- Manju Sadarangani
Updated: Feb 10, 2021
36” x 36”
Acrylic & Gold Leaf on Canvas
“Every blade of grass has its angel that bends over and whispers, “grow, grow…”
~ The Talmud
Anmol is precious, priceless, invaluable, but also unvalued.
This piece draws from meditations on the Anahata (अनाहत), Ajna (आज्ञा), and Sahasrara (सहस्रार) chakras. It explores the idea of the human journey, our growth. And our better angels, cheering us on.
Embarking on a commission draws me into a state of pure love. As much as I enjoy playing on canvas, I have come to cherish commissions. Every commission becomes a visual embodiment, my iccha (इच्छा), my fervent prayer, desire, hope for the patron. It is such an honor when a patron lets you into their inner world, and gives you permission to explore in paint.
This commission was especially intimate. I was meditating on the Sahasrara chakra, the crown chakra embodied by a thousand petaled lotus (shout out to the Devis at Lighthouse who ran the. Most. Amazing. chakra series) when we began this commission.
The lotus is an especially poignant symbol to my patron, so we both knew we wanted to go there. In the Sahasrara, we amass our kind thoughts and actions, our acts of faith, meditation, and prayer. Our crown chakra is where we transcend dimensions of life and seek an intimate relationship with the cosmos.
My patron is a sharp legal mind, a defender of logic. And like many of us, a lifetime of denying the esoteric, a lifetime of prizing logic over emotion presents a hurdle. To connect to an indescribable convening takes a leap. A tough, courageous, persevering leap. If we are to have faith that the seed of transcendence sits within each of us, that we have the ability to connect, I think we must tap into the compassion of our Anahita, and the wisdom of our Ajna.
I am starting to doubt very much that we journey alone. Although yogis and Rinpoches are represented meditating and transcending alone, I think the support of our community, our sangha (संघ) is vital. Our sangha is more than the people we practice with – it is also those who champion us from places we cannot touch. I started this piece on September 18, the night RBG passed. If you are seeing jabots in this piece, protecting the growing seedling, feeding its growth. you’re not hallucinating. This beautiful seedling may doubt her inherent nature, may miss the shimmer in her color, but those of us who love her, and champion her, we see a different perspective. We view her exciting evolution as inevitable. We pour our prayers and meditations, our joys and cheers into her journey. Because the most important part of the journey isn’t neither the path, nor the destination – it is who we travel with.