This beautiful vintage shrine print is of the well known Hindu Goddess Lakshmi. Lakshmi is the goddess of wealth and prosperity in Hinduism. Therefore, she is praised and worshiped to bring in success, fame, and happiness into every individual’s life. The word Lakshmi is derived from Sanskrit word “Laksya” which means “goal”. Therefore, one who practices a virtuous life is believed to be blessed by Goddess Lakshmi who helps the person find the right path in life. She is also known as the female supreme being called “Shri” or “Mahalakshmi”.
The print has been decorated with glitter.
This print is called the Dipavali Puja. Dipavali (also known as Diwali), the Indian festival of lights is celebrated enthusiastically in the autumn and is the most popular of all holidays in the subcontinent. The worship of Lakshmi, Goddess of prosperity on the third day of Dipavali is a central feature of the festival. In Dipavali prints, Lakshmi is often joined by Sarasvati and Ganesh, three auspicious deities who form a new kind of Hindu trinity. Here B.G Sharma bring the three together in a pastiche assembly, with the elements needed for their worship present below. This print was designed and produced by the very famous and very influential artist B.G Sharma in Bombay and is believed to be around 70 years old. B.G Sharma and his cousin Indra Sharma produced many designs and were incredibly successful in creating a distinctive new style for religious prints in the post-Independence period.
Almost every Indian shop has a Lakshmi print hanging above the cash register (Goddess of prosperity, luck, and beauty), always with a garland of flowers around her frame and a dot of sandalwood paste and kumkum (vermilion) on her forehead, placed between her eyes at the point of the sixth chakra, the third eye, the point at which we open spiritually to the divine. Devotees place this tilak (mark) on the glass as a reminder of darshan, the moment during puja (worship) when their eyes and Lakshmi's met.
Size: 15cm x 11cm
It is important to understand that these are not just images of Gods; they are Gods - Gods incarnate in their printed image. During puja (worship) the Gods are invited to descend into their images and are treated as guests. Offerings of fruit, flowers, and sweets are placed before these prints, prayers chanted to them, incense burned before them, and garlands of marigolds are hung around their frames.
This print has gone through many monsoons (with months of humidity), so it may have some staining and discoloration, along with some chips in the frame, that come with daily use and age. The print is mounted in its original frame and glass which is very rare to come across these days. The print has been left exactly how it was from its time of use. The glass might be marked and dusty but this all adds to it's beautiful and Holy life of being worshiped daily.
In the period following independence in 1947 in India, the religious print business in India grew dramatically in its scale and diversity. All the prints I import from India are from this era and are a lot more colorful and bold in comparison to the very early prints in the late 1800's.
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