Decoding Paintings through a Spiritual Lens

Painting pictures

"Tolstoy looks at the picture and after a few moments says: "If you had loved deeper, you would have painted better." - Sadhu TL Vaswani

One day, an artist brings a beautiful picture to Tolstoy—a picture of “The Last Supper”. A moving picture this! Jesus is about to go from this world. He is about to take up the Cross. And before leaving, the master meets his disciples.

In this picture, Jesus is represented as washing the feet of his disciples. What a lesson in humility! The disciples have been quarrelling among themselves as to who the greatest in their midst. Jesus takes up a water basin and washes the feet of his disciples. Jesus fain would teach them the truth: “He is the greatest who is a servant.”

The artist shows his picture to Tolstoy and wishes to know if he has painted well. Tolstoy looks at the picture and after a few moments says: “If you had loved deeper, you would have painted better.” The artist returns with the picture to paint better.

You all are painters. What pictures are you painting? If a brother was angry with you, did you give him anger in return? Did you meet unkindness with unkindness, or with goodwill and patience? What have been your action pictures? And what have been your thought pictures? Your thought forms? Within you is the master! What pictures of the master have you been painting? If you loved deeper, you would paint better.

Some have been painting pictures of money and pleasure, forgetting the noble ideals of service and sacrifice. O, paint some pictures of the master! Paint them in these two colours—purity and love. In your waking hours and in your subconscious self, paint the master’s pictures. Paint them in purity and love. And you will be blessed.


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