Sri Chinmoy's Jharna Kala Art
Today, November 19, marks the 44th anniversary of Sri Chinmoy's bgain painting his Jharna-Kala artworks. Jharna-Kala, in Sri Chinmoy's Bengali mother tongue, means 'fountain-art' - art springing forth from an inner source of creativity and spontaneity.
As many observers have commented, the art of Sri Chinmoy expresses a great freedom and joy of movement, unencumbered by the confines of artistic trends or mental concepts.
Sri Chinmoy begain his painting odyssey in 1974, with a drawing of a simple rose while staying in Ottawa. Up until that date, Sri Chinmoy said he had never felt any particular inclination to paint, but after receiving an inner inspiration from his Inner Pilot, he sought to give expression to this inner direction. In addition, Sri Chinmoy never received any formal training - his artistic endeavours came naturally from his own inner meditation and prayer. Explaining his approach to painting, Sri Chinmoy said:
“I try to make my heart a receptive instrument so that God, the Supreme Artist, can paint in and through me.”
Sri Chinmoy 1
From these humble beginnings, Sri Chinmoy soon became a prolific artist, painting countless abstract acrylics - in the first year alone, he created over 100,000 paintings. Talking about the prolific output, Sri Chinmoy explained:
“It is a continuous, spontaneous flow. Without any obstruction. It comes from within. Anything that comes from the very depths of our heart will have no obstruction on the way. But if it comes from the mind or the vital, there will always be some obstructions, for the capacity of the mind is very, very limited, whereas the capacity of the heart is unlimited, precisely because it is in tune with the soul... If we go beyond the mind we create infinitely more beautiful things.”
Sri Chinmoy 2
In 1991, Sri Chinmoy's art took a new direction when he began spontaneously drawing birds. He gave this project the name Dream-Freedom-Peace-Birds, and also often referred to these effortless, free-form creations as Soul-Birds. In total, Sri Chinmoy drew 15 million of these unique birds.
“These birds represent unity in multiplicity. Here we have 70,000 birds. Each bird is different, but when you look at them, you feel unity. As soon as we think of the bird-consciousness, it is one. The bird-consciousness represents the consciousness of our soul’s inner freedom.”
Sri Chinmoy 3
Over the years, Sri Chinmoy's paintings and drawings has been exhibited in galleries around the world, such as the Carrousel du Louvre in Paris, the United Nations building in New York and the national parliaments of Australia, Ukraine and New Zealand.
“These are among the most beautiful and stunning paintings I have ever seen. I see in Sri Chinmoy's art the joy of creating beauty. His art is the classic example that creating not only is joy, it should be joy. Through his art he takes his joy and shares it with others.”
Former president, United Nations Society of Writers
Video: Sri Chinmoy talks about his art