Table of Contents
- 1. Introduction to art
- 2. Basic Concepts
- 3. An important spiritual principle in relation to art
- 4. Conclusion
1. Introduction to art
Man’s desire to creatively express himself through art is a quest that has continued through millennia. Art is something that stimulates an individual’s thoughts, emotions, beliefs or ideas through the senses. There can be various purposes for creating a work of art however, they mostly include the need to communicate ideas and express oneself. This can be to send a political, spiritual or philosophical message, to create a sense of beauty (aesthetics) or to generate strong emotions in the viewer.
While an artist may have a genuine love for art, the intention behind the art generally falls into a few categories which include, a need to express oneself, advocating a vision, a need for appreciation and/or some material gain.
However, what is the real purpose of art and with what intention should an artist create a work of art?
As per the science of Spirituality, the primary purpose of life is to grow spiritually. One of the basic requirements for spiritual progress is to immerse oneself in spiritually pure activities and thoughts. This principle of increasing spiritual positivity and rejecting negativity needs to be embraced in all pursuits of life.
In the field of art too, an artist’s primary intention should be to use his art as a medium to grow spiritually. The purpose of his art should be to emit spiritually positive vibrations into the environment along with helping and inspiring others to grow spiritually. True art is that which awakens seeker qualities in an individual and inspires him to grow spiritually. As per the science of Spirituality, when an artist is able to see his Soul form (Ātmaswarūp) in his art, along with its beauty, spiritual purity is also created. This brings about spiritual growth of the artist and inspires others to grow spiritually, and hence such art is in accordance with the primary purpose of life. Anything otherwise, would not be in accordance with the spiritual purpose of life.
1.1 Maharshi Adhyatma Vishwavidyalay’s research in fine arts
The Maharshi Adhyatma Vishwavidyalay (MAV) also known as the Maharshi University of Spirituality is situated in Goa, India. The University was founded on the base of 30 years of spiritual research. It specialises in conducting research on how the subtle-world and spiritual-vibrations affect the lives of people and how to progress spiritually. With this goal in mind, various experiments are conducted at its Spiritual Research Centre and Ashram. The Spiritual Science Research Foundation in conjunction with the Maharshi Adhyatma Vishwavidyalay is conducting research on how to progress spiritually through the various arts such as music, painting, sculpture, etc. In this series of articles many facets of art such as the process of making spiritually pure art, how to have a good sense of art, the importance of an art teacher or a spiritual guide is discussed and elaborated upon.
2. Basic Concepts
At the outset, it is important to clarify a few basic concepts, which are necessary to understand this section.
2.1 Sattva, Raja and Tama
As per the science of Spirituality there are 3 subtle-components in the Universe, namely Sattva, Raja and Tama that are in all of Creation, visible and invisible. Sattva is the component that denotes spiritual purity and knowledge, Raja denotes action and passion, while Tama denotes ignorance and inertia. The subtle-vibrations emitting from anything and everything is dependent on the predominant subtle basic component they are comprised of. Being able to perceive these vibrations through one’s sixth sense, helps a person quickly analyse whether an object is spiritually pure or not.
Read more about Sattva, Raja and Tama.
2.2 What is the spiritual dimension?
The spiritual dimension or subtle-dimension refers to the invisible world of subtle-vibrations, departed ancestors, ghosts, angels, subtle-regions, etc. It cannot be perceived or experienced by a person’s five senses, mind, and intellect. It can only be perceived by one’s sixth sense.
2.3 What is sixth sense?
Sixth sense or subtle-perception is a person’s ability to perceive the spiritual dimension or subtle-dimension and the various subtle-vibrations associated with it. It also includes the ability to understand the subtle cause and effect behind events that take place in the physical realm that are beyond the understanding of the intellect. Extrasensory perception (ESP), clairvoyance, premonition, and intuition are some terms that are similar in meaning to the sixth sense or subtle-perception.
Read more about Sixth sense.
2.4 What is spiritual research?
It is about researching the spiritual dimension to study and understand its impact on subjects such as people, animals, plants, the environment etc. It is most effectively carried out by using sixth sense. The more advanced the sixth sense, the more accurate are the findings.
Read more about spiritual research and research methodology.
2.5 The medium through which one’s sixth sense ability works
The physical world is perceived and understood by a person through his five physical senses (i.e. smell, taste, sight, touch, and sound), his mind (i.e. feelings and emotions) and his intellect (decision-making ability). When it comes to the invisible world or the subtle-world, a person can perceive it through his five subtle-senses, his subtle-mind, and his subtle-intellect. For example, in the absence of any physical stimulus, a person can perceive a subtle-fragrance through his subtle-sense of smell.
People who receive subtle-knowledge through their subtle-mind and subtle-intellect generally receive it in the following ways:
- As answers to questions specifically asked by them to subtle-entities. They do so with their sixth sense through their subtle-mind and subtle-intellect. Subtle-knowledge can also be received by letting a subtle-entity use one’s hand to write its message (which is also known as automatic writing). However, the accuracy of information obtained in this manner is questionable since the intention of these subtle-entities can either be positive or negative.
- Automatically, as due to their advanced spiritual level, they acquire the ability to access the Universal Mind and the Universal Intellect.
Just as living beings in God’s Creation (such as humans, animals etc.) have a mind and intellect of their own, so does God’s Creation – the Universe has a Universal Mind and a Universal Intellect, which contain Absolute knowledge of all things in the Universe. It can be viewed as God’s Mind and Intellect. As one progresses spiritually, the subtle-mind and subtle-intellect merge with the Universal Mind and the Universal Intellect, and hence, one can access information about all of creation.
2.6 Spiritual level
The Maharshi University of Spirituality and the Spiritual Science Research Foundation uses a scale between 1 and 100% to evaluate spiritual level. 1% would refer to the spiritual level of an inanimate object, while 100% would refer to the pinnacle of spiritual growth for a person, which is Self-realisation or becoming one with God. The spiritual level of an average person in the current Era of Kaliyug is 20%. Spiritual level increases only with spiritual practice. When a person attains the spiritual level of 70% and above, he or she is known as a Saint or a Guru and is considered a true spiritual guide. Saints or Gurus above the spiritual level of 90% have a highly advanced level of sixth sense and can access the Universal Mind and the Universal Intellect completely. A person does not have to be dead to be declared a Saint. Saints are simply people who have evolved spiritually through spiritual practice. Spiritual level can only be determined by a spiritually evolved person who has a highly advanced level of sixth sense.
Read more about spiritual level
2.7 Who is a Deity?
As per the spiritual science, though God is one, He manifests in numerous ways to perform various functions in the known and unknown Universe. For example, there is a form of God that is responsible for knowledge, protection, health, etc. According to the science of Spirituality, each form of God has unique attributes and is known as a Deity. Therefore, each Deity is a specific Divine Principle.
Read more about Deities.
3. An important spiritual principle in relation to art
There is a fundamental spiritual principle which guides spiritual art.
This means that any form will have an associated energy. For example, a Deity’s Name will have an associated form and energy. If a painting (or any work of art) is made in such a way that it is a true representation of that Deity Principle’s form, then as per the above principle that painting will emit the subtle-energy associated with that Deity’s form. The details in the painting need to include not only the shape of the Deity, but also the clothes, ornaments etc. that adorn the Deity and they should be an exact match of that particular Deity.
On the other hand, if a painting of a Deity is made where the form does not exactly match the Deity, the subtle-energy of the Deity will be attracted and emitted to a lesser extent. In case there is a higher level of inaccuracy, the Deity Principle may not be attracted to or emitted from the painting at all. Therefore, the artist needs to have an advanced level of sixth sense and the guidance of a spiritually evolved guide, to correctly perceive the form of the Deity.
As per the science of Spirituality, there are 14 Vidyas (Knowledge) and 64 Kalas (types of art) which are different disciplines of art which can help a person practice Spirituality through the medium of various arts. The 14 Vidyas and 64 Kalas encompass all the various forms of art such as drawing, sculpture, music, dance, Aksharyoga (Path of God-realisation through letters) etc. Only when an artist practises any of these art forms under a spiritual guide with an intention to progress spiritually, does true beauty get created. If every artist understood and practised art in this manner, the concept of art would take on a whole new meaning and would spiritually benefit the world.