This section is dedicated to Ranjana Kumari Ghose, Sri Chinmoy’s personal secretary (1971–2007) and curator of Sri Chinmoy’s artworks (1974–2007). Ranjana has been with Sri Chinmoy every step of the way of his Jharna-Kala art-life journey. She was there when Sri Chinmoy painted his first artwork in the West — the Jharna-Kala Rose; she oversaw the counting and cataloguing of the millions of artworks Sri Chinmoy produced; she directed major exhibitions in New York and worldwide; she was the editor of the art quarterly magazine ‘Jharna-Kala’ published in New York; she headed the many Jhana-Kala Parades in Manhattan and Queens; and she is the CEO of the Jhana-Kala Card Co. No one has done more to champion Sri Chinmoy’s Art than Ranjana.
Here, from Sri Chinmoy’s lecture, ‘Art: The Beauty of Earth, The Fragrance of Heaven’, in 2011, are his own words in praise of Ranjana’s tireless contribution:
The one who has encouraged me the most is the curator of all my art, Ranjana. She is my secretary as well. It was she who immediately rushed out in that downpour to buy the necessary art supplies. And it was at Ranjana's place, at a private gathering, where I offered the name Jharna-Kala, which means Fountain-Art, for my art collection.
What encouragement can do! Here is the radiant proof. Since that time, I have painted more than 200,000 paintings, and I have drawn more than 15 million birds.
Published in World-Oneness-Heart-Song in Mongolian Life
Sri Chinmoy creates his first artwork in the West, marking the beginning of Jharna-Kala ‘Fountain-Art’, in room 233 at the Sheraton El Mirador Hotel, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. For the first time, he signs his artwork with his initials C.K.G. (Chinmoy Kumar Ghose), the monogram he would use throughout his long artistic career.
Sri Chinmoy creates these enchanting black and white line drawings of a dog and butterfly, two days after drawing his Jharna-Kala rose.
As Sri Chinmoy leaves the auditorium at the University of Toronto where he has just held a public meditation, he stops by a blackboard and draws a small Jharna-Kala. It is his first drawing in chalk.
Jharna-Kala Moder Bala
Jharna-kala jharna-kala jharna-kala
Moder bala moder chala ujjwala
Tumi moder asha hiyar chira mangala
Kanna hasir parapare dodul dola
O Fountain-Art, Fountain-Art, Fountain-Art
Gold-bright is our journey’s voice;
Gold-bright is our journey’s goal.
You are our hope-heart’s
Eternally hallowed Consciousness-Light supreme.
You are the delight-swing of silence-height
Beyond the shore of earth-sorrows and Heaven-smiles.
Published in Jharna-Kala Songbook
Sri Chinmoy operates an adjustable overhead camera to take photographs of his Jharna-Kala drawings. Afterwards, he examines the details of the prints with the keen eye of a master artist.
On this day, Sri Chinmoy completes his 1,000th Jharna-Kala painting in Jamaica, Queens, New York.
Sri Chinmoy signs a set of pictures of himself creating his first Jharna-Kala artwork for a special Christmas Week celebration at the Unitarian Church in Hollis, New York, where, for the first time, an exhibition of his artworks is held.
The slideshow highlights some of Sri Chinmoy’s earliest artworks from November to December 1974.
Sri Chinmoy observes some of his artworks that have been displayed for the public.
Sri Chinmoy’s students celebrate his most recent artist achievement of completing 4,000 Jharna-Kala paintings, held at the Bayside Church in New York.
Sri Chinmoy completes 347 paintings in 24 hours in Jamaica, Queens, New York.
Sri Chinmoy completes 10,000 paintings in 100 days in Jamaica, Queens, New York. The final 1,000 paintings are completed in 21 hours.
The first Jharna-Kala Parade is held on Madison Ave in New York.
Jharna-Kala Parade in New York City
Braving freezing winds and near 0˚C temperatures, a Jharna-Kala parade is held in New York City to celebrate and honour Sri Chinmoy’s completion of 10,000 paintings in 100 days.
One lane of Madison Avenue is blocked off to make way for balloon-decked police cars, horses, drill teams, flags, banners, clowns, flower-covered floats with large reproductions of paintings, and even a unicyclist. Along the way, spectators are offered balloons and flowers and lots of goodwill.
At 2:00 p.m., the parade proceeds up Madison Avenue from 59th Street and turns towards Central Park at 72nd for a free concert by Mahavishnu John McLaughlin and Devadip Carlos Santana. Over two thousand enthusiastic listeners attend, many of whom had thronged around the float on which the musicians had played throughout the parade.
At Central Park, Sri Chinmoy walks on stage to meditate with Mahavishnu and Devadip and bless them.
One of the 100 large ‘finger paintings’ Sri Chinmoy completes in 12 hours, 45 minutes in Jamaica, New York.
A Jharna-Kala Gallery, displaying thousands of Sri Chinmoy’s artworks, opens at 154 Wooster Street in New York’s Soho art district.
Just before the gallery opening at 7:00 p.m., Sri Chinmoy meditates briefly and offers this soulful prayer:
“My Lord Supreme, to You I offer my eternal gratitude for having painted in and through me out of Your infinite Bounty over 10,000 paintings in 100 fleeting days. My Lord Supreme, You have played the role of aspiration in and through me; now You want to play the role of inspiration in and through all of my brothers and sisters of the world. As I have placed the aspiration-tree at Your Feet, even so my sisters and brothers are going to place the inspiration-seed at Your Feet.”
Published in AUM – Vol. 2, No. 4, April 27, 1975
Sri Chinmoy at the Wooster Street Jharna-Kala gallery in Soho, New York.
A view from outside Sri Chinmoy’s Jharna-Kala gallery at Wooster Street in Soho, New York.
Sri Chinmoy offers a public meditation and concert at 8:00 p.m. and throughout the evening exhibits eleven of his Jharna-Kala 4’ x 8’ canvases dedicated to the ‘Soul of America’ in the McMillan Theatre at Columbia University, New York.
Sri Chinmoy painting at the Jharna-Kala Gallery at Wooster Street, Soho in New York.
Sri Chinmoy paints ‘Supreme, I Bow To Thee’, a 9’ x 16’ canvas, in New York.
Sri Chinmoy creates his 27,001st Jharna-Kala artwork at his gallery in New York. He titled the painting, ‘Supreme, I am thy glowing Grace. My world thy Feet of Light.’
YOGI OPENS LARGEST ONE-MAN ART SHOW IN HISTORY
NEW YORK — What is probably the largest one-man art show in history opened July 7 at a block-long gallery in New York’s Soho art district.
On display were seven thousand paintings — some as large as 9x16 feet — by spiritual Master Sri Chinmoy.
They formed part of the 27,000 works the Yogi completed in an eight-month period.
The exhibit at The Jharna-Kala Gallery, 220 Mercer St. (near Broadway) is open seven days a week and will extend through August 29. On the evening of that day there will be a gala closing, to which art lovers and interested seekers are cordially invited.
Published in Anahata Nada, Vol. II, No. 7, August 1, 1975
Sri Chinmoy, on the opening day of the exhibition of his Jharna-Kala artworks at 220 Mercer Street, Greenwich Village, New York.
Sri Chinmoy holds up one of his newly created Jharna-Kala artworks at the Bayside Church Centre in New York.
Another parade in Manhattan is held to honour Sri Chinmoy’s Jharna-Kala artworks.
Premiered in New York in August 1975
A ‘Silver Journey to Infinity’s Soul’ production.
Directed and produced by Tarun and Prabhat.
Narration and production assistance by Uma Yvonne Hannemann.
This iconic film covers the highlights of Sri Chinmoy’s artistic achievements from 1974-1975.
Sri Chinmoy completes his 100,000th Jharna-Kala painting in Jamaica, NY, USA. From November 19, 1974, when he first began painting, it took just 10½ months for him to reach his goal. During the final 10 days of his painting marathon, he barely slept, completing as many as 5,000 works per day.
Sri Chinmoy’s original Jharna-Kala paintings are displayed at a reception hosted by Sri Chinmoy for Governor Rafael Hernández Colón of Puerto Rico, held in Jamaica, Queens, New York.
Sri Chinmoy in the midst of his artistic challenge to create as many Jharna-Kala paintings as possible in 24 hours, at his home in Jamaica, Queens, New York. The final count is an astounding 16,031!
WOULD YOU BELIEVE? — Indian spiritual Master Sri Chinmoy of Jamaica set what is considered to be a world record at 12 a.m. this morning when he completed 16,031 paintings in 24 hours. The paintings, which ranged from two by three foot canvases to wallet-sized miniatures, were completed in his home “in order to inspire humanity.”
Published in LONG ISLAND PRESS, MONDAY, NOVEMBER 17, 1975
Jharna-Kala Celebrates its First Anniversary
Sri Chinmoy’s talk at the Blue Centre meeting
in All Angels Church, Manhattan, New York
Today is a most significant day for my disciples and for me, for today we complete one full year of my art-life. It is the first anniversary of my art experience. I was a seeker, I am a seeker and I shall eternally remain a seeker. I shall eternally walk along the road of aspiration. The Supreme in me taught me at a very young age how to concentrate, meditate and contemplate. But even before that, when I was totally ignorant of aspiration and consciousness, when I was one year and two or three months old, my parents took me to a spiritual institution called an ashram. Then, when I was four years old, they took me again. When I was seven and when I was nine years old again I was taken to the ashram. Finally, when I was eleven years and a few months old I went there to become a permanent member. At that time the Supreme in me made me conscious of my aspiration. He taught me from then how to concentrate, meditate and contemplate. In a few months’ time I came to discover who I was in my previous incarnation and what would be my role in this incarnation.
But no matter what I realise, I feel that my realisation is nothing but a form of aspiration, ever-crying aspiration. Each realisation is nothing but a progressing rung in the ladder of evolution. While I was aspiring through concentration, meditation and contemplation, I was asked by the absolute Supreme within me to aspire also through athletics. Again, out of His infinite Bounty He made me in my youth a champion sportsman. Then, along with my physical discipline and spiritual discipline, He wanted me to aspire through poetry. I started writing poems before I was twelve years old — of course, in Bengali.
I am saying this not for the sake of boasting. What I wanted to tell you is how my aspiration took shape in various forms, in various fields — spirituality, sports, poetry and also music. I was a music-lover, and even now I am a music-lover. Music also played a considerable role in my aspiration. I came to the West, here to America, by the express inner command of the Supreme Pilot who wanted me to be of service to many here in the aspiring West. As you know, the Supreme, out of His infinite Bounty, has inspired me, according to my power of receptivity and capacity, to write over 250 books during the eleven years of my existence in America. These books are nothing but the revelation of my own aspiration which is crying, according to my inner receptivity and capacity, to go high, higher, highest, to the ever-transcending Height. It is always aspiration that is being manifested in all my activities, physical, vital, mental and psychic.
Here in the West I have come to act as a devoted server, unconditional server of the divine Love, Light and Truth. In the outer life, in the outer world, some people take me as a spiritual teacher, a Master. But I wish to say the real Master, the supreme Master, is God Himself. We are all representatives. He who knows a little more than we do in any field we are apt to call our teacher. But the real teacher, the absolute Teacher, who has infinite Knowledge and who is infinite Wisdom, Light and Love is God Himself and no human being.
Here in the West the Inner Pilot, my Supreme Pilot, expressed Himself in and through me according to the power of my receptivity when I gave hundreds of talks at various universities in America and in Europe. Hundreds of questions I have also answered. I have composed hundreds of songs both in Bengali and English and a few in Sanskrit. All these things are nothing but various ways of expressing my own inner cry.
Last but not least, I entered last year, exactly one year ago, into the field of art. This field was not my forte. In our family, as ill luck would have it, art-life was not cultivated. Of course, in the broad sense, poetry is an art, music is an art, undoubtedly, but painting as such was not appreciated. Our family was wanting in the capacity for appreciating this particular art. I was in no way an exception.
Eleven years ago when I arrived in New York, I happened to visit the Guggenheim Museum. I saw quite a few paintings. To my extreme sorrow I could not appreciate any of them. But my Fate-Maker one year ago wanted me to become an artist. I was in a hotel in Ottawa. Around 5:00 in the afternoon it was drizzling, but the command came from within to go out and buy a few crayons and drawing paper and so forth. I went out in the rain and bought a few drawing books and I started my journey. After I had drawn a few, I was totally disappointed and disgusted, but the Inspirer in me did not permit me to stop. He wanted me to continue, and I did.
Now some people call me an artist. Yes, I am an artist; this is true. But to be exactly true, one hundred percent true, I wish to say that I am a seeker. Here again, my aspiration is being expressed through art in the form of thousands of paintings in the short span of a year. The artist in my Beloved Supreme, according to my receptivity, according to my surrendering and surrendered existence, has painted and drawn in and through me. Then he wanted me to offer to these paintings an Indian name: Jharna-Kala. It means Fountain-Art. Like a fountain this art flows spontaneously. It has no birth, it has no death; a ceaseless, birthless and deathless flow.
I have quite a few admirers to appreciate my paintings. I am extremely grateful to them. Again, I have quite a few critics who feel they have legitimate reasons to find fault with me. They say, “Why deal with quantity and not with quality? Why not aim at perfection?”
I tell my critics that earthly perfection is a relative experience of and in the mind. A child’s perfection is to pinch someone. The satisfaction that he derives from pinching is perfection in his life. A child crawls and stumbles, he stands up, he walks, marches, he runs very fast. Each progressive stage that he masters is perfection in his life. When he was unable to crawl, he was having a particular experience in earth-life. But the day he started crawling he felt that that progress was perfection. Continuous progress is perfection. Constantly transcending one’s own existence-reality is perfection. Otherwise, perfection would be a finished product. If perfection is a finished product, then it is no perfection at all. Perfection is the song of ever-transcending reality that we embody and we eternally are in the cosmic Vision and transcendental Reality of the Absolute Supreme.
When I paint, I do not have in mind — I never use the mind — how many I am going to do. No, I only try to become a perfect instrument of the Supreme by surrendering to His Will. When it comes to thousands and not hundreds, I clearly see and feel that each painting of mine is a flame of aspiration. Now if I see thousands of aspiration-flames instead of one, then I see clearly that these thousands of aspiration-flames can more easily illumine ignorance-night than only a few could. Those who claim me as their very own, those who are my spiritual children, still need illumination. These thousands and thousands of paintings are for what? To be of service to them, to illumine them. If they see not one but thousands of flames, naturally they are bound to be carried far, very far, high, very high, deep, very deep. Instead of one if they have thousands of aspiration-flames to be of service to them, naturally their progress is bound to be much faster.
Again, each painting of mine is a spark of my own aspiration. One person will appreciate one painting of mine, a second person will appreciate another, a third person still another. This way each person gets the opportunity to identify himself with my aspiration-light. For my disciples, nothing can be as important as identification, identification with the Master’s life of aspiration and dedication.
As I said, I have written thousands and thousands of poems, I have given hundreds of lectures and composed hundreds of songs. Each poem, each talk, each song embodies my own aspiration. A disciple of mine may find his identification in one particular poem or song. The more he identifies himself with the consciousness-light of my creation, which is God’s own creation in and through me, the better for him, the sooner his illumination will take place on the strength of his identification with the Highest.
This is an opportunity for all art-lovers and all seekers of the transcendental Truth. Each painting, each poem, each thing that I undertake is at the express command of my Beloved Supreme. I have 900 disciples. I feel that each disciple can be given the golden opportunity to select whatever form of creativity inspires him most in his own way. There are also seekers who are not my disciples who feel something sublime in me. I wish to assure them that the inspiration and aspiration that my paintings and my writings embody is for them. He who sees something in me or in my creation is my soul’s friend, my heart’s friend. A friend of mine is he who gives me the best opportunity to be of dedicated service to his Inner Pilot. He who gives me this golden opportunity to serve him is my real friend. Here there are about fifty seekers who are not my disciples. But I wish to tell them that their very presence here has given me enormous joy and divine pride. Why? It is they who are giving me the golden opportunity to be of service to the Supreme in them. I say this with all the sincerity at my command. You may feel that I am sharing with you my inner wisdom, but I wish to say that what I feel in the inmost recesses of my heart is something else: the song of aspiration, the song of dedication. I sing in and through you my aspiration-song. I sing in and through you my dedication-song.
To my disciples, art-lovers and all those who are seekers of the transcendental Truth here, to you my fervent soulful request is that you try to identify even for a fleeting second with what I stand for, which is constant inner cry. What I am doing and what I shall be doing is aspiring, and you are all doing the same thing — aspiring, crying within to be conscious and constant instruments of God. The Goal is one; the roads are many. When the seekers see eye-to-eye with one another, then the road undoubtedly is shortened.
Published in AUM – Vol. 2, No.11, November 27, 1975
Sri Chinmoy paints two large Jharna-Kala artworks in 13 minutes on the front porch of his home in Jamaica, Queens, New York. The paintings continue to be on permanent exhibit at Annam Brahma restaurant.
During his visit to Perth in Western Australia, Sri Chinmoy creates seven Jharna-Kala paintings.
Sri Chinmoy completes 27 Jharna-Kala paintings in 27 minutes in Jamaica, NY, USA.
The Third Jharna-Kala Gallery
April saw the opening and closing of the third Jharna-Kala Gallery in Manhattan, this one next door to its immediate predecessor, at 224 Mercer Street in Greenwich Village. More than 10,000 paintings were displayed in the spacious gallery.
During the month it was open, the gallery was the scene of several evenings of entertainment for professional people and members of the United Nations staff. Senor Juan Albors, Secretary of State of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico was received there by Sri Chinmoy on the afternoon of April 24th on his way to a conference in Europe. The gallery was also visited by Mr. Henry Geldzahler, curator of The 20th Century Collection of New York’s famous Metropolitan Museum of Art.
On April 29th, just days before the gallery closed, Sri Chinmoy painted his largest painting yet, a 12x27-foot canvas. Its harmonious beauty and majesty have inspired many disciples to write essays and articles about it, which will be collected and printed.
Published in AUM – Vol. 3, No. 4, April 27, 1976
An exhibition of 12,000 of Sri Chinmoy’s artworks, all created in the previous sixteen months, opens at 224 Mercer Street in Greenwich Village, lower Manhattan, New York. In the evening, Sri Chinmoy offers an esraj concert.
Listen to Sri Chinmoy playing esraj in concert...
A parade up Madison Avenue in Manhattan, New York, honouring Sri Chinmoy’s 12th year in the West featuring his contributions to many fields such as music, literature, sports, and art, through his thousands of Jharna-Kala paintings.
Sri Chinmoy sings 100 newly composed Bengali songs at his Mercer Street Jharna-Kala Gallery in Greenwich Village, Manhattan.
Sri Chinmoy meditates at the Jharna-Kala Gallery in Mercer Street, Greenwich Village, New York.
Sri Chinmoy paints ‘Larger than the Largest’, a 12-by-27-foot canvas, in two hours between 5:45 p.m. and 7:45 p.m.,
at the Jharna-Kala Gallery, 224 Mercer Street, Greenwich Village, New York City.
United Nations staff members are guests of honour at a reception and banquet at the Jharna-Kala Gallery. Afterwards, Sri Chinmoy explores a new artistic medium: cake-icing. He decorates four large cakes with icing of several colours, dabbing with his fingers to create the classical C.K.G. birds and designs.
He signs his ‘larger-than-the-largest’:
“Supreme, my heart needs Your Reality-worlds.
Supreme, my soul loves Your Vision-worlds.”
And he offers the cake as prasad.
On 3 May 1976 Mr. Henry Geldzahler, Curator of the 20th Century Collection at the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art, visited the Jharna-Kala Gallery to see Sri Chinmoy's paintings and choose some of them for a possible travelling exhibition. Following are excerpts from Mr. Geldzahler's comments about the paintings.
Mr. Geldzahler: Did you know you were going to be a painter?
Sri Chinmoy: No, I call it God’s unconditional Grace or Compassion. In my family nobody was an artist. Everyone was in the literary line. They didn’t have the capacity even to appreciate painting.
Mr. Geldzahler: Did you have images in the back of your mind when you began?
Sri Chinmoy: No, I had no liking for any particular painting, or style of painting. I grew up in a spiritual community, and I had no opportunity to see much art work. I once visited an art museum, but my ignorance did not allow me to appreciate the paintings.
Mr. Geldzahler: It is like learning a language. It takes awhile to learn how.
Sri Chinmoy: Yes, you have to develop the capacity.
Sri Chinmoy: (Pointing to his pastel birds) It takes only a few seconds to do these, but I like them very much.
Mr. Geldzahler: I am nervous about choosing paintings in front of you. I don’t like this fluorescent lighting at all. First of all, it makes a reflection, and also I feel it brings a bad vibration down. It is unnatural. (Pointing to Sri Chinmoy’s second largest painting.) This one is very successful. (Speaking about painting No. 27,001) I like that one very much, but it doesn’t need the heavy gold frame. I would like it better without the frame.
Sri Chinmoy: After completing 27,000 I did it in front of my students. And that one (pointing to another painting) was number 100,000. This one (pointing to the rose) was the first painting I did on that rainy day in Ottawa when I started. I did this one (referring to his largest canvas)about four days ago. Would you kindly advise me in regard to it? How can we store it?
Mr. Geldzahler: Keep the surface unvarnished. If you go to move it around, cover it with clean cloth and roll it around a tube. Plastic, if it gets very hot, may stick.
Mr. Geldzahler: (Putting orange dots on paintings he was selecting as possibilities for the traveling exhibition.) Can we put two dots if we like a painting very much? This one is just perfect. … I think this one has real energy. (Commenting on a vertical painting in the series done for eleven years in the West) I like the landscaping in this one very much, but to me the horizontal ones are more successful than the vertical. How do you do them?
Sri Chinmoy: I stand on a chair so I can reach the top. As a matter of fact, sometimes we change the position after I have done them. We see how they will look better.
Mr. Geldzahler: As I’m choosing, I see one and I look down and see another. ... How strong that one is! … I was just at an exhibit of two thousand paintings, but of course by two thousand different artists. But here it is a different experience. Twelve thousand paintings by one artist! It is a much more unifying experience. … Again, I maintain that if I went through them again I would make a slightly different selection. (Speaking about the calendar paintings) You have the most consistent success in that format in which the works are divided by the month. But I don’t want to pick too many of these because I don’t want to make the selection unbalanced. You work on them in a very unified way. When they’re not in crayon, when they’re in paint, these are the most successful. They’re the most consistently good, and my tendency would be to pick a lot of them. But you’ve done so many other kinds that I want my selection to be balanced.
(Yvonne Hannemann pointed out Sri Chinmoy’s earliest drawings.)
Mr. Geldzahler: These have the charm of the work of a student thirteen or fourteen years old. It would be an interesting thing to exhibit them, but it would take a block of words to explain them. I don’t know if you would want that.
Sri Chinmoy: I’d like to know your opinion on one particular kind of painting. (Pointing to a yellow circular fan-brush painting) I am extremely fond of this kind of art.
Mr. Geldzahler: The references are the brain, the cabbage, the cauliflower, the flower, what you see when you look at the sun and then close your eyes. In art that kind of configuration has appeal.
Sri Chinmoy: When I do it I immediately feel that a flower is blossoming.
Mr. Geldzahler: I noticed that that circular form appears very often in your work. It is the moment when the flower opens.
(Harit asked Mr. Geldzahler to comment about the largest painting.)
Mr. Geldzahler: It is extremely hard to talk about this one. I don’t know what to say. It is much more unified than most of the others around it, which is unusual for such a large painting, and part of the reason is that the white is allowed to remain visible. It’s not clouded or dense or impenetrable. It sweeps one way and then the other. It is unified in that way. And all the way around it has not only an edge, but a way of referring or moving.
Harit: It has an infinite quality.
Mr. Geldzahler: But it’s also finite, and that’s important. There is something eternal going on, but it also has to law a shape about it, otherwise no one would be able to understand it.
Sri Chinmoy: Here it is quite dense, and here it is different.
Mr. Geldzahler: It’s fine; it folds in. In order to see this painting it would be much more interesting if it could be carried down there and seen from a distance. (After the painting was moved) One can see the unity better from a distance. You can see that the area that is light blends with the darker parts above it and around it. You can’t be sure of it when you stand too close.
I’ve explained to them how to store this big painting. Some of the big paintings at the Metropolitan have to be carried out the front door and up Fifth Avenue. It’s like a sail, and if there is a wind blowing…
Now it looks like a completely different painting. So you have made two paintings — one from close up and one from far away. I’d like to see how it looks in natural light. Can we have the fluorescent lights turned off?
(After the fluorescent lights were turned off.) I think this is much more subtle. Fluorescent light makes everything even, highlights everything evenly, whereas here the dark and the light all look different. This kind of light doesn't emphasise the white so much. It brings forward the colours. Now the colours are the unifying factor instead of the white spaces.
Sri Chinmoy: It has much more strength now. It is my own painting, so now I am bragging.
Mr. Geldzahler: Before, the point was that the white part was unifying it. Now the point is the contrast of the different colours and the brush strokes. It is stronger and more subtle.
Picasso said you have to know when to paint and you have to know when to stop painting. The trouble with many art students is that they keep working on a painting and working on it, and never know when to stop. This one is amazing. One universe; compact.
Published in AUM – Vol 3, No. 7, 27 July 1976
Sri Chinmoy draws ‘The Golden Boat’ (Sri Chinmoy Centre emblem) in Jamaica, New York.
Sri Chinmoy visits Room 233 at the Sheraton El Mirador Hotel in Ottawa, Canada, where he painted his first Jharna-Kala. It is the second anniversary of this historic event. Sri Chinmoy is accompanied by Mukti and members of the Ottawa Sri Chinmoy Centre.
Sri Chinmoy offers a New Year’s meditation and a Jharna-Kala exhibition at Hunter College in New York. The backdrop for the occasion is the 12-by-27-foot canvas ‘Larger than the Largest, painted by Sri Chinmoy on April 29, 1976.
Sri Chinmoy paints ‘C.K.G. Transcends’, a 13x69-foot canvas, in the boiler room of John F. Kennedy High School in the Bronx, New York. Sri Chinmoy begins painting at 7:46 a.m. and just 2 hours and 29 minutes later, he completes the monumental artwork.
Sri Chinmoy paints a 6’ x 8’ canvas dedicated to the United Nations entitled, ‘United Nations: the Heart-Home of the World-Body’, which was later exhibited at the UN and galleries around the world – Jamaica, New York.
Grand Central Station Sees Jharna-Kala
Sri Chinmoy paints ‘Journey’s Battle-Victory’, a 13’ x 25’ canvas, in 47 minutes, in New York, NY, USA. The painting was later exhibited on a billboard in San Francisco, California, near Fisherman’s Wharf, sponsored by the Eyes and Ears Foundation.
Sri Chinmoy playing the esraj at the Jharna-Kala gallery in New York.
Thousands of New Yorkers and visitors to the populous Grand Central Station were treated to a visual phenomenon during the month of September at the Jharna-Kala Exhibit in the Vanderbilt Arcade. There, busy commuters could retreat from the hubbub of the daily rush and enjoy the peaceful atmosphere of the white gallery, which held an abundance of colourful and masterful C.K.G. originals — a true haven for a New Yorker's beauty-hungry eyes.
During a press conference at the exhibit on 16 September, C.K.G. told WPIX-TV Channel 11 News, “My paintings are my aspiration and my dedication. My paintings help me to aspire more devotedly and more soulfully. My paintings help me dedicate my body, vital, mind, heart and soul more devotedly to my Inner Pilot Supreme.”
Published in Jharnra-Kala magazine, Vol. 1 No. 2
The San Franciso Chronicle reports on the open-air billboard exhibition of Sri Chinmoy’s 13' x 25' Jharna-Kala painting ‘Journey’s Battle Victory’, at the Embarcadero in San Francisco, California. The billboard was installed on November 1st.
Sri Chinmoy takes movies at the Jharna-Kala parade as it moves up Madison Avenue in Manhattan by his students to celebrate the third anniversary of his Fountain-Art.
Later that evening, Sri Chinmoy said:
“Fountain-Art yesterday was the Golden Boat. Fountain-Art today is the Golden Boatman. Fountain-Art tomorrow will be the Golden Shore.”
After the colourful parade through the streets of Manhattan, the Jharna-Kala anniversary celebrations continue into the evening at Public School 86 in Jamaica, Queens, where, among other items on the programme, Sri Chinmoy gives a short piano performance.
Sri Chinmoy plays the esraj at his Jharna-Kala Gallery at Grand Central Station in Manhattan, New York City. After his esraj performance, Sri Chinmoy recites some of his earliest poems and delivers a talk entitled, ‘Poetry and Spirituality’ at a ceremony of the Sri Chinmoy Poetry Awards, a contest of spiritual poetry. The gallery, which has exhibited Sri Chinmoy’s artworks for five months, will close in January 1978.
Listen to Sri Chinmoy reciting some of his earliest poems...
Listen to Sri Chinmoy’s talk on Poetry and Spirituality...
Fuente de Arte Exhibition In Venezuela
An exhibition of Sri Chinmoy’s Jharna-Kala artworks (Fuente de Arte) opens at the Centro De Bellas Artes in Maracaibo, Venezuela for the first time in Latin America. The 75 paintings fill the entire museum.
The exhibition runs until the end of July, offering beauty and peace to hundreds and hundreds of people who come to the museum every day, as is evidenced by some of the many positive comments recorded in the guestbook on 8 July:
"It inspired a deep inner feeling."
"It could not be better."
"Beautiful, inspiring peace and love."
"The art, the ambience are a road to achieve peace."
In addition, every local newspaper covers the exhibition with an inspiring picture-review.
During the exhibition, Actress Lupita Ferrera, who had starred with Anthony Quinn in his films, comes to visit the exhibit and says that the paintings give her more peace than she had had in a very long time. John W. L. Russel, the United States Cultural Attache in Venezuela, also visits and says that he wished he could own all the paintings.
Published in Jharna-Kala: The Art of Sri Chinmoy
After participating in the parade up Madison Avenue in Manhattan, which was held in his honour, Sri Chinmoy and his students repair to the Jharna-Kala Gallery at Grand Central Station, where he meditates with them and gives a talk on ‘Aspiration, Vision, Speed and Strength’.
Sri Chinmoy meets with Puerto Rico’s Governor Rafael Hernández Colón at the Jharna-Kala gallery in Manhattan, New York.
Sri Chinmoy meets with Elliot Richardson, US Spokesman at the UN Conference on Law of the Sea, former Cabinet Member under Presidents Nixon and Ford, and presents him with an original Jharna-Kala painting at the Sri Chinmoy Gallery, Grand Central Station, in New York.
Before leaving the room at Wagner College in Staten Island, where he had just held a public concert and meditation, Sri Chinmoy draws a spontaneous Jharna-Kala in honour of two of his disciples — the ephemeral medium of chalk captured for posterity by the photographer.
Sri Chinmoy at the awards ceremony of the Sri Chinmoy 3½ Mile Run for women in Prospect Park, New York.
Sri Chinmoy receives the ‘Artist of the Year’ award from Sunstorm Galleries in Hicksville, New York.
A two-month exhibition of Sri Chinmoy’s Jharna-Kala artworks, sponsored by the US Department of the Interior in conjunction with the National Parks Service, is attended by the Department of the Interior Under-Secretary James A. Joseph and members of the U.S. Congress, including the Honorable Geraldine Ferraro, at the National Visitors Center in Washington, DC.
Sri Chinmoy visits the exhibition opening of his Jharna-Kala artworks at the Museum Alexander König in Bonn, Germany.
Sri Chinmoy’s Jharna-Kala artworks are exhibited throughout the month of August at 170 Thompson Street, Greenwich Village, New York.
The Sri Chinmoy Centre holds a Jharna-Kala Parade through Jamaica, Queens. Starting at 12 noon, the parade begins at 230th Street and Hillside Avenue.
The August Celebrations have come to Queens. Two weeks of plays and art displays, track & field competitions, parades and music began on August 15 in locations around the Big Apple. Over 400 students of spiritual leader Sri Chinmoy are expected to attend, arriving from as far as Japan and Australia....
Throughout the festival exhibition of Fountain Art will be on public display at 170 Thompson Street, Greenwich Village. The paintings are representative of a body of 140,000 works ranging in size from postage stamp art to 8' murals.
To commemorate his achievements, Sri Chinmoy students led the noontime Jharna-Kala parade down Hillside Avenue on August 23. As an award winning author, painter and musician Sri Chinmoy encourages creative expression among the students....
Published in Queens Tribune, August 28, 1980
A talk by Sri Chinmoy
at Oregon State University in Corvallis, Oregon
Art is patience. Patience is the willingness of the artist to listen to his inner dictates. Patience is the willingness of the artist to speak lovingly, soulfully and calmly.
Art is open-mindedness. Open-mindedness is absolutely natural in the artist’s divine relationship with the world around him.
Art is vision. Vision is the pure quality of the seeker’s heart and the sure quantity of the seeker’s mind.
The human artist knows that his art is his inspiration-lamp, aspiration-flame and imagination-sun. The divine artist knows that his art is his concentration-power, meditation-peace and contemplation-bliss.
The human artist plays only with today’s existence-night and not with tomorrow’s existence-day. For him, the tomorrow-train never arrives. The divine artist plays with the purity-sea and the beauty-waves of the Eternal Beyond.
Yesterday’s art was the awareness of infinite possibility. Today’s art is the active devotedness to infinite practicality. Tomorrow’s art will be the soulful and fruitful oneness with infinite inevitability.
The artist who likes his art idealises his art. The artist who loves his art idolises his art. The artist who becomes inseparably one with the beauty and purity of his art multiplies the manifestation of his realisation-sun.
Published in Sri Chinmoy, The Oneness of the Eastern Heart and the Western Mind, part 3
Aphorisms on art by Sri Chinmoy
A new art will give you new pleasure. New pleasure is another name for self-transcendence.
Because you are a sincere seeker-artist, God will give you the capacity to avoid frustrating and contradictory paths. He will lead you along a single path, the path of aspiration-trees with inspiration-flowers.
For a God-manifesting artist, there will always be a world of inner sunshine.
Do not be curious; do not be anxious. Lo, a new art world is dawning to glorify and satisfy you.
If you are an earth-bound artist, then you have to turn toward the Truth-Beauty. If you are a Heaven-free artist, then the Truth. Beauty will turn towards you.
A spiritual artist sees stark frustration as a signal to try harder than ever.
A human artist wants to radiate his artwork through his imagination. A divine artist wishes to radiate his artwork with what he inwardly and really is.
Do not listen to your mind. Do not tolerate your mind. Lo, you will overnight become the master-artist of your life.
O artist, I tell you a supreme secret: Your outer success may temporarily be enjoyable, but your inner progress will everlastingly be profitable.
O artist, because you live in the divided thought-world, your mind-power is useless and your heart-power is hopeless.
The divine artist who, at every moment, offers the beauty and purity of his artwork to his Inner Pilot knows that his inner joy can never have any equal.
Because you have not corrected and simplified your difficult life, you are finding that it is an extremely difficult task to become a good artist.
The artist who sees through himself before and after completing each of his pieces of art is going to be the artist unparalleled.
Do you want to cancel your past mistakes? Then ask your mind to learn the art of unlearning, and ask your heart to learn the art of crying.
If you want to see yourself extremely beautiful, then sit down on your inner mountain peak and start painting your life.
Truth-consciousness is a form of divine art. This art frightens the desiring mind and inspires the aspiring heart.
Each unnecessary thought is a colossal failure in the mental art. Therefore, ask your mind to house only necessary thoughts.
An iota of impurity is a damaging reality in the psychic art. Therefore, ask your heart not to give shelter to impure feelings.
The human art is to see the world and possess the world. The divine art is to love God the creation and sing the song of inseparable oneness with God the Creator.
Each act is a piece of art. The supreme Artist, my Beloved Supreme, has already completed the supreme Art. Right before me, He has placed His Eternity's Lamp. But alas, I have not yet started my own art work, and I do not know when I shall start. My art work is to illumine my inner life, placing the Lamp inside the depth of my heart. My art work is to guide my outer life, carrying that Lamp with me.
Published in Jharna-Kala Art Quarterly, pages 7-8, Vol. 3, No. 3
A month-long Jharna-Kala exhibition opens at 133 West 24th Street in Manhattan, New York.
Sri Chinmoy painting at Progress-Promise function hall in Queens, New York.
Sri Chinmoy, deep in concentration, paints Jharna-Kala at Progress-Promise function hall in Jamaica, Queens, New York.
An exhibition of Sri Chinmoy’s Jharna-Kala artworks opens at the Exhibition Space, 112 Greene Street, Soho, New York. The exhibition runs until September 14.
Sri Chinmoy completes 13 large Jharna-Kala paintings, including one finger painting, at Aspiration-Ground in Jamaica, New York.
The Finger Painting
Sri Chinmoy answers a question
the next day — 8 July 1990
Question: The last painting you painted the other night was very striking to me because it seemed that every time you touched the painting with your fingers, you blessed it. Is that painting any more special because there was no object, such as a paintbrush, between you and the painting?
Sri Chinmoy: There is a great difference. When I use my fingers directly, I have tremendous affection, not for the piece of paper or the canvas, but for my hand. At that time, it is not the paper that is responding; it is something else. My affection is entering into the painting itself and it is reciprocal. From the painting also I am getting tremendous affection. I press this finger, that finger and then each time, inside the fingers, I am seeing the souls. Each of us has one main soul, and again each part of us has a soul, each limb has a soul. So when I was painting, first I was seeing the soul of one finger, and then I was seeing the soul of another finger. Then I was seeing the soul of my little finger — cute, very, very cute and beautiful, most beautiful. I was using my hands to paint, but you cannot call them hands at that time. They were so beautiful. At night sometimes all of a sudden there is light because a firefly comes. My hands were like that. When I was painting with my fingers, I saw my hands spreading light everywhere. The fingers were so cute, all of them, especially my little finger. I was getting such joy and thrill from the little one.
So there is a great difference between when I use either a sponge or a brush and when I use my fingers. I personally get much more joy from using my fingers. But then to do one painting takes such a long time. How long can you continue?
Published in Sri Chinmoy Answers, part 17
Sri Chinmoy offers Peace Concert and a New Year’s meditation, along with a Jharna-Kala exhibit, at Hunter College in New York, NY, USA.
Sri Chinmoy looks through his Jharna-Kala exhibition at Hunter College in New York, where he also offers a Peace Concert.
An exhibition of Sri Chinmoy’s Jharna-Kala artworks and 7,000 Blue-Gold Bird drawings opens at a gallery on 52 Vanderbilt Ave. in Manhattan, New York. The exhibition runs for two weeks (May 1-14), each day featuring musical performances, poetry readings, plays, videos or receptions for dignitaries.
Sri Chinmoy meditates at a function held in honour of members of the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan at the Jharna-Kala Gallery in New York.
Sri Chinmoy shows his guests around his Jharna-Kala Gallery at 52 Vanderbilt St. (between Lexington and Park Avenues) New York.
Raisa Maximovna Gorbacheva and her daughter Irina visit an exhibition of Sri Chinmoy’s paintings at the Jharna-Kala Gallery, 52 Vanderbilt Ave. in Manhattan, New York. Sri Chinmoy dedicates the exhibition to the first lady of Russia and offers her one of his works of art for her private collection.
To commemorate his 19th Jharna-Kala anniversary, Sri Chinmoy paints new artworks at PS 86 in Jamaica, New York. Special guests for the evening were Mr. Aleksandr Razvin, Ambassador of Russia to the United Nations, and his wife Valentina.
An exhibition of Sri Chinmoy’s Jharna-Kala artworks is held at the Four Seasons Hotel in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Sri Chinmoy signs his Jharna-Kala artworks at Aspiration-Ground in New York.
Photos by Maral Siegel
Sri Chinmoy completes 13 large Jharna-Kala paintings, commemorating his completion of 100,000 Soul-Bird drawings at Aspiration-Ground in Jamaica, Queens, New York.
Sri Chinmoy begins drawing a series of human faces in Japan, completing 3,433.
Japanese television reporters interview Sri Chinmoy at his Jharna-Kala exhibition in Miyazaki, Japan.
Sri Chinmoy hosts a Jharna-Kala exhibit reception for diplomats and VIPs of the 100,000 Soul-Bird drawings dedicated to Raisa Maximovna Gorbacheva at the Heritage Building in Ottawa, Canada.
Our Life Itself is Art
A talk by Sri Chinmoy
in Bratislava, Slovakia
Dear ones, the body is not permanent, the vital is not permanent, the mind is not permanent, the heart is not permanent. There is only one thing permanent, eternal and immortal in us. That is our soul, and the soul is the direct representative of God, our Lord Beloved Supreme.
Again, the highest transcendental Message of our Lord Supreme we are trying to establish on earth. His Dream we are trying to manifest and fulfil on earth through our aspiring heart, searching mind, dynamic vital and awakened body, the body that is active.
Here on earth the body, the vital, the mind and the heart have to listen to the soul, the way the soul is listening to the Supreme. It is through the finite that the Infinite will play its role. The body is finite, but inside the body is the soul, the direct representative of God.
Here on earth, the birds signify the soul. Each bird flies in the sky and gives us the message of freedom, infinite freedom. Our soul is also flying here, there and everywhere carrying the Message of our Lord Beloved Supreme.
I am trying to be of service to all of you. I am trying to lovingly, devotedly and gratefully bring your own soul to the fore so that you can be perfect instruments of our Lord Beloved Supreme. Your soul is at every moment pleasing the Supreme, but your body, vital, mind and heart have to do the same. When I draw a bird, I think of the soul — new creation, new hope, new promise, new peace, new bliss and new perfection on earth. In exactly the same way, I wish you to feel that your immortal Reality is your soul. Until you see your soul and get a free access to your soul, the way the soul has established its free access to the Supreme, during your prayers and meditations try to imagine a most beautiful child inside your heart playing in ecstasy with the Supreme Himself.
Perhaps you have by this time come to learn that the Supreme in me has decided to draw one million birds. One million birds means two million wings. When you pray and meditate, try to feel, in the inmost recesses of your heart, two million wings to carry you in the sky of the ever-transcending Beyond. These wings will help you fly high, higher, highest and fast, faster, fastest towards your destined Goal. There is no end to our progress; therefore, there cannot be any fixed goal in our lives. We are always in the process of an ever-transcending Dream and an ever-transcending Reality.
Our life itself is art. God is manifesting Himself in and through our life at every moment. As we breathe in and out, so we create, reveal and manifest new art every day. You know that the name I have given for my art is Fountain-Art. A fountain is spontaneous. At each and every moment, from this Fountain-Art, we are receiving hope, promise, love, light, delight and the message of perfection and satisfaction.
So my sweet children, think of yourself as the most beautiful bird flying in the sky of freedom. This freedom is nothing other than constant oneness with our Lord Supreme. This freedom comes not by destroying something or showing our supremacy — no, no! This freedom is the freedom of oneness, oneness, oneness — universal oneness. This oneness we get only when we love God to please Him and to fulfil Him in His own Way. It is in our inseparable oneness, sleepless oneness, with the Will of the Supreme that we get the message of infinite freedom.
We are like tiny drops. When a tiny drop enters into the ocean, it becomes part and parcel of the infinite ocean. Similarly, although we are all finite beings, when we lovingly, devotedly and unconditionally offer our limited existence to our Lord Supreme, out of His infinite Bounty, He makes us one, inseparably one, with His infinite Existence.
To each soul I am offering my boundless joy, divine pride and gratitude. All of you have made tremendous progress, but this progress is not enough, for our Lord Supreme wants us to be more aspiring, more self-giving, more pleasing to the Supreme in us.
There are many, many ways to run fast in the spiritual life, but one special way I would like you to try is to identify with the ones that you feel are inferior and with the ones that you feel are superior. In my heart, there is no superiority, no inferiority. It is all one. But if you see and feel that somebody is inferior, please take that person as your own little brother, your own little sister. Feel that it is your bounden duty to help your little brothers and sisters. Give him, give her, your concern, your affection, your own light. And if you see that somebody is superior to you, if you feel that that person has more wisdom, more capacity than you have, then feel that you have every right to mix with that person and increase your own divinity because that person is your older brother or older sister. This is how, in one family, we can please our Lord Beloved Supreme in His own Way.
Some of you do like Joy Days, especially in the Soviet Union. I deeply appreciate this. Joy Days are of paramount importance in my life. When my spiritual children meet together, pray together and play together, they enjoy the company of one family. So to all the disciples I am saying, please pay special attention to your Joy Days. You will play, you will pray, you will run, you will read my books or sing my songs. There are so many things that you can do. It is a family gathering. I am your spiritual father, I am your Eternity’s friend, only friend.
When my children are together, I feel tremendous joy and a sense of true accomplishment. Whenever it is possible, different countries should come together, the way England, France and Scotland are doing and the many, many countries that I call German countries. So whenever you can, join the other countries to observe Joy Days. At least once a month my divine children should meet together to give me boundless joy.
Also, please establish friendships with the disciples from Centres in other countries. Exchange your thoughts, your ideas, your achievements. For us there is only one country, and that is our heart-country. Historically, geographically and politically countries have been separated. But in our heart there is only one country — our oneness-heart-home — and our only goal is to love God, our Lord Beloved Supreme, in His own Way.
Published in Sri Chinmoy answers, part 20
C.K.G. the Artist
C.K.G. the artist,
Madal the drummer,
Chinmoy the poet,
Sri Chinmoy the dreamer.
Published in Jharna-Kala Songbook
An exhibition of Sri Chinmoy’s Jharna-Kala paintings opens at LaGuardia Airport in Flushing, New York.
Sri Chinmoy painting his Jharna-Kala artworks on stage during an evening function at Public School 86 in Jamaica, Queens, New York.
Sri Chinmoy’s Jharna-Kala Exhibit is held in conjunction with a Peace Concert and his ‘Lifting Up the World with a Oneness-Heart: The Body’s Fitness-Gong and The Soul’s Fulness-Song’ programme at York College in Jamaica, New York.
A selection of Sri Chinmoy’s Jharna-Kala artworks is displayed in the busy foyer of the Empire State Building in New York.
Video by kedarvideo
Sri Chinmoy at the opening of his Jharna-Kala exhibition at Oslo City Hall in Oslo, Norway.
Sri Chinmoy painting Jharna-Kalas at Aspiration-Ground in Jamaica, Queens, New York.
Sri Chinmoy observes the parade held in honour of his 70th birthday in New York. In this scene, Sri Chinmoy’s Jharna-Kala artworks are celebrated.
An exhibition of ‘Paintings for Peace’ by Sri Chinmoy dedicated to the ‘Culture of Peace’ opens at the United Nations in New York.
Sri Chinmoy creating new Jharna-Kala artworks at Aspiration-Ground in New York.
at the Indian Consulate in New York
Video by kedarvideo
Sri Chinmoy’s Peace Concert at the Indian Consulate in New York is also the scene for an exhibition of his Jharna Kala paintings.
Sri Chinmoy holds a print of one of his artworks at a display for the Jharna-Kala Card Co. at the annual National Stationery Show, held at the Jacob Javits Center in Manhattan, New York.
Sri Chinmoy’s paintings are displayed at the ‘Lifting Up the World with a Oneness-Heart’ programme held at the Methodist Central Hall in Westminster, London.
Sri Chinmoy creates Jharna-Kala paintings at Public School 86 in Jamaica, Queens, New York.
Sri Chinmoy views a small exhibition of his Soul-Bird drawings with United Nations Under-Secretary-General Shashi Tharoor at New York’s Millennium Hotel.
An exhibition of Sri Chinmoy’s Jharna-Kala paintings opens at the Museum of Russian Contemporary History in Moscow, Russia.
At the Father’s Day celebration, Sri Chinmoy signs Jharna-Kala prints fro his disciples at Aspiration-Ground in New York.
Sri Chinmoy meditates at the Great Buddha Temple, Daibutsu, Kōtoku-in in Kamakura, Japan, where he offers a Peace Concert and a Jharna-Kala exhibit.
President Mikhail Gorbachev and his daughter Irina Virganskaya admire Sri Chinmoy’s Jharna-Kala artworks on their visit to the ‘Pilgrim-Museum’ at Aspiration-Ground in Jamaica, New York.
“Long live Ranjana, my curator. All my artwork is her contribution. Many, many years ago in a tiny hotel room in Ottawa, Canada, I started my artwork, with her encouragement. Many times she used to come to my place in the morning when I would draw. Some boys made me a machine. I would put my paintings on the belt, and the machine would take them to the other side. Then Ranjana would come and collect all the paintings.
What encouragement can do! In my art-life, Ranjana is the proof. In many important places we have shown my artwork, and I am extremely, extremely grateful to all those who have helped me.” — Sri Chinmoy (Aspiration-Ground in Jamaica, New York, 13 April 2007)
Published in Sri Chinmoy, God-Made, God-Moulded, God-Shaped