came and landed on the page. The focus of my attention immediately
shifted from the printed words to the iridescent colours of its tiny
body. And just as if in slow motion, it proceeded to give me a
demonstration of its powerful avionics by undertaking a series of
breathtaking manoeuvres. And then suddenly, just as abruptly as it
arrived, it disappeared -- without a trace. It was a brief encounter
but a completely enthralling one that left me speechless.
look at Nature with a great sense of awe and wonder. From a tiny
insect to the sweeping vistas of the mountains, from the colours of a
rainbow in the sky to the movements of a strutting peacock, Nature
presents stunning examples for Man to gasp in sheer amazement. The
Natural world with its plant and animal life, the elements and all
the natural phenomena inspires astonishment. Just consider how an
acorn grows into a mighty oak or see how Nature converts grass into
milk through its four-legged creature called cow! Or how lightning
flashes across the skies. So wherever Man looks he finds an
extraordinary natural world constructed with finesse and beauty. A
marvelous design, interconnecting the universe. Far from being
random, this natural world is woven together in intricate thought
beyond grasp of our intellect. This is the world of Art.
the arrogance of man does not allow him to recognize this universal
art in Nature. Instead, he draws inspiration fro Nature into his own
work and calls it art. Man tries to recreate shapes and textures,
colours and lines, sounds and movements he perceives in Nature in the
form of language, music, dance, drama, painting, sculpture, pottery
to name just a few. From the classic position of seeing Art in the
creations of Nature we move to admitting Art in the "recreations"
of an individual. This is the fundamental difference between Indian
conception of Art as compared to a Western definition that broadly
defines Art as conscious use of skill and creative imagination
especially in the production of aesthetic expressions or objects.
lies yet another distinction between the Indian and Western
understanding of art. While the West sees art as a "conscious
use of skill and imagination", the realm of art in India is seen
to lie beyond the boundaries of self. It is only when an individual
loses his conscious sense of "I" that some other "power"
seems to take over and what is then created is touched by the Divine.
How often we hear of large audiences held spellbound by the
performance of a musician or a dancer who is said to have completely
abandoned his or her own conscious self.
again, there is this deep understanding in the Indian people that
reminds that artistic inspiration comes not from the clever intellect
of the individual but from the "grace" of God. In ancient
times artists never left their mark or signature on their works of
art. In fact, in the true India tradition, an artist gives credit to
his "guru" who has taught the particular skill for which
there is public acclaim or applause. This abnegation by the artist is
central to Indian thought that recognizes that there is only one
artist and that is the Creator Himself. This manifest world is His
work of Art.