“With my eyes I look, and I see none other than Hari ji. My eyes are lovingly fixated, and I cannot speak of anything else.”
– Guru Angad Dev ji (Guru Granth Sahib, 655)
I noticed I hadn’t done any sketches or paintings of Guru Angad Dev ji. So I had to take some time out and paint Guru ji in a meditative state.
There was a sakhi of Guru ji where He went to meet Guru Nanak Dev ji. When He came to the house of Mata Sulakhini Devi ji, She said that Guru Nanak Dev ji is working in the fields.
Despite wearing His high quality, clean, white robes, He went into the fields and helped Guru Nanak Dev ji carry the crops back and was covered in dirt and the black liquid from the crops.
This painting arose from a state of devotion and surrender. I wanted to capture that feeling at its highest level but I wasn’t able to show this sakhi along with it. However I still wanted to show an iconic feature of Guru Angad Dev ji and highlight that in this painting.
Guru Angad Dev ji instituted the Gurmukhi script. He built schools for children and taught them. He promoted physical activities such as wrestling. He carried forward Guru Nanak Dev ji’s tradition of langar and well as His teachings.
Any of these sakhiyan would be iconic to show. However since this was a portrait, I decided to incorporate the Gurmukhi alphabet into the painting, by featuring the first five letters.
The way Shri Hari ji protected the honour of Dropadi ji, He protects the honour of all His Saints. The fabric came from Shri Hari ji and covered Dropadi ji up as she was being dishonoured. In a similar way, in this painting of Guru Angad Dev ji, the fabric emerges from Shri Hari ji, whose symbol is the Ek Onkar, and wraps around the turban of Guru Angad Dev ji.
The Grace of Shri Hari ji is always upon Guru Angad Dev ji and those who meditate on Him while carrying out their responsibilities.