Archive for iconography

“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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Vanity, Pride and Arrogance

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

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“The truest characters of ignorance are vanity, and pride and arrogance.”
(Samuel Butler – English novelist, 1835-1902)

This is a close up of a gate of the Kashi Ram Green Eco Garden in Lucknow, the capital of the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh.
This park reveals the misuse of public money.
It was built on 120-acre of land by Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati Kumari who also erected huge statues of herself in a style reminding totalitarian regimes in order to show respect towards Dalit icons as she considers herself as one.
She also settled a plan for a special police force to protect this expensive huge space as she feared that her political opponents might demolish her work.
People would have preferred houses, schools and hospitals instead of watching from an highway this monumental work which exults the vanity, pride and arrogance of someone who doesn’t care for them.

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Mayawati became the first Dalit-woman chief minister of any Indian state and therefore a symbol for millions of Dalits (or “untouchables”) who were oppressed by the Hindu upper castes for centuries.
However she is involved in many scandals and there are allegations that she has used her status to amass a large amount of personal wealth.
Her assets run into millions of dollars with several properties to her name.
The CBI (Central Bureau of Investigation) had filed a case against her for owning assets disproportionate to her known sources of income however she described the CBI investigation against her as illegal.
While the source of the funds was given as voluntary donations, CBI found at least 50 sweepers, hawkers, and rickshaw-pullers who had been asked to open bank accounts and sign blank cheques from which these funds eventually originated.
Her mega birthday bashes are major media events where she appears laden with diamonds.
______________________

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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.

Happy Ganesh Chaturthi

Posted in Hinduism with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 1, 2011 by designldg

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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.

“Vakratunda Mahaakaaya Suryakotee Sama Prabhaa.
Nirvighnam kuru mey deva
Sarva kaaryeshu Sarvadaa..”
(O Lord with twisted trunk and massive appearance whose splendor is aqual to a million suns…
Please bless me such that I do not face any obstacles in any of my endeavors, anytime. )

Lord Ganesha is addressed through this mantra, popularly known as the vakratunda mantra.
Ganesha can be viewed as a symbol of that energy which can help us overcome the obstacles in our path to spiritual growth and enlightenment.
The chanting of mantras is believed to invoke a connection to the particular energy associated with the deity that is being addressed by the mantra.
Ganesha is the ruler of the mooladhara chakra, located at the base of the spine, and is also known as the root chakra.
Hence, “Ganesha is invoked as the starting point of the ascent to awareness, as the one who causes that energy to rise up, which leads the seeker to a union with the divine”.

Ganesha Chaturthi, the great Ganesha festival starts today, it is celebrated by Hindus around the world as the birthday of Lord Ganesha.
This is a picture of a clay Ganesha murti worshipped during this festival and which normaly goes to the holy waters of the Ganges, however this one never leaves me since a few years…

May Lord Ganesha bestow success, happiness and prosperity upon you all.
Happy Ganesh Chaturthi 2011…!!!

The Symbol of the Cross

Posted in Christianity with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 26, 2010 by designldg

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Please do not use any photographs without permission (even for private use).
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History shows that the cross was used centuries before Christ.
“From its simplicity of form, the cross has been used both as a religious symbol and as an ornament, from the dawn of man’s civilization.
Various objects, dating from periods long anterior to the Christian era, have been found, marked with crosses of different designs, in almost every part of the old world.
India, Syria, Persia and Egypt have all yielded numberless examples, while numerous instances, dating from the later Stone Age to Christian times, have been found in nearly every part of Europe.
The use of the cross as a religious symbol in pre-Christian times, and among non-Christian peoples, may probably be regarded as almost universal, and in very many cases it was connected with some form of nature worship”.
(The Encyclopedia Britannica, 11th ed., 1910, Vol. 7, pg. 506. Emphasis ours.)

The surprising thing is that the Christian use of the cross did not begin until the time of Constantine, three centuries after Christ.
Archaeologists have not found any Christian use of the symbol before that time.
According to one writer (W. E. Vine, Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words, article “Cross”), the cross as a “Christian” symbol was taken directly from the pagans.

The New Testament does not specifically describe the instrument upon which Christ died, though Acts 5:30; 10:39; and 13:28-29 refer to it as a “tree.”
The Greek word xulon, translated “tree” in these verses, can mean a stick, club, tree, stake, or other wooden articles.
There is absolutely no evidence that God’s true church ever used the cross symbol for any purpose.
Nowhere does the Bible command its use however, throughout the world, people universally regard the cross as THE symbol of Christianity.
Among Christians it recalls the crucifixion of Jesus and humanity’s redemption thereby.
The Christian form of blessing by tracing a cross over oneself or another person or thing.

This cross is the reflection of a light on a wall in the Église de Saint-Eustache which is a church in the Ier arrondissement of Paris, built between 1532 and 1632.
It was shot during the midnight Mass celebrated on Christmas Eve.

“Hallelujah is Our Song”

Posted in Hinduism with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 21, 2010 by designldg

“Do not abandon yourselves to despair.
We are the Easter people and hallelujah is our song.”
(Pope John Paul II, 1920 – 2005)

This Bell, known in Sanskrit as Ghanti is in a Shiva temple facing the Ganges on the way to Gai Ghat in Varanasi (Benaras).
It is used in all poojas for invoking God, producing the auspicious sound “Om”, the universal name of the Lord.
“Agamaarthamtu devaanaam Gamanaarthamtu rakshasaam Kurve ghantaaravam tatra Devataahvaahna lakshanam, 
(I ring this bell indicating the invocation of divinity, So that virtuous and noble forces enter (my home and heart); And the demonic and evil forces from within and without, depart)”. 

In some Christian countries, the ringing of the church bells on every day of the week of Easter represents the announcement of the new life spring brings and also frightens off the spirits of darkness and evil.
Easter is the central religious feast in the Christian liturgical year.
According to Christian scripture, Jesus was resurrected from the dead on the third day after his crucifixion.

Happy easter to all of you.

L’Harmonie

Posted in Dreams in Disorder with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 9, 2009 by designldg

L'Harmonie

 

“Allegories, when well chosen, are like so many tracks of light in a discourse, that make everything about them clear and beautiful”
(Joseph Addison – English poet and statesman, 1672-1719)

L’Harmonie (Harmony) is the left gilded figural sculpture which is crowning the roof of the Opéra Garnier in Paris.
It was made by Charles Guméry (1827-1871), a French sculptor who was working in an academic realist manner and who must have influenced in many ways the kind of poses I like my models to strike.
I took this picture last winter while I was for a few days in Paris.

With Her Praying Hands

Posted in Hinduism with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 30, 2009 by designldg

With Her Praying Hands

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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.

This lady was with a group of people nearby the holy waters of the Ganges at Ahilyabai ghat in Vanarasi (Benaras) where they were having a puja (Hindu ceremony), they allowed me to stay with them and to take pictures.
For a few minutes she left the others and came down closer to the river, bowing with both hands together, palms touching, above the head.

This gesture is also known as a mudrā ( मुद्रा).
One hand represents the higher, spiritual nature, while the other represents the worldly self.
By combining the two, the person making the gesture is attempting to rise above his differences with others, and connect himself with the person or the deity to whom he bows.
The bow is symbolic of love and respect.
Particularly in Hinduism, when one worships or bows in reverence, the symbolism of the two palms touching is of great significance.
It is the joining together of two extremities, the feet of the Divine with the head of the devotee.
The right palm denotes the feet of the Divine and the left palm denotes the head of the devotee.
The Divine feet constitute the ultimate solace for all sorrows, this is a time-honored thought that runs through the entire religious ethos.

Most major religions in the world involve joined hands for prayer in one way or another in their rituals.
This is a link to a page which is a surprising and nevertheless interesting theory explaining the meaning of the posture of hands in prayer in Abrahamic religions:
rexcurry.net/yarek-oath-praying-hands-kneeling-inner-thig…