Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Gunungan : Some Similarities With Ancient Indian Philosophy

Yesterday,I was not able to upload a photograph, here is it. When i first looked at the this in the form of a photograph, it appeared very known to me.  The person i was talking to, became impressed when i told that the picture is about churning of the ocean of milk (Samudra Manthan in Hindi). 
Let me tell you a little more about Gunungan. When i inquired and explored about it, i found this is one of the important character in Wayang Theatre. The forest representation pattern is originated in India. Here the root of the tree symbolizes origin of life from water and its tip indicates salvation and immortality. The shape of the painting (like a mountain) symbolizes Mount Mandara (or Meru), and the four steps are to indicate stages of life - Brahmacharya,Grihastha,Vanprastha and Sanyas. This also talks about Dharma (responsibilies to one and all others),Artha (economic development of self, family and society),Kama (fulfillment of duties) and Moksha ( detachment from material thing for liberation). Here the initial step indicates birth and the last is way to ultimate peace and enlightenment. The picture of Tiger and a Bull facing each other may be is to symbolise constant struggle within self  - good versus bad , truth versus maya (delusion of the mind).... may be positives versus negatives too. Another interpretation could be this way also - to realise self (atman) the pride and ego should fight each other and die. This is getting interesting for me , Yo ! May be some other time i will write more about it.

Thank you for reading. Selamat Malam!