This Tanjore style painting is a splendid depiction of Sri Sai Baba’s classic pose at Dwarkamai, Shirdi. Sai Baba is one of the most revered saints in India, considered by many as a reincarnation of God. People of all religions flocked to him. Appearing in Shirdi as a young, wandering fakir in 1858, he remained there, until he attained Samadhi in 1918.
The painting shows Sai Baba’s right leg resting on his left knee, while the middle and index fingers of his left hand are spread out to encompass the big toe. According to his followers, just as one views a waning moon through the branches of a tree, one must humbly meditate upon Baba’s toe through these fingers, in order to comprehend his inner light. In this painting, you can observe baba’s face gloriously gleaming with serenity, while his eyes display the inner tranquillity that he carried throughout his life. The word, Shanti, on the right palm raised in blessing, suggests – ‘Peace be to all. The floor around Baba’s foot is strewn with a few simple flowers that add heart-warming love and compassion just like the divine’s tender nature. Baba’s attire is simple, his slim frame unadorned by any glittering ornaments, while an everlasting smile utter unsaid words of wisdom. Even the 24-carat gold and teak wood background in traditional colors, so typical of Tanjore paintings, displays a simple design that corresponds with Sai Baba’s unique path of divinity. Sai Baba stood for simple living and the highest service to one’s fellowmen, the disposition of which shines through this Tanjore painting.
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