I was flipping through some posts on the facebook page of my oft-mentioned-on-this-blog Buddhist friend, the other day. He is a painter, and I was looking at some of his artwork when I came across a piece that caught my eye. It was Ganesha, the Remover of Obstacles.
After offering the appropriate obeisances in comments to the post, I asked my friend how much he was going to sell it for? He told me it was not for sale because he was giving it to me. I didn’t know what to say, and even now I cannot describe my delight. But I did thank my friend and accepted the gift. It now holds a prominent place at my home shrine/mandir. Above all. Though I maintain that the removal of obstacles and sustenance are one and the same function of Divinity, so Ganesha’s placement in relation to that of Vishnu at my shrine is not important.
The new addition has added a feeling of warmth, a personal touch of friendship to my meditation space, to remind me of the ever-present, the eternal friend. My friend told me he kept me and my wife in his heart every moment he spent painting the Ganapati image. There is a lot of himself in the work. He sometimes invites others to leave a bit of themselves in his work by asking them to give him a quote, which he incorporates into the work.
The artist is known as the Full Metal Monk. He is known to do complicated works made up of countless parts, multi-layered even, which creates a stunning effect. Check out his work which is for sale and for admiration at https://www.facebook.com/boocifer2000.
He is fond of doing civic beautification/art projects in our town for which he works outdoors. He likes to be outdoors because then people will come by and ask him questions, and then he has the opportunity to share dharma. He is not going to proselytize but he knows as well as anyone that people have questions. People yearn for something. So they ask. I’ve learned a lot of dharma from him.