Friday, June 13, 2014

Chandigarh's Museums

Chandigarh has a series of museums all adjacent to one another. They are an excellent place to spend a day especially if you are in Chandigarh during summer.  You can engage yourself learning much about history, music, art, architecture, and so on.  


The Goddess welcomes you to the Museum


The Buddha - 2nd century AD sculpture


Maitreya

Maitreya, according to Buddhist literature, is the future Buddha. He will come when people will have forgotten dharma and will be living in sheer evil. Similar beliefs are found in many religions. Didn't Lord Krishna promise Arjuna, "... Sambhavami yuge yuge"? The Bible promises a Second Coming of Jesus.  People were always aware of their own innate wickedness.  But instead of working on it in order to alleviate it if not eradicate, people chose to believe in some deity who would come and eradicate it.  Just one of the many futile absurdities of human existence!

Gods are the most potent tools for man's escapist games.  There will never be a human world without gods.  Man will invent new gods if you take away his present gods from him.  The Buddha was aware of the absurdity and futility of gods.  He never spoke of gods.  He focused on life on the earth and how to live it profoundly.  He knew gods would render it superficial.  Gods would make man relinquish responsibility.  Gods can be scapegoats that carry man's wickedness so that man can carry on being wicked.  Gods can be ruthless bloodsuckers so that man can go on killing his brothers and sisters. Gods have no shape and character except what man gives them according to the needs of the time.  



Chandigarh museum has a fabulous collection of historical relics related to religion, culture, governments, and so on.  

I came to know that musical ragas have been personified in paintings.  Here are two examples. 


Bhairavi raga

Kalyana raga

When man moves from religion to the arts, the level of consciousness rises, I think.  There is no relegation of responsibility in the arts.  There is only delight, even sensuous delight, in life.  The arts don't kill others.


From the History Museum

Did Evolution only change the physical shape and structure?

Note: This is the last post in the series based on my recent ventures.

21 comments:

  1. Man will invent new gods if you take away his present gods from him.- I loved this line :). I guess men are very clever that way. It reminds me of the 12th century revolution when a leader Basavanna tried to eradicate idol worship and started a new theme where every individual was considered god and worshiped. That meant the institutional godliness was out. But what happened was very interesting, although this movement was very successful, the moment he tried, people created a new temple for his and made that also a separate sect! Irony indeed! :)

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    1. Vinay, have you watched the Hindi movie, 'O My God!' It's a brilliant portrayal of what you've said. God himself (Krishna in the movie) comes to teach people that gods are not required for any of the purposes for which people use them. He teaches that man is the god, the divine being with immense responsibilities imposed by that divinity. In the end, the person who tries to get rid of 'useless' gods himself is made a god by the people! Ironies, you say. Painful ironies, let me add. Ironies that melt into sheer falsehoods.

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  2. our ancestors were quite liberal in sculpting female form...

    nice post!

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    1. I believe they had certain noble motives behind that. Sublimation of base feelings. More than that, inviting people to feel comfortable with the nudity of spirituality. Transparency, if you want a more refined term.

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    2. ya, their motives were mainly spiritual

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  3. Beautiful sculptures...and great write up..:-)

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    1. Thanks, Isaac, for your regular support.

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  4. A great one indeed!
    Loved the brave and candid para on Gods.

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    1. Gods inspire me really, Amit ji.

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    2. Especially since I'm a professed agnostic and practising atheist.

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  5. Okay I have been to very few places in India.. Being a student guess limits your travelling options.. But reading your blog I eagerly look forward to visiting these amazing places in India.. India is rich in cultural heritage.. And I loved your take on the museum and its artifacts..

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    1. A student is one whose mind is open to new lessons. To that extent I am as much a student as you are, Anu. My time is running out and I hope you will start well in time to realise how many lessons are there (out there) to be learnt.

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  6. This is a really informative post. Good work :)

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    1. The info I have conveyed is just a fraction of what the place will provide. Thanks for the good words.

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  7. I wasn't aware that Chandigarh was so rich in culture. Beautiful sculptures. I agree, man will find other gods if you take away his current god from him! As long and man keeps cowering in the fear of god, liberation of mankind is impossible.

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    1. Every city has its own wealth to give, I believe. The very structure of Chandigarh can be a great lesson especially for artists and engineers. The museum is expansive.

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    2. Every city has its own wealth to give, I believe. The very structure of Chandigarh can be a great lesson especially for artists and engineers. The museum is expansive.

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  8. " There will never be a human world without gods. Man will invent new gods"Loved this line which is so true. The pictures are good captures,I like the way you have woven your story around the pictures. The tantric effect in both Hinduism and Buddhism is evident in our sculptures of Gods and Goddess of this period.

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    1. Tantric is a kind of magic... Man loves magic, miracles. The plain truth, however, is that magic is worked by our own minds and our own hard efforts. We Indians need to liberate ourselves from our mythical mindsets.

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