Photo by Sarama Minoli


Sri Chinmoy, on the opening day of the exhibition of his Jharna-Kala artworks at 220 Mercer Street, Greenwich Village, New York.


Photo by Adarini Inkei


Sri Chinmoy completes 13 large Jharna-Kala paintings, including one finger painting, at Aspiration-Ground in Jamaica, New York.


The Finger Painting


Sri Chinmoy’s finger painting


Sri Chinmoy answers a question
the next day — 8 July 1990


Question: The last painting you painted the other night was very striking to me because it seemed that every time you touched the painting with your fingers, you blessed it. Is that painting any more special because there was no object, such as a paintbrush, between you and the painting?

Sri Chinmoy: There is a great difference. When I use my fingers directly, I have tremendous affection, not for the piece of paper or the canvas, but for my hand. At that time, it is not the paper that is responding; it is something else. My affection is entering into the painting itself and it is reciprocal. From the painting also I am getting tremendous affection. I press this finger, that finger and then each time, inside the fingers, I am seeing the souls. Each of us has one main soul, and again each part of us has a soul, each limb has a soul. So when I was painting, first I was seeing the soul of one finger, and then I was seeing the soul of another finger. Then I was seeing the soul of my little finger — cute, very, very cute and beautiful, most beautiful. I was using my hands to paint, but you cannot call them hands at that time. They were so beautiful. At night sometimes all of a sudden there is light because a firefly comes. My hands were like that. When I was painting with my fingers, I saw my hands spreading light everywhere. The fingers were so cute, all of them, especially my little finger. I was getting such joy and thrill from the little one.

So there is a great difference between when I use either a sponge or a brush and when I use my fingers. I personally get much more joy from using my fingers. But then to do one painting takes such a long time. How long can you continue?

Published in Sri Chinmoy Answers, part 17