Art and the Artist


by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi  

"Creation of Art
 is expression of life, 
 and that is why
 it is fulfilling to life.
 It is the expression
 of oneself.”

"The artist puts his heart and his mind into his creation, and this is enjoyable to life because it is its own expression.  Art is the extension of one's territory of influence, and as such, it is a step to evolution. Life thrives in evolution. Existence finds fulfillment in evolution.  So a piece of art is just a piece of the heart of the artist. It is the expression of life, the expression of love, the expression of happiness.

"The artist, while creating, stands as a creator, and that status of the creator, howsoever small, takes the vision to a very big creator of the entire cosmic life.  So an artist as creator (the Creator), as one who expresses himself, tells the whole story of creation: just as an artist expresses himself, tells the whole story of creation.  The Upanishads describe this aspect of the Creator in a very beautiful expression.  They say, 'Having created, he enters into creation.' The expression of a piece of art is the expression of the life of the artist. Just this phenomenon is described in terms of the Creator entering his creation, and when the Creator enters his creation, the creation becomes lively.

"When the artist expresses himself in a piece of art, which is an automatic phenomenon, spontaneously the creation contains its Creator.  This phenomenon of the piece of art containing the expression of the heart and mind of the artist—this itself is promotion of life. The artist promotes life on a lifeless piece of paper or stone.  How lifeless a stone is!  But an artist, a sculptor, puts life into it.  He promotes life into the lifeless, and this is the greatest display of the characteristic of life. The artist is instrumental in the greatest display of life: the display of life through the lifeless. This is the territory of an artist.  By incorporating the lifeless into the value of his own life, he promotes life into that area. That is why an artist is held high above his fellow men.

"Another value of the artist is that while promoting life in the lifeless, he substantiates the lifeless on the high level of eternity.  Pieces of art speak of the evolution of that generation, of that century, of that nation. Art gives more longevity to the ever-changing, futile nature of the lifeless. It gives the lifeless, which is changing and insignificant, the status of longevity. The artist pushes the ever-changing structure of the lifeless piece on to the range of eternity, and he does this on the basis of how much of himself he is able to put into that, of how much life he is able to instill into the lifeless. This depends on how much of life the artist himself is living, how much he is living the unbounded eternity. If the artist is really living Being, Infinity, his piece of art will speak of maximum value of life. Most enlivened will be that piece of art, and as such, it will last longer in time. So the artist, just as he promotes life into the lifeless, promotes eternity into time. And this is possible on the basis of living fullness of life. How much the Self, eternal infinite Being speaks in the strokes of the artist, how much the artist vibrates in the value of infinity, how much the artist vibrates Bring into the value of Being—that much will the stroke vibrate into the value of life. So the initial and most vital need of an artist, which alone can make him vibrate in the fullness of life and the fullness of eternity, is living Being—maximum Being, fullness of Being. If fullness of Being could be a living reality in the life of an artist, every piece of his art would breathe life and eternity.

"The artist is a creator because he breathes the significance of a creator—and a creator breathes the impulse of the Creator. Because the artist sits or stands or moves and breathes in the impulse of the Creator, in the impulse of the creation, the laws of nature adore the life of an artist. Because the artist is pulsating in the value of the creator, civilizations and societies adore him. His heart breathes love, expresses it, and thereby enlivens a lifeless piece. Thus, the study of art must necessarily be the study of life accompanied by a technique that will enable the artist to live fullness of life. All aspects of life should be open to his awareness: the grossest relative aspect to the subtlest relative aspects to that eternity which lies beyond the subtlest relative, the Absolute.

"The entirety of life must be lived by the artist, and this should be the result of the study of art. An artist, as a creator, has to be conversant with every aspects of life, with every phase of existence, with every fabric that constitutes existence. Only then will he be able to put this fabric here and that fabric there, and make it all more colorful.  Then his art—his creation—will speak the story of life.  It is vital for the study of art, much more than for the study of any other field, that the artist spontaneously live the completeness of life.  Only then will his strokes spontaneously be the impulse of life.

"The artist has to be a man of fully developed heart and fully developed mind.  With full development of the heart, his life will blossom in fulfillment; and with full development of his mind, his life will be in harmony with everything around him. Such should be the quality of his art: the piece of art should speak of life, should blossom in life, should radiate life—and that life should be in harmony with everything in the environment.  Such should be the life of the artist: fulfilled in himself and in good harmony with the environment.  Only then will he create more complete pieces of art, where life will be lived and eternity will be pictured.

"The value of art is that it has its boundaries, and within those boundaries it is the full expression of life, yet it tells the story of the beyond. It speaks in silence; it speaks of the unboundedness of life—and this is the glory of it. It is true that a piece of art has its value in the vision of an artist or in the vision of the beholder—that is a different story. But so far as the creation of the artist is concerned, spontaneously the piece of art will speak of the fullness of life.  Moreover, that speech, that expression, will continue until eternity if the heart of the artist has been at the basis of the evolution of his piece of art.  Every stroke of the artist supplies a stroke of love, a tender feeling of love on that hard stone. The hardness of the stone melts into the fine impulses of love, and that the piece radiates.  Such a piece of art tells the story of life and keeps on telling the story of life to generations in the eternity of time.

"It is vital that those artists who stand to speak the achievement of their age for all times to come should be the pride of their generation. They should live such fullness of life that they radiate the quality of life, that fullness of life.  Then they will succeed in radiating that unboundedness within the boundaries of the art for all times to come.

"This is why it is called an art.  It is a small piece within the boundaries of a few inches or a few feet, but the life it radiates speaks of that completeness of life, that unboundedness of Being.  It straight-away appeals to every heart. A piece of art that is capable of whispering the songs of life in eternity can clearly whisper a message of love and happiness and "cheer-up" to every heart, to every mind, to every level of consciousness no matter what—dreaming or sleeping or waking or deep rest or depressed or whatever. A piece of art is just a wave of life, a wave of love, a wave of happiness, a wave of eternity.

"There is the story of individuality and the story of eternity at the same time in one glance—that is the glory of the artist.  To create such a piece of art, the artist must cry in the value of love; he must be able to put out his heart and put out his mind so that he might picture the achievement of his age and let it stand there to tell the story for all the years to come. It is vital for an artist to meditate morning and evening and then to come out with some tender strokes of love and happiness.

"The Transcendental Meditation technique, in its theory and practice, should be a feature of deep rest for every artist who really want his creation to last. This is the aspiration of every artist.  When he puts his heart in something, he does not want his heart to die; he wants his heart to live for eternity.  The aspiration of an artist is that his art give inspiration for advancement, success, and "cheer-up" in all the time to come.  With this aspiration of the artist, what he has to do is BE as much as he can; and to BE as much as he can, he has only to BE completely for a few moments of his mornings and evenings.  Then he will be present in his piece of art.

"Therefore the Transcendental Meditation program is a professional need for the artist; it is a need for him in his private life, and it is a need for him in his professional life as well."



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