Madhubani Painting of Turtle: Know The Significance of it in Indian Culture

Turtle Painting
Everyone wants live long and healthy life. This is one of many desires we normally have in our wish list. We humans use different kind of languages to communicate with each other. Images, sounds, audio visuals etc. make our communication interactive, memorable and long lasting, so becomes a part of it. We humans have been doing it since ages. Different societies, different cultures throw different symbols in front of everyone with a hidden meaning. Same is the case with image of turtle, which is considered very auspicious in Sanatan Dharma. That’s why, one can find its painting done and shown in every part of India. Lord Vishnu, the all encompassing universal body, took his second incarnation as turtle to protect the earth from losing the balance at the time of ‘Amrit Manthan’ or ‘Grinding of Kshir Sagar to bring out elixir nectar’. Since, Mithila (Madhubani, Sitamarhi, Darbhanga and nearby area of present day Bihar and Janakpur and nearby area of Nepal) is the birthplace of Goddess Lakshmi as Goddess Sita, Madhubani painting or Mithila Painting displays any image connected to either her or Lord Vishnu very prominently.
Why turtle is considered so auspicious or why Lord Vishnu chose turtle for his second incarnation?
If you look at turtle and gather the features of its image, what you get to see is a strong cover to protect itself any kind of harshness from outside. But inside that strong cover, there exists a soft body, which can live in water, float with it, walk on nearby sand, which again has a kind of softness. It is the perfect combination of soft and hard. Most important of all, different species of turtle live between 100 to 300 years. One can live that long only if it is healthy.

Derivatives in our own Life

Now let us imply what it means for us. A man must have tough exterior to protect himself and his family from external harshness and difficulties. This harshness may not just be in physical form, but of emotional and mental form as well. Inside the tough exterior lives a soft body. A man also must have soft and flexible body, temperament and approach to handle the harshness and difficulties of life. If he chooses to have tough and rock interior as well, like his exterior, then harshness and difficulties will end up breaking him in multiple pieces. So, by adopting the features of a turtle, a man can protect his intellect, wealth, health and happiness.
That’s why Lord Vishnu chose turtle to be his choice of second incarnation. Not only that, he also gave turtle to his wife Goddess Lakshmi as one of her carrier. While worshiping her, one need to have image or artifact of turtle to signify her arrival at his place.
Let us look at painting once again
What do you see now; just a turtle? I am sure you are not? Now you are seeing a story, a message, a deep rooted meaning, which you would like to carry with yourself all the time.
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