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478Art: the Expression of Divinity - Swami Sivananda

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  • Swami Jnaneshvara Bharati
    Sep 19, 2006
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      ART: THE EXPRESSION OF DIVINITY
      Swami Sivananda
      Divine Life Society

      ALL beings however low in evolution, all actions however trivial in
      their nature, all things however lifeless they may appear to be, bear
      the stamp of the light of the Eternal; the principle of the Beautiful
      is dancing in them all; the splendour of the Truth is shining equally
      in all creation—in the man toiling in the field, in the birds of the
      air, in the beasts of the forest, in the blossoms of the garden, in
      the waves of the sea. There is only one Law of Life that is pulsating
      in the veins of the contents of the entire universe. Glory to the
      Divine Being.

      Everyone in this beautiful creation is a piece of art; all that we
      see is but the manifestation of His art. We are His art, vivifying
      His might, reflecting His beauty and expressing His grandeur. Every
      man has the eyes of the painter and the poet; every heart has a
      dormant feeling for beauty and for the awareness of perfection. Every
      speck of space is rich with the inexhaustible abundance of goodness,
      of godliness, of beauty. One has to widen one's consciousness and
      deepen one's spirit to be able to develop the vision of all spirit
      shining in and through matter, all reality revealing itself in and
      through the unreal. To escape from this world of limitations (while
      yet being on earth) into the boundless world of Freedom and Beauty,
      Power and Brilliance, is the purpose of our existence.

      For the one who has eyes to see, all is goodness, all is sweetness,
      everything is beautiful, everything is graceful; whatever he
      perceives is homogeneous and harmonious. Children of Light! Behold
      the brilliance of the diamond in the darkest coal mine; look at the
      lustre of the eyes in the ugliest face; smell the fragrance of the
      lotus in the stinking pond; feel the omnipresence of your life in the
      lowliest creature revelling in filth; discover the greatness of the
      genius in the humblest family grovelling in poverty. To one with
      insight, whatever is met with will be seen to be the master-touch of
      the Divine Painter, of the Master-Artist, who expresses himself in
      such infinite and ineffable beauty.

      Art is not for the fleeting pleasures of the human creature nor a
      solace to the sorrow-stricken heart nor yet for mere aesthetic
      enjoyment; it is more than all these—it is a systematic and
      scientific living in Absolute Beauty, in Infinite Harmony, in Perfect
      Peace, in Eternal Joy. Art is a kingdom of intense feeling, a feeling
      in which one is aware of the one undivided Divine Essence of
      Existence. Art is majestic and mystic, idealistic and symbolic,
      supernatural and transcendental, an expression of the Unseen in and
      through the seen.

      That art blossoms into perfection which is free from all sense
      desires and physical interests. In the name of art one should not
      fetter oneself in the prison of professionalism and sensualism. The
      artist should be moved by the beauty of Truth; and his art should be
      progressively creative and spiritually suggestive; it should be a
      revelation of his moments of inspired vision and of total self
      surrender. In his creative moods the artist should soar high—high
      into the skies of luminous imagination and of glorious existence,
      wholly oblivious of all mundane madness. Purified in heart, one
      should wave the magic wand of art at whose touch everything is
      converted into the beauty of the Beyond.

      Let the drawing rooms be filled with the vibrations of the highest
      spiritual ideals which pour into us the power and beauty of a new
      life of joy and peace. Let the wielder of the brush be free from all
      stuff of pride and selfishness and from all that is related to the
      sense-world, so that the Divine may fill him with His Will to paint
      the pictures that breathe healing power and soothing balm into all
      onlookers through their eyes, so that they may be relieved of their
      illness of mind and sickness of heart. Let your art be a lamp of
      deathless beauty, shining with an effulgence dispelling the darkness
      of the soul that sings the sorrowful songs of the world.

      An art that panders to the lower appetites of men, that does not aim
      at discovering the meaning of life, that does not awaken the
      spiritual consciousness in the human heart, is soulless and,
      therefore, unsalutory in its effects and malefic in its influence.
      The test of true art is implied in its profoundest suggestions. True
      art should embody the best of the genius of the artist, the finest in
      him, and awe one into a subtler plane of refinement and thrill; all
      art that falls short of this great purpose is profane and perishable.