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Photo Project: Arishadvarga by Manab Das

In our recent work, we personified the idea of ‘Enemies of Mind’ where I used drag as a medium to talk about lust, anger, temptation, greed, ego, and jealousy. Captured by Manab, in the series, we tried to embrace the idea of 6 sins and relate it to modern themes like plastic surgery, policing, privilege, plagiarism, patriarchy and the pandemic.

About the Photographer:

Manab Das is a Freelance Photographer from West Bengal who now lives in Hyderabad. Besides capturing the beauty of love and colours with his wedding photography, Das explores abstract and thematic photography. Some of his work embodies the contrast captures of art forms such as Bharatanatyam, Indian Expressionism, Butoh, and Tranimal drag. Owner of ‘Tasveers by dmanab’, Das’s work has created a significant difference in Indian Abstract Photography.

Kama the Lust

Kama (Sanskrit: काम; IAST: kāma; Tamil: inpam) means "desire, wish, longing" in Hindu, Buddhist, Jain, and Sikh literature.[1][4][5][6] Kama often connotes sensual pleasure, sexual desire, and longing both in religious and secular Hindu and Buddhist literature, as well as contemporary Indian literature, but the concept more broadly refers to any desire, wish, passion, longing, pleasure of the senses, desire for, longing to and after, the aesthetic enjoyment of life, affection, or love, enjoyment of love is particularly with or without enjoyment of sexual, sensual and erotic desire, and may be without sexual connotations.

Kama is one of the four goals of human life and is also contemplated as one of the primary needs to fulfill during the stages of life according to the Hindu tradition. It is considered an essential and healthy goal of human life when pursued without sacrificing the other three goals: Dharma (virtuous, proper, moral life), Artha (material prosperity, income security, means of life) and Moksha (liberation, release, self-actualization). Together, these four aims of life are called Puruṣārtha.

Moha the Attraction

Moh (Sanskritmuh: “to become stupefied, to be bewildered or perplexed, to err, to be mistaken”) stands in ancient texts for perplexity or confusion as also for the cause of confusion, that is, avidya or ajnana (ignorance or illusion). It is called aaskti "आसक्ति" in Hindi, which have been considered a root cause for राग द्वेष all the sorrows in life, in Hindu religious texts itself is a cause of ignorance अज्ञान which is due to worldly illusion माया (maya). In another context, it stands for “the snare of worldly illusion, infatuation.” Its function is twofold: it bedims the discernment of truth, prevents the discernment of reality, and it creates an error of judgement or leads to wrong knowledge (mithya jnana). Humans believe in an eternal reality of their own existence or ego; they see truth in what is false and seek happiness in what begets suffering.

Krodha the Anger

Krodha (Sanskrit: क्रोध; Tibetan Wylie: khro ba) is a Buddhist term that is translated as "fury", "rage", or "indignation". Within the Mahayana Abhidharma tradition, krodha is identified as one of the twenty subsidiary unwholesome mental factors. It is defined as an increase of anger (Sanskrit: pratigha) that causes one to prepare to harm others.[1][2]

According to Herber Guenther, the difference between anger (pratigha) and fury (krodha) is that anger is a vindictive or hostile attitude in one's mind, but fury is an increase in anger when the chance for harming is at hand and is it very agitated state of mind leading to actual physical harm.[1]

Madha the Arrogance

In Hindu mythology, Mada is a gigantic Rakshasa (demon or monster by the time) from the Hindu text, Mahabharata. It is created by sage Chyavana in return for the Aswins' act of returning his youth and vision. Mada's (मद) name means the intoxicator, his strength is being feared by the king of gods, Indra. It has the ability to change its size to swallow the entire universe in one gulp.

When the twin deities, the Aswins, wished to become complete immortals by drinking the elixir of immortality known as Soma they were insulted to discover that the king of the devas Indra had not invited them to his party at Svarga. Feeling insulted, the twins rushed to speak with Indra on the matter. Indra refused to allow them access to Svarga or the elixir and said that as they associated with mortals so freely and took any form they pleased, they should not be granted full immortality or receive any offerings as devs. Angry at Indra's words and the insult to their pride, the twins sought the aid of the great sage Chyavan.

Lobha The Greed

Rāga literally means 'color or hue' in Sanskrit, but appears in Buddhist texts as a form of blemish, personal impurity or fundamental character affliction.[5][6] As a philosophical concept, the term refers to 'greed, sensuality, desire' or 'attachment to a sensory object'.[1] It includes any form of desire including sexual desire and sensual passion, as well as attachments to, excitement over and pleasure derived from objects of the senses.[5] Some scholars render it as 'craving'.[7]

Raga is one of three poisons and afflictions, also called the "threefold fires" in Buddhist Pali canon,[8] that prevents a being from reaching nirvana.[9][10] To extinguish all raga (greed, lust, desire, attachment) is one of the requirements of nirvana (liberation) in Buddhism.[8]

Matsara The Jelousy

Mātsarya (Sanskrit; Pali: macchariya; Tibetan phonetic: serna) is a Buddhist/Hindu term translated as "stinginess" or "miserliness". It is defined as being incapable of enjoying one’s own possessions and other material objects, clinging to them and being unwilling to part with them or share them with others.[1][2]

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