The project logo (above) shows a black-and-white mandala around a silhouette of Śrī Muttusvāmi Dīkshitar holding his vīnā. (Click on the image to see a larger version.)
The idea of illustrating the logo first occurred when I sketched something similar as a birthday gift for Bala uncle (Dr Balachandran) a few years ago. It was a much smaller version. Uncle suggested using it as the logo for the project.
Legend has it that Chidambaranātha yogin, Dīkshitar’s Guru, asked Dīkshitar to descend a few steps into the river Gangā and accept as a blessing whatever he found. When Dīkshitar did so, his hands closed upon a vīnā, with an unusual feature of its yāzhi (யாழி) facing upwards.However, not very long after we were reading about Dīkshitar’s life and pilgrimages, we noticed how the yāzhi of the veena in the first drawing was facing downwards, just like any other vīnā. Since the yāzhi on Dikshitar’s vīnā is upward-facing, I re-drew the logo.
Today, the vīnā resides in Coimbatore, with Śrī Muttusvāmi, who is the sixth generation of Dikshitar’s lineage.
Although I did consider adding colour to the design, I decided to stick to black and white to preserve the simple yet elegant look.
This turned out to be the final version of the logo.
Featured image: The vīnā said to be Muttusvāmi Dīkshitar’s. Source. Accessed: 19 May 2022