Meditative strokes

From Pratiksha Apurv's desk Media Watch

Pratiksha Apurv writes of the transforming effect that her uncle and master, Osho, had on her, and how that paved the way for insightful expressions on canvas. Published in Speaking Tree, India, on March 18, 2018.

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Pratiksha Beyond Time
Beyond Time, Acrylic & Oil on Canvas, 2018, 54 x 54″

What does a real master give you? Perhaps, it should be posed the other way around. What does a real master take away from you? The answer is simple. He takes away all the trash stuffed inside us over the years, and all our borrowed experiences, and makes us totally empty. Inner flowering is possible only in total emptiness. This blossoming will be innocent and simple. My uncle and master Osho, emptied me similarly. From the age of 11 years, sitting in front of him and listening to him, gradually came the moment of immersing into the very source of existence, diving deep into the undivided whole, the totality of all.

There was nothing to interpret, as if the whole universe had become available, erasing all the borrowed knowledge I had accumulated. Over the years, Osho became my source of wisdom, my sky and my wings. Later on, when I started my journey into the creative world with fashion designing, I wasn’t searching or seeking anything. With Osho as a source, I wasn’t holding the ocean and sky in my hands, but rather, I had disappeared into the ocean, into the very source of all things. I feel that it is due to his blessings that I have managed to perfectly balance the inner and outer worlds.

After almost 15 years in fashion, designing and creating stylish clothes for celebrities including former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, cricketer Kapil Dev and tabla maestro Zakir Hussain, I decided to embark on an inner journey. When I picked up the brush in 2003, the canvas and colours weren’t merely tools but a great loving space for me to depict the beauty of my inner world, experiencing the moments in meditation and then manifesting them in my painting. All the artworks I have created, carry the fragrance of my experiencing the living energy. When I was asked about the category of my paintings, I had a simple answer: ‘meditative art’.

These paintings could best be described as a reflection of something that flowed within me. Whatever one sees on my canvas is a living process of experiencing. Actually, there is no painter standing in front of the canvas. The painter is the painting itself. And, when the painting is complete, my life’s journey moves in a totally new dimension. I pick up the subtle and deep messages of my master, to reach out to people. Living in a moment-to-moment situation with existence, one lives with no attachment, no possessiveness and no clinging, and at the same time, I live with total joy and awareness in the here and now. I don’t believe in any belief.

That’s why I experiment everything on myself; my body, mind and consciousness all are like a laboratory. I’d listened to Osho’s discourses on Guru Nanak many times, but until I experienced the sound of ‘Aum’ 24×7 within me, then, only two of my paintings, ‘Soundless Sound’ and ‘Heartbeat of the Absolute’ were born. When I listened to discourses on how to go beyond senses, I tried to close all seven openings of my head for some time every day and it continued for at least six months. The day I got connected with the third eye centre, only then could I paint ‘Beyond Senses’.

I have experienced and tried to depict the different layers of consciousness, the five elements where it is subtle and pure space. Just by being in the here and now, one becomes available to the divine. Over time, I realised that the wisdom of ancient seers was losing relevance in day-to-day life. Osho did talk about the vision and messages conceived by our scriptures and I tried to revive and represent those through my paintings, so that it can inspire a journey to bliss in people’s lives.

I have tried to share the devotion and love of Meera, wisdom and compassion of the Buddha, the truthfulness of Nanak and the divinity of Kabir and Krishna and messages from women mystics like Rabia, Mallibai, Dayabai, Sahjo and many others, who are just like pure reservoirs of love and divinity. I am immensely grateful to existence for choosing me as a medium to share with people the meditative fragrance on canvas.

‘Mystical Moments’, a collection of the writer’s works on canvas, will be showcased at Lalit Kala Akademi in Delhi, March 18-24.

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