Wednesday, March 29, 2006

"I am the vine, you are the branches"

This icon relates to Joh 15, 5:"
I am the Vine, you are the branches. He who continues in me and in whom I continue bears abundant fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing."
But here the quote does not end but continues with the warning of verse 6:
"If any one does not continue in me, he is like the unfruitful branch which is at once thrown away and then withers up. Such branches they gather up and throw into the fire and they are burned."

The icon shows Christ as the vine: The branches are born out of the side of Jesus, who sits on the altar (a reference to the last supper), and it is Jesus himself who harvest the fruit. So all takes place in Him. He is the source and likewise the fulfillment for the fruit.
The branches are entwined round the cross. They find their hold there.
There may be much more to be discovered, which is left to the observer.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Narada, the celestial musician, detail

Sri Narada sings:
"But Narada is of the opinion that the essential characteristics of Bhakti are the consecration of all activities, by complete self-surrender to Him [God], and extreme anguish if He were to be forgotten." (Narada Bhakti Sutras, v. 19)
see also at:

Narada, the celestial musician

Sri Narada is said to be the celestial musician, wandering through heaven, earth and even hell as He pleases, playing the vina and singing God's praise. The whole nature - animals, trees, flowers ... are listening and all are in union and harmony. Where Narada touches the earth a lotus flower is blooming.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

The Storm on the Sea

The Storm on the Sea

This Icon tells the biblical story, how Jesus was calming the stormy sea:
"And when he [Jesus]was entered into a ship, his disciples followed him. And, behold, there arose a great tempest in the sea, insomuch that the ship was covered with the waves; but he was asleep. And his disciples came to him, and awoke him, saying, Lord, save us: we perish. And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was great calm." (Mt 8,23-26, it is from an old English translation, the only New Testament I have in English.)
The Icon shows Jesus twice: once asleep and once commanding the storm. The disciples' faces show a big anguish. The storm is represented by the little figure standing on the hills and blowing in a kind of horn - it is a playful detail. Jesus says: "Why are you fearful, oh you of little faith?" - Is it not always the same? And when he commands it becomes very silent. If we would do like Jesus, then the storms of the mind silence down. The storm, this little figure, is realized as what it is - is it frightening? An interesting detail re this: only Jesus looks at the small figure, the disciples are too much lost in their fears. So they don't look at the cause but at the effect only, and the storm can't be stilled by them.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Christ the Centre, detail

Here is the detail:

The New Testament is opened at Mt 11,28:
"Come to me, all you toiling and burdened ones, and I will give you rest."
The first part of this verse is written in German language.

The look of Christ is mild and compassionate. He holds his right hand in the teacher guesture but likewise in blessing.

Christ the Centre

This Icon-painting I would like to call "Christ the Centre". The eternal sphere in blue with the seraphim (angels) penetrates the world-sphere - or perhaps more correctly said: The world is based on eternity. In the four edges you see the symbols of the 4 evangelists. Christ sits majestetically enthroned in the Centre - all leads to Him.

Christ wears a robe wich is interwoven with gold - gold is the symbol of eternity - the eternal Self. Likewise all is based / surrounded with gold - all takes place in eternity.

The painting was created according to an Icon of Andrew Rubljow, the famous Russian Icon painter, who lived in the 14./15th. century.