Miss Annya Miralene wrote:

In many Catholic religious pictures and statues, as well as many modern Hindu pictures, we see a sentimentality that is absent from earlier iconographic works. These have been criticised as “sentimental” both by traditionalists who deplore their lack of intellectual content and by modern “realistic” rationalists who dislike “prettiness” and prefer the dark and stark as part of their inverted aesthetic. Once again we see the Law of Tamasic Inversion — both the Sattwic and the Tamasic mentality attack Rajasic sentimentality, one from above and the other from below.

Now clearly the traditionalists are right and the modernists are wrong. But what we must reply to the traditionalists is simply that this is the latter end of Kali Yuga. The majority of people are ruled by sentiments and it is important to direct those sentiments upward rather than downward.

To say that sentimental religious pictures are devoid of intellectuality is true on one level. But one must also remember that it is intellectuality that discriminates, intellectuality that decides whether to direct our sentimentality toward images of Dea or (as almost every modern women’s magazine seems to do) toward images of sexuality and impure thoughts.

In my view, as a modern, sentimental person, I find sentimental religious art attractive. I like to see pictures of my loving Mother looking sweet and beautiful. I have on my shrine a very pretty picture of Sri Lakshmi that even has little bits of glitter. I also have more traditional icons. I understand that some people genuinely do not like the more sentimental pictures for reasons that are traditional or artistic rather than modernist and cynical. They have more sophisticated tastes than I have. That is quite all right.

What should be remembered is that such sentimental images, for those who do appreciate them, serve only good purposes. They are there to direct the heart upwards, toward Dea. In short, they are Good.

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