By Sacred Caligraphy By Jayant Silva
Although Indian art traditionally features figurative portrayals of deities and represents the Divine in many wonderful forms (as can be appreciated in “Divine Portraiture,” another MOSA exhibition), Jayant Silva expresses himself through calligraphy, a more rare art form within Vaishnavism. He has made it his mission to use a rare Sanskrit script called Siddham and use calligraphy as a means to express devotion to the Lord in amazing ways. Vaishnava tradition has many wonderful scriptures and writings by different acharyas or spirit9782930740065
ual teachers, and to bring them to life with sacred calligraphy, a classical art form, and in various creative ways, is a new contribution to the expression of bhakti.
While Islam has a well-established, well-developed calligraphic tradition not least because of the prohibition against representing images of the Divine or indeed any living being, whereas the Vedic tradition has no difficulty in representing the many forms of God and different devas in a multitude of styles, traditions, and media. Calligraphy, however, has not been used very much in Hindu art. Yet the richness of the scripts used to write in Sanskrit and other Indian languages as well as the variety and depth of Vedic and Vaishnava scriptures are a perfect source of inspiration for calligraphy. In other words, the diversity and depth of India’s sacred traditions allows for diversified artistic expression: traditional art forms, contemporary art, figurative, abstract, and even calligraphy.In calligraphy, the meaning of the texts, verses, and syllables becomes as important as the beauty of their artistic manifestation. To understand them and ponder and meditate on their meanings will surely enlighten us and inspire us in our spiritual practices and devotion to the Divine