Sunday, July 22, 2007
In our effort to represent the Gospels in an Indian spiritual context, the vision of reality that underlies the pactice of Yoga seems to be indispensable. Indian iconography has been imbued by yogic ideals. The image of the Guru, as also the figure of a transformed humanity through a spiritual force, lies at the very basis of an Indian Christology as represented in the visual arts.
When in 1983 I was encouraged to think of establishing an “art ashram”, where the practice of the visual arts could be related to an inner spiritual search, I thought that it would be the Yoga of the Heart that should inform such a school of seeing. Here the visual image could become a pointer to that wordless silence that ultimately lies beyond images. A spiritual iconography must be based on a kind of apophatic Advaita, that recognizes that images are always provisional, pointers to an abiding Presence, but never defining that Mystery. The Spirit, I believe, acts as a bridge that helps us to enter in a way that is characterized by a deep empathy, to that heart of belief that lies at the centre of every Faith. We meet other people who are searching for the Divine, not on the external roads that lead to pilgrimage centres, but in the darkness of the cave of the heart, where all differences are lost, in a common longing for the Source of all life.