Connecting to God with Art

When I lived at the ashram in Steffenshof and then in Springen, Guruji would often check in on the progress of the paintings, critique something here and there and request new paintings to be done. I can honestly say that it was the most magical time of my life!

Rajani

Bhakti Marga artist teaching devotional painting course

Written by: Rangadevi Dasi

In 2006, Rajani had just finished school and joined the Bhakti Marga painters team after meeting Paramahamsa Vishwananda. The Steffenshof ashram was still being built at this time it was ultimately where she moved in order to help paint the imagery that decorated the ashram. Over the last fourteen years, Rajani's paintings have become familiar images to devotees worldwide as they now decorate the halls and temple of Shree Peetha Nilaya. Much like the bhakti path itself, Rajani's paintings are full of colour and emotion - depicting vivid images of the Lord and His pastimes.

In my interview with Rajani, she reflected back on her early years with Guruji and the impact that He had on her as an artist. Between 2006-2009 Rajani had an opportunity to work closely with Guruji with art. She describes how Guruji would spend many hours and late nights painting the images that would live in the Steffenshof ashram, often adding the finishing touches Himself. 

When I lived at the ashram in Steffenshof and then in Springen, Guruji would often check in on the progress of the paintings, critique something here and there and request new paintings to be done. I can honestly say that it was the most magical time of my life!

Rajani

Paramahamsa Vishwananda also took this time to teach her many valuable lessons. Rajani reflects back on a particular day painting in Steffenshof saying, ‘I sat there, brush in hand, staring out the window. Guruji noticed and expressed his displeasure by saying in a strict tone, "this is laziness"! It’s something I still want to overcome- being stuck in my head while painting.’ Shortly before this, she had painted something for her father fairly quickly and Guruji seemed to particularly like that one. She thinks that He liked it because in her speed she had no time to procrastinate or let her mind wander off.

Rajani is currently embarking on a new and exciting project at the new German ashram. The excited Rajani will be involved in group art projects. ‘It is a huge place and therefore offers space for many artists to get involved in. I think group projects are the most fun and a way to give back. I have the privilege to coordinate the artistic and decorative creation at the new ashram and I am looking forward to painting some exterior wall paintings there’.

Rajani says painting and restoration is still the one thing she can connect with Guruji the most with. Her paintings can be found all around our ashram - Shree Peetha Nilaya. She’s painted the murals along our parikrama path and in the temple itself. In her never-ending seva, she also offers several devotional arts courses to devotees all around the world. As artists tend to paint in their own image, so does Rajani, breathing a certain life into everything her paintbrush touches.