Ahriman/Angra Manyu:

Here is a rendering of the 'anti-god' Ahriman that I completed about a year ago that I hope you folks will appreciate. In this particular illustration, I borrowed from Assyrian iconography to better illustrate the image...the ancient Mesopotamian war god Rhimmon, who at that remote period, seems to have represented to the Persians the most appropriate symbol of 'evil' than any other. Are the linguistic similarities of any significance? The anti-god here is depicted being supported by a foreign goddess, perhaps Druj, while flanked by two gryphins which are evocative of the Assyrian god, Nisroch. He is seen emerging from the winged disk, a long established representation of power and sovereignty throughout the region at that time. Ahriman, in contrast to those forces if Nature which evoke the phenomenon of 'What Is', represents and articulates the cosmic condition of all that 'Is Not'. The original Devil in humanity's historical iconography.





Indra Vajrapani:

As leader of the Daevas and ruler of the Heavens according to the Vedas of Hindu religion, Indra is the god of rain and thunderstorms. In His right hand, He wields the lightening bolt (Vajra) and rides the storm cloud in its manifestation as the elephant known as Airavata.
Indra is at once recognized as the supreme deity whose origins are cognate with the Indo-European pantheons which span as far back as ancient Mittani, the Hurrian speaking people of Northern Syria.
Various forms of Indra are present in the mythologies of the Zoroastrians, the Bactrians and even amongst the Jains and Buddhists. His influence is known as far as Bali, China, Korea and Japan.
In recent times, the worship of Indra in India has given way to the religion of Trimurti (Brahma/Vishnu/Shiva) and that of the goddess Kali.





Surya (The Vedic Sun God)
In the Hindu tradition, particularly that which is recognized according to the Saura doctrine (Smarta), Surya is one of five particular deities, each being understood as mutual personifications, principalities, all which lead to the enlightenment of Brahma.
In this aspect, Surya's manifestation appears as the Sun, and in fact, Surya is the Sanskrit word which MEANS 'The Sun'.
In Medieval times, the Sun God was also syncretically identified with Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva (Rudra), interchangable with Indra, Ganesha, Ravi and even Mitra, among others.
According to Hindu astrologers, He is one of the Nine Celestials, Himself presiding over Sunday as it pertains to their calendar.
Early Vedic hymns refer to Surya as the rising Sun, conducive to the divine trinity equivalent to the metaphysical concept of Brahman. This divine trinity alternately included Agni-Varuna and/or Indra-Vayu.
In recognizing the significance of internal reflection as a means to realize 'The Self', in contrast to the rigid and formalized external rituals utilized as a means to appease the various 'gods'...He is the EYE which perceives with spiritual wisdom and knowledge. The soul's consequential transformations, its path towards Enlightenment and Evolution thus become obvious in this regard.
The Mahabharata acknowledges Him as the 'Eye of the Universe', origin of Life, symbolic of Freedom and the spirit's emancipation.
Surya's iconography is also present among Buddhists, Jains, Zoroastrians and was once more than likely recognized by the Scythians who visited the Indus Valley on several occasions.
Currently, temples and celebrations, dances and Yoga techniques lend significance to the ancient Vedic Sun God.
Art by Zap Tripper
Photography by Kali Karnivora





Brahma is the first personality of the Hindu trinity with Vishnu and Shiva. He is essentially a creative force, father of god-forms and all sentient beings. Transcending Space and Time, the world universe is manifest darkness,...unknowable, shapeless, absolutely without form, sleeping.
Behold, the self-existing being, ‘He who never unfolded’ does so unfold the universe, becoming form in the concept of elements, scattering the shades and shadows which in turn, define the shape of elements.
‘Being’ appears spontaneously, his Self included in all creatures, yet remaining eternal and imperceivable, incomprehensible, except through ‘the spirit,’ subtle and without distinctions. The first thought produces the waters wherein Brahma deposits his seed, a golden egg, a sun in which he as him Self is thus born, as his own child, father of all worlds. The daughters of the waters, Nara, are his dwelling place, therefore he takes the name Narayana. From this ‘First Cause’, both Being and Not Being, comes the male, Brahma. Thought is the cause of primordial scission, the atmosphere existing between Heaven and Earth and the eight cardinal points upon the eternal abode of the waters. The spirit drawing from his Self, Being and Not Being, is now conscious and existing as a personality.
Also, the great principle of soul exists as do the five senses which experience the material universe.
From his Self, Brahma contemplates forth from his own immaculate substance a daughter, Sarasvati, this awakening his senses to the beauty of her, the arts, learning and all things pertaining to aesthetic wonder. She is a goddess of waters, mother of the Vedas, inventoress of Sanskrit. Upon each of her manifestations, Brahma fixes a loving gaze til at last his five faces thus emerge.
“Come”, he says, “let us beget all kinds of living beings, people, Suras and Asuras!” Upon seeing Brahma’s fifth face gazing at her towards the Heavens she extends her hand to him and offers him a flower. The two of them are wed, taking abode in the secret place in the universe for a hundred epocs.
The beginning and end of all creation is thus revealed, and within his Self, Brahma’s face towards the Heavens, he beholds the Lord Shiva, perhaps in an instant of divine reflection.
Shiva’s magnificent gaze staring back incinerates the fifth face of Brahma, and as a result, he is oft portrayed four faced (Caturanan).
The concept of Atman, the Self, is conducive to the understanding of consciousness as the sense of thinking, deriving from the root ‘to breathe’.
What is to become the absolute Spirit is first of all the cosmic Being whose personality is at once the husband and the bride, the sacrifice being Reality itSelf, the illusionary world of perceived forms.





Vishnu Garudasana:

A recent working I just completed originally inspired by a 9th century Nepalese sculpture which decorates the Temple of Cangra Narayan(a). Here, MahaVishnu, preserver of the Cosmic Order, is seated upon His Vahana (vehicle), the anthropomorphic winged man-god, Garuda. Vishnu is one of the three triumvirate divinities including Brahma and Shiva who represent the three conditions of the Universe; Creation, Sustaining and Destruction. Vishnu may have been, at a very early time, a form of the Sun-god, but over time had evolved into the prime deity par excellence' alongside Shiva. His main purpose is in His capacity to re-manifest in the Universe in one of His many 'avatar' forms to wage battle against demons and asuras.

Medium: Sharpie marker, colored pencil and graphite on 20lb. paper.




The Divine Family:

Isolated in oblivious solitude in His secret in the Himalayas, Lord Shive seated with his Vahana, Nanda the Bull, endeavored to perform His Tapanas...the sacred Meditations which produced within Him magnificent power, resplendent with energy and heat. This great potential, lying dormant within, alas took form in the manifestation of Kundalini, the Coiled Serpent, his Shakti. After much effort and with the help of the Divine, Shakti, in the visage of the goddess Parvati (daughter of Himavan, Lord of the Mountains) succeeded in utilizing her awesome powers of Tapana to thus awaken Shiva from His meditaiton in order to win his affection. On the banks of Lake Manasaravar in the Kalais Mountians, the couple enjoyed married life. From this union were born their divine offspring. From the icy waters of the River Ganges came forth Kartikeya (Skanda), the celestial warrior. But, strongly enough, it was Ganesha whom Shiva accepted as the first of his sons...who had become the elephant headed guardian of the threshold, the sacred doorkeeper which became the obstacle to all that is undesirable. Ganesha also became known as the patron of The arts, Sciences and Wisdom...symbalic of Good Fortune. He is also often accompanied by the mouse (Mooshika) believed to be his Vahana (sacred vehicle), but this seems to have been the case only after the 7th century C.E. The union of Shiva and Parvati, as well as their subsequent family structure, might be interpreted in many ways. The realization of the Consciousness in communion with the Kundalini as it defined in Tantric terminology. Most commonly, however, this state of martial bliss between metaphysical Hermeticism and worldly devotion demonstrates the harmony between Matter and Spirit.



The name Khrishna literally means 'The Dark Colored One'. Recognized as one of the mosstrevered gods of Hinduism, He is a hero beloved in many aspects; as a prankish child, an amoroous adolescent, a wise warrior whose lessons are the central theme of the "Bhagavad Gita'. Krishna seems to have had many origins... Aryan, Dravidian, and perhaps Mundaen. Thefore, no other divinity of the Hindu patheon has exereted so much appeal, this god famed for His adoration of Humanity.

The eighth avatar of Vishnu was born at Mathura, between Delhi and Agra, the son of Devaki, a sister of the demon king Kamsa who murdered each of her children as soon as they were born, sinse it had been prophesized one of these would assassinate him. To avoid Kamsa's wrath, He was traded while still an embryo, for the exchange for a daughter of the humble cowherd.

According to texts, the goddess Earth asked the Lord Vishnu to liberate Her from the many demons who oppressed Her, and as a result Vishnu descended as the eighth child of Vasudeva, a relative of the demon king.

Krishna grew up amoungst the herdsmen of Gokula, protecting them from the nefarious attacks of demons. Lkie any other child He was often troublesome, at times malicious. But His extraordinary strength and starl handsomeness made Him obviously unique, especially amongst the young milk maidens. He was always so prone to come into contact with.

Krishna played the part of divine trickster, causing devotees to worship Himself instead of their own gods. As an amorous lover, His escapades were so many He was at tack to multiply Himself when women left their villages to join Him in the moonlit countryside to participate in His ecstatic dances.

Forgetting their customary reserve and modesty, they left their work and houses as soon as they heard the hauntingly beautiful sound of His flute, the irresistible call to love which had made His name synonymous with joyful pleasure and eroticism.

The 'Gita Govinda' Song of the Herdsman, celebrates the many raptures of Krishna and the Vrindavana gopis as well as the lamentations of his favorite wife, Radha... 'whose tears in the end bring back the faithless one, always smiling and always beloved.

As an adult, Krishna left the herdsmen and milkmaids, never to return. He killed a number of demons including Kamsa. In the famous war between the Pandavas and the Kurus, Krishna was the friend and advisor of Ajuna whose charioteer He had soon become. But, Arjuna hesitated to take part, deploring the senselessness of carnage and the futility of friends and relatives shedding blood.

Khrishna reminds him of his caste, of entering heaven as a coward, and most importatnly that the soil is eternal. All those on the battlefield have always existed and will never cease to exit. They can onlybe killed in appearance. In the end, both armies were destroyed but Khrishna's wisdom teachings are in this way revealed in the "Bhagavad-Gita'.

In the face of ruin, Khrishna takes refuge in mediation. The vicious cycle of the universe continues. His task as Avatar had been fulfilled. While hunting the forest, a clumsy archer mistakes Him fpr a deer and pierces meditating Khrishna in the heel of His left foot, the only vulnerable spot on His body.

The hunter approached Him in despair, lamenting, but Khrishna consoled him by telling hik to fear nothing and not to grieve. And these words were the last He spoke Earth. He illuminated and ascended to the gods. The Sun darkened and shadow fell upon the Earth.

Such is the gallant romance, the heroic chivalry and fatal human destiny of the existence of Vishnu's most endared incarnation, the epic of the immaculate god with a haman heart.

Those who break with tradition to indulge favor with Krishna may be taken to task, but Khrishna offers salvation. In whatever way He toutches, through love or war, He gives liberation to both friend and enemy,

Through the working of art, music and literature He inspires His devotees to put forth, and through His charming and heroic qualities, He remaines closer to humanity than do the others of His pantheon.

Vishnu's eighth incarnation descending to Earth to liberate Her seems to combine material, ... or 'substantial', qualities with a transcendent wisdom inspiring not only philosophical and theological reactions, but religious practices as well. For the first time, communion with the divine finds an expression free from the strict protocol of official doctrine.

This faculty of the spirit is most commonly termed 'Bhakti', meaning devotional attachment. The devotee of Krishna develops a relationship between oneself and the divine through the emotional experience, and not through rational thought of the perfomance of imperanal rites.

The flowering of the emotional Bhakti first appears in the southern India in the middle of the fist millennium with the songs and dances of 'Alvars', Immersed Ones, as they spread their music through the villages in homage to Vishnu and Shiva. This devotion is even now closely associated with art, music and dancing, full of the emotional flavor poetically expressed as 'Rasa'. This denoted the aesthetic sensuality transposed into religious experience. Thus, Krihna is touched in such a way that He was touched by His many admirers during His lifetime. Much of the music of India indulges in this essence.

From yet another perspectiv not outside the Hindu path of understanding is that the life of Krishna and His relationships are allegorical, symbolizing the trials and tribulations of the Soul that is fain to find union with the divine, the Spirit being fleeting and capricious as it is. Some knew and sought Him as a son, some as a brother and friend, some as a lover even as an enemy, ... but all in the end recieve His blessing and deliverance.



Here is a pen and ink rendition of a 9th century bronze sculpture of the goddess, Bhairavi from Himachal Pradesh. Bhairavi, otherwise known as Baala, is the consort of Shiva Bhairava. She is 'the fierce and terrifying' aspect of the Devi and is, consequentially, indistinguishable from the goddess, Kali.
In her relentless battle against the Asurim, She is recognized as manifestations of Parvati and Durga.
In this particular representation, She is astride the human personification of Nandi, the vahana of Shiva.
Female adepts of Kundalini Tantra who have been initiated to a particular degree are reckoned to be beyond the fear of death, and thus have achieved the state of 'Bhairavi', meaning 'Awesome' or 'Terror Inspiring'.

Green Tara:

Born of a tear of the All-Compassionate Avalokitesvara, which symbolizes sublimated passion. Her lower right hand makes the gesture of 'vara mudra,' a formality of charity.




This illustration is titled 'Sky Dancer'...
Evocative of 'the energy in space', Khandroma (Hindu Dakini) is the avatar of 'Sky' or 'Void', the insubstantiality of the totality of phenomonae which simultaneously propagate(s) the absolute of all potential manifestations (Sunyata).
Consequentially, Khandroma embodies the concept of the path of Transformation wherein such the flow of energy is associated with 'The Greater Tantra'. In this context, the energy of negative emotions is transformed into the illuminating awareness of non-dual consciousness.
In this distinctive illustration, Khandroma/Dakini is depicted clarifying certain aspects idiosyncratic of the goddess, Kali. In Her right hand She wields the Vajra thunder-bolt. Beneath Her lies the calm and prostrate Shiva, upon whose body She dances, conducive to the rhythm of Time Eternal. In this regard, She is the Divine Protectress, the Bestower of 'Moksha', that is, Liberation.
Here, we may be inspired to contemplate Her appearance as one of the seven flickering tongues of the fire god, Agni...alas, the Black Flame of Enlightenment which illuminates from within. A 'meditational' figurehead in the form of the Divine Feminine.

Art by Zap Tripper
Photography by Kali Karnivora
Medium: Sharpie marker, Penmark, Micron, colored pencil and graphite on 20 lbs. bond paper.
Hope you all diggit!






























































































































































































Inspired by a 9th century work of the T'ang period from Bezeklik, Chinese Turkestan. The abstract linear style, however, is reminiscent of the Northern Wei Dynasty which resembles the Romanesque of Europe, but is most commonly found in the sculptures rendered by pious craftsmen and monks which decorate the cave sites at Yun-Kang and Lung-men. The intricate design on the halo is characteristic of works from the mid 5th century Mathura Gupta period.
Medium: Sharpie marker, colored pencil and pastel on wood. 32 and 3/16ths X 12". Because of the original coat of white gloss paint on the wood, this was a very difficult medium to work with and I loathe ever trying it again. It undoubtably contributed to the 'serenity' of the effect, but painstaking measures will have to be taken in order to preserve the subtle hues.

















UBudDevoL UBuddha UBudDevR