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Fortress of faith

Created: 2009
Original mandala:
pen and ink
18in x 18in
(45cm x 45cm)

The fortress of faith, mandala for meditation, healing and decoration, by Prem Shashi; ink drawing; circular cityscape

Digital version background: Photoshop

Various sizes and formats 


GUARDED BY FOUR TIMES FOUR GATES and a stout girdle of walls, this is the fortress built by faith, by every organised religion that has erected temples, churches or mosques to the divine. Those who dwell within are well protected from all who would question or undermine foundations, but they are also cut off from life, from the world beyond their rebarbative defences. The faiths inside this fortress are living in the past; it is a mere museum, a dead place from which all the colour has drained away.


Once there was a living mountain, open to the sun and the moon, the wind and the rain, to every passing moment of existence. But then came men of religion with their masons and their rule books, and imposed order on the natural form, piling up buildings until their heaven-aspiring towers crowded out the sky. And though all have always pointed to the same source, each has remained closed to the others. Pilgrims who have climbed their way up this fortress have never reached the open sky; the way is blocked by all the ultimately empty edifices.

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