quinta-feira, 23 de julho de 2009

The painting you are viewing is is entitled "Venu-Gita" (The Song of Sri Krsna’s Flute).



by Syamarani dasi


Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Svami Prabhupada, an intimate friend of Srila Narayana Maharaja, gives the following short description of the scene in his book Krsna: the Supreme Personality of Godhead:

With the arrival of the beautiful autumn season, the waters in the lakes and rivers became as clear as crystal and filled with fragrant lotus flowers, and breezes blew very pleasantly. At that time, Krsna entered the forest of Vrndavana with the cows and cowherd boys. Krsna was very much pleased with the atmosphere of the forest, where flowers bloomed and bees and drones hummed very jubilantly. While the birds, trees and plants were all looking very happy, Krsna, tending the cows and accompanied by Sri Balarama and the cowherd boys, began to vibrate His transcendental flute. After hearing the vibration of the flute of Krsna, the gopis in Vrndavana remembered Him and began to talk amongst themselves about how nicely Krsna was playing His flute. When the gopis were describing the sweet vibration of Krsna’s flute, they also remembered their pastimes with Him; thus their minds became disturbed, and they were unable to describe completely the beautiful vibrations. While discussing the transcendental vibration, they remembered also how Krsna dressed, decorated with a peacock feather on His head, just like a dancing actor, and with blue flowers pushed over His ear. His garment glowed yellow-gold, and He was garlanded with a vaijayanti necklace. Dressed in such an attractive way, Krsna filled up the holes of His flute with the nectar emanating from His lips. So they remembered Him, entering the forest of Vrndavana, which is always glorified by the footprints of Krsna and His companions.



Because Srila Prabhupada is also such a realized soul, we have an opportunity to one day enter that divine realm just by reading this description.

Prema-Samput The Treasure-chest of Love



by Syamarani dasi

God is love, and Love is God. There are two features of this divine love, and thus two features of God. He is the one-without-a-second Absolute Truth, and still He has two sides or features. The ancient Vedas proclaim that Lord Sri Krsna is the Supreme Potent, the Supreme Enjoyer of that love. Srimati Radhika, His complete potency, is the total reservoir of that love. As the Supreme Enjoyer, Sri Krsna always desires to taste that complete love, and for the enactment of His transcendental pastimes he always devises the means to do so.

Many Vedic scriptures tell of this supreme and total loving exchange, and they explain how we living beings can participate in it as well. One such scripture is Prema-Samput, translated into English as "The Treasure-chest of Love." Therein Lord Krsna, disguised as a beautiful goddess from the heavenly planets, comes to the home of Radhika and inquires about the nature of Her divine amour. Here are some excerpts:

Srimati Radhika told the demigoddess-disguised Krsna, "If You really want to know what is prema (divine love), then listen. There is only one desire in the heart of the beloved: 'How to please My beloved'. One should give up all other desires. If one tries to explain prema to others, it will be an imitation only – for prema is completely indescribable. It cannot be understood by consideration or by the refusal to consider. It can be understood by realization and nothing else.

"You cannot realize what prema is simply by My words. Rather, You should stay with those persons in whose hearts prema has arisen. Watch them and follow their activities. Stay with Me here in Vrndavana. Do not return to the heavenly planets. By watching My activities You will understand. As long as prema has not arisen in the heart, millions of studies will not help You understand its nature. It can be understood only by gradual realization."

"For a person who has achieved this prema, even great difficulty in serving the beloved will seem insignificant. This is understood only when one's consciousness becomes completely overwhelmed by the ecstatic emotion called raga."

Srimati Radhika continued, "The common conception is that I am always in the heart of Krsna and He is always in My heart, and that We have a complete meeting of minds – we completely understand each other. Don't believe this; this is not true – this is a mistake. Here is the real fact: in a lake there is a lotus plant, and from the root of that plant two flowers are growing – one blue and one yellow. Those two flowers are not different from each other, because they have one root. In the same way, My blue cloth signifies the colour of Krsna's body and His yellow cloth signifies the colour of My body. There is no difference between us at all. We are one soul, and for the sake of tasting our astonishing pastimes we take two forms."

quarta-feira, 22 de julho de 2009

KRSNA DISGUISED AS A GIRL SINGER


by Syamarani dasi
KRSNA DISGUISED AS A GIRL SINGER


[This painting, entitled, "Krsna Disguised as a Girl Singer" is one of four pranks described in the book entitled, "Camat-kar-candrika (A Moonbeam of Sheer Astonishment) by Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura. Below is a short description of this humorous prank performed by Lord Sri Krsna, in His endeavor to meet with and please Srimati Radharani:]


One day, in Her divine pastimes, Srimati Radharani was pouting in such a greatly proud mood that Sri Krsna could not do anything at all to pacify Her. He tried various methods, but no attempt was successful. He therefore consulted with His cousin Kundalata, and together they devised a plan. Sri Krsna would dress up with the clothing and ornaments of a beautiful young girl, and then they would both to go to the home of Srimati Radharani.


Srimati Radharani became charmed when she saw the uncommonly beautiful young girl accompanying Kundalata, and asked her, "Come, come. Tell Me why have you suddenly arrived at this unusual time of the evening? And who is your companion, this beautiful young girl? Where has she come from? And what is her name? Kindly tell Me everything."


Kunda-lata replied, "My dear Radhe! Her name is Kalavati, the artful maiden. She heard all about Your divine holy name, Your divine qualities and Your glorious fame, and she has now come from Mathura just to have your audience. Her singing and musical
abilities are so highly developed that she can conquer even the celestial songs of Brhaspati, the celebrated poet. What more can I say? You should now hear her sing, and thus become a witness of her incredible artistry. She has learned singing from Brhaspati, the guru of Indra, the King of the Demigods. Brhaspati thus instructed this girl in the classical arts of music during the period of his stay for one month in Mathura. Thereafter, when the time came for his return back to the heavenly planets, he took her along to the world of the celestials and gave her more instructions in Gandharva-vidya for a whole year. She has returned to Mathura on the surface of the Earth just yesterday, and she has come here to Vraja just now at dusk. So here she is right before Your very eyes; now You may examine her abilities and good qualities."


Srimati Radharani then asked Kalavati to sing a song in a difficult evening tune. Kalavati then began to sing in a beautiful voice, putting to shame the sweet notes of the peacocks and bees. Torrents of tears thus began to flow from the eyes of Radharani and Her girlfriends, like so many flowing rivers.


Radharani was so enchanted by Kalavati's singing that She personally decorated Kalavati with Her own beautiful gold and jeweled locket. Much joking then ensued between Srimati Radharani, Her friends and Sri Krsna.

The painting you are viewing is entitled "Manini-Radha."


by Syamarani dasi
The painting you are viewing is entitled "Manini-Radha."

The following is an excerpt from one of his discussions with Syamarani dasi:

[Srila Narayana Maharaja:] Here, Lord Sri Krsna is taking the dust of the lotus feet of Srimati Radhika, and trying to break Her transcendental loving jealous anger (mana). In this world, it is the general fact that the jealous beloved girl will weep. And Lord Krsna will weep, begging, "Please excuse me." He weeps so that Radhika will have some pity on Him. If He will laugh, then She will totally reject Him. Here She is in a mood of externally sending Him away, and Her hand is showing this by its gesture (June 8, 2004 Holland).

The philosophy behind this painting has been given by the famous world-wide preacher of Krsna consciousness and intimate friend of Srila Narayana Maharaja, Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada:

This brings up the question of who Radharani is and what Radha-Krsna is. Actually Radha-Krsna is the exchange of love. This is not ordinary love; Krsna has immense potencies, of which three are principal: internal, external and marginal. The internal hladini potency is the pleasure potency. All living entities have this pleasure-seeking potency, for all beings are trying to have pleasure. This is the very nature of the living entity. At present we are trying to enjoy our pleasure potency by means of the body in this material condition. By bodily contact we are attempting to derive pleasure from material sense objects. We should not think, however, that Krsna, who is always spiritual, tries to seek pleasure on this material plane like us. Krsna describes the material universe as a nonpermanent place full of miseries. Why, then, would He seek pleasure in the material form? He is the Supersoul, the supreme spirit, and His pleasure is beyond the material conception (Teachings of Lord Caitanya, Introduction).

In Goloka Vrndavana there is an exchange of love known as parakiya-rasa. It is something like the attraction of a married woman for a man other than her husband. In the material world this sort of relationship is most abominable because it is a perverted reflection of the parakiya-rasa in the spiritual world, where it is the highest kind of loving affair. Such feelings between the devotee and the Lord are presented by the influence of yogamaya. The Bhagavad-gita states that devotees of the highest grade are under the care of daiva-maya, or yogamaya. Those who are actually great souls (mahrtmas) are fully absorbed in Krsna consciousness, always engaged in the service of the Lord. They are under the care of daivi-prakrti, or yogamaya. Yogamaya creates a situation in which the devotee is prepared to transgress all regulative principles simply to love Krsna. A devotee naturally does not like to transgress the laws of reverence for the Supreme Personality of Godhead, but by the influence of yogamaya he is prepared to do anything to love the Supreme Lord better (Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Adi-lila chapter 4: purport by Srila Bhaktivedanta Svami Prabhupada).

terça-feira, 21 de julho de 2009

The painting you are viewing is is entitled "Venu-Gita" (The Song of Sri Krsna’s Flute).

by Syamarani dasi

Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Svami Prabhupada, an intimate friend of Srila Narayana Maharaja, gives the following short description of the scene in his book Krsna: the Supreme Personality of Godhead:

With the arrival of the beautiful autumn season, the waters in the lakes and rivers became as clear as crystal and filled with fragrant lotus flowers, and breezes blew very pleasantly. At that time, Krsna entered the forest of Vrndavana with the cows and cowherd boys. Krsna was very much pleased with the atmosphere of the forest, where flowers bloomed and bees and drones hummed very jubilantly. While the birds, trees and plants were all looking very happy, Krsna, tending the cows and accompanied by Sri Balarama and the cowherd boys, began to vibrate His transcendental flute. After hearing the vibration of the flute of Krsna, the gopis in Vrndavana remembered Him and began to talk amongst themselves about how nicely Krsna was playing His flute. When the gopis were describing the sweet vibration of Krsna’s flute, they also remembered their pastimes with Him; thus their minds became disturbed, and they were unable to describe completely the beautiful vibrations. While discussing the transcendental vibration, they remembered also how Krsna dressed, decorated with a peacock feather on His head, just like a dancing actor, and with blue flowers pushed over His ear. His garment glowed yellow-gold, and He was garlanded with a vaijayanti necklace. Dressed in such an attractive way, Krsna filled up the holes of His flute with the nectar emanating from His lips. So they remembered Him, entering the forest of Vrndavana, which is always glorified by the footprints of Krsna and His companions.



Because Srila Prabhupada is also such a realized soul, we have an opportunity to one day enter that divine realm just by reading this description.

The painting you are viewing is entitled "Jayashri – Krishna Pleading."



by Syamarani dasi

This painting was created for the English rendition of Srila Narayana Maharaja’s Hindi translation and commentary of Sri Gita-govinda. Describing the event, Srila Narayana Maharaja said that Sri Krsna, somehow finding out that Srimati Radhika would be going to the bank of the river to fetch water, also appeared on the scene. Desiring to create a reason for conversation and association with Her, Krsna asked Her, "May I help You? You have two waterpots. I can help You with one of them?" Another name of Srimati Radhika is Jayasri, which means She is always victorious over the heart of Sri Krsna. So, hearing Krsna’s request, She pretended to ignore Him. Finally She told Him not to talk to Her, because she was a chaste housewife and He was a debauchee.

According to the text in Gita-govinda this scene is appearing to Sri Krsna in His intense grief of separation from Radha. His absorption in Her becomes so great in this feeling of separation that, remembering His previous pastimes with Her, He sees a vision of this afore-mentioned pastime and then dwells in that vision. Of course there is no separation between Radha and Krsna at any time, because together they are the undivided Absolute Truth, one without a second. Krsna is the Supreme powerful and Radha is the supreme power; they are non-different. Still, there are feelings of separation, because those feelings nourish and ever-refresh the principle of meeting. The Gita-govinda verse and commentary reads as follows:

Translation

While meditating on My beloved in a secluded place, My skin thrills on experiencing the happiness of her pure touch. The restlessness of Her eyes, Her affectionate expressions, Her erroneous behavior due to the bewilderment of love, and the way She casts Her glance are bringing Me back to life. I am being inundated by the fragrance of Her lotus mouth. I can hear the trickling ambrosia of Her words as she speaks one crooked statement after another. I am tasting the sweet nectar of Her enchanting bimba-fruit lips. My mind has become deeply attached to these objects of perception in this condition of trance. So why is my dire suffering from the disease of separation increasing so rapidly at every moment?


Commentary

The malady of separation flows within Krnsa's heart even during a vivid vision (sphürti) of amorous pastimes with Radha in His meditation. Describing this contradiction, Krsna says, “My mind has become situated in a trance on Radha. So why am I still being tortured by feelings of separation? Separation is a condition of distress that occurs in the absence of one’s beloved, but my mind adheres closely to Sri Radha.

The absence of internal meeting can be considered separation. However, although I am experiencing internal union, I still feel separation. This type of separation must be caused by the absence of sensory union. That is why it is also said that the experience of sensory pleasure within the heart, despite the absence of the sense objects, can also be referred to as union. But now this has also become a feeling of separation.

Sri Krsna is wondering, “What is real? The experience of meeting also occurs in separation. I am feeling the happiness of Radha's touch on my skin. With my eyes I am beholding Her restless eyes, full of affectionate mellows and overflowing with prema. With My nose I can smell the fragrance of Her lotus mouth, just as I have experienced before. In this trance, My ears are tasting the trickling nectar of Radha's crooked words as if I were directly perceiving them. In this way I am connected with all five kinds of sense objects. So I cannot understand–––why does the torment of separation continue to increase?

The painting you are viewing is entitled "Radha Alone."




by Syamarani dasi

This painting was created for Srila Narayana Maharaja’s translation of Jayadeva Gosvami’s Gita-govinda. The glory of this book is indicated by Srila Narayana Maharaja’s statement:

Sri Gita-govinda is a ‘jewel book’ brought by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. We all know that Sri Jayadeva Gosvami has written this beautiful Gita Govinda, but without Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu it would have remained locked like a pearl in the oyster shell or a jewel in a locked case. Just as without Srila Rupa Gosvami no one would have known the inner moods of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, similarly, by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu relishing the moods of Sri Gita Govinda its glories became manifest for the whole world. I have explained this very high-class philosophy, but only rare devotees in this world can understand it. I have called you here only to give you this understanding.

Within this painting there are millions of transcendental pastimes of the Divine Couple; but a very important one is told in the verses of Gita-govinda, and Srila Narayana Maharaja explained one of these verses it as follows: “This song is very beautiful. Sometimes Srimati Radhika – with or without reason, or with a shadow of a reason, or having created a reason in Her mind – becomes maanavati. Maanavati means sulky (with transcendental loving jealous anger). Once, when Sri Krsna approached Her while she was in that mood, She told Him, ‘O Black One, You should go away from here.’ She turned Her face away from Him, although He continually begged Her to forgive Him. On that day Her maan was very strong and at last He left that place.

After Sri Krsna left, Lalita-devi saw that Srimati Radhika was grievously lamenting and weeping for Him, and singing, "Why did I do what I did? Smarati mano mama. Now I am remembering how He came to Me, how sweet He was, how He placed His flute at My lotus feet. Oh, why did I do maan? Fie on Me! Why I did I do so?" She was continually repenting, thinking, "How very lovingly He talks, and how He can take anyone's heart so easily.

Lalita said, ‘Why can’t You forget Him?’

Srimati Radhika said, ‘How can I forget Him? This is the thing – I want to forget Him, but I cannot.’

Lalita replied, ‘Then what can I do? I cannot help You. I told you to give up that Black Person, but you do not obey me. So what can I do?!’

Radhika always manifests such exalted moods.


At another time he explained another verse:

Radhika had determined, ‘I will have no further relation with Krsna. I will not go to meet Him.’

Sri Krsna was upset to hear about Her resolve, and He therefore sent a gopé to pacify Her and bring Her to Him. Now Srimati Radhika wondered, ‘What should I do? What should I do?’ Lalitä came and instucted Her, ‘Don’t go. Don’t care about Him.’ Srimati Radhika said, ‘Oh Lalitä, I cannot obey you because I am dying in separation. Whatever will happen, will happen; but I must go.’ Although she spoke like this, She did not go to meet with Him, but continued to lament and weep. This is the purport.

The aim and goal of all our efforts in devotional practices and bhajana is absorption in and service to this lamentation and weeping of Srimati Radhika. The goal of our lives is to attain the exalted position of Her maidservant, but such attainment is very rare in this world.

The painting you are viewing is entitled "Gaura-Nitai."

by Syamarani dasi





This painting was originally created for the Kesavaji Gaudiya Matha’s Janmastami Eve celebration in 1994. At that time it rode on one of the chariots during a procession through the decorated streets of Sri Krsna’s birthplace, Mathura, and was seen and revered by tens of thousands of enthusiastic onlookers. It then decorated the cover of Srila Narayana Maharaja’s translation and commentary of the Vedic literature Sri Siksastakam. Srila Narayana Maharaja also desired that it be placed in temples and homes as a worshipable deity, to decorate and ornament the hearts of devotees.

In the scene, Lord Gauranga and Lord Nityananda are dancing through the villages of Navadvipa, along with their associates Sri Advaita Acarya, Sri Gadadhara Pandita, Sri Srivasa Thakura, Sri Vrakresvara Pandita, and hundreds of thousands of other associates and followers.

The following quotes from the Vedic scriptures help us understand the glory of Gaura-Nitai, who, due to being Supreme Absolute Entities, are non-different from their authorized painted forms:

I offer my respectful obeisances unto Sri Krsna Caitanya and Lord Nityananda, who are like the sun and moon. They have arisen simultaneously on the horizon of Gauda to dissipate the darkness of ignorance and thus wonderfully bestow benediction upon all. (Caitanya-caritamrta Adi-lila 1.2).

I worship the incarnations of mercy, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and Sri Nityananda Prabhu, whose arms extend to Their knees, whose complexions are a resplendent yellow and very enchanting like the hue of gold, who inaugurated the sankirtana movement, whose eyes are large like lotus petals, who nourish the entire universe, who appeared in the families of exalted brahmanas, who protect the yuga-dharma, and who bestow the highest auspiciousness upon the residents of the material world. (Sri Caitanya Bhagavata, Vrndavan dasa Thakura).

Sri Nityananda Gosani is directly Lord Balarama, and Advaita Acarya is the Personality of Godhead Himself. These two captains, with Their soldiers such as Srivasa Thakura, travel everywhere, chanting the holy name of the Lord. Lord Nityananda's very features indicate that He is the subduer of the unbelievers. All sins and unbelievers flee from the loud shouts of Advaita Acarya. Lord Sri Krsna Caitanya is the initiator of sankirtana [congregational chanting of the holy name of the Lord]. One who worships Him through sankirtana is fortunate indeed. (Caitanya-caritamrta Adi-lila 3.74-77).

segunda-feira, 20 de julho de 2009

Her Inspiration






The elaborate details of the beautiful paintings created by Syamarani dasi do not come from the artist’s imagination. Rather, all the details come from descriptions found in the Sanskrit texts of the ancient Vedas. These details are also found in the hearts of pure devotees who have realized thos
e texts.






Though appearing before us as teachers or gurus, they are simultaneously living in that sacred reality beyond matter. Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaja (above), one such self-realized soul, guided the artist, Syamarani dasi, at every step of the painting's development. With his detailed instructions and divine guidance, Syamarani dasi served in the capacity of his “paintbrush”–––applying color, line, and exquisite details.





Sometimes Srila Narayana Maharaja posed for the personalities in the paintings to allow Syamarani dasi to capture the gestures, external features, and moods of the personalities being painted. Srila Narayana Maharaja would also describe the thoughts and feelings of the personalities to increase the depth of the message and atmosphere created by the painting. Because the execution of the painting was done under the direction of an elevated saint, the viewer makes spiritual advancement simply by seeing it–––what to speak of keeping it at home.


About the Artist Srimati Syamarani Dasi



After graduating from Music and Art High School in 1964, Syamarani dasi became a student at New York City College, majoring in art and history. In 1966, at the age of 19, she met her spiritual master. .

Her spiritual master is His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, the founder-acarya of ISKCON, and world-famous preacher of Krsna Consciousness and Vedic culture, and the saintly spiritual master of millions of spiritual seekers. Soon after meeting him, she was initiated and given the name Jadurani dasi. (Later on, in 1992, he inspired his spiritual successor, Srila Narayana Maharaja, to give her the additional spiritual name of Syamarani dasi, and she became one of his first few disciples.)

Srila Prabhupada taught her the philosophy of Krsna consciousness, also known as Sanatana-dharma and bhakti-yoga – the timeless ancient wisdom of spiritual India. Even when she was still new to Prabhupada and Krsna Consciousness he sent her to various yoga groups, schools and universities, including Harvard University. There she represented her spiritual master’s words in the mission to spread the science of God.



His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

Since 1966 she has painted over 200 paintings for Srila Prabhupada’s temples and books. First he instructed her to make paintings for all of his temples – particularly of Sri Radha-Krsna, Panca-Tattva, himself and the disciplic succession, Visnu in the Causal Ocean, Radha-Krsna and the 8 gopis. After that, under his careful guidance she painted for his translations and commentaries of timeless Vedic literatures such as the Bhagavad-gita and Srimad Bhagavatam.

As early as 1966, Srila Prabhupada invited her to paint in his quarters, and she was therefore able to get many personal instructions from him on how to paint the spiritual world. She says that the glory of those paintings is that they were not a product of the artist’s imagination. Rather, it is that every detail came from scripture and her two self-realized gurus, Srila Prabhupada and Srila Narayana Maharaja. She considers herself to only be a paintbrush, so to speak, for the paintings are manifested from her two gurus through the medium of her hands.

It is widely accepted that Srila Prabhupada’s most significant contribution to the world is his books, which are the authorized translations of the Vedic literatures. He would often describe his work of translating and explaining the ancient Vedic texts as the very life and soul of his mission. He once said, "The paintings are the ‘life department’, and the publication of books is the soul department." He sometimes requested Syamarani to choose the scenes or philosophical conclusions that would be most essential to paint, and also to write the captions for those paintings.

His books are highly respected by the academic community for their authority, depth and clarity. His books are studied by Sanskrit scholars and religionists from all religions, and are also used as standard textbooks in numerous college courses. His books, such as Bhagavad-gita, Srimad-Bhagavatam and Caitanya-caritamrta – filled with the beautiful and colorful paintings of Syamarani and her associates – have been translated into over 50 languages and distributed by the tens of millions all over the world. And now, after so many years, his books are still transforming the lives of aspiring spiritualists.

Syamarani was also requested by Srila Prabhupada to put her paintings in his Back to Godhead Magazine publications, which were distributed by the hundreds of millions around the world in various languages. He wrote in a letter to one of his disciples in 1969: "I am very much encouraged to learn that Jadurani is painting very nice pictures, and all of them can be utilized one after another to come out on the front page of Back to Godhead."

In 1967 Srila Prabhupada made her the first art director in his ISKCON institution and said, "I have taught her how to paint – by chanting 'Hare Krsna Hare Krsna Krsna Krsna Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare.’" He also said, "In the beginning she could not paint, but by following the process of sravanam kirtanam visnu (hearing and chanting the glories of Lord Sri Krsna) the talent has come out." He once announced to his disciples, "These paintings are windows to the spiritual world. They will be like the rain after the drought of mundane art, and everyone will be attracted."

Under Srila Prabhpada’s careful guidance, Syamarani became one of the first teachers of the Krsna Consciousness movement in the West. At present she is honored as a speaker of Vedic philosophy throughout the world, in countries like the U.S., Canada, England, Germany, Hong Kong, China, France, Italy, Malaysia, Australia, Brazil and Costa-Rica. She is regularly invited to speak in temples, yoga and other spiritual institutions, and on radio and television stations. The most recent radio and television engagements were in Bosnia and Italy this year. In Italy she was on a television show which had over 20,000 viewers. There she spoke about Lord Krsna’s message in the Bhagavad-gita, and also showed the giclees of her paintings. At the end of the television show in Italy, the director of the broadcasting station came over and said, "I just want to dive into these paintings and be there, where they are."

In November 1977, when Srila Prabhupada departed from the vision of the world. In 1992 Syamarani met his spiritual successor, most intimate friend and siksa-disciple, Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaja. Just before his divine departure, Srila Prabhupada had requested Srila Narayana Maharaja to continue his mission. For the period spanning over two decades since Prabhupada’s departure, Srila Narayana Maharaja has been unwaveringly carrying out this final request. He has been providing insightful guidance and loving shelter to all who come to him, and through the medium of his English books, and his own classes and personal interviews, he is now giving his purifying association and divine realizations to sincere searchers of truth all over the globe.






As Srila Prabhupada’s successor, Srila Narayana Maharaja has also engaged Syamarani in painting for his temples and books. Once, in 1992, Srila Narayana Maharaja asked her, "Can you paint my heart?" He then guided her through an art piece which became the internationally famous painting entitled ‘Seva Kunja’. The original painting is presently in Vrndavana, India, being worshiped as Deities in one of Srila Narayana Maharaja’s most prominent temples there. And now, the posters of this painting and others she has manifested under Srila Narayana Maharaja’s guidance are being sold around the world by various enterprises by the hundreds of thousands.



By the order of Srila Narayana Maharaja, Syamarani again became the art director – to complete 12 gorgeous line drawings for the famous book of divine poetry Gita-Govinda – whose verses pleased even the heart of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. After that, she and her associates produced another 35 line drawings. These drawings were used as the basis of the large 10 foot bas-reliefs at Srila Narayana Maharaja’s palatial temple in Govardhana, called Giriraja Govardhana Gaudiya Matha. After that, under Srila Narayana Maharaja’s guidance, she and her assistants painted those bas-reliefs, which are now famous throughout India. After seeing colored prints of the bas-reliefs, Srila Narayana Maharaja told her, "There is an artist named Kanai in Vrndavana, who has been given an award by the President of India. If the President will see your pictures, what will he do? I want you to make a book of all your pictures, and a copy should be given to the President of India."

Regarding the style of painting Syamarani employs, she combines the styles of both India and the West. Regarding the Western styles, she was particularly inspired by Renascence painters such as Rafael, and also by the later famous Waterhouse School of art. She was also inspired by Indian styles, especially those depicted by the Brijbasi Company, by the artist Banarji, and even by some of the more stylized and primitive Kangra paintings. From the Indian paintings she receives inspiration regarding the authenticity of the dress, ornaments, architecture, scenery and beauty of the faces and other bodily features. From the Western artists she is inspired by their realism, dramatic lighting, facial emotions and so on. In 1980 she took a course at The Institute of Art in Colorado. While there she learned about the seven elements and eleven principles of design, and how the previous masters used them to impart their message. She also gets inspiration from that study.



Regarding Syamarani's art medium, from 1966 until 2000 she was using regular Windsor and Newton and other brands of oil paints, and due to health reasons she later switched to water-based oils. She paints on canvas and canvas board. She used regular oils in her paintings that were used for Srila Narayana Maharaja’s translations and commentaries of Vedic literatures such as Bhagavad-Gita, Venu Gita and Siksastakam; and water based oils for his translations and commentary of Sri Jayadeva Gosvami's Gita-govinda.

Most of these books have been further translated into various languages and distributed widely throughout the world. Syamarani travels around the world twice yearly to serve Srila Narayana Maharaja in his preaching work, and sometimes she travels separately to various countries to give classes when required. Sometimes she also paints and draws while traveling, when a book is waiting to be published, and she is usually in the midst of editing Srila Narayana Maharaja’s lectures for publication in off-hours. When she is not traveling, she resides in Vrndavana, India, where she paints and is one of the publishers of Srila Narayana Maharaja’s books.
Jaya Srila Gurudeva , Srila Prabhupada Ki Jay !

All glories to Sri Guru and Gauranga!

All glories to Srila A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada !

Gaura premanande Haribol!