Thursday, 28 May 2009

Sanskar Bharati Rangoli

The particular style of drawing Rangoli is called as "Sanskar Bharati Rangoli". Sanskar Bharati Rangoli is a style of drawing Rangoli, which emerged in Maharashtra in the recent times. In this form of Rangoli, colored powder is spread like a carpet as a base, on which the Rangoli is drawn, using one's five fingers; or sometimes a fist full of Rangoli powder. Wide ranges of nets are also used for spreading colors in this style of Rangoli. In the traditional Rangoli drawing, Rangoli powder is held in a pinch and shapes, lines are drawn on the floor. It takes only 25 to 30 minutes to draw such a Rangoli.

Rangoli must have survived through the ages because of its universal appeal, which exceeds social barriers, and also in the art form it can be adjusted easily to the changing times. It is this flexibility which makes it a fine blend of traditional and modern art.

This type of rangoli covers small area to a large are as big as 100 feet * 100 feet as or even more than that as per one’s requirement. That is why it is called as Galicha (Carpet) Rangoli as well. The basic, traditional auspicious signs such as lotus, dots, trishul, conch, charka, swastika and others are used in the rangoli designs.

Several volunteers have been taught and trained well in advance to participate in the rangoli.Sanskar Bharati also makes ‘Payghadya’ (band of 15 - 20 feet rangoli) once the ‘Swagatyatra’ (welcome processions) begin.


Rangoli is an ancient Indian art. It is a cherished cultural heritage of India which is practiced in every state of the country with its regional flavors. On festivals and auspicious occasions, Rangoli is drawn with traditional symbols, artistic shapes and vibrant colors that brighten the jubilant mood. It is an art of decorating courtyards , streets, squares and prayer halls for religious festivals, functions to welcome the guest. Rangoli is a pattern, which is based on geometrical shapes and designs. It is a form of sand painting decoration that uses finely ground white powder and colors. Rangoli plays an inevitable part of the decoration. It is one of the most popular art forms in India.


The term Rangoli or Rangavali is derived from words rang (color) and aavali (row of colors)! Earlier, drawing Rangoli was mainly confined to women and girls of the house. Nowadays even men are taking keen interest in drawing Rangoli.

The origin of rangoli painting is traced to a legend recorded in the Chitralakshana, the ancient Indian piece of writing on painting. When the son of a King's high priest died, Brahma, Lord of the universe, asked the king to paint the likeness of the boy so that Brahma could breathe life into him again. This is how, it is believed, the first painting was made.Another popular story is that God, in one of his creative episodes, extracted the juice from one of the mango trees as paint, and drew the figure of a woman so beautiful that it put the heavenly maidens to shame.

The motifs in Rangoli are usually taken from Nature - peacocks, swans, mango, flowers, creepers, etc. The colors traditionally were derived from natural dyes - from barks of trees, leaves, indigo, etc. However, today, synthetic dyes are used in a range of bright colors. The materials used for Rangoli take on either a flat appearance, when colored powder such as rice, chili, turmeric, etc. are used, or a 3-D effect when cereals, pulses either in their natural coloring or tinted with natural dyes are used. Some artists use the 3-D effect for borders alone while others create beautiful designs using grains and beads entirely.The designs are symbolic and common to the entire country, and can include geometrical patterns, with lines, dots, squares, circles, triangles; the swastika, lotus, trident, fish, conch shell, footprints (supposed to be of goddess Lakshmi), creepers, leaves, trees, flowers, animals and anthropomorphic figures. These motifs often are modified to fit in with the local images and rhythms. One important point is that the entire pattern must be an unbroken line, with no gaps to be left anywhere for evil spirits to enter. Originally Rangoli was done in small patterns — 2 feet square — but now entire floor areas of rooms and hotel foyers are covered in intricate detailed designs. Traditionally, such floor decorations were done only on auspicious occasions or festivals. But today, any occasion is good enough — weddings, birthday parties, opening ceremonies, etc. In Indian cultures, all guests and visitors occupy a very special place, and a rangoli is an expression of this warm hospitality. In particular, the Diwali festival is widely celebrated with rangoli, since at this time; people visit each other's homes to exchange greetings and sweets. Rangoli also has a religious significance, enhancing the beauty of the surroundings and spreading joy and happiness all around.

Wednesday, 27 May 2009


Kalash ( water vessel) is an auspicious symbol of Hindu culture. It was generated during the Samudramanthan or great churning of ocean. Lord Vishnu held Kalash filled with nectar during Samudramanthan. All deities reside in the kalash. Therefore it has an important place in puja ritual.
The kalash is used for creating seat for invoked deities during the puja ritual. First it is filled with water and then leaves of mango tree or those of betel vine are kept in it. These leaves are known as leaves of deity’s seat. The water inside the kalash keeps this seat pure till the ritual of Pranapratishta (invoking deity into an image, idol, coconut or betel nut). Thus the invoked deity principle stays for a long period.
In this kalash betel nut or some coins are then put. Thereafter a coconut is set up on the mouth of the kalash. The tuft of coconut attracts the deity principle from the atmosphere and it is then transmitted to the water in the kalash through the body of coconut.
The water is pure and clean to the highest extent. That is the reason it is able to attract the satvik particles of frequencies of deities.
A coin is put in the kalash. Putting a coin is symbolic of sacrifice. Through this medium there is sacrifice of wealth and jiva (embodied soul)’s attachment is reduced. It helps in emanation of satvik frequencies present in the water into the atmosphere.
Also a betel nut is kept in the kalash meant for puja ritual. This increases the capacity of the water to emit manifest principle of deity. This then easily helps in retaining the satvikta of water for along time. Five precious stones like pearl, diamond, emerald, blue sapphire, ruby and gold are also added to the water of kalash. The five precious stones and gold have capacity to attract and emit the principles of five superior deities. This benefits the worshipper. But with changing times the use of five precious stones and copper is reduced and replaced by alloys which are spiritually of less benefit
We are all familiar with the immense importance of Tulsi in Ayurveda and spirituality. Tulsi has more capacity to attract pure vibrations from the atmosphere than any other plant. It also emits satvik vibrations in the atmosphere all the twenty four hours. The Tulsi absorbs the deity principle when chaitanya enriched water when poured under it and then emits them along with its satvik vibrations. This creates the envelope of vibrations of deity and the atmosphere around the premises remains pure. This is form of divine armour. Similarly when water from the kalash is sprinkled in the premises, the vibrations of deity principle are emitted in high proportion in the premises and helps in its purification.

I have tried to depict all these auspicious aspect of Kalash in this rangoli.

Tuesday, 26 May 2009


Lord Ganesha is the Hindu God of knowledge and the remover of obstacles or God of elimination of troubles. He is also called Ganapati (leader of people), Buddhividhata (god of knowledge), or Vighnahara (god to remove obstacles). In fact Lord Ganesha has at least 108 names. He is one the most important Gods in the Hindu religion so that all sacrifices and religious ceremonies, all serious compositions in writing, and all worldly affairs of importance are begun with an invocation to Lord Ganesha.

Ganesha is usually depicted as an elephant head figure with a large pot belly. He has four hands with one hand always extended to bless people. Like most other Hindu gods, he has a ‘vehicle’, in his case a mouse: this mouse is usually shown at the foot of the god, but sometimes Ganesh is astride the mouse and so he is also named Mushaka-vahan (mushak meaning mouse and vahan is vehicle - the one who is riding a mouse). This unique combination of his elephant-like head and a quick moving mouse vehicle represents tremendous wisdom, intelligence, and presence of mind.

I am commencing this blog-spot by offering my prayer to Lord Ganesha. Visualizing Lord Ganesha in my mind, herein I have used combinations of Go-padma (Go means holy cow & padma means feet – cows’ feet) to produce the sand-painting.This form of painting gets completed very quickly & particularly utile to women who are usually occupied during festive seasons.