Symbols in general and Kolam designs in particular are in their function contrary to verbal communication.
Words separate things and insist on their differences, while symbols and Kolam designs emphasize what they have in common. This is why their translation into words does not convey their innermost significance. And for the same reason the study of Kolam symbols cannot be an analytical science. But is not every picture imag-in-ary before being described in drawing, painting and form? Only the realist sees the things separate, this shape, your shape, and his/her shape as living independent separate lives. A teaching Kolam image or symbol does not pretend to represent the ultimate reality in dogmatic exclusiveness. It rather intends to prepare us and transform us so that we may overcome step by step our perceptual and existential limitations and enter a state of self-awareness, one with reality.
Medhananada, my teacher said, ‘That behind the once popular religious interpretations a true spirituality reveals itself, a splendid way to self-knowledge and self-realization.’