Am I a Myth or reality?
Today's reality is tomorrow's myth...
Tomorrow's myth is yesterday's reality...
I weave a web of illusion,
I entice, create desires...
Am I, Terrible, a destroyer, a slayer?
Of all that entangles into my web
Licking the root of their desires,
Bestowing freedom to all who dare to play with me
I am Maya
The fire within is without
I am the creator and the destroyer
Play with me
It is only when we understand Maya's "khel" that we can aspire to the union of our inner force with that of the outer that we call Universal Truth, or Para Brahman. Whenever I look around at the plants in the pots in my balcony, the trees in the gardens or forests and the birds in the sky, the table I work on, the paints in the jars with which I paint, the sink in which I wash the dishes, the clothes that I wear, even the food that I eat, the apple that I bite, my pet dog Fido, my relatives, the mosquitoes that I squash as a reflex action when it descends on me, each one has its own journey defined by its own "kriya" or actions, thus marking its own cycle of rejuvenation. For, I firmly believe that there is no such thing as death, only a cycle of creation and destruction, birth and rebirth. The Saptmatrikas came about as our invocation of these basic energies that are responsible for creation and destruction and creation yet again. I believe that to explain the manifestation from one to many, of forms, names and a calendar of time within which each was created, can be attributed to an evocation of these energies. It is my personal belief that from the mythological form of Ardhanareshwar, when Parvati disengaged from Shiva, Shakti gained form and started manifesting as many.or this world.
From Shakti arose the Saptmatrikas, the Astlakshmis, the Navdurgas, and the Dasmahavidyas. In time, the manifestations resulted in the creation of the Chausath Yogini and the Ekyasi Yogini, forms that continue to evolve to satisfy our needs or to bring balance to the world. This is, of course, my personal belief, not something you will find in a book or rendered in a philosophy, but it appeals to me just as much as the many versions of Shakti that exist. I share in those versions and am fascinated by their interpretations and manifestations too.
For we think back through our mothers if we are women
- Virginia Woolf
These manifestations inspire me to attempt to analyze the world I see around me, especially as a woman who must make sense, daily, of injustices in the world. To comprehend why we continue to look away when prejudice occurs, when sensitivities are overlooked, or when negative forces are invoked. I want to, therefore, to look inwards to evoke the energy that is manifest in each one of us, to apply the healing salve of motherhood to a world that needs it. For that energy resides in each one of us, women and men, and it is that we must manifest.
I look within the womb to discover, that which is outside. I want to awaken my senses to experience the goddess's gift of what nature bestows on us - not just of life but of the sun that shines and the rain that rejuvenates, of the heat and cold and all things that bring to life that which is around us.
I believe in that energy and it is that I present in this installations and video performance.
- Seema Kohli
(The explanation is purely the interpretation of the artist and may not comply with the various scriptural interpretations by different authors)