Why Krishna always wears yellow?

Artists can color the sky red because they know it’s blue. Those of us who aren’t artists must color things the way they really are or people might think we’re stupid.
Jules Feiffer, Pulitzer Prize winning cartoonist and author

In a world where architecture, fine art, design and visual expression pave main avenues of communication, who can say an artist from a draftsman? It’s nearly impossible unless you’re an artist yourself and understand well what it takes to create art.

Art is a facility or a state of being best expressed through a feeling. From a feeling it steps down, enters rationalisation process, articulates itself through the human set of ideas, symbols, thoughts, language and words. Then it bounces itself back up, through the feedback loop consisted of numerous reflections of itself in the world around, rises embellished and redefined through some new words, language and new rationalisation into the now enriched realm of feelings and aesthetic elation.

Good art thus continuously recreates itself. If it fails to do so, say (a) if it seems it constantly chases its own tail thus fueling itself only through itself, (b) if it’s obviously stuck in time, (c) hopelessly captured inside some layer of our perception and understanding, (d) if it lacks new ideas and expressions and (e) not rediscovering itself, then it ceases to be relevant. To live, it must be set free.

Art is thus inevitably connected with people in an ever-changing world. If people and their ideas seem to be frozen in time, so shall their art, its symbols, expression and language.

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When he who hears does not know what he who speaks means, and when he who speaks does not know what he himself means, that is philosophy.
Voltaire (François-Marie Aronet)

Universalist Radha-Krishnasm has its roots in devotional tradition of Gaudiya Vaishnavism. Although endowed with a culturally rich palette, devotional art of Gaudiya Vaisnavism has almost always been a servant maid of its philosophical oeuvre and a wider preaching mission, which (paradoxically) was derived from the artistic and aesthetic endeavours of the original authors of the scripture, poetry and play that ignited spiritual movement.

Namely, the philosophy was a secondary result of an artistic and emotionally remarkably expressive vision of reality and its possibilities, our means to comprehend it, embrace and participate in it. But in time such art has become a slave unto its byproduct, or a mere literal visual and oral translator of the philosophy and its idioms that (as a result) don’t change or move forward. A creative connection with the original art that enabled philosophy to be modeled was forever gone.

Why that happened, one may ask? Mainly because original poets and artists, or people of spirit and astounding vision, were gone and a resulting philosophy — a more rational expression of an artistic feeling in its quest for meaning and fulfillment — was left to preachers and missionaries in their quests of evangelisation of all others who don’t share same philosophical (and cultural) views. They then asked new artists to visually or orally translate the images of the secondary industry of the same original art and its fabulous expression.

Thereby newly highly praised artistic expression is a mere literal description of the scripture, allowing new artists little to zero of new feelings and novelty in aesthetic delight.  This in so many ways reminds us of a fate of Western art during the Middle Ages. Potential new artists became supervised and rigidly guided thematic illustrators, turned into mere draftsmen serving the priestly hierarchy and evangelistic, holy goals. New artists thus became illustrators of the metaphors, or illustrators of something that was already a superb illustration.

Devoid of original artistic and aesthetic impulse, preachers and their philosophy were stuck in time, and so was their vision of reality and the world around them. Not only the expression was frozen in one layer of understanding and limited to colours and shapes of only one cultural and social palette, but it is still constantly feeding on itself, never reflecting in the world around, never recreating itself or finding novel ways of expression. It no longer discovers new metaphors.

In the rationalisation process our finest feelings and spiritual rapture often lack adequate vocabulary — both oral and visual — and, as Voltaire funnily remarks, that’s where philosophy emerges. But rationalisation is necessary because it creates a ever new language, a vocabulary of experience. A perennial philosophical task is thus to continue the exploration of universal truth as diligently as possible, which also means that its language and scope must probe reality and its possibilities, constantly challenge our perspectives. As noted above, that’s a positive, rational feedback from below that will stimulate new aesthetic and visionary delights in artists’ hearts and reveal us new captivating realms, new modulations of being that are not only rational, but emotional and transrational.

God-dess Radha-Krishna is rational — i.e. we are able to contemplate about her-his existence and formulate philosophical and theological ideas — but we feel even more so God-dess is emotional and transrational (or, its is full of unrealised, unconcretised potential). As long as our experience of God-dess encompasses all scopes of our comprehension and perception — both rational and transrational — our existence will become more meaningful, more complete and our lives more satisfying.

So is the sky blue or it can be red too? Challenging common wisdom is a primary task of any good artist in particular, but inside of every one us is one artist hidden, a soul willing to embrace change, dethrone old vision and rules of yesteryear.

The idea behind the Universalist Radha-Krishnaism is to awake new artistic and aesthetic rapture, re-interpret and re-boot the philosophy using rich new palettes of contemporary language and metaphors, enable new generations of artists creative freedom to build on old revelation and reach the new heights of divine experience.

— Zvonimir Tosic


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