The profundity of tantric votives is resplendent on canvas at Indira Gandhi National Centre for Arts, New Delhi. The painter, KA Francis has suffused sublime delight of the divine occult in his mandala paintings. The inauguration ceremony also saw the release of a book, The Essence of Aum, a seminal text on the Hindu primordial sound by the same painter, an author too who otherwise happens to be an adroit journalist. Shri Francis has won several accolades for his earlier Tantric paintings.
Tantra permeates both ritual and meditation to relegate a practitioner to seek communion with his deity. Theses mandala paintings are traditional iconographic themes that invoke exalted consciousness. Harping on asanas, mudras, mantras, breathing techniques, visualisation and codified meditation, a practitioner invigorates the kundalini energy. Tantrashastra infuses Deiparous shakti into Shiva onto a pure consciousness. In the days of yore since the seventeenth century, seers envisaged and drew these tantric pictures of epitome. KA Francis vouching to be in a quest to comprehend ?the wisdom of our saints and mystics? has ennobled the same feat. The paintings also showcase tantric chakras, insignia of tantric mysticism with the bindu at the centre alluding the presence of Devi. A vantage view of Sri Chakras enthuse celestial, terrestrial and ecclesiastical verities. The array of paintings include Vishnupadam, which raises awe and reverence. It proves a sine qua non for every Hindu household as it augurs the presence of Mahalakshmi.
Besides the paintings, a number of illustrations explicate the ad infinitum circumspection of Om. For instance, the shape of a human baby in its mother'swomb has the sacrosanct shape of Om as represented in Devanagari script. Karathra Antony Francis has cited several other riveting implications of Om in his exhibition and of course in his book. The author quotes Kathopanishad, ?Om is indeed Brahman. This is the best support; this is the highest support.? He is emphatic over the saguna (manifested) state as well as the nirguna (unmanifested) state of God aptly called pranav running through our very prana, the vis vitae.
The inauguration ceremony saw many discerning figures including Shri AK Antony and Resul Pookutty. The charisma of divine persuasion was such that a die-hard Marxist amongst the panel of speakers who had renounced Hinduism in his childhood lauded the paintings and admitted having them at his home and deriving benefit from the paintings of Shri Francis. Our faith determines our praxis, so this tapestry on Hindu Tantra impels righteousness and probity of action.