Brâncuși and Yoga

Yoga or “The Way to the Infinite” has as ultimate goal the direct revelation of the Divine Reality or, in other words, the realization of a continuous, conscious contact with the Supreme Consciousness- Brahman. The term Yoga has its origin in the Sanskrit root yuj , which means union or more precisely the union between body, mind and spirit or consciousness. Being a path to self-knowledge and liberation, it has always been in the attention of those who have sought to be perfect, of those eager to discover what lies behind the deceptive veil of the Maya – the Cosmic Illusion. Among them is one of the most important Romanian artists – the sculptor Constantin Brâncuși, who was a fervent follower of this path.

Being an outstanding figure in the modern artistic movement, Brâncuși is considered one of the greatest sculptors of the Twentieth. He issued Sculpture the hitherto preponderance of the mechanical imitation of nature and created the unity between the sensitive and the spiritual, revealing to the Western world the sacred dimension of reality.

Few know that Yoga was for Brâncuși the path that led him to the essence of things. The yogic meditation made him turn to the symbol, which he then transposed into his work.

Here are some of the sculptor’s ideas regarding the message conveyed by his works:

The function of the artist remains to decipher the hidden signs of nature and to interpret the mysteries of the Universe, for those prepared to “see” them. “Don’t look for secret forms or mysteries. What I give you is pure joy. Contemplate my works until you see them. Those close to God have seen them.”

Restoration works at the Table of Silence, the Alley of Chairs and the Kiss Gate

For Brâncuși to sculpt meant to create in full meditation and concentration, in silence and detachment, in a full communion with Nature:

When you create, you have to be confused with the universe and its elements.” he said.

This reflects his desire to live directly that sacred reality present both in the outside world of man and especially in himself:

Art is not an escape from reality, but an entry into the truest reality, perhaps the only true reality.”

We always want to understand something. But there is nothing to understand. Everything you can contemplate here in the Workshop has only one merit: that it is lived.””

Constantin Brâncuşi, sculptor of metaphor

Throughout his life Brâncuși followed a persevering spiritual practice.

His spiritual guide was the great Tibetan yogi Milarepa, who he said was guiding him from the astral plane. Mircea Eliade speaks on several occasions about Brâncuși’s fascination with Milarepa.

But above his own confessions regarding the practice of Yoga, his very work testifies. Esoteric knowledge, such as the use of the proportion of the golden number, synthesized in his brilliant creations, proves unequivocally that Brâncuși was an initiate. The sculptor’s close friends have told on various occasions both about the fact that he practiced yoga and about the influence that oriental spirituality had on his creations.

Thus, through a life totally dedicated to art, Brâncuși managed to maintain the inner balance necessary for artistic creation through a constant practice of meditation and yoga, which supported him later throughout his life.

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