Thursday 4 January 2024

Samarth Bharat Parva - Padmashri Dulari Devi - Art is Sadhana

Such is our ideal of caste as meant for raising all humanity slowly and gently towards the realisation of that great ideal of the spiritual man who is non-resisting, calm, steady, worshipful, pure, and meditative. In that ideal there is God.

-- Swami Vivekananda
{CWSV-3 : Lectures From Colombo to Almora : The Mission of the Vedanta}
{Swami Vivekananda's Rousing Call to Hindu Nation : The Message:  The Task of Regeneration : Its Basis and Direction}

The journey of "Padmashri Dulari Devi"—a woman who never attended school or received formal education yet earned the prestigious Padma Award for her Madhubani paintings. Her journey is an inspiring tale of creation emerging from nothingness.

Hailing from Ranti village in Madhubani district of Bihar, Dulari Devi, who once earned her living through menial tasks like sweeping and cleaning, refused to remain idle. Her determination to achieve something great ignited her journey, eventually earning her the revered title of Padma Shri.

Art teaches about life's essence and elevates human life. It gives us a break from mundane routines, adding beauty and depth to life. Visuals have the power to transcend words, evoking profound thoughts and enriching us culturally. Today, Dulari Devi is the seventh recipient of the Padma Shri in Madhubani painting.
In an interview, she mentioned the admiration she received from the former President Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam. Born into a financially disadvantaged Mallah family, Dulari Devi married at just 12 years old. Her artistic journey began when she crossed paths with the renowned Madhubani painter Kapuri Devi while working as a domestic help. Guided by Kapuri Devi, she established her unique style in Mithila painting, creating over seven thousand artworks on various subjects and receiving State Award for her contributions.

The books 'Following My Paint Brush' by Geeta Wolff and a French book by Martin Le Coz vividly portray Dulari Devi's life story and artistic contributions. Her artwork has been featured in the book 'Satrangi' and even graces the homepage of the Aadhaar course by IGNOU, created in Mithila Chitra.

Her paintings, depicting the worship of the river Kamala, were displayed there. Her journey, from being honored with the Padma Shri for her Madhubani paintings, stands as an inspiring tale. Since 2014, the current government has consistently recognized such exceptional individuals.

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