Friday, September 30, 2011

Inspiring Vaisnavis: The Poetry, Philosophy and Art of Madhava Priya

     Madhava Priya was born Rebecca Ann Todd, the daughter of an artist mother. She grew up drawing horses and nature, then painting landscapes, then studying figure drawing in college, and, as time passed, exploring various styles and emulating various masters in search of her own subject matter and style.

     She wanted to express a spiritual meaning in her art, but did not have a clear idea how to do it.Then in 1984 she encountered the Hare Krishna movement, and the books of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. Prabhupada's books opened a whole new world, a world of the ultimate meaning of life, and of a personal God who is unlimitedly beautiful and has unlimited pastimes with all the drama any artist could want. It was what she was looking for: not only satisfying artistic material, but personal meaning and faith as well. At last she had found something she could embrace wholeheartedly and dedicate her life to.
 In 1985 she was initiated and given the name Madhava Priya devi dasi. In 1987 she had the opportunity to paint two pictures for the Tenth Canto of the Srimad Bhagavatam. Later she illustrated several small books in black and white line drawings, especially “You’re Not That Body” by Bir Krishna das Goswami, from whom she received second level initiation.

     A few years ago she was commissioned to paint 8 large paintings, or small murals, for a new Hare Krishna temple opening in Fiji. Over the years Madhava Priya has continued to paint Krishna, always with the idea of sharing and spreading the knowledge of Krishna consciousness.

  One of her artworks includes an interactive map of Govardhan Hill, which as you click on the different parts of the painting, it shows details about the spots where Krishna's pastimes took place, as you can see by clicking on the painting below:

     She teaches Bhagavad Gita classes and has written and published a study guide for the Bhagavad Gita As It Is, called Bhagavad-Gita in 3D (which is available Here). She also writes poetry like The Story of the Bhagavad-Gita  as a poem, among others.

          For several years she and her husband had a preaching center in Little Five Points, Atlanta, Georgia (USA). She now resides with her husband Krsnasraya das (who was known to many in Little Five Points as Yogi Christopher) in western Michigan. You can check out more about her art on her website A Glimpse of Krishna

Your servant 
Vaisnava Krpa devi dasi

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