• Manju Sadarangani

Amrita

Updated: Feb 10



Amrita

अमरिता

The Divine Feminine Series

36 “ x 36”

Acrylic & Gold Leaf on Canvas

(December, 2020)

Commission by Morgan Dickens for Dr. Michelle Moyal


This piece kicked of the the Divine Feminine series tapping into the Kundalini yoga principle of an energy that lies dormant at the base of the spine. Vedantic culture describes this energy as a force or power associated with the divine feminine, the formless aspect of the Goddess. Focusing on the Divine Feminine, this piece is named for Amrita Devi Bishnoi, who was beheaded on 2 September 1730 in an incident now called the Khejarli massacre.

Amrita and her three daughters, Asu, Ratni and Bhagu, were killed for denying a local feudal lord the right to fell trees he wanted to use in the construction of a new palace. The movement Amrita Devi inspired in the 20th century, the Chipko movement, is the reason we use the term tree-hugger to describe someone passionate about ecology.


The strength of Amrita’s steady hand embodies the work of a healer and teacher. Through wisdom and skill, her hand lifts the veil of ignorance shown here in the oranges of the Svadhisthana chakra. The Sacral or Svadhisthan (स्वाधिष्ठान) chakra is where your being is established. Some schools of Hinduism teach that the divinity of this chakra comes from Sarasvati, the Goddess of knowledge. Opening this chakra, lifting this veil involves confronting your fears to manifest desire and boost confidence. Kabbalists associate the Svadhisthana with the Sephirah Yesod. The Yesod’s function in the tree of life is to gather different energies and distribute them to the material world (Malkuth) allowing the energy to express physically. Saturated with the deep blues and indigos of the Ajna (आज्ञा) )chakra, this piece asks us to trust our intuition and superior ability to communicate with the world around us.


The lower third of this canvas silhouettes the skyline of Casablanca as a nod to the muse’s diasporic origins. Rooted in her rich history, Amrita transcends limits. Engraved in Amrita’s Casablanca walls is a call to shine just as the muse for this painting shines her light on the world.


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