is devoted to the moon; With all its heart the rain-bird longs for the shower of rain; But upon whose love does the Lover concentrate His entire life? In the mist of the chamber the harp of joy is gently and sweetly played; and where is the need of going without to hear it? If you have not drunk of the nectar of One Love, what boots it though you should purge yourself of all stains?
Meaning of the Lotus flower
The Kazi is searching the words of the Koran, and instructing others: but if his heard be not steeped in that love, what does it avail, though he be a teacher of men? The Yogi dyes his garments with red: but if he knows naught of that colour of love, what does it avail though his garments be tinted? Kabir says: "Whether I be in the temple or the balcony, in the camp or in the flower garden, I tell you truly that every moment my Lord is taking His delight in me.
Therein there is no asking and no not-asking, There one loses one's self at His feet, There one is immersed in the joy of the seeking: plunged in the deeps of love as the fish in the water. The lover is never slow in offering his head for his Lord's service.
Other Spiritual Insights
Kabir declares the secret of this love. HE is the real Sadhu, who can reveal the form of the Formless to the vision of these eyes: Who teaches the simple way of attaining Him, that is other than rites or ceremonies: Who does not make you close the doors, and hold the rath, and renounce the world: Who teaches you to be still in the midst of all your activities. Ever immersed in bliss, having no fear in his mind, he keeps the spirit of union in the midst of all enjoyments. The infinite dwelling of the Infinity Being is everywhere: in earth, water, sky, and air: Firm as the thunderbolt, the seat of the seeker is establishes above the void.
He who is within is without: I see Him and none else. Maxims of Kabir by Kabir, G. Das, South Asia Books; 1 edition May 1,