Few days back, I read a quote ‘Religion is for those who fear hell and spirituality is for those who have been to hell once’. I completely agreed with the quote because I am not a religious person, though born in an orthodox high class Brahmin family. I prefer to be called as spiritual being but on the other hand this is contradicted by the “beauty of religion” because it could be so impulsive that it could start a movement which can change the phase of living style and a can set the foundations of the upcoming centuries.
Could you guess the context?
If yes, then surely you’re a history patron and yes of course, “an art & literature lover”!
After the haunting of black age; barbarous invasions, threnody of Death (plague, famine). Europe aroused and shyned itself with the ray of Renaissance. A new birth of Art, literature and a new Culture. The direction of the wind changed and became favorable to the Florentine personalities. Writers like Dante Alighieri, Petrarch, and Boccaccio etc. were born who wrote and helped in the later linguistic unification of Italy. The big daddy- Dante Alighieri of most lovable language “Italian” wrote La Divina Comedia which over ruled every literary work even that of San Francesco d’assisi and paved the way for Dante himself in becoming the father of Italian literature. Writers talked about the essence of god, the supreme one who has bestowed his blessings in the form of “Brother sun, sister moon and yes sister water, starry stars, beautiful air” (~ The song of creation by san fresco d’assisi~) , They talked about the beauty of nature created by the supreme god. It talked about how following the path of god’s desire could lead us to Il paradise ( the heaven) and the reluctant human souls, the sinister will travel to Inferno (the hell) and those with less sins will go to purgatory (the purgatory). They were the writers and the founder of the various church sects.
Now, talking of art, THE RENAISSANCE ART, The magnificent artistic movement which over ruled the gothics in every field and established a new beauty scale. Artists like Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Raphael (the holy trinity artists) gave birth to the immortal objects but they had emotions and beauty like that of a human existence! Their work were not only for beauty appraisal but influenced under the biblical context. They praised the almighty through the language of art. After all, “Art is a language without words”.
That was the alphabet of Renaissance period and now I’d like to compare the script of the language of art with the alphabet of Bhakti period/movement in India.
Bhakti movement started irrespective of the caste, creed or gender (which was prevailing in the Indian subcontinent). Bhakti was a theistic movement which gave birth to art and literature and talked about the almighty god(s) and goddesse(s). Like the men of renaissance period who founded the different sect (friar(S)), 3 other sects were formed under the influence of bhakti movement and also a new religion (Sikhism)! Writer like Tulsidasa, vallabha acharya, Meera bai, ravidas, alvars and nayanars etc wrote classics like ramacharitmanas was the perfect literary text which defined the love towards Lord Rama by Tulsidasa.
Talking of art work of bhakti movement artists are naïve but their work is pretty available on various sites. The art of bhakti movement was same like that of renaissance movement; both depicted the “influence of god, the supreme one, the almighty power”.
Sometimes, it’s not always good to blame a religion because religion was the key behind the birth of classic literary texts and art. An artist conveyed his devotion through the language of art and a writer wrote his sensitivity through words but it doesn’t means both were coward or feared hell!