From 1974 until his passing in 2007, Sri Chinmoy created over 140,000 pieces of abstract mystical art, along with almost 16 million drawings of birds symbolising the freedom of the human soul.
How do you get ideas
For your paintings?
“I do not get any ideas
For my paintings.
I just get an inspiration-message
And then I begin to paint.”
– Sri Chinmoy
Sri Chinmoy painted in a spontaneous style he called Jharna-Kala, which means ‘fountain-art’ in his native Bengali.
Sri Chinmoy explains his intuitive approach to painting:
“I do not use the mind; I use the heart.”
“I try to make my heart a receptive instrument so that God, the Supreme Artist, can paint in and through me.
– Sri Chinmoy
From 1991 to 2007, Sri Chinmoy drew millions of birds which he referred to as Dream-Freedom-Birds, or Soul-Birds.
“For me, birds have a very special significance; they embody freedom…I feel that inside each of us there is an inner existence that we call the soul. The soul, like a bird, flies in the sky of God’s Infinity. When we think of birds flying in the sky, we are reminded of our own soul-bird flying in the sky of Infinity.”
– Sri Chinmoy
Sri Chinmoy’s artworks have been exhibited in over 20 countries around the world, in galleries such as the Caroussel du Louvre in Paris (right) and distinguished buildings such as the United Nations Secretariat in New York and the parliament buildings of the United States, Australia, New Zealand and the Ukraine.
See: partial list of Jharna Kala Art exhibitions
Sri Chinmoy was born in India in 1931. After spending 20 years in a spiritual community in South India, he moved to New York, US in 1964. Sri Chinmoy is a spiritual teacher, poet, musician, sportsman and artist. He began painting on November 19th, 1974 in Ottawa, Canada – his first picture a simple rose. Over the next 30 years, Sri Chinmoy produced a prolific array of abstract and spontaneous paintings and drawings, and his art has been displayed around the world.
Sri Chinmoy’s painting style quickly evolved into the abstract mystical works that constitute most of his creative output. The first year of his painting journey was marked by an enormous burst of creativity: over 100,000 paintings, including 16,031 paintings in one 24 hour stretch on 16 November, 1975.
Sri Chinmoy’s art was notable for its spontaneous, playful quality. As well as painting using traditional brushes, he would inform create brushes from cotton wool, as well as using sponges and even his own fingers.
Writings on Art
Sri Chinmoy frequently gave lectures on art or poetry readings at his exhibits, and the topics of Art and Beauty were among many themes in the lectures he gave in distinguished universities across the world over a 38-year timespan from 1969 to 2007.