Archive for clair-obscur

Many Ways to Worship

Posted in Buddhism with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 6, 2013 by designldg

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“I’ve learned much from the land of many gods and many ways to worship. 
From Buddhism the power to begin to manage my mind, from Jainism the desire to make peace in all aspects of life, while Islam has taught me to desire goodness and to let go of that which cannot be controlled. 
I thank Judaism for teaching me the power of transcendence in rituals and the Sufis for affirming my ability to find answers within and reconnecting me with the power of music. 
Here’s to the Parsis for teaching me that nature must be touched lightly, and the Sikhs for the importance of spiritual strength….
And most of all, I thank Hinduism for showing me that there are millions of paths to the divine.” 
(From “Holy Cow” by Sarah Macdonald)

This is a close-up of a part of the Dhamek Stupa in Sarnath located at 13 km away from Varanasi (Benaras).
The Dhamek Stupa is said to mark the spot of a deer park (Rishipattana) where the Buddha gave the first sermon to his five disciples after attaining enlightenment, “revealing his Eightfold Path leading to nirvana”.
In its current shape, the stupa is an impressive cylinder of bricks and stone reaching a height of 43.6 meters and having a diameter of 28 meters (128 feet high and 93 feet in diameter).
The basement seems to have survived from Ashoka’s structure: the stone facing is chiseled and displays delicate floral carvings of Gupta origin. 
The wall is covered with exquisitely carved figures of humans and birds, as well as inscriptions in the Brāhmī script.
This picture was shot at the time of a visit of his Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama.

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“A Guit Your” – “Shana Tova”

Posted in Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Jainism with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 6, 2013 by designldg

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“Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that.
Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”
(From “A Testament of Hope: The Essential Writings and Speeches” by Martin Luther King Jr.)

Amazing symbols gathered all together on a huge bowl in the gardens of the National Handicrafts and Handlooms Museum in New Delhi.
With “Om” everything begins, it is a mantra and mystical Sanskrit sound of Hindu origin sacred and important in various Dharmic religions such as Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism.
Like Ganesha who is widely revered as the remover of obstacles, he is the patron of arts and sciences and the deva of intellect and wisdom, the god of beginnings and therefore he is honoured at the start of rituals and ceremonies.
Then the hexagram which has deep significance in most of the Dharmic and Abrahamic religions.
In Christianity it is often called the star of creation, while it is known as Najmat Dāwūd (Star of David) or Khātem Sulaymān (Seal of Solomon) in Islam and becomes the Magen David when it is recognized as the symbol of Judaism.

In many ways this picture unites us all and allows me to wish everyone, whatever your faith is, “A Guit Your”, “Shana Tova” or, in other words, a Happy New Year.
It is easier to love than to hate, and as we are at the edge of a new conflict I truly want peace to prevail.
May this year be peaceful for all of us…

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© All photographs are copyrighted and all rights reserved.
Please do not use any photographs without permission (even for private use).
The use of any work without consent of the artist is PROHIBITED and will lead automatically to consequences.

The Wholeness Of The Self

Posted in Dreams of An Enthralling India In Colour with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 28, 2013 by designldg

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“Remembering our past, carrying it around with us always, may be the necessary requirement for maintaining, as they say, the wholeness of the self.
To ensure that the self doesn’t shrink, to see that it holds on to its volume, memories have to be watered like potted flowers, and the watering calls for regular contact with the witnesses of the past, that is to say, with friends.
They are our mirror; our memory; we ask nothing of them but that they polish the mirror from time to time so we can look at ourselves in it.”
(From “Identity” by Milan Kundera)

This man was standing at the gate of the mausoleum of the third Mughal emperor, Akbar the Great, located in Sikandra in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh.
He was not young but he was not old either and his face carried emotional wounds with a moving melancholy…

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© All photographs are copyrighted and all rights reserved.
Please do not use any photographs without permission (even for private use).
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Pyaar Ishq Aur Mohabbat

Posted in Timeless Black & White with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 17, 2013 by designldg

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“…Is jagaa hum mile phool dil mein khile
Kya khabar, kya pataa hum mein tum mein ho kya
Baaton baaton mein kabhi, aankhon aakhon mein kabhi…”
(…We meet in this place and flowers bloom in my heart
Who knows what there is in you and me
Sometimes in words, sometimes in eyes…)
(From the song “Pyaar Ishq Aur Mohabbat”)

This picture was shot in the Lodi Gardens in Delhi where I saw this couple in love enjoying a moment of cool breeze before sunset…

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A Faint Shadow

Posted in Dreams of An Enthralling India In Colour with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 5, 2013 by designldg

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“Imagination is the real and eternal world of which this vegetable universe is but a faint shadow.”
(William Blake – English poet and painter, 1757-1827)

Kachauri Gali is close to Vishwanath lane, it is one of the narrowest lanes of Kashi and it is where many pilgrims come to have breakfast after their morning dips in the Ganges or prayers at the temples all around.
Here and there a few fruits and vegetables sellers like this young man always stand at the same place…

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A Physical State

Posted in Pehlwans from Benaras with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 4, 2013 by designldg

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“When an idea exclusively occupies the mind, it is transformed into an actual physical or mental state.”
(Swami Vivekananda – Indian Spiritual leader, 1863-1902)

This picture was shot inside the akhara facing the Ganges at Raj Ghat in Varanasi (Benaras) where this pehlwan follows a daily training at dawn.
The reflection in the mirror was providing a backlighting which I always enjoy to work with…

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Physical Wisdom

Posted in Pehlwans from Benaras with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 4, 2013 by designldg

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“Our own physical body possesses a wisdom which we who inhabit the body lack.
We give it orders which make no sense.”
(Henry Miller – American Author and Writer, 1891-1980)

An inward moment with a pehlwan who was following his daily training inside the akhara facing the Ganges at Raj Ghat in Varanasi (Benaras).

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© All photographs are copyrighted and all rights reserved.
Please do not use any photographs without permission (even for private use).
The use of any work without consent of the artist is PROHIBITED and will lead automatically to consequences.