Murti's are the statues or depictions being worshipped by Hindus. The statues can be abstract, but usually they are recognizable representations of gods or goddesses from the Hindu pantheon. The Sanskrit word Murti can be translated as "embodiment" and so Murti's are believed to possess the divinity, or to be able to establish a direct connection to the divinity. Although some Hindu denominations reject the practice of using Murtis as idolatry, binding the believer to material, worldly matter, most Hindu scholars accept Murtis as a means to focus on the different aspects of the divine. In the Bhagavad Gita, an important epic in Indian literature, Krishna says “It is much more difficult to focus on God as the unmanifested than God with form, due to human beings having the need to perceive via the senses.”
In this intimate painting we look over an old lady's shoulder, in the early morning, seated in a little boat, at the verge of immersing her beloved Lakshmi statue in the river, so that it will sink, dissolve and again become the clay it was made of.
The immersion of a statue is a Hindu practice, named Visarjan. It reminds Hindus not to become attached to a depiction of a god, not to be attached to any matter. It also symbolizes the dissolution of the ego, because Hindus believe one can only attain enlightenment, can only see God, if one no longer has an ego.