i swear i must have elephants on the brain! not only have i been sketching elephants. stitching elephants. painting elephants. but today, i went in for my appointment with my ink artist and got an elephant inked on my right forearm! hmmmm....are those nice young men in the clean white coats coming for me??
actually, oddly enough, i designed this ages ago...long before i began thinking about the elephant festivals! the elephant here is ganesh (a.k.a., ganesha) and is the hindu god of compassion and remover of obstacles. even though he is a hindu deity, devotion to him is broad, including amongst the janes, buddhists and beyond! being that the cornerstone of my faith is compassion, he has always been a favorite of mine along with avalokitesvara, kuan yin, and others.
the red lotus above his head is also very important. this symbolizes the original nature of the heart (hrdaya). it is the lotus of love, compassion, passion, activity and all the qualities of the heart. it is the lotus of avalokitesvara.
the sanskrit calligraphy that i added below ganesh is "sankalp" which means "ceremonious offer." in this case, referring to my own personal ceremonious offer of myself in service to others. together with the mani prayer in sanskrit on my other arm, makes for a strong personal statement of compassion and devotion to others.
this sits well with my spirit. i am pleased....
now to go play with kavi and see how many more flowers i can "paint" on him before heading home.