The Taboo of Sikh Art

It seems like that in the old days of India many people were into art, architecture and other creative skills. For whatever reason less and less people seem to be interested in the arts. I remember when I was in second class/grade the teacher asking all the kids: "What is your father", and the kids would pretty much have one of a two answers; "My father is a business man", or "My father is a doctor". Gone are the days of the fine artisans and craftsman. Everyone in their goal for survival, success or wealth have tried to follow some business path that they thought would bring the most money. I’m sure the modernization and globalization played a part in all this, but I don’t think that is the whole picture.

I can only speculate on the reasons for these changes, however there are certain things that I think have discouraged art within the Sikh community. Within many circles of Sikhs any portrayal of the Sikh Gurus in art has been frowned upon. I suspect that this happened as a result of Hindu influences and some people "worshiping" pictures as if they were the Gurus. This same logic of not portraying the Sikh Gurus in art also discourages any visual storytelling of Sikh history. All of the recent animations/cartoon/videos have all avoided showing any of the Gurus. Imagine watching a whole movie about Guru Gobind Singh and never seeing him in it!? I agree that there are issues in how to respectfully and accurately portray the Gurus but that shouldn’t be a reason to not try. I think there can be a balance that can work. One has to look at the positive and potential negative things, and look at the overall picture. I don’t think there is ever a perfect situation, but I think doing nothing or just avoiding the issue can potentially be more of a dis-benefit to Sikhs.

Art is an way of expression and can be very beautiful and inspiring. We should encourage it and support those who are artistic. Art can come in many different forms (not just paintings/pictures). In the times of the Guru’s there were many talented artisans. These days they seem scarce, or at least use that creative energy in other ways.

In spite of all this I think things are changing (slowly). With the new generation of Sikhs and becoming more sophisticated, people seem to be more open to things like art and how they interact with it. I am seeing more people creating beautiful and inspiring art work. The past few years I have seen more Sikh related media in the form of movies, cartoons and animations. I think this is a very positive start.

I really wish that more people who are artistic would share that creativity in some Sikh related area that will help inspire and educate our youth. The youth of today are used to very visual media, and if we as community only have poorly written story books with a couple of pictures, they will likely miss our whole history. It’s no wonder our kids would rather be spider-man than a warrior/saint of the Gurus. We need a revolution of art, well written visual story books, audio stories, cartoons, movies, etc. We need media that is current with the world of today. We need to move away from a fear based mentality which just looks at negatives, and look at what the potential positive things that we could do.

Just because something has the potential to be disrespected/mis-interpreted/etc doesn’t mean that it should be avoided. Everything in life has this potential to go either way! Life is a balancing act in itself! Extremes in either direction can be bad.

Years ago I started the www.SikhPhotos.com gallery to share my photography with the world, and also to help showcase Sikh Artists. Over the years I have discovered more Sikh artists, but the numbers are still so small. We will see what the future holds in this creative area, which has such potential to visually tell many stories for our future generations. As technology expands, the ways to tell these stories will also evolve, and we as Sikhs need to evolve with it.

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38 Responses to “The Taboo of Sikh Art”

  1. hargobind says:

    well stated.so true.

  2. Manjit Singh says:

    I may be wrong, but I think people may be afraid of wrong portrayl or dialogue associated with Guru Sahib telling stories. But I would thnk as long as the message is good and right and doesn’t digress from Sikhi, most sangat would appreciate it, especially the parents with little kids who are having hard time teaching them about Sikhi (in Punjabi, Hindi or English or other language where Sikhs reside and speak). I have seen some cartoons with Jesus, Buddha and Krishna etc. but was not personally impressed. But the actual judges of this should be children not adults. If a movie about Guru Sahib gets kid’s attention, teaches them about what karm, dharm, seva, simran is and good examples of them. It will probably be very good.

  3. Pushpinder says:

    Your site is very good. The best part is that you are showing and apreciating no born sikhs abroad(Outside India).
    Keep it up
    Thanks

  4. Harpreet Kitaure says:

    Hi,

    I was very touched with yesterday’s article about seeing things from an artistic point of view and I do have to say that the portraits of the ‘Guru’s’ were very beautiful and touching.

    So once again thankyou!

    Regards

    Harpreet

  5. Sukhdev Kaur says:

    I agree with you completely. Art is currently so abstract, so detached from belief that artists generally do not focus on portraying historical moments and persons. Art is so to speak, looking forward, to the future.

    Your post has made me think that I might try to paint based on my experiences during meditations and Prem.

    Thanks for the good thoughts

    Sat Nam!

  6. medhavini says:

    Is this possibly due to the influence of Islam on the culture at that time? Hinduism freely depicts heroes and heroines, gods and goddesses without much restraint, whereas in Islam it is considered a sin to have graven images of a person or deity.

  7. Ravinder Singh says:

    I for one loved drawing and the artistic side when i was young, my parents encouraged me a little by asking me to draw pictures of the Guru’s.

    Honestly there is nothing wrong with it, art is also a form of expressing love, as is writing. When you draw on a piece of paper or sweep the brush across a sheet of canvas you really feel free and you really feel your heart open up as that is where i found i felt the passion in art.

    I really didn’t understand until i was older that some people thought the artistic side was not allowed but i heard and read that under Maharaja Ranjit Singh art was supported. What beautiful days they must have been.. the different shade of colours and pastels available would have been beautiful.

    I would love to have been an artist and i see lots of young kids that love arts and drawings, we should support them, as through the sweep of a brush i felt all the love in the world and hopefully the new generation of brothers and sisters will one day take Sikh art to the next level. I will support them whole heartedly.

    To me art is more about love than about worshipping the picture. And seeing an animation is much more interesting than reading a book, the world is visual these days and we need to open up just a little..

    PS – I really like the pictures on your website Gurumustuk.

  8. Medhavini: My reference to Hinduism in this article was related to Idol worship. It is common in India for people to do puja, or worship towards pictures or idols of the Hindu Gods. This has influenced many un-educated Sikhs to have similar practices, which the Sikh Gurus were against (Idol worship specifically).

  9. Dear Beautiful Gurumustuk, thank you for sharing your wonderful thoughts about “art” among Sikhs. Art is the most profound medium to create change and powerfully communicates messages to people. Of course the spoken word and the written word can powerfully represent vibratory creation, and words are their own form of art. But art in the form of music, poetry, painting, electronic media, sculpture, and architecture, etc. provide a depth of vibratory creative projection that communicates to the soul, often in ways that other forms of communication may not. I applaud strongly your words of hope for the artists in our midst to share the depth of beauty in their souls. Sculpture, in particular, has been strongly tabooed by many Sikhs. In fact, there is wonderful sculpture of the Gurus that we have not put on display because of these taboos. I hope these taboos end soon! Can you imagine a bigger than life sculpture of Guru Gobind Singh with children around him on the front lawn of the ashram? Love, Gurumeet

  10. roopinder says:

    shabad is the guru and awareness your chela, shabad is the guru of whom you are the chela , the guru is the word, not the human body ?

  11. dalbir singh says:

    omg i have to say now u gone have ppl bowing to sculptures then u gone have the sculptures inside of the gurudwara and start praying to like they pray to sculptures of jesus
    then u gone have ppl in movies acting as guru
    i am so against this
    god
    i know u can paintings that is ok
    but there should be a limit to it
    the tabooos are there for a reason and i think they should be kept there
    they werent fools who had them in the first place
    these outside influences are just too much

  12. Kiran says:

    I reakon that Art is all about personal expression as long as people know the difference between art appreciation and art worship then it should be ok to look at art and to have it in the home.

    The people who tend to have issues just really need to get a little bit educated and take their head out of the clouds and be open to new experiances…ebacuse if your not open then your closed and you’ll never be able to learn new things…

    Lots of pyar

    Kiran

    p.s its a nice day in London this afternoon, its cold but the sun’s shining brightly.

  13. Jaspreet says:

    I personally don’t have any issues with paintings of the Gurus, I always have one around even in my car, but the problem is the human psyche which pushes you to accepting the painting as something worth worshipping, and neglecting the “Bani Guru” aspect.

    For me as a kid to lets say a couple of years back (almost 20 years), it was the paintings that were the Guru for I had grown up seeing these paintings, never knowing the real message of Sikhi, till I started reading about religion and reciting Gurbani, I learnt about the Jot aspect which now resides in SGGS Ji.

    Visually art can be extremely appealing to teach the children about how adopting the Bana could make them look so beautiful as some most paintings portray the Gurus, but this has to be balanced by teaching children from a young age about the philosophy of ‘Shabad Guru’, otherwise idol worship is bound to take place

  14. Gurdeep Singh says:

    Waheguruji Ka khalsa, Waheguruji Ki Fateh

    My greatest concern would be losing control of what the media does. Cartoon, paintings, animations are a good way to spread education about Sikhism but I hope it never gets to the point where there is a live movie of one of the gurus. I feel that acting like the Gurus isn't right.

    • Gurusansar Singh says:

      Sat Sri Akaal brother,
      Acting like the Gurus isn't right? So how are we supposed to act then?
      The importance of how we express ourselves is paramount in Guru's message, since the Guru IS the Word. We must try our best to emulate the Guru's actions, otherwise what's the point?
      You see the paradox? Nobody is worthy of respectfully and devotionally acting the character of Guru in a movie, so what are we worthy of? Are we worthy at all?
      Guru manifested in not 1 but 10 human bodies to bring back dignity to us, to remind us that Guru dwells within us all. And afterwards His consciousness was extended to the Khalsa and His Holy Word preserved in SGGS Ji for us to bring to existance over and over again through reciting His Bani…
      Just something to meditate on…
      May Guru bless us all…

  15. roopinder says:

    the sikhs have to understand gurmat and then they will see that they don’t need photos or paintings, since the guru is the word and not the human body in which the word was contained, this is gurmat, the guru is Guru Granth Sahib and not the paintings of the Gurus, nobody living today knows what the gurus looked like so why have paintings of them ?

  16. Roopinder, I think you are missing part of the picture that I am trying to portray. It is not that one needs a painting or picture of the Gurus. It is just that by not having visual means to tell the stories and educate people (especially youth) about the Sikhs it can be very difficult to share our history. I’m not saying we should have statues everywhere…. I am saying that we should use the media of the times to create cartoons, books, videos, animation, etc. to tell the stories and inspire the Sikh Youth.

    For me a picture also can be a mental reminder of living as the Gurus taught. I don’t worship the picture or think of it as the Guru…but it is a visual reminder to me. I think this is great.

  17. Suki Singh says:

    I really like having spiritual art around the house in any form, it makes me think about the lord and his message. I agree that art work of the guru’s can be misinterpreted by people who take it at face value however, the first question my children asked me about our pictures was did the guru’s really look like this – a great start to explaining why and what they signify.

    WHJKK WGJKF

  18. roopinder says:

    by living life according to gurmat that is the best way to lead and set an expalain to kids and others and ourselves

    in india their was a Sant and one of his followers said to him ” let’s buy a printing press and let’s spread the word of the GURU” the sant said ” that the best way to spread the word of the GURU was to live a life according to GURMAT,

    people have already started to bow in front of GURU’s photos and the day will come when in Gurdwara there will be no Guru Granth Sahib but only photos

    but each their own what ever makes one happy that is the ulimate criterion

  19. Prabhu Singh says:

    I feel like if I learned how to paint the first thing I would wish to paint is the Guru or GurSikhs. Other than a few Sikh subjects and nature subjects I couldn’t imagine myself having much inspiration to participate in art. Good art is based on inspiration and if somebody’s inspired to paint the Guru, that’s great!
    I definitely think however that we should never have an actor playing the Guru. That’s a little too far. I’d be okay with animation.

  20. A Singh says:

    The problem with a picture is its limits. It reflect more the ideas of the artist than of the subject (hence it contains bias and prejudice with obvious distortions). It is an imperfect medium that limits the subject whether it is meant to or not.

    The beauty of shabd gurbani is it leaves to the mind what a paintbrush never can accomplish.

  21. H Singh says:

    Vaheguru ji ka Khalsa Vaheguru ji ki Fateh,

    Our Sahiban identified and utilised the highest art form to create the most divine worship – shabad kirtan.

    Not only this, they intergrated that art – music, in it’s highest spiritual form so that we would be blessed for generations in listening to our Guru’s words and feeling what they felt and knowing the tone in which they spoke them, this is why we have the authorised raag before each shabad in Maharaj.

    Alongside this, other art forms created, promoted, utilised by our Guru Sahiban were Shastar Vidya, in a hugely advanced way (see Shastar naam mala), poetry, calligraphy, language… all things which beautified and promoted shabad, and preserved it.

    Painting is a comparatively lower art from, which is the cause for many problems and misrepresentations in the world, the classic example is the 1920’s painting of Bibi Nanaki tying a rakhri on Guru Ji, this lead to the whole populace accepting rakhri as a Sikh ritual, where it is not gurmat.

    Our Guru’s were divine, their treasure and beauty survives in our mind and soul through jagdi jyot Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji, any painting will only ever be a completely incorrect (historically, as most pictures have incorrect dress and colours etc) and will never ever justify the beauty of our Guru’s.

    Their beauty was their jyot. The reason Guru Gobind Singh Ji created the Khalsa was so that we could always see his roop, his roop survives in the Akali Nihangs, why would we need an unresearched, inaccurate, misrepresnting painting?

    To finish, I have yet to see any “real” painting surviving from our Guru’s times, there aren’t any, painting slowly started appearing during the Sikh Raj.

    Respect the sanctity and memory of our Master through the word ,the shabad is the Guru for a reason. Paintings are an illness in our society, people with no knowledge of our Guru’s can easily mislead the uneducated Sikh world with one wrong painting….

    God Bless You.

  22. Balvir says:

    Almost everyone who replied to Gurumustuk Singh is missing the point he/she is trying to make.

    Question: why people think that putting a picture on the wall or having sculpture at the Gurdwara entrance =worship of picture/sculpture.

    I think that people who oppose picture/sculpture/movie are week in their belief. To be honest lot of Sikhs already worship pictures of gurus, I always see lot of older ladies bowing to the pictures.

    We need to educate people that Sikh religion is against moorti pooza and phase the problem rather than trying to avoid it by not allowing picture/sculpture/movie making. Granth Sahib is what we believe in (Period).

    Our Gurus told us to treat them as normal individuals and that’s what we should do. We should respect them from bottom of our hearts and teach others about our 10 Gurus. About their greatness/courage/calmness/honesty/power to make change/openness/free thinking/creativity…. and so much more values they hold.

    Regarding movie making (someone playing role of Guru) why is this bad. Christians made movie on Christ and someone played role of Christ. I watched this movie and in no way this movie impacted respect to Christ. Those who watch this movie probably have better understanding of Christ and more respect for him.

    I am open for feedback on my comments above. More looking for disagreements because that will teach be more than someone who agree.

    YES – I am proud to be born in Sikh family. I am not amritdhari and may never be one. But I believe in the infinite value of Guru Granth Sahib and infinite respect for Sikh Gurus and others who scarified their life for the right cause.

  23. N Kaur says:

    For me, I wouldn’t want to see an actor playing the role of a guru. The guru is amazing beyond words, and I feel that no actor can ever bring that to a movie. Therefore I will be only dissappointed if this happens. I have watched punjabi movies on the Sikh gurus. Guru Ji doesn’t appear, but the presence is still felt and the impact is not lost.

    I do agree however that art is a great way of educating people. Most people don’t discuss Sikh hisoty. They don’t read or venture to find answers to questions. Therefore when someone sees a picture, they might recieve inspiration to learn more on the gurus. When an uneducated or nonsikh person waqlks by a picture, for ex. a picture of the two small sahibzadai, then at least they will recieve some education or a reminder of our history.

    On the isssue of misinterpretaion, anything can be misinterpretated by anyone. Ignorant people will always exist. Even during the gurus time, there was always oppostiion. There will always be misterpretation and inaccurate information even if we lock up all the visual representations. Some books on Sikh history in India are printing wrong information, or some books provide wrong translations to bani.Eliminating art is not going ot solve the problem. Art is a form of communication. The artist is communicating the way he feels about the guru. A quick glance might give inspiration and education.

  24. Anytime you create music or art you will immerse yourself for hours and hours and days and even weeks and months contemplating your subject.

    I know from my own experience of creating collages that they are my prayer that I meditate on the entire time I am in the process of creating them. When I sing and create tuens for Gurbani it is the same lengthy process. Hours days months spent meditating on the Gurbani, its meaning and my experience.
    So, artistic creativity is a prayer and a devotion. There is no limitation in Sikhee for art. However, you should note that art and music is forbidden in Islam. So take any critisism of Sikh Art with a grain of salt and a fine line of reactivity.

  25. Joban says:

    at the onset i would like to congratulate the author for touching a subject of great sensitivity with great sensibility. the comments too were well expressed thoughts of people. my personal feeling is that Sikhism forbids us from bowing infront of photos , forbids us from treating photos as Gurus but as we enter this modern world, the worlds most modern religion should not hold back from telling the world who we are, how were we born, what and who we follow, how we live etc. and the best means to do this is through media. no living soul can replace any Guru we have, but in a picture or movie or animation we are just using a representation. I think this should be done.

  26. H Singh says:

    Most of the faiths of the world have already gone down this spiral. Zarathustra, Budda, Moses and Jesus Christ are amongst holy personalities who openly condemed idols and their worship, yet in a sad twist, these faiths have contradicted their teachers and all idol worship in one form or another. I am sure the creation of the first idols was as has been commented above, a moment if inspiration and reflection, but unfortunately one that did not hold any respect for their teachers sentiments, and one that did not also consider the nation altering affect of their short artistic moment.

    My point stands, our Guru’s were artists of the highest calibre and drew on art forms that would bring us closer to God’s nirgun (formless) side, rather than become facinated with the earlthy form of his divine servants.

    It is Gods attributes that we should celebrate and hold dear, not the physical attributes of our Guru’s.

    Who says art is banned in Islam, poetry, artichture, music, martial art, dancing and even paintings exist in the highest forms, which are hard to match by any nation. It is our limited thining that brands Islam as one nation, there are many facets to Islam, look at the Sufi and Shia orders and their variants to discover the artistic Islam. In addition, most art in India over the last 500 years is Islamic in origin, most of the 1st paintings of our Guru’s are most likely by Muslim artits during Ranjit Singhs reign, as they are all of the Mughal style of painting.

    But one thing I do respect about Islam as a whole, they will not depict their Prophet artistically, this is called being responsible, compassionate and forward thinking, not narrow minded.

    Because of this stance, the Koran has always remained the source of education, and hanging on the walls of many Muslim houses is something more beautiful than any painting could depict, the beautifully written words of the holy Koran.

    Would it not be more inspirational and educational to frame and put a beautifully inscribed shabad on our walls, rather than completely inaccurately depicted paintings of our Guru’s?

    No one says we can’t have painting, have paintings of all aspects of our history outside of our Guru’s, for that is truely great and immense as well.

    It is very egotistical to say and think that there will always be ignorent, uneducated people in the world, so what, let’s do what we feel is right.

    Our actions have reactions, and that is the reason our Guru’s never allowed a painting of themselves to be made, even thought all other royal courts of the time were creating many paintings.

    We should be creative and artistic, even in painting, but we should hold somethings sacred, and respect and understand our Guru’s wishes, they had forsight, we don’t.

    The comment on Jesus Christs portrayels on Film, art etc also have a hurtful side, have you not seen Monty Pythons Holy grail or the Jerry Springer play?

    Budda has become a fat, laughing man, Jesus someone always in worry or pain, Guru Nanak Dev Ji and Indian version of Santa Claus, thanks to people’s right to express.

    None of these widely accepted and replicated depictions could be further from the truth.

    Guru Nanak Dev Ji travelled over 12,000 miles, though desert, mountain, extreme heat, extreme cold, jungle, rainforest, through rivers etc etc. When they were at home they kept busy working the land, which in those days was done by hand, not tractors.

    How on earth could Guru Nanak Dev Ji have a “cuddly” soft handed man as all people depict them?

    They would have been extremely rugged, strong and of great stature in their physique.

    Guru Gobind Singh Ji is shown in all varieties of fashion in terms of clothing, jewellery, turban, colours etc.

    When it is historical fact that our Guru Ji was a warrior during the turbulent times of creating the Khalsa, the colour dark blue was needed, so when fighting in war and wounded, the enemy could not see blood on your clothes, as red looks like sweat on dark blue clothing, it was stategical thinking, the Khalsa was an army, armies have military uniforms.

    During a time of war, why would Guru be dressed in many fine silks and pearls?

    There are numerous hukumnamas showing Guru Ji ordering his Sikhs to wear 5 shaster, as they themselves would have worn (at the least), where is the picture of Guru Ji with all his shastar, instead of 2 small decorative chakkers on their small turban, rather than a proper Dhumalla tall dhummala with numerous chakkers and pharla on the top. Shastar Naam Mala shows Guru Ji’s high understanding of hundreds of weapons and their use, to a level where they could describe Gods attributes through them.

    These are just 2 small examples to show that painting of Guru Ji’s are in no way educational. Stories are educational, reading them, telling them is educational, our children learn to see our Guru’s as divine personalities through hearing og them, rather than thinking of them as either God or mythological characters through painting.

    Ultimately it will always come down to this, if painting of Guru Sahiban was allowed, then sureley the greatest artist of all time, Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji would have created a painting of Guru Nanak Dev Ji?

  27. Gurjeet Singh says:

    Sat Sri Akaal to the Guru’s Beloved Sangat….

    as far as i think portraying an image of Guru should much more come from the parents and the teachers of the youth. we all contain the baana and bani of our Guru and what we think today walks and talks tomorrow.

    imaging the appearance of Guru is not wrong but it should mean much more than we already think about it. I think communalism have much to play its part on this issue and i may not be correct…

    animated characters are what the kids like very much, but i hope kids dont think of their Guru as an animated character as they grow up… i hope you guys understand what im tryin to say. and as far as movies to this aspect is concernaed i think, the person to play the role of the Guru and other characters should really understand what it is supposed to be in that very situation… this wont come easily…

    i think no movies nor animated characters are required for todays youth. parents and teachers are the only one to really understand their responsibility and teach their childern about Sikhi.

    With this i conclude Parents and Teachers are the true artists for their childern to make them even better artists for tomorrow.

    bhul chuk maaf
    Guru Fateh !!!

  28. jagjit says:

    I agree 100% with H SIngh. He had said whateva I have in my mind.

    If you really want to promote Sikh Art then go to Punjab and paint our beautiful Gurudwara or any other subject for that matter. There is no need to draw the pictures of our Gurus.

    If you want to show them in cartoons, i think that is ok. But drawing the pictures to hang it on the walls and make them into stickers to stick it everywhere is not the way…

    Guruji has given us his Baani, lets work on the baani and forget about making pictures to show how he looks.

    The pictures to put above are just so pathetic, everyone since to have an idea how our Gurus look. Imagine 100years down the road, how would our Gurus look like? Bald with a big stomach or something else..

    Jagjit

  29. Gautam Gohil says:

    Hinduism preaches two forms of worship viz. Saguna – the worship of the form (idols) and Nirguna – worship of the formless.

    Both of variants of worships are acceptable. In fact, Saguna worship is widely preferred in Hinduism as Nirguna worship involves a compulsory non-egoistic approach. This variant or form of worship does lessen egos over a period of time and it finally it steers clear off idols pictures etc. Commoners (samaanya jan) possess egos in smaller or bigger quantities hence, the Nirguna path is followed by ascetics (ones who leave materialist world at very young age).

    Sadly, Hindus world over are ridiculed for thier Saguna worship and back in time were prosecuted inhumanly by Nirguna followers (everybody knows them) just because they themselves followed the solitory variant of Nirguna worship.

    The bottomline is both variants equally potent and have the power achieving the ‘Paramtma’. Of course religions which are based around Nirguna worship are free practise their religious beliefs.

  30. Ish Kaur says:

    I completely understand what H Singh said.  However, Guru Gobind Singh has always been my hero. At School, everyone spoke of movie stars and had pictures of them in their books. In my mind none of the movie stars were worth the reverance.  I kept a painting of Guru Gobind Singh in my book.  The painting, however inaccurate was a symbolic presence that I felt deep down in my heart. Was it wrong? the topic can be debated one way or the other.  The impact, it had on my formative years was very deep and strong.  It was a constant reminder to me that, my Guru wanted me to keep my hair, it was his gift to me. I never felt like cutting my hair. When, I had to choose a life partner, then again it had to be someone who my Guru Gobind Singh would approve of….a  Pooran Sikh…..  Without any doubt in my mind, I had the conviction and courage from the bani but his little painting in my book, the little image in my head was the constant reminder. 

  31. IQBAL SANDHU says:

    WAHE GURU JI KA KHALSA WAHE GURU JI KI FATHE.

  32. Saini Kaur says:

    Sat Sri Akal ji saryean nu Vahe Guru ji ka khalsa Vhe Guru ji ki Fathe, ok ji mennu koi gall nai uandi es karke Rabb Rakkha ji saryean nu

  33. Basant Khalsa says:

    The points you have mentioned are very true but the counter arguement is also understood. I think one of the reasons portrayals of the gurus are not accepted is because guru sahib and requested that people do that fall into the ritual of worshipping portraits. I do like the artists view of how guru sahib may have looked but I think movies are pushing it because you are using a human to represent the guru and that to many is not acceptable, even if the movie is animated.

  34. Just stumbled across this post today and I'm amazed at the amount of discussion on the visual representation of art. First, Visual Arts are only one of the forms of art and all our Gurus were "artists" as they wrote some of the most profound poetry known to man. Second, they actively promoted Art, Guru Nanak Devji with Mardana Rababi(musician) and Guru Gobind Singhji who was an accomplished poet and calligrapher.

    For me, art is expression of one’s deepest emotions that comes from the inner being. It is there to convey a message but there is no obsession on how the art form will be viewed and interpreted. Sometimes when I write poetry, I reach a trance like state where the mind is completely quiet and I rarely think about the reader or how they will interpret it. It may mean something to me, but others may view it in a completely different way.

    It is important to look at art as an expression. Imagine standing in front of a beautiful garden. Some people will see the chirping birds, others the beautiful flowers and yet others might get weirded out by all the insects around. For the creator, it is but a canvas to express their bliss and love. For the viewer it may mean many things and the onus is on to them to find the truth from the creator's perspective, not the other way around.

  35. Sikh Kara says:

    Vert nice paintings Satnam Waheguru ji

  36. Preeti Kaur says:

    this is an extremely positive thought *thumbs up* :) and I fully support you!!