During Childhood i used to watch our elders performing Pooja. There were few dedicated places in homes. In some houses there used to be a room called as pooja room. In others only a section of room or almirah are designated as pooja corners. On the walls many beautifull calendars were hanging, depicting Lord Shiva, Parwati, Shri Ram and Sita. Other were of Ganga Avataran, Saraswati etc. Sache Darbar ki jai echoed few times. there was this calendar depicting Shri Ram Sita, Laxman, Hanuman etc full of many men in Ayodhya, Darbar of Raja Ram. That was in 1970s. But as i am living in 2018 with social media all around me, strangely i am turning my head all around to see if i can find any of those beautifull calenders? Sadly i have none of those pictures. Since almost all of those calendars were on paper, they degraded/ torn and later were immersed in flowing rivers. Now a days in age of science and social media we have lost such heritage of Art.
Usually, we had this pooja called Satyanarayan ki Katha. That time this picture(above) was placed on a small table decorated with plantain leaves, and table top is decorated with flowers, grains-Rice, a pot filled with water, and covered by Mango leaves. A purohit or pandit ji would come and start a never ending katha(story). that time it was never ending as felt by a child? But eventually it would end and we get to eat fruits, Panjeeri etc. But in between eyes would b full of tears from the smoke coming out from fire of Yajna (Yagya)
there was time when mythology inspired the Art of painting. Many miniature paintings were mostly inspired by Mythology. miniature paintings were not for common man during medieval times. It was an art for rich, kings and nobles or businessmen. In Bengal School of Arts few artists painted miniature inspired painting. They had local subjects and craft is from Folk traditions. NandLal Bose, Jamini Ray there were few from Tagore Family too. That famous BharatMata was also inspired from mythological depiction.
Paintings of Raja Ravi Verma were inspired from mythology too, but the Technic of Oil paintings was European.
This painting(above), I think is of Raja Ravi Verma style. Though Painting is beautifull but the subject is very saddening. The sage shown here is disowning the girl child born only due to him. As a rishi he was supposed to do Tapasya(learning with hardships) but he lost control and had an sexual alliance with this apsara Menaka. This unsafe sexual act bore a child. that might or must have been accepted by both parents. unfortunately she was orphaned. Later renamed as Shakuntala. That rishi(sage) was solely responsible for birth of that girl child. I dont know whether God punished him or not? Why the women (apsara here) is blamed for such acts? The Man-this rishi could have also controlled himself?
Two versions of Same theme-Shiv Parvati
This above is a beautifully framed picture of Shri Ram Durbar or panchayat as mentioned in that photo. Earlier such photo frames were common features in our homes, hanging in tilted form from a nail in walls.
Later when i saw a fat old magazine(Kalyan) kept in the almirah in the pooja room, i was surprised to see many such beautifull paintings on our Indian traditions.
This depicts the sthapna of Lord Shiva by Shri Ram when he reached the shore of Sea, and thus was named as Rameshwaram. Lord of Ram!!
Interestingly Both respected each other.
Varaha Avatar saved Veda from drowning and handed over to Rishi-Sages.
Kalyan was good magazine, anyone who comment or criticize it, must think as in absence of any form of mass media or social media-even Radio-TV such efforts were taken up by few enthusiastic people to create awareness and educate people on various issues. Not just religion. Religion is different from Dharma, It taught various things even on women hygiene, Morality in society, how to behave in a society and as per your dharma-often overlapping with the meaning of Kartavya-Duty?