Prestigious Australian art gallery to open with chanting of “Gayatri Mantra” & “Hari-Om”

The renowned Art Gallery of New South Wales (AGNSW) in Australia will reportedly open with 21 repetitions of sacred “Gayatri Mantra” followed by “hari aum” on three Fridays and Saturdays in January.

Before the Gallery is open to the public, atmosphere of temple worship in India will be recreated through music and chant on Fridays and Saturdays from January eight to 23. Musical instruments associated with meditation – including the harmonium, tanpura, conch shell, prayer bowl, Indian bell (ghanta) and harp – will begin the session with the performance of a prayer to the universal mother energy, reports add.

Gallery is currently hosting an exhibition till January 26 called “Garden and cosmos: the royal paintings of Jodhpur”, which includes many Hinduism subjects, like Illustration from Ramcharitmanas. The Gallery will hold a “rangoli demonstration” on January 23 and 24, creating Indian rangoli floor painting using traditional patterns and symbols from colored rice powder.

Hindus have commended AGNSW for efforts to educate the world about Hinduism through various art forms. Acclaimed Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, said that art had a long and rich tradition in Hinduism and ancient Sanskrit literature talked about religious paintings of deities on wood or cloth. It was an admirable attempt of AGNSW to provide avenues to the public to look deeper into concepts of Hinduism, which was the oldest and third largest religion of the world rich in philosophical thought, Zed, who is president of Universal Society of Hinduism, pointed out.

Collections of this eminent Gallery include many paintings, sculptures, drawings, watercolors, prints, etc., depicting deities, concepts, legends, and topics of Hinduism, including Shiva-Parvati, Krishna-Radha, Circular dance of Krishna and the gopis, Dancing Ganesh with the Mahvidyas, Religious mendicant, Krishna’s brother Balaram, Ardhnarishvara, Figure of Shani (from around 10th century), Vishnu and his avatars, Gandharva, Durga Mahishasuramardini, Surya the sun god, Krishna as the divine cowherd, Krishna serenading Radha, 24 manifestations of Vishnu, Rama and Sita enthroned in Ayodhya, Lotus-clad Radha and Krishna, etc.

Meanwhile, Rajan Zed urged major art museums of the world, including Musee du Louvre and Musee d’Orsay of Paris, Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, Los Angeles Getty Center, Uffizi Gallery of Florence (Italy), Art Institute of Chicago, Tate Modern of London, Prado Museum of Madrid, National Gallery of Art in Washington DC, etc., to frequently organize Hindu art focused exhibitions, thus sharing the rich Hindu art heritage with the rest of the world.

The AGNSW in Sydney, whose history goes back to 1871, is one of Australia’s foremost cultural institutions, whose vision is “to inspire, interest and provide enjoyment”. It holds a collection of about 29, 000 works of Australian, European and Asian art, and presents nearly forty exhibitions annually. Edmund Capon is the Director and Steven Lowy is the President of the Trustees.

Hinduism has about one billion adherents and moksha (liberation) is its ultimate goal. “Gayatri Mantra” is the most sacred verse from Rig-Veda; the oldest scripture (Hindu) of the world still in common use, dated from around 1,500 BCE. Om (aum) is the mystical syllable containing the universe, which in Hinduism is used to introduce and conclude religious work.

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