indian art - miniatures - archecticture - vedic philosophy

Classical - Kangra - Bihari Sat Sai
Plate 7 - The Message of the Eyes  



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Poets have written many beautiful stanzas in praise of the eyes of the beloved. They have compared them to lotus petals, the lightning, and the restless khanjan bird. In many of his verses, Bihari has described the beauty of the eyes of Radha and Krishna.

"When the beloved averted her eyes and arched her brows, these rankle like thorns in my breast." "His eyes are always thirsty, and can never drink to their fill her beauty." "She rained at me her side-long glances." "The arrows of eyes hurt as much the one who strikes as the one who is struck." Sometimes they convey more than mere speech, as described in the verse below.

saba hi tyaun samuhati chhinu,
chalati sabanu dai pithi
bahi tyaun thaharati yaha,
kibilanavi laun dithi

kahata natata rijhata khijata
milata khilata lajiyata
bhare bhaun main kahata hain,
nainanu hin saba bata

"Although her glance may wander, it turns away immediately
Seeing her own lord, her gaze becomes steady like the mariner's compass."

"They speak, disagree, rejoice, get annoyed,
Reconcile again, feel pleased, and then absorbed.
While seated in the crowded hall, they speak to each other with their eyes."

Krishna is shown seated in a window overlooking an open verandah. Radha has averted her face and is looking at Krishna. On the sides are sakhis talking to each other about the love of Radha and Krishna. By this device the artist has conveyed the impression of secrecy of love in a crowded hall.