Stories behind the artwork: Swan and the peacock

One represents the seeking of truth, the other represents the celebration of life. One represents indulgence, the other represents withdrawal. Though the material and the spiritual world apparently appear to be in contrast to one another, deeper understanding of either reveals it as reflection. The peacock at the peak of his realization looks at himself to find he is the swan. The swan when looks through the truth realizes, he is indeed the divine celebration.

Krishna represents the “realized one” who can plunge in and out to play and pray and offer devotion as Saraswati, the goddess of knowledge and truth is now revealed and the duality has become one.

36″ X 48″

Medium: Acrylic on Canvas

Year: 2017

Status: Available


Price: Rs. 1,50,000

Additional shipping cost: Would vary depending on location. Once the postal address is sent, the cost can be informed.

Shipping information: It is not additionally framed yet. The canvas is on its wooden structure. It can be easily removed and rolled to dispatch or couriered along with its structural frame, whichever way preferred.


Weight: 2.5 kgs


Approximate time of completion: About 1 month passively and actively being involved.


See other AVAILABLE artworks


The painting started with one central idea that came from realizing that both Swan and Peacock are present in the representations of Saraswati, who is the personification of Truth.

I had just finished one of my Presentations and Workshops “Demystifying the Indian Deities” in Kala Kendra, Auroville and the thoughts behind the deities, what I had just discussed were still going on in my mind. When I came out of that auditorium, the idea of representing the Swan and the Peacock as reflection of one another then occurred. One of the participants then asked me, “Have you already thought of what your next painting would be on?” I replied to her, “I am thinking of something to do with the swan and the peacock. “However, I did not immediately get into executing that. The concept was there in my mind for one entire year and getting ripe for its delivery time.

The inspiration behind

The inspiration for this came from a realization and observation of the 2 faces of spirituality that are seen as opposite to each other which are not. One part of it comes from my encounter with tantra-practitioners who have used what is known as “material pleasure” to go beyond that and find the truth there. And I have encountered with the other kind who have shunned themselves of this material side and gradually through self-discipline have reached there. Both of these individuals when they meet at the centre would greet each other and share tales of the different journeys they had.

However, the ones that have not understood the ways to make it work turn against each other with utter disgust and smirk. They fail to understand how two completely different ways can lead to the same centre. And the shunners can actually end up being very suppressed, frustrated individuals whereas the pleasure-seeking-celebrater can fail to realize the aim and lose himself in the greed of pleasure.

My visits to Zorba the Buddha, an organization based on Osho’s philosophy and my visit to Auroville and Pondicherry, based on the philosophy of Sri Aurobindo and Mother and the observation in the different moods and modes of practices in both the places and my encounter with the followers have played a role to some extent in getting the concept come together.

Stories before completion

Though the initial idea was only to represent the swan and the peacock as the central characters, which would anyway represent Saraswati even though not painted alongside, as I progressed it started to look missing in more layers of interpretations. So, I wanted to add Saraswati as well to add more dynamism. Also, I wanted the canvas to be completed in a way so that both sides turned upward would work. Conceptually too that would do justice to the idea that “life in its celebration” and “life when realized as illusion” are both significant in its own ground. The user could keep that part upward which suits his spirit at that point of life. But adding a figure would not allow that turning to happen. The goddess would go upside down.

However, I then gave up the idea of having it work both ways and fixed the swan as the top and peacock as the reflection, though equally important in terms of realization.

The Saraswati was then added. And when Saraswati represented the swan and therefore “truth”, the peacock and “celebration” could be appropriately represented by Krishna. In this way I could bring 2 deities who are not directly connected come together in the concept that interlink each other.


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