Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Hanuman Chalisa

I went to the Hindu Society of Central Florida (1994 Lake Drive, Casselberry, Florida 32707) with Hannah Miller and a friend. The building itself is absolutely beautiful made of white marble and looking like it came from the heart of India. I have to get back as soon as the heat dies down and get a sketch.

We went to experience the Hanuman Chalissa which  is a devotional song based on Lord Hanuman as the model devotee. It is a poem written by Tulsidas in the Awadhi language. The word Chalisa is derived from Chalis in Hindi, which means 40, as the Hanuman Chalisa has 40 verses. Hanuman, the Hindu monkey god, is one of the most celebrated and worshiped figures in Indian religion. He aided Lord Rama in his expedition against evil forces. Believed to be an avatar of Lord Shiva, Hanuman is worshiped as a symbol of physical strength, perseverance, and devotion.

The “Maha Kshetra” meaning, one of the most sought after regions to be born in for all sentient beings, was opened on June 19, 2005 in the presence of thousands of devotees, fulfilling the dream of the entire Hindu community of Central Florida. Hindus believe in universal acceptance and tolerance. The Scriptures reveal that God is everywhere, the pure, formless, almighty and all merciful. They teach that the Soul is divine but held in bondage of worldly affairs. This bondage can only be removed by his mercy. He has to be worshiped as one beloved, dearer than anything else.

The Hindu Society of Central Florida dedicated this temple to all sects of Hindus with the principal objective of not only, making it a place of worship but, also to be a learning center and a platform for exposition of Indian arts and culture. Inside the temple were many of these ornate and beautifully carved  shrines filled with statues covered in colorful flowers, fabrics and and partially gilded. I didn't sing the 40 verses but the sound soothed me as I finished the sketch.

Prints are available for each sketch for $250 and many originals can be purchased for $400. White museum grade shadow box frames are $100 more. You can e-mail Thor at analogartistdigitalworld@gmail.com

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