Devotion of Aesthetics.

Soundarya upasana.

Indian philosophy looks at aesthetics and spirituality as composite and complimentary existence. ‘Soundarya-shringara’ that is beauty and beautification are more or less compound words, though shringara is also used to refer to romance and erotism.

Shringara is an independent emotion but also an underlying flavour of all the other emotions. The evidence of this is found in our temple carvings.

The art of place reflects the philosophy and life of its people.  These form the living narratives of the community. These carvings are often called veeragallu or the hero’s memoir when they narrate events that bring changes.

Indian temples tend to have three zones, the decorative zones, the zone of the celestial beings and the zone of emotions expressed through body.

This brings us to the worship of beauty and aesthetics. It is believed that Lakshmi or abundance enters a premise only when it is aesthetically inviting.

Scriptures all the primordial energy as Brahman, while colloquially we refer to it as Ishwar both these the realms, if lived with awareness are infinite and ecstatic.

This possible through the practise of the dynamic state of consciousness and physical manifestations often referred to as prakriti. The ability to be aware of this physical, emotional and spiritual energy and experience them through the worldly experiences is experiencing the chidananda roopa or being part of the infinite consciousness.  This experience can be found in the balance of the masculine provider protector and the feminine nurturer. It be experienced or we can even evolve by just observing the experience in a detached manner.

The manifestations in the world are prakriti or nature, it enables us to see and experience the chidananda roopa or the infinite consciousness. That is beauty or aesthetic completion. The balance of male and female, the intimacy both emotional and physical allow this divinity to experienced. When this romance or the fascination is turned towards the divine it becomes sattvic shringara, when the romance is a physical intimacy then it can either be rajasic or tamasic. In the rajasic there is an evolution from physical attraction to emotional bonding and a final intimacy. While the tamasic form just restricts itself to a physical need.

The impact of tamasic romance or to be honest lust would be attachment, jealously, arousal, possessiveness, resulting in toxic relationships and stress.

When the romance is expansive enough to accept the other, and all that is other, there is a sense of belonging and not ownership. Then we open ourselves to more love and affection. The bonding grows and a community is formed. We are able to be sympathetic and supportive of the other.

Just an extract from Geeta

dharmassviroddhO bhuteshu taamosmi bhartarshabha

bhagvat Geeta (2-11)

That erotic romance that is not against nature or divinity is a divine gift. This is the essence of soundaryaupasana and its effect.

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