Prayer. 2009. fireclay

Author: Alexey Leonov
Material: Shamotte
Location: Private collection
Size: 37,5 х 21 х 19,5

A new awareness of beauty is born in the world. External beauty is a manifestation of internal beauty. What is the basis for the truly beautiful? Harmony! When the ocean of inner peace is covered by even a light wave of small anxiety, beauty fades. Inner balance and peace are the basis of true beauty.
In the sculpture “Prayer” from the “Harmony” series, sculptor Aleksey Leonov embodied a spiritual state of mind in the images of babies with gestures of balance and peace.
The image of a child is attractive not only because of its purity – a symbol of true harmony, but also reveals an ancient Buddhist legend about a time when a thousand Buddhas will descend on Earth. These enlightened minds, the true builders of cosmic evolution, are born for the sake of establishing peace and harmony on Earth, they will bring knowledge and spiritual revelations. The era of the dawn of goodness and the prosperity of spirituality will be established with the birth of the highest sages on Earth.
Babies of the “Harmony” cycle sit on lotuses. This symbol of spiritual enlightenment, beloved in the East, was used by the masters of East and Southeast Asia. The lotus is a unique flower that grows from silt and mud, after passing through the water column and reaching the surface of the water, it blooms into a beautiful flower. In addition, the leaves of the flower have an amazing property – they never get dirty, they retain their pristine purity. The wise men of the East have always been inspired by a beautiful flower as a symbol of human spiritual development. Having passed all the trials of the material world, leaving the mud of passions and attachments in the past, the striving consciousness grows and attains purity, being transferred to the spiritual world, where its highest talents and abilities are awakened.
The general idea and strong impulse of inner sincere prayer embedded in this work attracts with the depth and purity of its aspiration. A somewhat simplified lotus serves as the base-throne for the baby Buddha. The author manages to convey an exceptional state of inner concentration, peace, strengthens it with a prayerful gesture of folded hands on the heart. The child shines from within, radiating into the world a state of spirituality and peace. Focused half-open eyelids, the joy of the highest communion, the harmony and beauty of the boy’s face carry him to the World of the Spirit.
The sculpture expresses life in two worlds – spiritual and material at the same time. The state of God-men for people is commanded in the future, and the way to it is harmony – the balance of the physical and spiritual nature in oneself.

“… No one realizes that only the heart is the abode of harmony. People repeat about unity, but their hearts are full of barbed arrows. People repeat many sayings of different centuries about the power of unity, but do not try to apply this truth to life. People blame the whole world for discord and at the same time they themselves sow disunity. Truly, one cannot live without a heart. Do not find a harmonious abode with heartlessness. The sowers of disunity are not only harming themselves, they are infecting space, and who can predict how far such poison will seep?
Do not think that enough has been said about unity, about creative harmony. On every page it is necessary to repeat the same thing, in every letter it is necessary to mention unity and harmony. It is necessary to remember that every word about unity will already be an antidote, destroying spatial poison. So let’s think about the good of unity.”

Source: Teaching of Living Ethics – Brotherhood, part 1, 193