Illumination of Circular Spaces in the Self-Portrait of Rembrandt

Self-Portrait with Two Circles/Rembrandt/1660/Kenwood House, London                                                                                                                


The orb of the Sun speechless and extreme

Holds in its halo the golden musings of eternal space

Its birth is the sepulchral monument of time

Christ-like, fixed yet dynamic in its dispensation

It is the ‘jyotir lingam’ that enters into the vortex of ancient matter

And plays with the divine elemental entities

A secret alchemy of transmutation is its primal creed

A hexagram emerges after the pointillism of musical dots and colors

Its the Sri Sai of sandhya puja, Sri Aurobindo of eternal perfection

The ascent and descent illuminates the multiple points

Till they are merged into the centre of mother’s congruent circles

Attuned to a centre of deep concord

And on the abode of the silence of Mt.Kailash

It’s the divine dance of the Lord that awakens in us

Our existence, consciousness and bliss.

 – Joy Roy Choudhury

Photography and Consciousness: The Fluting Cry of Happiness

Photograph by Raghu Rai/Title: Flute Players/Location:Ganga, Varanasi.


An assimilation of thoughts in the clouds

Clustered around a superior sun

The day has come for the birth of the superman

In the hollow naked void there was a stir

As if a ripple of time has moved forth

There was no destiny or a predetermined goal

Not an object of vision that reflects the plan

But an idea as lucid as the music unborn

Soulfully relevant amidst the darkening sky

Deaf to the dumb crowd and the idiosyncratic mass

The light has prevailed on the golden seas

Turning the power and the passion into bliss

Infinity has touched the finite world

Its myriad signs and gestures and messages

Eager to manifest its rich multitude

And its verity of substance and knowledge and truth

A lonesome flute plays the essence of love.

– Joy Roy Choudhury

Happiness said Buddha is not a physical condition but primarily a mental condition, a psychic phenomenon. Happiness that constitutes well-being of individuals, of a state is not something deterministic as time but something which is lucid, simple and which in the end decides the corpus of time’s eternal movement. Happiness is the constituent of the heart it flows like music through the cells and preserves the body’s fluidity and glow. Happiness comes from delight, from joy, from ‘ananda’ in nature’s myriad expansions and contractions that define the creational interplay of the atomic forces that inter-build the cosmos in the infinitesimal fragments of time’s denouement. This world of theatrical beauty is the direct result of the cosmic interplay of the senses to procreate ‘ananda’ for its own self-delight and manifestation. But mere physical happiness is not enough to sustain a living world, happiness is not sought after but it comes once the individual has progressed beyond the mere physical longings towards more refined holistic consciousness at the various evolutionary rungs like vital, higher vital, mental , and illumined mental levels etc. A happy mind creates, transforms and produces sometimes out of unbearable pain the glorious works destined for man, works that ennoble a whole human race, works that transfigure matter’s ancient crucible into the plaque of eternity. This truth is involuted in us in discreet forms in matter’s atomic bodies waiting to evolve into a higher consciousness of light and love. Sri Aurobindo has said in Savitri: “Even the body shall remember god” and later “this earthly life become the life divine”. The truth waits in us as an unopened flower waiting to blossom with the spring bird’s call, we only have to surrender our being to that higher truth and light so the knowledge in us is perfected for a greater use to serve our community, our nations, our world.

“Pain is the hand of nature sculpturing man to greatness”. – Sri Aurobindo, Savitri

Michelangelo, Rembrandt, Beethoven are embodiment of the “Men of Sorrow” (Hommes de Douleur) who gave delight to an entire race, to a civilization. And Tolstoy passed the test of doubt, miscomprehension, solitude, misery to be known as one of the greatest of writers in the world history not before his path was dogged with these testing periods “because the grace will never fail us- such is the faith we must keep constantly in our hearts”. (Divine Mother: 10th May, 1954, Pondicherry)

To be happy we must get rid of our doubts and fears and our anxieties, so, the best that is hidden in us can quietly come forward to take control of our being, of our consciousness. In Meher Baba’s words “Don’t worry, be happy”, we need to wear this in our heart and mind like a singer’s song and just tune it to a higher key of perfection to transcend drudgery, depression and boredom.

 Happiness said the Lord is the all absolute purity in us, the unbridled joy in nature’s mystic togetherness where the sky and the sea, the wood and the stone are the true epitome of spiritual light and knowledge. The bliss that sustains this grand universe is the Mother’s secret creative force that manifests itself through art, philosophy, science and technology. The human race is built on successive cycles of creative evolution where all that is dark and inconscient today will surely be transformed into spirit stuff, into the superconscient light. We only have to be conscious of the process that takes us through.

 “This is my delight, thus to wait and watch at the wayside where shadow chases light and the rain comes in the wake of the summer. Messengers with tidings from unknown skies, greet me and speed along the road. My heart is glad within and the breath of the passing breeze is sweet. From dawn till dusk I sit here before my door and I know the happy moment will arrive of a sudden when I will see. In the meanwhile I smile and I sing all alone. In the meanwhile the air is filling with the perfume of promise”. – (Gitanjali, Rabindranath Tagore)

– Joy Roy Choudhury

Photography and Consciousness: Valencia, Spain, 1952, Erwitt Elliott

Valencia, Spain, 1952, Erwitt Elliott


A single room in a vast empire

Clothes the king’s paradise & hell

His stove and kitchen and the sink

And the myriad flowers and the kiss:

A dance of form performs

A rare miracle of the divine grace

A studied workmanship of light and shadows

Its muted disintegration and human closure

Its symbolic interims and wayward dreams

Its false apprehensions and derided thoughts

Caught in a moment’s transience

If life is too small for the jar and the jug

Why do the pebbles glitter in the sun?

And the dusk proclaims the land and liberty?

There are no sorrows in the end, there are no words

There are no voices sung by the choir

Only a movement of bodies

Clasped the soul’s chapel of light

And touched the heart’s silence, inside.

– Joy Roy Choudhury

Gustave Courbet’s Plage de Normandie and the Intuitive Reflexes

Title: Plage de Normandie (1872-75), Gustave Courbet/Washington D.C. National Gallery of Art

Consciousness- Analogue

Ancient rocks looked into the sea

Their face nameless like Buddha

Their knowing is their boon

Their strife their strength

Their joy is their beginning                                                        

The boats asleep on the shore

Fell silent, calm, inarticulate

Dreams orbit round a halo of silence

Nothing can perturb the mind’s intuitive reflexes

Like sages the rocks saw the birth of Sophocles

The tragic imprint was writ on their face

Time’s cycles defer not again the birth to come

Sri Aurobindo, Satprem…and the Superman.


– Joy Roy Choudhury