I have been creating these rangoli patterns for the past ten years now and one thing for sure if you stop practice you begin like a novice
The Sanskar Bharati Rangoli or Aripan
What Ikebana means to the Japanese, Sanskar Bharati Rangolis mean to Maharashtrians. Just as in Ikebana the use of flowers leaves and branches is made to create arrangements for making heavenly connections, similarly a Sanskar Bharati Rangoli or Aripan uses esoteric symbols to augment the auspisciousness of a feast or a religious rite. These Symbolic rangolis form a special category of Rangoli art which in the State of Maharashtra is termed as “Sanskar Bharati Rangoli”. You can find these rangolis outside libraries, in offices, in temples and of course homes.
About the art :
The Sanskar Bharati Rangoli begins with certain basic symbols that are taught to the beginner. The Symbols are so powerful that they initiate the person to lay down a pattern that is dictated from the soul and is not just an arbitrary geometrical design. The choice of colors although many times are restricted to availability but otherwise, it is the mindset of the Rangoli artist that dictates the combination of colors.
“Sanskar” the word in Sanskrit means the investiture of the Indian ethos or Bharatiya Sanskriti through this art form.
The culture of yoga and the philosophy of Vedas give immense importance to increasing the sattva guna or purity of the soul. Several methods were devised to increase the sattva guna by using skillful motor movements of the fingers and the palms to create symbols that were auspiscious. This is the main essence of a Sanskar Bharati Rangoli. A rangoli just outside the door catches the attention and focus of every entrant. If the symbols are auspiscious they instantly remove the negative energies latent in the sub-conscious mind. The symbols used in a Rangoli aim to bring balance, remove negativity and infuse the environment with positive vibrations.
The word rangoli originated from the Sanskrit word ranga meaning color.
Rangoli or Aripan as practiced in Mahrashtra uses powdered marble for creation of designs. Unlike other Rangolis where the fine marble powder is preferred, in a Sanskar Bharati rangoli a slightly coarse texture works better. In this art form, different colored powders are dusted with a strainer. The symbols are then drawn with the marble powder on this colorful background. The Sanskar Bharati Rangolis are a spread like a carpet and can keep expanding limitlessly- again symbolic of spread of positive vibrations throughout the universe. These large carpets of design can be created singly or as a group.
The fun of creating a Sanskar Bharati Rangoli is its symbolism. Every person participating in creating the Rangoli lets the Rangoli flow evenly on the floor in the form of a symbol. The first symbol dictates the recreation of the next symbol. Hence, it is a process of motor skills dictated by esoteric symbolism that flows out in the form of art.
A single mound of Rangoli is termed as the Kendra Bindu. It is the pivotal point of Balance. Seems easy-peasy to an observer but it takes almost a week’s practice to get this mound flow into the perfect shape to maintain the balance of the cosmic design or “mandala” constructed. Another important symbol is the Kendra Vartul or the Cosmic spiral of energy. It has the same symbol and connotation as the Cho ku rei of Reiki.
Each symbol tries to enhance the auspisciousness of the event for which the Rangoli or Aripan is being created. The final creation is always worshipped by lighting a lamp, offering haldi and red vermillion and additionally with flowers that would add balance.
Unlike Rangolis that depict characters or designs the symbolism of a Sanskar Bharati Rangoli is very different. Mangalas or cosmic maps could be depicted via this art form. With regular practice and collection of symbols the art form can grow exponentially.
The thicker the outline the more bold is the get up of the Rangoli. So next time you come across a Sanskar Bharati Rangoli remember it was not by chance but the magnetic waves of auspisciousness that touched the field of your soul to be drawn towards it!!