Roji Satheesh, Manjeri
(An Indian-Keralite writer from Manjeri settled at Ernakulam and a resident of Dubai, UAE.)
When calmness meets curveballs thrown by life
When sculptor, Vineesh Vijayan approached me to discuss the details about his self-production string, Shree Krishna Series, little did I know about the art of sculpting and the space of an artist surrounding his creations. As he conveyed his concept of Nidra Krishna and Narthana Krishna the first and second bronze edition in the series, I understood the mysterious ways through which the Divine want to manifest in this world. Though Nidra Krishna was the first task, the team, ARALI-O had already released the write up on Narthana Krishna followed by a complete profile on the artist and his work.
As Vineesh briefed me up with the process and vivid phases of sculpting, he passionately unveiled the essential theme of Nidra Krishna. He wanted to express a calm baby Krishna lying in a basket. Vineesh saw a potential art in that slice of the Krishna tale where Krishna was immediately transferred to Gokul by his father Vasudev following his son’s birth, facing few real menaces. The emotion that caught this gentleman’s attention was the ocean of calmness on Krishna during the chaos. The task he had to confront was to capture the serenity on a fast asleep Divine Avatar. Nidra Krishna is the birth of that emotion captured by Vineesh from Krishna’s life.
I recall sitting on my chair and staring at the image of Nidra Krishna for long. His eyes closed in a sound sleep, whereas my eyes were wide open, scanning it from tip to toe. Slowly, I closed my eyes to meet Bala-krishna at that plane where he is awake as the supreme consciousness. Soon, I struck a bond with Nidra Krishna and started off our conversation.
I must acknowledge the deep sense of joy and contentment that fill each cell of my body when I write about the Divine, be it Krishna, my beloved Jesus or the Highest Munificent, Benevolent, Merciful Allah or be it any other form created by the Master. For I believe there is nothing in this world, which is devoid of the presence of that Sublime, the Almighty One.
As I delve into the subject, I understand the exquisite sense of an artist, his social responsibility and commitment to persuade his audience to think big upon the subject he is contributing to the world. The artist and his artform have much more to say than what they appear to be. Nidra Krishna put me into a deep well of thoughts, to dwell on the calmness, poise and grace held in high esteem by this figurine and I swam there like a happy little turtle to my soulful content.
Nidra Krishna: Sculpture Profile
Nidra Krishna model is a limited Bronze Edition of size 15.3 cm(L) x 12.5 cm (B) x 8.5 cm(W) weighing 4.5 Kg with a horizontal alignment. This idol crafted with precision, commitment, and utmost devotion display all the attributes of a newborn baby.
The statue of Nidra Krishna is a stout, healthy baby in sound sleep. Vineesh has worked meticulously in bringing the subtle smile of a baby while sleeping, in Nidra Krishna. The chubby glowing cheeks, the profound calmness lit on the face, the forehead as seen neatly fenced by the curly locks of hair in reverence to the opulent charisma of the infant were all diligently worked out by the artist. The peacock feather decked into the hair revealing the unique beauty of the newborn, the napkin covering the baby, the way the legs seem placed, tenderly folded and raised to a medium height are all striking features of Nidra Krishna. Vineesh has done notable work in bringing realism in all these areas.
The folded legs signal to the hope of the infant to be comfortable in the position the baby had remained in the mother’s womb and further the symbolic way of aiming to grow up and rise as life takes the infant through its ride forward.
Further, the peacock feather in the basket is representative of the eternal glory and nobility of the baby and the fortune the new life can bring in. The well-woven basket with a cloth in it was neatly cast to perfection by the sculptor.
Vineesh is stubborn when it comes to delivering perfection. Perfection is the hallmark of his creations. Time and patience have always worked along with him to bring forth flawlessness in his products. Nidra Krishna is a festivity of perfection, dedication and a visual treat to any eyes which can behold the opulent beauty of the murti.
The sculptor was more concerned with the emotion of the personality, and so he built Nidra Krishna with few ornamental embellishments. It was intentional from the sculptor.
The artist revealed, “I have a message for my audience. Ornaments are tangible accessories to bring forth beauty. No doubt about it! However, there are few intangible materials in life which will add eternal beauty. One such factor is being calm. One can be calm when everything in life goes well. What happens when nothing goes one’s way? Can you still be calm? The calmness that flows from one even when entrapped in chaos, it is that asset which makes an individual stand out from the crowd. Very few can emit such stability.” The artist has come up with Nidra Krishna upholding calmness as one of the mantras to follow in life.
Vineesh created Nidra Krishna not only for its aesthetic sense but also with a social commitment to uplift the spirit of his co-fellows on earth. Nidra Krishna reiterates the circumstances surrounding the birth of Krishna and a few guiding principles that will help men in leading their life fearlessly.
Artforms have no religion. It merely finds ways to resources to manifest the various tenets for living a full-fledged life. Artforms are therapeutic too. What has Nidra Krishna to offer you?
Nidra Krishna Offer: Eternal Reminders
Nidra Krishna offers its audience a few reminders to bear in mind. The reminders were filtered from the source of inspiration that Vineesh leaned on for creating Nidra Krishna. A quick exploration into that source would be ideal in this context.
We all know that as per Hindu mythology, Krishna was born as the eighth incarnation of Lord Vishnu. He was born in the Yadava clan to Queen Devaki and King Vasudeva. His maternal uncle, Kamsa, had not only grabbed the throne from his father but also indulged in terrorizing Mother Earth. He had lost his mind in the fervour of his illegal conquests which invited Divine intervention.
To end the reign of evil forces, Lord Vishnu was born as Krishna. Kamsa even attempted to kill his sister Devaki when he learnt that the offspring of his sister would kill him. However, following the request of Vasudeva, he spared the life of his sister on the condition that they would offer their newborn babies to Kamsa. Whenever Devaki gave birth to a baby, Kamsa would mercilessly smash the baby against the wall of the prison cell and kill the new life. The helpless parents lost seven of her babies to Kamsa. Krishna’s birth was inevitable!
The above story is the same always, but the secret mantras the story inherits are many and will unfold in its unique way to the seeker. Nidra Krishna attempts to open the door for us to enter this story again and further, offer us with few eternal jewels one can use in life forever.
It is a known fact that Krishna was born in a prison cell. The birth led to divine miracles within the prison. The first miracle was that the dingy cell was fortunate to hear sounds from heaven which they never experienced before. Secondly, the dark and damp prison cell was lightened up with heavenly aura when the extraordinary Purushotham was born into the ordinary human tribe. Thirdly, the prison chains of Devaki and Vasudeva broke open by itself and freed them from the bondage they were suffering. There should be some hidden meaning for all this to happen in a dungeon.
Nidra Krishna seems to understand my query. True, there is inherent meaning all along with the scenes of the story. The one who seeks shall find it. The prison cell is metaphorical. When a person lets the Supreme into his darkest place through his faith, devotion, prayers, and petition, he shall birth the Divine and consequently, the darkness flees. The power of Divinity will neither sustain any darkness nor unwanted bondages. The piercing rays of ‘The Light' severe all unwanted strings of bondage and lets the soul free. To detach and become free, one should labour the birth of the Divine within oneself. The soul then begins to listen to the counselling of the Holiness’. Nidra Krishna is a gentle reminder of this fact.
I could connect Krishna and Jesus. Both are leaders in their way. The Lord incarnated as Krishna chose the prison cell to be his place of birth enlightening the jail. Similarly, Jesus was born in a manger. Both could have chosen an opulent venue, yet they chose a lower one. Why? The holiness of the Divine can bless any narrow-closed arenas, darkest spaces, or any impoverished place because it is the whole spring of life that one birth through the Divine. A self-reminder through Nidra Krishna.
Further, how could Krishna be deaf to the petitions of his devotees, the imprisoned Vasudeva and Devaki? In life, we may enter these punishment homes voluntarily or involuntarily or driven by malicious acts of another or others. We get often entrapped within our mental prisons. What does one do when captured in this cell? Contemplate on the Divine, Birth the Divine! It will save! Then what follows will only be Divine Guidance whispers Nidra Krishna.
Vasudeva, who was guided by the heavens to shift the child obeyed the heavenly order. He carried the child in a basket across the ferocious river Yamuna through torrential rains, to the other side, the Gokul. He had to exchange Krishna with a newborn baby, daughter of his friend Nanda, the chief of Gopa tribe, and his wife, Yashodha. Both the families were saved and blessed. It is a friendly reminder from Nidra Krishna that when one surrenders to the divine will, they get protected by the Benevolent.
This whole story is nothing but an exemplification of divine play. Vasudeva’s path was not easy, yet his obedience paved the way forward, where he met divine grace in incredible ways. Firstly, at the prison, he was shocked to see himself unchained. Secondly, he saw all the guards dozing off. The guards fell in deep sleep as if the men had conspired for Vasudeva’s escape with the baby. The miracles continue until the end of his task. It is worthy to note that the Universe conspire to work for good to the one who acknowledges the Master through his obedience.
Following the prison, the next setting for Vasudeva was the river Yamuna with the roughest rainstorm. True, the baby had insufficient materials to defend itself from the turbulent weather. Nevertheless, Vasudeva focused on shifting the baby from the danger zone to the safer abode. He did not concentrate on the lacks but on the real wealth he had. His baby! Often, we go after the missing tiles leaving the blessings far away. Nidra Krishna is a reminder to focus on the real to maximize one’s potential.
The bliss that was born into the prison is asleep. He seems untouched by all what is happening in the world be it the ugliest place like the prison or the violent ravaging weather, the angry rumbling rains wanting to hit anyone in its sight or the terrific river Yamuna savaging to swallow all. He is lying calmly, yet knowing all that is happening around but intentionally choosing to sleep still. What does this part of the story suggest? When one meets chaos in life, be still and look inwards, there is always an eternal intelligence deep within us sleeping calmly like the Nidra Krishna. When the mind rests, one finds the way to wake up this intelligence within him to enable it to be his guide through the mess and leads him confidently to sort the mess out. I found this reminder sagacious.
Further, as Vasudeva carried Krishna, he saw another danger, the five-headed serpent, Shesh Nag advancing! Vasudeva was terrified to see the creature; he saw it as another curveball approaching him, but he is determined to save his son. Shesh Nag reached Vasudeva and offered protection to Krishna with its hood against the heavy rain. What appeared like a curveball thrown at Vasudeva in real came to protect him and his baby! Recognize the curveballs reminds Nidra Krishna, they may be blessings in disguise!
The All-Knower sets the tone for His beloved children through this tale of the birth of Krishna. The need for real faith in the Supreme. To be calm and still. He lets us know that life may throw all kinds of curveballs, yet one should not lose courage going through worse situations. To keep utmost faith in the Supreme and walk the life with a steadfast mind. The chaos is there to test man. The curveballs are with a purpose. Once the ball hits the target, they will vanish refining the person, making him confident in living his life to the fullest. A strong-reminder from Nidra Krishna!
Vasudeva successfully reached Gokul and fulfilled his task of exchanging the babies. He returned safely leaving his child with Nanda and Yashoda leading him and Devaki to walk into freedom. Experience the sweetness of His grace. The Omnipotent can never forsake you, a soft-reminder from Nidra Krishna!
Nidra Krishna: A Talisman
Vineesh Vijayan through his self-production chain, Shree Krishna series laboured Nidra Krishna as the first in the sequence. To start with the birth of the Divine Avatar is an auspicious start!
To own Nidra Krishna is to possess a talisman whispering in your ears few reminders for living a fearless life. Nidra Krishna can add a touch of bliss to your altar at home, grace your home as home décor or at your office or you may even gift it to someone you care. Let the message of Nidra Krishna reach many. This original idol will engage in conversation, reminding one to tune into his inherent eternal intelligence freely given to each one of us by the Omniscient!
Maybe this talisman has something more to CONVERSE with you as well...