ART

Explore Thousands of Art Gems On Our New Web App, HAMSA

FOR FIVE DECADES THE MONKS AT KAUAI’S Hindu Monastery in Hawaii have been collecting and commissioning original works of art for their many publications, apps and web projects. For decades this burgeoning treasure trove was hidden higgledy-piggledy in the binary recesses of their server. It has sometimes been difficult even for the monks to find what they needed!

Now the entire collection has been indexed and made available to everyone through HAMSA, the Himalayan Academy Museum of Spiritual Art. In Sanskrit, hamsa names the Indian goose (Anser indicus) or a swan. It represents the Ultimate Reality and the spiritually pure soul. The flight of the hamsa symbolizes moksha—the release from samsara, the cycle of birth, death and rebirth, and the start of our soul’s continued evolution in the inner worlds.

Indian spiritual art has no equal in the world for scope, sheer quantity, devotion and philosophical significance. Among the thousands of images available at HAMSA (www.himalayanacademy.com/hamsa/) you will find rare masterpieces, sacred religious symbols, illustrated alphabets, decorative borders, educational depictions of Hindu Deities, culture, philosophy, legend, children’s stories, and much, much more.

HAMSA is a work in progress, so access currently can be slow—and as you will note when you investigate the Tags button, some tags are spelled in more than one way, with a search for each yielding a different set of images. There are typos and misspellings. At this writing, a chunting tag brings up one image, while chanting yields others.

There is no tag for japa or mala; but if entered in the search field, japa gives three pertinent images and mala indiscriminately yields hundreds.

These particular issues may be fixed by the time you read this, but you will may encounter others. Just be aware that the treasure-hunt dynamic is very much in play here. Stay flexible, and be prepared for surprises.

These images may be freely used in service to dharma. For any commercial use, however, written permission must be obtained from the copyright holder, Himalayan Academy, by writing to: contact@hindu.org.

The collection is searchable in several ways: by key word (tag), artist, collection (such as all the works from a particular book) or by any word of your choice. The Download button will save the highest available resolution fi le to your computer.