The celebrated artiste Vidya Rao from Delhi has sent this tender and profound letter after reading my post on destruction of Buddhas in Swat (and the painting that was inspired by the vandalism). I am reproducing this letter with her permission as it adds to the debate and brings in a multi-religious and multicultural perspective that is close to my heart. Her words can be so moving:
But who can silence Silence? Who can erase Emptiness? The Buddha is, and yet is not, in the stone or metal representations of him. Nor is the truth of Islam contained within the structures of a mosque. It is not the Buddha or Islam or anything such that is destroyed. What is destroyed is the connection to the inner Buddha, the inner light. We are all the poorer for this, because form, the beauty of form, gives joy and love to our lives. The task is to both mourn, work in whatever way to prevent such destruction– but also to see this as yet another teaching on impermanence.
Here is the full text of the letter: (more…)