Sunday, July 17, 2005

Illustration Friday - Karma

Karma is the topic for this week's Illustration Friday.
I was tempted to use Karma in the sense of 'just desserts' or reward for living righteously and do something based on the feather of Maat.

Maat was the Egyptian Goddess of Balance [in the sense of Equilibrium - of the Universe and of individual people]. The newly dead souls were brought to Maat's Hall and their hearts [consience] were weighed in the Balance against Maat's feather of Truth. If the heart weighed the same as the feather then the deceased soul could pass to the afterlife but if the heart was heavier, it was devoured by Ammut.
Ammut was a 'demoness' with the head of a crocodile and the body of a lion and the rear quarters of a hippo.

In the end i decided to paint the Lord of Karma , the elephant headed Hindu God, Ganesha [or Ganesh].
Ganesha is the God of Wisdom and Success and the Destroyer of Pride.

In Hindu mythology, Ganesha is depicted with a fairly human body and an elephant head with one broken tusk. A rat or mouse always accompanies him, sometimes Ganesha is depicted riding on the back of the mouse.
The mouse symbolises the quickness of the mind, the ability reason [and like the mouse, work our way to the bottom of things] but also represents fickleness and that human thoughts are easily swayed by good or ill.

Ganesha is always shown with more than 2 arms - multiple arms is a symbol of Divinity. Each hand holds one of Ganesha's symbols [apparently there are over 50 symbols commonly associated with Ganesha]
In this image i have shown him with an axe to cut down the obstacles in life's path ; a rope , to carry devotees to Truth; the abaya pose [open hand meaning 'without fear'] which is a protective or blessing sign and prayer beads.

Ganesha is also associated with the Om/Aum symbol - turned upside down this symbol makes a shape similar to Ganesha's head and Ganesha is also called 'Ohmkara' due the association with the Om symbol. In this case, i have put the symbol on his head, which i've seen in other paintings of Ganesha.

The large belly symbolises plenty and the lelephant ears symbolise an ever listening God.
He wears a snake as a belt, and this symbolises the kundalini energy -the creative or life force energy .


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16 comments:

The Crafty-Girl™ said...

very nice...i love that this week's topic engages us to question and think...

Gymi said...

Alison, I have always believed in the powers of karma. I try to live my life in a manner that puts others needs ahead of my own. I like your work, it is very pleasing to the eye. Thanks for the kind words on my Blog, it is always nice to get a little positive feedback..

Rebeccashane said...

Ahhh Great Idea! Love the composition ;)

andrea said...

I just surfed on in and love your work. Your kids must be thrilled to have an illustrator for a mum. My kids like my paintings but sometimes its out of duty I think as my work is not really kid oriented.

You are living my dream in France. My kids go to French Immersion school so one day we can move there and get by in more than my basic functional francais!

isay said...

nice illustration and thanks for sharing....

kay susan said...

Oh I do like this!

JacqueLynn said...

Lovely, lovely illustration and wonderful information, great post for illustration Friday.

The Human Quilt said...

Hello, my name is JJ. I was looking through some blogs and I think you might like a blog I am starting up. It’s called The Human Quilt. The Human Quilt has a goal of sharing the lives, expressions, emotions, memories, secrets, and desires of people across the globe. Share your story in a square. Each square tells the story of a life. I would greatly appreciate it if you take a look and give me some input. Thanks a lot. http://humanquilt.blogspot.com/

Anonymous said...

Great idea, and your illustration is wonderful!

Elaine said...

Thank you for your comment on my blog and the link - love your Ganesh, I bought mine from of all places, a Christmas Fair! I was told that he was there to overcome obstacles - he certainly gets asked to intervene a lot in that respect :)

Bertha said...

Wonderful! I love Ganesha! So regal and beautiful!

Tulipland said...

very nice composition , great illo !
and thank you very much about the blog information..

Aravis said...

Really wonderful. I love the choices you made.

Ian T. said...

As a choice of Karmic image Ganesh is perfect! The circular structure - the background, curl of the trunk, belly, bracelet, etc. - works really well!

elaine said...

Hello Alison - I was browsing and found this and I remembered your Ganesh and this entry! Hope you enjoy it.

http://gheehappy.com/gods/gods_page.htm#

Indian Lawyer said...

Nice & true depiction of Ganesh.. in malayalam, we call him Ganapathy. He is the favorite God for many Indians. Your blog is one of my favourites! Congratulations "Alis On Wonderland" !!