indian art - miniatures - archecticture - vedic philosophy

Classical - Kangra - Bihari Sat Sai
Plate 5 - In Search of Her Lover on a Dark Night  



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Radha, who goes out on a dark night to meet her lover, Krishna, is called Krishna-Bhisarika. To conceal herself she wears a blue garment. Her companion urges her on, saying, "The cowherds have left the platforms in front of their houses, and the streets are empty. The night is dark. This is an opportune time for you, dear Abhisarika, to go out to meet your lover." The painting illustrates the following couplet, in which Bihari describes the beauty of Radha.

nisi andhiari nilapatu,
pahiri chali piya-geha
kahau durai kyon durai
dipa sikha si deha

"Though clad in blue, the dark night
Cannot hide her as she goes to meet her lover
The flame like brilliance of her body
Illumines the night itself."

The empty houses, and the dark sky, powdered by stars, suggest the solitude of the night. In the background, the trees stand like phantoms. The finely chiselled face of the Nayika, framed in a blue wrap, and the grace of her form and delicate fingers display Radha's beauty. The lustre of the Nayika's body shines forth in bright contrast with her blue sari. In Panjabi folk songs, female beauty is often compared to a flame.