Nature of the Ancient Indian Mind

By  Vijay

Influenced by nature the early Indian mind, though not much educated and well trained, was a linear and single mind, glimpses of which are reflected in his simple geometric forms and shapes. He was so feared, insecure and dependent on nature that all his blissful expressions were dedicated to it. Religion, scriptures and traditions were the only knowledge forms that ignited his mind. His joyous expressions were as simple as the joy itself. Usage of triangles, circles, flower like shapes, mental imitation of god or virtuous forms were the main units of his expressions. The mind which was more disciplined and routined because of their prosperous daily choir preferred geometric shapes.

In the root of all spiritual expressions is some kind of fear. Fear of nature powers, fear of slipping occupation and regular income, fear of family well being, all this is summarized in their art forms as submitted to virtuous gods.

Ancient Indian mind was very well trained for their routine activities agrarian in nature. Being hard working left them with lots of leisure using it for their own products. But no doubt their preference of forms being geometrical shows advancement of mind though not professionally trained. Their color choices were region and weather dependent and on the availability of chemicals and raw materials which were exceptionally natural.

Depiction of god forms:

Influence of scriptures the only arranged knowledge available that time and ancestrally passed on myth stories filled their minds with pride and a kind of ‘moral education’ with which they were proudly associated. It has their pride and joyous associations which were reflected in majority of their expressions. If we say ancient Indian art is nothing but the simplicity and the god, it won’t be wrong.

Indian Mind and the Progress:

Indian mind became philosophical and lover of knowledge when it followed a certain discipline. It was religiously disciplined. And out of this discipline emerged a philosophical mind though his subject matters were related to their knowledge relative to their time. Disciplined, regular and routined mind drew their knowledge and inspiration from within and if we say from nature it wont be wrong. Indian spirit relates nature to the self. So both (self and the nature) congratulated Indian mind and the progress.

Simplicity of Imagination:

The most distinguished aspect of Indian art reflects isolative nature of production very regional in nature. They were less mobile and mostly confined to their little geographically segregated boundaries. This helped protect simplicity of their imagination. Most of their works are regionally recognizable. Their growth in artistic feel is strongly tied with regional feel though mostly locally appreciated. As they grew out geographically for better occupation and with advancement of knowledge their cultural elements spread and brought alien influences. But they were so adhered to their traditions in practice and regular behavior that they could never disobey their principal characteristic features, even till date this is reflected in their art production. Simple Choices to Live with and for:

From Indian mythology to parental teaching the Indian mind has been educated to remain satisfied with whatever he or she has been given, the acceptance of this education left them with simple choices to live with and for, and returned them lots of leisure resulting into abundance of art creation. This indirectly affected their culturing of mind, art forms and choices.

Temple Art:

Virtuosity or god forms were so interrelated for them, that all their representations of this are highly decorated. It reflected their inner joy and respect for the forms. Temple art is good example of this. Temples are shaped as flower petals and the gods depicted were covered and surrounded with flower like shapes. Relating to god and relating to self was same for them. Their god forms were covered and protected with artistic shapes. God was something personal to them, personal to their feelings. Their days started with god and his decorative surroundings (the temples) and ends with the prayer and worshipping practices. This also used to be their centre of community activities where they collectively discuss their social and personal issues. God forms were routinely decorated with different colors and clothing depending on days and seasonal festivals and also to the nature of god.

God in Art:

God or goodness is same for them. Their subjection of god is personal, virtuous and sometimes social in nature collectively. A geographical region is represented by a collective representative god or god form.

They forget all their sufferings and worries in the presence of god. They worship and sing together in the praise of their god. Singing in the glory they relate themselves as convincing the might of their god who can remove all sufferings and would bring a day of joy, even ‘moksha’ or ‘mukti’ (salvation) some day. Some also understand that it brings it immediate as they submit their worries offering their devotion. They relate their god with some kind of benefit and virtue but are very strict to their choice and related ritual practices. To some educated minds god is a general representative of a virtue and they are not that much rigid to follow the ritual practices. They are liberal and flexible minds and see their ultimate god in different representative gods. Some relate their godly preferences with related understanding, scriptures, absolute knowledge and consciousness etc. Though less religious, those hardworking and socially higher in status have equal faith.

Their cultural expressions and art forms are very much determined by faith in god. God is, to them, a virtuous body, to please whom, one has to be equally virtuous. So in a way it spread a virtuous notion in society and affected very much their art expressions.

There had been little politics over superiority of god forms. It reflects their personal pride for their form of god but provided a classification to the cultural units (as having one or more representative gods). God is their subjection of ultimate destination, reality, well doer, and part of their every activity. Every daily activity begins with some kind of god related activity and remembrance of which is rarely forgotten.

An artist too, with all his or her subconscious submerged into some god and godly preference, creates his vision. So god is directly or indirectly part of every aesthetic creation. This is a representative of some positive virtue. A certain kind of ‘bhav’ (feeling) is expressed by the artist in his or her god-art form. Though mostly this is ‘idealism’ (of beauty, of appearance, of balance) and in other cases this is expression of grace, mercy, love etc.

Whatever the higher status of concentration an Indian artist attains causes them to be related and faithful to his or her spirit and some relate this to some manifested symbol and some merely believe in their abilities. But undoubtedly an Indian mind is highly spirit oriented and exceptionally religious, to such an extent being an orthodox.

Love in Indian Art:

Love in Indian art is to be felt by a loved mind. A beautiful mind creates it so it has to emit rays of love. Depiction of Radha and Krishna to animals residing peacefully in a natural setting is widely used. Highly ornate elements like flowers, curves convey the inner love and ability of Indian artist. Primarily artist’s love is related to godly forms, nature and its elements. Artist’s personal love, nature and religious beliefs is largely expressed in all their artworks. Love has been the most central emotion of all his creations.

Writer: Vijay Khare