Lucknow, Aug. 21 : Lord Krishna, the Hindu God who has endeared himself in various forms, as a child, a lover and a charioteer for Arjuna in the Mahabharta battle, has followers all over India, across religions.
The ensuing Hindu festival Gokulashtami in Lucknow not only heralds the birth of Lord Krishna but also is an index of communal amity.
An example of this is reflected in Mohammed Shakeel who has tried to express his feelings after engrossing himself for years into designing attractive murals of Lord Krishna and his beloved Radha.
Despite professing Muslim faith, Shakeel has been drawn to Lord Krishna's thoughts for over eight years.
Shakeel has made a series of 30 oil paintings titled 'Krishna, the Messenger', has conveyed his thoughts on the sermon believed to have been delivered by Lord Krishna to the warrior prince Arjuna.
Before attempting his paintings Shakeel studied the legends related to Lord Krishna. For this, he visited a number of temples and Ashrams in various parts of the country.
Through his paintings, Shakeel has depicted Bhagwad Gita or the celestial song. He derives immense joy in painting themes related to Lord Krishna.
"If I continue doing it my whole life, even then I'll never be satisfied. It takes at least two months to complete one painting. If I work my whole life on Krishna, there will still be subjects related to Him. I am just waiting for an admirer of Krishna to come and see my paintings and understand them," says Mohammed Shakeel.
Shakeel maintains that Lord Krishna doesn't belong to a single religion and neither he can categorize in any caste or creed because He is the essence of life. He believes that whether it is Islam or Christianity or Sikhism, the ethos of all the faiths and philosophies are similar to Lord Krishna's life, theology and deeds.
"I can work my whole life painting Krishna because Krishna doesn't belong to any religion. This is a very important fact and people have to understand it, they have to go into the depths to understand what mythology means. There is a message in every canvass," adds Mohammed Shakeel.
Shakeel says he is a Muslim, but above all a human being and believes that the life of every person is based on Krishna's gospel "Karm Karo Phal Ki Chinta Na Karo" (Just perform your duty without worrying about its fruit). In the series, Shakeel has shown Krishna's giving sermon to Arjuna on the battlefield. The other paintings relate Radha-Krishna's love, Krishna-Gopi's Raasleela (Lord's dance with friends), Jeevan Darshan (the portrayal of life), Vishwa Roopa Darshan (Celestial presentation of the God himself showing the universe in Him) besides themes showing kindness and greatness of love.
Shakeel, interestingly, doesn't wish to sell his paintings. He just wishes to devote his entire life sketching and painting the philosophy of life as preached by Lord Krishna.
He has worked with noted painter M.F. Hussain for a long time and is a national award winner. y Kamna Mathur