The Mythical Cow

Sidharth dialogues with religious traditions, especially Vaishnava Brahmanical-Pauranic mythologies that imbue the cow with all-endowing qualities; of eternal giving and wish fulfilling nature. When, before creation, the primeval ocean was churned by the devas and the asuras , a white cow emerged as one of the nine (or fourteen?) nidhis or treasures. This was Kamadhenu, claimed by the devas. This animal was the epitome of wish fulfilling, and bestowed food and other material benefits to its owner. The desire to own this cow led to the origins of avarice and struggle. First devas, then Vishvamitra, and so on and so forth coveted this cow. But the cow/ wish-fulfiller/the giver was not a passive spectator, a mute object who could be palmed off. She acted and acted furiously to protect her will, albeit through the agency of the sage Vashishta. The counterpart to this cow is the sacred bull, Nandi who as the gana and the vahana of Shiva is the giver of ananda or joy. Thus, the feminine version of the animal becomes the epitome of material fulfillment and masculine of spiritual joy. The mythical cow is the representation of the phenomenonal world; of the prakriti which vouchsafes to its upasaka the fruits of nature. One however has to be in harmony to partake these fruits as the ancient Indian did with humility faith and without ego. The artist uses a number of motifs from the Indian philosophic and literary traditions but contextualized in his unique mystical vision

Ms. Seema Bawa

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