The Story Behind: Waheguru

Mandala The Story Behind

Designed in February 2018 and although I'm not the most religious person, Waheguru was and still is one of my strongest digital pieces to date, and it also marked the start of my spiritual path. 

I didn't realise it at the time, but reflecting back on my story so far and the series of events that happened, it made sense. Although I'm not the most religious person going due to my own reasons and experiences, and the fact I've been born and brought up surrounded by Sikhi and Guru based artwork since we have it around the house, this was the first time I felt really drawn to completing my own Sikhi based piece. The first that wasn't a collaboration (some might remember the collab I did with the ex), but one that was from start to finish my own - breaking boundaries once again and levelling myself up with how well I could do a digital vector and how I could stylize my own version of our first Guru. 

It was a pretty overwhelming feeling being able to do my own version, using one of the most renowned images of Guru Nanak Dev Ji, this piece was all about layers. Literally, layers on layers not only just for the mandala, but to make up him too. Knowing a mandala's representation of us within a universe, layers always feel fitting because do we ever know the depth of a world? We know the depth of our world in our conscious time of being here as our soul, but what about the souls before and after and amongst us and their ancestries and futures? It was one of the most intricate bases, and to be honest, one of my absolute favourites - black and gold is always my favourite colour combination because it always looks so subtly elegant, but with hints of white and the focus colour being on the first Guru, it worked perfectly. 

So when it first got shared on social, it went out with love and received so much back, with the following caption: 

"When a man no longer confuses himself with the definition of himself that others have given him, he is at once universal and unique.
We were born into this world for a purpose, whatever it may be as we embark on a journey daily, every moment learning more and more about ourselves and where our beliefs lie, but we forget the simplest matter to look within first, before we look and pray for the person above to guide us.
They say things happen for a reason; we have our own paths in life however we choose to discover them, but we can never lose sight of ourselves within a world of confusion and opinion, the belief in a power above, lies in our own self belief."

So why did I choose this to pair with it? Truth be told, it felt the most fitting at the time, little did I know it was actually the start of my spiritual journey, but not one into religion, one into spirituality as a whole, the definitions of the law of attraction and how things we see in movies can actually be real - basically, my awakening and so that line about being born into this world for a purpose whatever it is as we go on our daily journey to becoming closer - was about this without me even knowing. 

 It's sometimes easier to ask for guidance from above than it is to go inwards, but the reality is the courage and strength we look for from everywhere and everyone else, already lies within us waiting to have that door opened. We look above and ask for help, yet it is still us who wakes up everyday and goes about our day whatever that may be - that's on us, and there lies strength, hope, possibility. But I speak of a power above, knowing this is there and before we believe in that we must first believe ourselves - I always knew there was something up there, someone, a force, a power, however we want to describe that belief - I knew it was real, now it was about discovering it, and how it affected me. And my belief in the power above - the spiritual realms and forces that we read about as #goodvibes and #energy - this was it, this was the real wake up.

I went for my first mandala tattoo sitting about a month and a half after this piece was designed, and it was the biggest tattoo sitting of my life - not in the sense of I was with my artist for 14 hours leaving hers at 4am on a Sunday morning, but because she opened my eyes to other dimensions and planes that exist within ours, the significance of a full moon and piecing together the spiritual effects it has on me with migraines and headaches, making sense of my dreams and recurring dreams and seeing peoples energy and when they're not even themselves. It was a big tattoo sitting for that reason - having mandalas become a part of my not just through me designing them but as a permanent reminder on my skin, it felt like I was becoming reborn into who I was always meant to be - it woke me up and I felt like for the first time I was seeing the world in colour. 

Waheguru to me symbolised I was being protected spiritually from here on out. From the moment this piece was born into existence, it felt like I created my own form of protection from everything I was about to expose myself to - emotionally, physically, mentally, spiritually. I had proof in various ways and it started back in January when I first began this piece - having my Hamsa hand keyring break on the same day I was approached by 2 men who gifted me a Bible (which I kept for about a year), and then shortly after felt my car hit something physical as I was driving to work one time just before the church in Gravesend but there was nothing there on the road or in front of me yet the sound it made was as if I hit a person. This piece came into existence and everything changed. I got tattooed, and everything changed again - I felt like I found the path that brought me to discovering my true self, my true nature, my own soul even and what my purpose is. But this was the ground work, the foundations, the phase and stage of being a sponge and open to so much knowledge that I felt quite overwhelmed at first, until I found my love for crystals again. 

Insight into me - I loved crystals even when I was a kid. I was drawn to them. Every place I visited that had a gift shop always resulted in me being at least 2 every single time, and to this day I still remember my favourite as a kid being Pyrite - for the sake it was gold and sparkly (lame excuse I know but I was always drawn to it) and my Tigers Eye. Now let's dive into what those crystals are mostly significant for: 
Tigers Eye - It is known to give you courage, self confidence and strength of will.  It enhances creativity and is one of the stones that aid kundalini awakening.
Pyrite - Pyrite is a powerful protection stone which shields and protects against all forms of negative vibrations and/or energy, working on the physical, etheric, and emotional levels. It stimulates the intellect and enhances memory, helping to recall relevant information when needed.

Now even just focusing on those 2 for me as a kid - I had it in me all along for this moment, but this moment felt like fresh air. It felt like finally things made sense, all these weird jigsaw pieces I was collecting over the years and remembered and began to pay attention to, just made sense.

So why the name Waheguru? Well, if you search what it means, Wikipedia will tell you "is a word used in Sikhism to refer to God. It is also often uttered as a mantra and is called gurmantra or gurmantar gur mantr means the word of the divine which takes you from darkness to the lightness creating your mind to expand". Let's focus on the bit that says 'take you from darkness to the lightness creating your mind to expand' - that reason right there. It's the first thing we say we sneeze in Punjabi, the first thing we say in the Gudwara after a verse is completed in the Ardaas (spoken prayer where we all rise), it holds so many different meanings to so many different Sikhs across the world, but for me, it just tied together the whole process and realisation of "I'm covered, from here on out".

For those who wish to, you can shop Waheguru online here.

Thank you for reading & keep your eyes peeled for future piece meanings being shared across the blog and also socials. Feel free to share your thoughts, comments and even your own interpretations in the comments below or if you wish to let me know privately - I'm always social on emails and my social media channels. 

One love - Simmy. x

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