Loaned Artwork

Pencil, Pencil colour and Oil Pastel on Canvas

Collection of Manabu Narato

About the Art

Brahmacāriṇī represents the second manifestation of the Hindu deity Dūrgā and is venerated on the second day of the Navarātrī festival. The term “Brahmacāriṇī” originates from the combination of two Sanskrit terms: “Brahma,” denoting the supreme reality or divine consciousness, and “acāriṇī,” signifying one engaged in the practice thereof.

The depiction of Brahmacāriṇī portrays a youthful female figure adorned in white garments, holding a Japa Mālā, which is a string of prayer beads, in one hand, and a Kamaṇḍalu, a vessel containing water, in the other. Frequently shown in a state of barefoot ambulation, she symbolizes her unwavering commitment to asceticism and the search for spiritual enlightenment. This particular manifestation of Dūrgā symbolizes the phase in an individual’s spiritual quest whereby they actively participate in arduous self-discipline, tapas (ascetic practices), and unwavering dedication as they strive towards attaining self-realization and a state of oneness with the divine.

The concept of Brahmacāriṇī symbolizes a crucial phase in the spiritual quest of an individual, characterized by the adoption of rigorous self-discipline and ascetic rituals. This stage is distinguished by the exercise of self-discipline, mastery over one’s impulses, and a concentration on personal growth and development. Through the cultivation of self-discipline, individuals endeavor to cleanse their mind, body, and spirit, thereby facilitating the process of spiritual development and self-actualization.

The artist has effectively depicted the solemn and minimalist portrayal of Brahmāyaṇī in this specific picture. The goddess is shown with an impeccable iconography and a divine aura, exhibiting a regal posture. Enhancing the celestial essence of the goddess, a splendidly adorned and intricately crafted golden Toraṇa (arched gateway) is observed, accompanied by the presence of Garuḍa (a mythological bird) positioned at the apex and Makara (water dragons) positioned on the sides. Additionally, the artist has included a written description of Brahmacāriṇī Dhyāna, a form of meditation, at the lower section of the artwork.

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