Asato Ma Sadgamaya 01

by Nikheel Aphale
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Size: 26.75 x 26.75 inches
Medium: Acrylic and Ink on Black Handmade Deckled-edge Paper
Year: 2020


The Pavamana Mantra is an ancient Indian mantra introduced in the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad. The mantra was originally intended to be chanted by the patron of the sacrifice as part of the introductory praise for the Soma sacrifice. It is now considered a valuable mantra for spiritual awakening. The size mentioned is that of the artwork, without framing.

The Pavamana Mantra, inscribed in the artwork is:
ॐ असतो मा सद्गमय
तमसो मा ज्योतिर्गमय
मृत्योर्मा अमृतं गमय

It translates to:
Om Asato Ma Sadgamay
Tamaso Ma Jyotirgamay
Mrutyorma Amrutam Gamay

The meaning of the lines is:
Lead us from Untruth to Truth, from Darkness to Light, from Death to Immortality.

  • ABOUT Nikheel Aphale

    Letters not only speak to, but entice calligraphy artist Nikheel Aphale, who believes in taking calligraphy beyond its conventional definition of “the art of beautiful handwriting.” Nikheel uses his own letters – akshars – as a means of expression. Using calligraphy, he creates art that is imperfect yet beautiful, with the texture of ink, the spaces, the overlapping letterforms and mingling strokes making his artworks a truly visual experience.

    The Devanagari script is Nikheel’s muse; he adores its traditional and spiritual roots, and being the script of his mother tongue, Marathi, he feels deeply connected to it.

    Born in 1979 in Mumbai, Maharashtra, Nikheel Aphale’s fascination with letters began right from childhood. By the time he was in college, the fascination grew into a passion for creating art out of letters. Nikheel graduated with a Bachelor’s in Applied Arts from L.S. Raheja School of Art, Mumbai, followed by a Post-Graduate Diploma in Communication Design from the National Institute of Design (NID), Ahmedabad.

    Nikheel Aphale has participated in group shows in India as well as abroad and conducted workshops in esteemed Indian institutes like Ashoka University, Banaras Hindu University, MICA and NIFT. He has also been a speaker at a TEDx event. Nikheel was invited to showcase his work at The World Calligraphy Biennale, Jeollabuk, South Korea, in 2015, 2017 and 2019. His works were also published in juried issues of the Letter Arts Review, an esteemed international calligraphy magazine, in 2010, 2011 and 2016. Nikheel lives and works in Bangalore.

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