Question: How can an artist dedicate his painting to God?

Sri Chinmoy: Let us take the artist as a creator and his painting as the creation. Now, this artist has to realise that he is not the Supreme Artist and his creation is not the Supreme Creation. The artist has received an iota of inspiration from the Supreme Source, and this inspiration he has manifested in the form of his painting. Now, the artist, if he is a seeker, naturally would like to derive joy from his creation, as we all do. But when an ordinary artist paints something, he feels that since he is the creator, he deserves all appreciation and admiration from others. But he who is going to be a spiritual artist will have a different view. He will see that he gets inspiration only when some Divine Forces work in him, through him and for him. He feels, however, that the divine inspiration is not at his own command. There are many times when he wants to paint something but does not get the necessary inspiration and cannot paint at all. And again, all of a sudden, he is inspired and the result of his inspiration is a wonderful painting. So he knows that he is not the Source. When he enters into the Source, he gets something remarkable, appreciable, etc.

Now when an artist creates something, he gets some limited joy, but he will get infinite joy only when he offers his creation consciously to the Source Supreme. When the Supreme gives us inspiration, we receive it according to our capacity and receptivity. If He gives us beyond our capacity, then we will not be able to hold it, and the vessel will give way. If He gave us less than our receptivity, then He would be doing an injustice to us, which He would never do. So, according to our capacity or receptivity, the Supreme gives us joy. When the artist wants to offer something to God, he has to know why he is offering it. If he does not know that, today he will give something to God on the spur of the moment, but tomorrow he will try to argue and say he made a mistake in offering his creation to God. Once we have established in our mind and heart that we must give our creation to God, we do it, not to get something from Him in return, but just because we feel that this is what we have to do.

Now, your question is, “How can an artist dedicate his painting to God?” He can dedicate his painting to God just by thinking that he is the instrument and not the Creator. It is the Creator who acts in and through the instrument. But he has to be the conscious instrument. When he knows consciously that he is a mere instrument, then he feels that it is the Supreme Duty of the Supreme to act in and through him. Further, he has to realise that God is offering His Message of divine manifestation through the seeker’s painting. He has to feel that the Supreme Artist is God, and that God is manifesting in and through him. Undoubtedly, this artist is a true seeker-artist. His is the life of conscious consecration to God and constant aspiration for God-realisation.