Śilpa – arts and crafts
«A man who has learnt all the arts (kalā) and is an adept in all the crafts (śilpa) and can [besides] captivate the heart of women, is called a Vaiśika (Expert Gallant)» (Natya-śastra, 25.2).
The quote comes from the manual (śāstra) concerning dance, but in the Indian tradition there are śāstra dedicated to śilpa too. The term śilpa includes any kind of art from the finest to the artisanal to the mechanical. Everything that involves creativity, skill, mental and manual dexterity is included.
The Indian tradition counts 64 different types of śilpa, but today perhaps, given the available materials and means, there are many more.
Have you ever thought about dedicating yourself to art, Cancer? Music, literature, painting or whatever comes to your mind… It’s a good month to give vent to your creativity. You’re not new to deep thinking, right? So why not to give it a shape? Frustrations, negative thoughts, anger are sublimated in art and this transformation leads to a positive and constructive point of view on life.
Nataraja-āsana, dancing Śiva.
Śiva dance to destroy and recreate. That’s exactly what I wrote above: art sublimates by destroying the old form to give it a new one, more functional and beautiful. Art creates beauty. Feel beautiful in this pose, practice it every day for one or two minutes per side.
Choose an art form and dedicate even just a few minutes at least three nights a week. For example, try drawing, writing a poem, playing an instrument, singing, etc. Don’t worry about the results, watch your reactions.
Mantra of the month:
(Do you know that one of the meanings hypothesized for this formula is “I will create as I speak”?).