16. Monks.jpg

Soft brow bent in riveted thought

Unswerving...One...with the sacred arts!

Onward on the path of syllables six

On aught 'Om Mani Padme Hum' sits

Dwelling of the pure body mind and word

Where all things frivolous turn to naught!

by Sudha Madhavan

The Monks at study
Oil on Canvas
60” x 40” (5 feet x 3.3 feet)
Conceptualised in the Haa Valley, Western Bhutan

Price on request

What inspired me

This was another beautiful experience that will stay imprinted in my memory for years to come! On hearing of the ancient Katsho Gompa situated above the Haa Valley, we drive almost vertically up the hillsides for about 2km. As we get down and walk towards the ancient dilapidated Gompa, we hear a murmur of scriptures being recited. We remove our footwear and enter to find the endearing sight of young cherubic Lamas committing Buddhist scriptures to memory. The ancient stone structure has a deeply calming air and the cadence of the recitation casts a mesmerising effect. Not wanting to intrude we wait at the entrance.

At a break in the learning a child lama gets up to lead us up the wooden staircase to the sanctum sanctorum. We follow obediently. The child stands by as we offer our prayers. Then he offers us the holy water, ‘teertha’. Not a word is spoken. In those precious moments, the world outside loses its meaning...

This painting captures the little Lamas absorbed in their recitation.

The folds of the cloak were a test for me and the manner in which the adjacent Lama’s facial features are blurred by the light from the entrance makes for an interesting study.

The posture of the young lama absorbed in his learning reminded me of my own salad days.

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