Saturday, March 18, 2017




                                           ( Autar Mota with  Shri Gokul Dembi )


                                             ( BACK SIDE OF THE PAINTING )


Deny it , Disown it And not take the trouble of understanding it ; But the world at large knows that Kashmir’s Shaivism has played a dominant role In shaping Evolution of kashmir’s Heritage , Culture ,` Tradition , Social Behaviour , Customs , Intellectual Pursuits and Spirituality . And Vasugupta’s ( A Ninth Century Shaiva scholar ) 77 seven Shiv Sutras/ Maxims are the basis of what is known as kashmir’s Shaiv Darshana .

Vaugupta is believed to have lived somewhere near Mahadeva Mountain near Harwan in Kashmir. Shiv-Sutras with commentary of Kshemaraja have also been translated to English By Swami Lakshman Joo ( Book Shiv Sutras .The supreme Awakening) noted shaiva Scholar from kashmir ..
For my friends I quote some random Sutras /maxims interpreted by another Noted Scholar Shri Shailendra Sharma …

“ Consciousness is soul ” 

And As per the Exposition of Noted scholar Shri Shailendra Sharma it means :

“Consciousness of immense mind, which is manifested by means of body, is the cause of feeling of being. Consciousness of the mind is soul.”


“Knowledge is bondage.”

And As per the Exposition of Noted scholar Shri Shailendra Sharma it means: 
“The immense mind, which is manifested by means of the body, adopts physical limitations to know the totality of its own consciousness and also the one who manifests it. Said in other words, it limits itself in a bond with the body for the sake of knowing itself.”

Swami Lakshman Joo in his Book “ Shiv Sutras .The supreme Awakening “ Interprets this sutra as under:
“ Knowing Differentiatedly is Bondage and not Knowing undifferentiatedly is also a Bondage “

“Visible is the body.”

And As per the Exposition of Noted scholar Shri Shailendra Sharma it means :

“The entire visible world that lies within the realm of experiences of this body is the body of Him who manifests this all.”


“ Most mysterious is the mind.”

And As per the Exposition of Noted scholar Shri Shailendra Sharma it means :
“ It is only mind that unveils the knowledge of hidden mysteries.”


“Mind is soul”

And As per the Exposition of Noted scholar Shri Shailendra Sharma it means :

“A mind, which takes on a body, plants a seed of consciousness using the body as a womb, develops the foetus completely and causes the birth of infinitely developed consciousness through the medium of physical death, is the one that alone is the feeling of being.”


“Consciousness becomes sublime when imagination is mastered.”

And As per the Exposition of Noted scholar Shri Shailendra Sharma it means :

“Imagination of a great person, who becomes time conscious is completely compliant to him. He has already realized that the most powerful force in this creation is imagination only and controlled force of imagination is called as will power. Practice also begins with imagination and it is only a process of developing confidence in one’s ability of doing something as per one’s imagination. Successful practice that takes place by applying controlled force of imagination is called as power. After becoming powerful, a yogi is established in sublime consciousness, the root of the consciousness that lies beyond sound and sight.”


"Effort is Achiever (Sadhak)."

And As per the Exposition of Noted scholar Shri Shailendra Sharma it means :

"Effort of the mind for knowing hidden secrets is itself called as achiever. Mind together with the seed of infinite consciousness solicits a body to know itself, as such the mind is the achiever that makes efforts to cause the birth of its own consciousness."


"Body is an offering."

And As per the Exposition of Noted scholar Shri Shailendra Sharma it means :

'Mind availing of a body, developing consciousness using the body as womb and then delivering consciousness through the medium of physical death – in this cycle the body is offered as a sacrifice.'

“ Senses become witnesses.”

And As per the Exposition of  Noted scholar Shri Shailendra Sharma  it means :

“The great time — conscious person, on the stage of inner self of whom is this entire act of creation being played, all senses of such a great person become the witnesses of this omnipresent play and such time – conscious great person remains in bliss while witnessing everywhere this play of time.”

And here we have an artist who has interpreted all the 77 Shiv -Sutras through his paintings . Possibly the first Artist to do so. I am not very sure on this issue : But if any reader has some more to add , I shall be too pleased to know.He is Rainawari Born Gokul Dembi ( Born 1939 ). So Many things surfaced up so many doubts were cleared in my meeting with the artist some days back. Along with my friend Sudesh Raina , I dropped in at his residence SMRITI ( 196 Sector 2 Pamposh janipora ) ).  He was waiting .

“ I belong to Rainawari. The canals , Waterways ,Birds , Willows , Boats and the peaceful life that we had in that part of the valley is something that keeps haunting. In fact our house was surrounded by Water and canals on all sides . ”

“ I have been trained at Delhi Polytechnic / college of Art in various disciplines like painting , Sculpture, Graphics , Terracotta , Lithography , Etching , Soap stone etc. I have even worked on lathe machine .We had an all round training during those days . That was quite enriching . Further I spent two precious Years of my Life in Lucknow where I learnt so many things and even Furniture Designing . I did a national Diploma in Fine arts from Delhi Polytechnic / college of Art in 1963.”

“ I am an Associate member of Shilpi Chakra And Gallery -26 and have retired in 1997 as Incharge Fine arts Department Institute of Music and Fine arts J&K . I had joined this Institution in 1969. I am also connected with many Cultural Organization like SAMPRITI apart from being a member of Governing Body of Gandhi Memorial College ”

“ I don’t agree when Some writers or Art historians say that so and so person or artist Brought Modern Art to valley. Was our  valley without any Artistic Movement or Trend ? You see we had a definite school of Art that flourished over there since ancient times . It had a Continuity .See our ancient and medieval stone sculptures .We had a well defined school of stone sculpting . Yes for some reasons the Artists had to move out in different directions after 14th century . But then they did wonders wherever they went . Be it the The Pahari Miniature Art of Himachal  or the Gompa Paintings of Ladakh , contribution of kashmiris is immense , undeniable and visible. Why have we forgotten that Manaku , Nainsukh and the Great Master Shiv Raina ( All of them being prominent Pahaari artists ) are kashmiris ? Just Focus on our Thokur Kuth ( Pooja Room ). Didn’t we have the tradition of preparing paintings known as Gorra Treya? Most of our Pooja rooms had Miniature Paintings depicting Shiv- lagana , Shiva Meditating on kailasa or Shiva with Nandi , Parvati and Ganesha. And then you can also come to Papier Mache Art that came to Kashmir during the rule of Sultan Zain Ul Abdin . You can see colourful Flowers , Figures , Dragons etc done by our artisans . ”

“ I have taught so many students and I can not name any one So Many are well known names in the field of Painting and sculpting . It is a sheer happiness for a teacher to see his students flourishing .”

“ I have participated in many exhibitions In Delhi , Amritsar , Chandigarh apart from attending many LKA’s Biannual Art exhibitions in India and Abroad . So many Art camps held in our state and outside have been attended by me .”

We now relax over a cup of Tea . He takes us to the first floor of his House . Two rooms are packed with paintings . Paintings , Bronze sculptures and some wood work also confronts you as you move through the rooms of his house . And then he opens something serious. 77 Shiv sutras interpreted through paintings . He  has used  Human form in interpreting these Maxims believed to have been conveyed by Shiva Himself to Vasugupta . On the backside of every Shiv Sutra painting ,he has written the Sloka /Sutra with his own hand in Sanskrit .The Visual Impact of each sutra painting done by him is profound and out of the ordinary.
I am Informed that Noted Artists like B C Sanyal and J Apaswamy (who incidentally were his Teachers at Delhi College of art ) were of immense help to him during his early formative years .And then Manjeet Bawa and jagdish Dey were his colleagues at Delhi College of art.

His son is an engineer who works as a car designer with a leading Automobile company at Mumbai. We take permission to leave. Joined by His wife sheela ji , He comes to the gate of his house to see us off .

“ Keep coming . Next time we go to Triloke kaul sahib’s house . He lives in that house . Krishen Ji Langoo Lives over there , and that is where Jalali Sahib ( T K Jalali Musician and Vocalist ) Lives."

( Avtar Mota )

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