The silent eternity

by Satish Gupta

A sleeping Buddha’s head reclines at an angle, the quiet repose meditative and quieting because of its towering scale, represented as gods must be among mere humans. The mesmerising quality of The Buddhas Within is hypnotic, leading one to pause between meditation and circumambulation, choices that hint at its deific qualification, yet the former is personal, the latter almost obligatory – and revealing. For on the reverse, Buddha’s head is patterned like a cave, its inner walls inscribed with neat rows of Buddhas carved as though by ancient hands on a rock face like edicts from a preceding age. Yet, it is neither old nor rock, but copper, and across the ‘cave’s’ length sprawls the figure of a gilded sleeping Buddha. 

In Surrender, an elegantly aerodynamic Garuda, wings spread against the sky’s invitation to fly, is equally large, but it does not overpower. Its legs and hands are bent, perhaps in worship, or submission; each feather in each wing is so finely delineated as to be itself a work of art. Despite its size, this sculpture in the round carries a suggestion of lightness, the possibility of flight more real than imagined. It is, in fact, managing scale with this perspective – taking into account how each sculpture will be viewed – that has evolved as Satish’s forte..

Then there are Shunya and Meditations on a Mandala, each a masterpiece of voids and solids, a Buddha cut from a metal sheet of Buddhas and suspended from a metal rope, to merge one moment and emerge the next, a point of mediation and meditation. So must we be cut from the creator’s fabric. So must we appear, in shadows and in light, in life, in fact, now lost, now found, visible-invisible.