Self-Portrait with Monkey – Frida Kahlo, 1983

The next in aesthetic wellbeing series is Frida Kahlo, the Mexican painter known for her many portraits, self-portraits, and works inspired by the nature and artifacts of Mexico. Her paintings often had strong autobiographical elements and mixed realism with fantasy. Frida Kahlo’s first solo exhibition was at the Julien Levy Gallery in New York in 1938. Self-Portrait with monkey is one of the many famous oil on masonite painting by her, commissioned in 1938 by A. Conger Goodyear.

We recommend the following for learning more about Frida Kahlo: – Read Frida: A Biography of Frida Kahlo(1983), by Hayden Herrera. – Listen to the song for Frida Kahlo by Tinpan Orange, Soundtrack of film “Frida” by Elliot Goldenthal – Watch the movie Frida(2002) directed by Julie Taymor

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Om Chants – Rituals

Chanting OM mantra in our daily life is very beneficial for us. This is the only mantra that is traditionally chanted while doing Yogasana. This single word when chanted can produce powerful and positive vibrations that allow you to feel the whole universe. By chanting om we tune into the potential of the Universal consciousness that lies within us. Chanting Om helps in bring us into a deep state of relaxation and inner peace, giving us much needed rest from the distractions and worries of the outer world.

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The Starry Night – Vincent Van Gogh, June 1889

We begin our journey in aesthetic wellbeing with Vincent Van Gogh, one of the world’s most famous painters. Van Gogh was a Dutch post-impressionist painter who is one of the most influential figures in the history of western art. In just over a decade, he created about 2100 artworks, including around 860 oil paintings, most of which date from the last two years of his life. The Starry Night was inspired by the view from his window at the Saint-Paul-de-Mausole asylum in Saint-Rémy, in southern France, where he spent twelve months in 1889–90 seeking reprieve from his mental illnesses.
We recommend the following for learning more about Vincent Van Gogh:
– Read Lust for Life (1934), a biographical novel written by Irving Stone. 
– Listen to Don Mclean’s song ‘Vincent’.
– Watch these two movies: 1) Loving Vincent: An experimental animated film (2017), directed by Dorota Kobiela & Hugh Welchman. 2) Vincent: Documentary (1987), directed by Paul Cox.

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Raga Aesthetic Wellbeing

Being able to pause to see and reflect on art and aesthetics is a core element of wellbeing at Raga. We need “symbols”, that is works of art which represent “life-situations”. It is one of the basic needs of human experience, to see life situations as meaningful. We discover and even create the worlds we live in through our interaction with symbols such as paintings, sculptures, music and dance.

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Biodiversity at Raga Svara

Ashy-crowned sparrow lark is one of the little birds chirping around the Raga Svara campus. It is a small sparrow-sized member of the lark family. These larks are found in pairs or small groups and form larger flocks in winter. They forage on the ground for seeds and insects.

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Pause

The world is going through difficult times. In these times of isolation and distancing, both physical and psychological, many of us are realizing the importance of taking a ‘pause’ in our lives. What we are all experiencing at the present time was not predetermined or by choice. However, the important thing is that we have got time to dedicate few moments from our daily lives to ourselves. The work we do, the money we earn, the people we meet; all that is to ultimately gain peace and happiness in life. But in the mad rush of things, it is peace that is lost first. The core philosophy Raga Svara is to enable everyone to attain peace by taking a ‘pause’. We encourage all of you to seize this opportunity and move towards understanding self and creating peace.

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Happy Buddha Purnima

Buddha Purnima, the birth anniversary of Gautama Buddha, is celebrated on Purnima Tithi (full moon day) of Vaishakh. We wish a blissful Buddha Purnima to you. This Buddha Purnima learn from Gautama Buddha, “Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment”. Make the most of this beautiful day by connecting with yourself.

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Namaste – Rituals

Every culture has different traditions of greetings. In many cultures of India, people greet each other with the gesture of Namaste. Namaste is also known as Namaskar. Namaste is performed by pressing the palms of the hands together with a slight bow. In Hinduism, Namaste has a spiritual meaning too, it means “I bow to the divine in you as the divine and soul is the same in everybody” .

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Biodiversity at Raga Svara

At Raga Svara, we can find five-striped palm squirrel running around the campus and residing in the trees. It is also called the northern palm squirrel and is a species of rodent in the family Sciuridae

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Tilak – Rituals

Indian culture is steeped in traditions and history. RItuals of all kinds form a core element of our traditions. At Raga Svara, we respect and honour the traditions of all cultures and see them as a medium of expression and community building.
We want to present some rituals and share what they mean and signify. Rituals affect our body, mind and surroundings if performed frequently.
The ritual of marking someone’s forehead with a fragrant paste (tilak), of sandalwood or vermilion, is a gesture of welcome and expression of honour. It is worn on special religious occasions as well. There are many forms of tilaks, each with its history and significance

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