RSS / Venice Biennale, 2015


Technique : 14 carat gold grains embossed with words, multiple canvases of different dimensions and depths, acrylic on canvas and wood.

On this fragment of master and scholar, I have chosen to represent Sri Ramakrishna and his student, Swami Vivekananda whose teachings came at a crucial time. This abstract rendering of their spread of knowledge akin to light or fire once again comes at a crucial time when innocents are being harmed in the name of religion.
Sri Ramakrishna: When God-consciousness falls short, traditions become dogmatic and oppressive and religious teachings lose their transforming power.

Drawn by Ramakrishna's magnetism, men and women. young and old,philosophers and theologians, philanthropists and humanists, atheists and agnostics. Hindus and Brahmas, Christians and Muslims, seekers of truth of all races, creeds and castes flocked to him. His small room in the Dakshineswar temple garden on the outskirts of the city of Calcutta became a veritable parliament of religions, Everyone who came to him felt uplifted by his profound God-consciousness, boundless love, and universal outlook. Each seeker saw in him the highest manifestation of his own ideal.

Like different photographs of a building taken from different angles, different religions give us the pictures of one truth from different standpoints. They are not contradictory but complementary. Sri Ramakrishna faithfully practiced the spiritual disciplines of different religions and came to the realiziation that all of them lead to the same goal.

Swami Vivekananda: "The goal of mankind is knowledge ... Now this knowledge is inherent in man. No knowledge comes from outside; it is all inside. What we say a man 'knows' should in strict psychological language, be what he 'discovers' or 'unveils': what man 'learns' is really what he discovers by taking the cover off his own soul which is a mind of infinite knowledge.