In the series ‘The story of Shiv Parvathi’
Painting on half sheet of Arches 300gsm with Schminke Artists watercolors.
The inspiration to start this series is the almost unimaginable love that they have for each other and for their creation. Kalidasa has narrated a very ancient religious fable beautifully in his last and unfinished epic poem ‘Kumarasambhava’. It starts with the Gods running to Brahma for advice in winning against the demon Taraka who creates havoc in the universe. Brahma tells them that the child born to Shiv Parvathi will be able to destroy him. Meanwhile the wife of Shiva, Sati (the pure one) flings herself into the ceremonial fire because she is unable to bear the insult shown to her husband by her father and family. She is then born as Parvathi (daughter of the mountains) to (the soul of) Himaloy and the goddess Mena. Here are a few stanzas of the first canto which Sri Aurobindo has translated from Sanskrit into English:
For Daksha’s daughter, Shiva’s wife, had left
Her body lifeless in her father’s hall
In that proud sacrifice and fatal, she
The undivided mother infinite,
Indignant for his severing thought of God.
Now in a trance profound of joy by her
Conceived she sprang again to a livelier birth
To heal the sorrow and the dumb divorce.
Out of the unseen soul the splendid child
Came like bright lightning from the invisible air,
Welcome as Fortune to an earthly king
When she is born with daring for her sire
And for her mother policy sublime.
Then was their festival holiday in the world,
Then were the regions subtle with delight:
Heaven’s shells blew sweetly through the stainless air
And flowery rain came drifting down; Earth thrilled
Back ravished to the rapture of the skies,
And all her moving and unmoving life
Felt happiness because the Bride was born.
Wherever her bright laughing body rolled,
Wherever faltered her sweet tumbling steps,
All eyes were drawn to her like winging bees
Which sailing come upon the wanderer wind
Amid the infinite sweets of honeyed spring
To choose the mango-flowers’ delicious breast.
Increasing to new curves of loveliness
Fast grew like the moon’s arc from day to day
Her childish limbs. Along the wonderful glens
Among her fair companions of delight
Bounding she strayed, or stooped by murmurous waves
To build frail walls on Ganges’ heavenly sands,
Or ran to seize the tossing ball, or pleased
With puppet children her maternal mind
And easily out of that earlier time
All sciences and wisdoms crowding came
Into her growing thoughts like swans that haste
In autumn to a sacred river’s shores.
They started from her soul as grow at night
Born from some luminous herb its glimmering rays.
Her mind, her limbs betrayed themselves divine.
Thus she prepared her spirit for mighty life,
Wandering at will in freedom like a deer
On Nature’s summits, in enchanted glens,
Absorbed in play, the Mother of the world.
Then youth a charm upon her body came
Adorning every limb, a heady wine
Of joy intoxicating to the heart,
Maddened the eyes that gazed, from every limb
Shot the fine arrows of Love’s curving bow.
Her forms into a perfect roundness grew
And opened up sweet colour, grace and light.
So might a painting grow beneath the hand
Of some great master, so a lotus opens
Its bosom to the splendour of the sun.
On the enamoured earth at every step her feet
Threw a red rose, like magic flowers they went
Moving from spot to spot their petalled bloom.