It is only by His divine grace and wish that I have been an instrument to this work. A couple of years back, Shree Raghupathi Sir, my Guru asked me to paint Shree Swami Samartha. Without wasting any time, I mounted a new canvas on the easel the same day, wrote the words “Shree Swami Samartha” on the canvas and sincerely offered my prayers to the Gurus to allow the painting of Swami to happen through me.
To say the least, it has been a spiritual delight, an experience to see the painting happen thereafter. From an artist standpoint, the foremost challenge was not having a high resolution image of Swami. A few originals are available on the internet supposed to be clicked by Fuji films in those years. These images are black and white pictures and do not help in deciding the skin tones. I called up a few people well versed in the subject of Swami Samartha and sought their guidance on how Swami looked based on the available scriptures that they have read (thoroughly I must say).
Many people have asked me how long did it take to finish the painting. Unfortunately I do not have any acute answer to the question. What I can definitely say is that within the first couple of days, it was evident to me as “the holder of the brush” that Swami had appeared on the canvas. Rest of the work was to finish the details. I truly believe that works like these do not qualify strictly as “art” but more as a spiritual experience. I am truly humbled and grateful to my Guru and Swami that this work happened through me.
This is not the best and sharpest image of the painting. The original painting (about 48 inches X 36 inches) now resides in the main hall (sabhagruha) of Shree Sainath Maharaj Temple in Dapoli, Maharashtra, India.