Tuesday 13 February 2024

Misrepresentation of Eyes of Deities- Shree Balabhadra, Devi Subhadra And Shree Jagannatha

India has many Goddesses and Gods.

Every deity has their own distinct image.

For example, Maa Saraswati is shown holding Her Veena and wearing white clothes.

Similarly, Shree Shiva is shown with the moon and holding His weapons.

Shree Ganesha has been represented in many ways- holding sweets, books, weapons etc.

The Shree Jagannatha Temple of Puri, Odisha, is one of the "Char Dham"i.e. the four holy places to visit for Hindus.

Lakhs of devotees visit the temple.

The sibling deities also come out of the temple and undertake their annual journey - the Ratha Jatra (Ratha Yatra).

The depiction of the deities has been done for centuries this way.

Notice the eyes of the deities in the original idols of Puri Temple.

However, the following images of the deities are being noticed in many Good Morning messages and also for Puja at home.

What images do you find by a simple online search or by checking in your mobile phone's images gallery or seeing the photograph of Shree Jagannatha and His siblings in your home?

Similar to the ones shared above, correct?

Are the shape of the eyes this way- squinted/slanted/upward-pointed?

Markets are flooded with such photographs and also "Pattachitra" these days.

While representing images of Gods, and our cultural heritage, original images must be consulted and then art should be created.
That will ensure correct representation.

Could we create & choose & use Pattachitra and photographs that correctly depict the eyes of the deities and resemble the original eyes of the sibling deities at the Puri Shree Jagannatha Temple- especially of Shree Balabhadra & Devi Subhadra?

Now many artists are creating different eyes. They must take care.

Though the above is a Madhubani art created by an artist of Bihar, even the artists and artisans of Odisha, are creating arts and crafts with similar representation.
This writer has noticed this in many handicrafts and even handlooms of Odisha.
After noticing, this writer has shared and continues to share with individual producer groups like - Pipli Applique Work, Pattachitra, Cuttack Tarakasi etc.

Local, traditional and Geographical Indication (GI) products need to be authentic and true to the original.
The following is a "Pipli Applique Work" of Puri district made by an artist of Pipili village of Odisha.

And such are available on online shopping sites like Amazon etc. 
What will the customers learn?
Sharing one-to-one has not made the information reach many.
During the Odisha Shilpi Mahasangha 2020 annual meeting, this writer had raised this issue in the same that was attended by many artists, artisans and weavers of Odisha.
It is everyone's responsibility to ensure correct depiction.
Unfortunately, the creators do not understand the need to be true to their roots.

-> Who are they trying to impress by using squint eyes for the Gods?
-> Why are eyes being shown differently?
-> How difficult is it to follow the original?

Similarly, the general public also has an important role to play.
While sharing, we can choose images/art with true-to-original eyes.
Why not share the Temple's own images?

Then, it is seen that the deities are being shown as cartoons and other derogatory and disrespectful representations are being adopted by over-zealous and insensitive individuals.
Many support the cartoons by stating that those are human forms of the Gods.

There is a difference and reason why deities/Gods are revered and cannot be equated with the general public.

They are Gods. We are people.
There has to be a line between Bhagaban (God) and Bhakta (devotee).
Who will sensitively draw that Lakshman Rekha?
If humanising of God has to be shown, let it be in their original form- with their actual eyes.
Why misrepresent them?

Would the same people like their own images or those of their father or senior family members being trivialised or improperly depicted with eyes disfigured?
In case they do agree to be the subjects of such images, would the final image correctly showcase or represent them?

Some images have lewd jokes with references and draw laughs.
Is gathering eyeballs and likes and controversy so important for digital existence?

Do you agree with such misrepresentation that is happening? Please share in the comments below.

Now that you are aware, will you take action?
Please do not buy, gift or share improper images of Gods henceforth.
Let us all take steps to ensure the correct representation.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Your words mean a lot to me.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...