From My Father's Copy of The Gita

I like using materials around my home to create my collages. Many of the collages reflect how I feel or what I have learned from society and my environment.

“One song in many tongues” is a mixed media work created with oils and collaged with copies of pages from the Hindu holy text called the Gita. This artwork was exhibited at the Interfaith Art exhibit in Oakland in 2013. 

I found a copy of a version of the Gita in my father’s book collection after he passed away.  I have never read the Gita as it is written in Sanskrit, a language I do not understand. The first chapter is titled "One song in many tongues."  The first few pages have a simple verse XVIII-66 from the Gita that is translated from Sanskrit into  many Indian and European languages : "Abandoning all Dharmas of the body, mind, and intellect, take refuge in me alone; I will liberate thee from all sins: grieve not."

In Hinduism, dharma signifies behaviors that are considered to be in accord with truth or order. The translation into so many languages is an invitation to all to explore what the Gita has to offer the world.  Are these ancient writings relevant today and are there lessons to learn?

Gandhi's introduction to this ancient holy text is also visible in the collage. According to him : "The door is wide open to anyone who knocks. This universal mother rejects no one and discriminates against no one." Gandhi lived by this message and derived many of his values and strength from it.  My father's signature is visible too. He had a habit of signing every book he owned. He probably found inspirations from this book. He welcomed every God and every person who followed a different God into his life. He was a devout Hindu, but he also worshipped in a mosque and a church.