I find India a giant chaotic Samsara from which a few escape by looking within and find nirvana.
Family and special relationships are equally a source of ecstacy and torment, heaven and hell. India is a giant family and offers us both.
Perhaps we find tranquility in a temple, or by an artwork, where great artists have found shape for a feeling.
Osho claims, perhaps apocryphally, that a great French artist said “I draw pictures only to find what form a certain emotion, a certain feeling of my heart, can take on a canvas. In my efforts to express that feeling, a picture emerges.”
I cannot find the source of these words, but find its theme true among my artist friends..
Perhaps meditating on art may reveal the feelings of the artist. In great art we see something of ourselves . For while you may see the form etched on the canvas, but concentrate and the nature of mind resonates from beneath the cross hatched lines. Consider a flower you may be drawn to the symmetry of the petals, or a beautiful face, because it corresponds to an inner image of beauty within. Or perhaps you feel the discomfort of an ugly face that challenges your ideals of beauty.
Osho instructively uses Gurdjieff distinction of Eastern art “objective art” and Western art “subjective art.”
“Objective art, art which has some intrinsic quality which can be imparted for thousands of years. The work of art is a code word. After experiencing meditation for thousands of years, mediators’ have come to recognize that a certain posture, a certain way of sitting, a certain way of the eyes, can create in anybody a synchronicity, a sympathy; some sympathetic note can be stirred by the statue.”
In the East a statue is not made for its own sake. It is made as a code language for centuries to follow. Scriptures may disappear, languages may change, words may be interpreted. There may be disputes about theories…
But anybody who is capable of sitting silently by the side of this statue will have a certain thing stirred in the heart. This is objective art.”
So in the Buddha statue we see an archetype, perhaps shaped and reflected by our own inner world. At times we may find this archetype in the still simplicity of the sunset, when we pause and see with no thought.
In great art the archetype remains even if scriptures are lost and doctrines misinterpreted. Sit beside as Buddha or on of the Mahavira, statues which at times look much the same:
“There is no question of dispute, there is no need of any commentary. Anybody who is capable of sitting silently by the side of this statue will have a certain thing stirred in his heart. This is objective art.”
Osho was trying to illustrate the essence behind the story and extract an inner state from his listeners. This is why some people dispute the details he gives in many of his stories.
Whatsoever you see creates its echo within you, and in some deep sense you become like that which you see.
– Osho, Hidden Mysteries, Chapter 4
If we can see the resonance of form, to find the core of our inner world, in equanimity everything we do can be divine.
The tantra, mantra and yantra of art
The picture is itself a state that is deeper than the image. Look at photos of your last journey and you elicit memories. A photo of you meditating deeply mat licit the state anchored in your being.
“Just watching Mahavira’s statue you may fall into a meditative state. That was their original function. They were not made to be worshipped, they were made to make you aware of a certain state. The statue is of a certain state, not of a certain man; that man is irrelevant.”
Very few truly good artists, musicians or writers can create such artifacts that can give you a resonance inside you.
In a Jain temple and you will see twenty-four statues of twenty-four teerthankaras, the founders of Jainism, and you will be unable to make out any difference between them; they are all alike. Whose statue is this? Mahavir’s? Parswanatha’s? Adinatha’s?
These statues have nothing to do with the people. These statues have something to do with what was happening inside those twenty-four people, and that was exactly the same.
The point is not the form, but the archetype within. This experience is a form of tantra, or techniques for expanding your consciousness, “finding your inner sound, your inner rhythm, your inner vibration” or inner mantra.
“Once you have found your mantra, it is of tremendous help: just one utterance of the mantra and you are in a totally different world. That becomes the key, the passage, because once uttering that mantra, you fall into your natural vibe.”
The inner mantra of a mountain scene may elicit serenity within you, just as a pop song may arouse you sexually.
Similarly, the statues of a divinity, or a Buddha, or Mahavira become Yantra’s , or figures, to elicit a state from within you.
“Watching a Buddha statue is watching a yantra. The figure of the statue, the geometry of the statue, creates a figure inside you. And that inside figure creates a certain vibe. It was not just imagination that happened to you, those Buddha statues created a certain vibe in you.
Watch the state of Buddha sitting so silently, in a certain yoga posture. If you go on watching the statue, you will find something like that is happening within you too.
The outer is not the outer, and the inner is not just the inner; they are joined together. So beware of what you see, beware of what you listen to, beware of what you read, beware of where you go – because all that creates you.”
For this reason all great art eastern art is born out of meditation
They have nothing to do with religion. A certain secret science has been used for centuries so the coming generations could come in contact with the experiences of the older generations – not through books, not through words, but through something which goes deeper – through silence, through meditation, through peace.
As your silence grows; your friendliness, your love grows; your life becomes a moment-to-moment dance, a joy, a celebration.
Osho, Beyond Enlightenment, chapter 28