"If I Die Today . . ."
"If I die today, every drop of my blood will invigorate the nation." Profound words from a woman who dedicated most of her life to her country. Although she did not consider herself a strong woman, she indeed was strong and forceful; therefore, she is painted in the pose of the Indian Goddess Durga. The role of women in early Indian mythology is extremely complex, women sometimes being portrayed in a positive manner, but very often in a negative aspect.
1. "Indira" - The name means she.
2. "Amma" - Meaning mother. Ms. Gandhi was frequently called "Amma" by the people. Because she was of the earth, she is painted in parched ochre, white and earth red.
3. Four rivers of Paradise - Flow from the Tree of Life toward the four cardinal points. The center is a still pool of meditation, the river ripples as it flows in four directions as a ritual for ablution and purification.
4. The outside flaming circle - Is a symbol of Prahviti. The metal gold (Hindu) life, light, truth, immortality; the seed, fire of Agni.
5. Her center arms are folded and bound in Yogapatha - To assist her in concentration and meditation.
6. The third eye of the Goddess - Is in her lower right hand; Hindu prayer beads (rosary) 64 beads; the wheel of life; the sword of protection and destruction; the scepter with the traditional seal of India (three lions on an abacus); the electron, proton, neutron and uranium symbolize Indira's acquisition of nuclear weapons; book symbolizes her education and constant research and paperwork; three lotus -- female and mystical flower of India.
7. Peacock - Is the emblem of Sarasvati, the Goddess of Wisdom, Music and Poetry.
8. The two tigers - Protect and lift her on the ancient royal throne of the Goddess Durga.
9. Female in burning Lotus - Although suttee is rarely practiced today and has not bene predominate in Indian culture for approximately 100 years, these women represent a growing custom of wife burning by the husband in order to acquire a new wife with a greater dowry.
10. Serpent - Universal Goddess symbol, cobra -- the symbol of India.