Yoga Art

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This page derives from Mondrian References, where a variety of themes relating to Mondrian's life and works are explored. One of these is the inclusion of a Mondrian piece in the book Yoga Art by Ajit Mookerjee. The mention on the other page sat idly for ten years until I came across a reasonably-priced copy of the book in an Oxfam bookshop.

There are many interesting and attractive images in the book and it is well worth a look if you can find a copy. Those surrounding the Mondrian piece are shown below.

Plate 77
Diagram of the measures of world-time. Through an understanding of creative processes which take place in time, the yogi-artist penetrates to that which precedes and generates form. He is led to intuition of the noumenon through a study of the interplay of light and darkness. This is expressed in terms of continuity: the rhythmic flow of moving, changing forms; the dynamic mathematical elements of contrast which a study of form may reveal.
Rajasthan, c. 18th century.
Ink and colour on paper.
Plate 78
Ananta-murti, the Cosmic Form. The universe is vibrations, hinted at by music and colour, dynamic waves of consonant outline. This archetypal image, like the compact galactic cluster (pl. 79), conveys an idea of the processes of manifestation. Rajasthan, c. 18th century.
Gouache on paper.
Plate 79
Trifid Nebula in Sagittarius. The Trifid, a typical emission nebula, contains hot early-type stars, the effect of which is to excite the gas to vibrant frequencies, some of which appear to us as luminosity.
Plate 80
Diagram for an astronomical computation, into which enters from the left side an image of the lingam-yoni altar, symbolizing the unity of seed and energy as generators of structure.
Rajasthan, c. 17th century.
Gouache on paper.
Plate 81
Ancient Sound (1925), Paul Klee.
Oil on canvas.
Plates 80 and 81 illustrate the principle that a form is not only a geometrical figure or a diagram, but a structure to induce and carry a particular pattern of thoughts and forces. To enter this form is to enter its 'thought'. To enter this form is to register the impact of that force which form creates. It is a field of energy. To be able to read the language of form is to learn the secret of the universe.
Plate 82
Rasi-chakra. Diagram for astronomical computation. Rajasthan, c. 18th century.
Ink on paper.
Plate 83
Vedic diagram. The structure of a Vedic geometrical diagram of Chakra-vedi (Agni, or fire) in the shape of a massive wheel. The square has been embraced in the cycle of order and recurrence.
Plate 84
Pier and Ocean (1914), Piet Mondrian.
Pencil and wash.
The structural power of plates 82-84 illustrates Mondrian's perception that: 'As nature becomes more abstract, a relation is more clearly felt.'
Plate 85
Brahmanda. Stone with natural markings.
Narmada Valley. Age unknown.
(Compare pls. 86, 87).
Plate 86
Sculpture for the Blind (1916), Constantin Brancusi.
Marble.
Plate 87
Three Forms (1935), Barbara Hepworth.
Marble.
Plate 88
The Golden Egg of Brahma (Hiranyagarbha). The principle of all vibration or movement expresses itself 'in the form of a vibrating energy'
(Spandana-shakti-rupa).
Kangra, Uttar Pradesh. Bharat Kala Bhavan,
Varanasi. c. 18th century.
Gouache on paper.
Plate 89
Embryo in the womb. 11 weeks, 2 inches.
These two plates (88, 89) illustrate the Cosmic embryo alongside the human foetus suspended in its amniotic fluid. The Brahmanda (cosmic egg) is visualized by the yogi-artist as borne in its waters as the enveloping source of energy and nourishment, just as the human foetus is supported in the fluid contained by the innermost membrane enclosing it. The form separates from the formless, and is borne within it.
Plate 90
Plate 91
Plates 90-91, Indian and Scandinavian meditational child art. These illustrations show abstract images produced by children after ten minutes of meditation. In each case a group of children was asked to sit in complete silence, and physically relaxed in yogic posture, with minds emptied and concentrated on 'whatever they saw'. Before meditational experience the children's painting had produced the usual representations of people, houses, cars, and so on. A recent series of experiments by Madhu Khanna with groups of Indian and Scandinavian children aged from seven to twelve years, suggests that meditation 'releases' forms which are universal. All the children reported the primacy in their images of colour dynamics and basic geometrical figurations.
Figure vii
The Muladhara chakra, near the base of the spine, the centre in which most of the subtle nerves are rooted.

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page created 20th February 2010