indian art - miniatures - archecticture - vedic philosophy

Classical - Kangra - Bihari Sat Sai
Plate 12 - The Arrows of the Eyes  



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The manner in which dramatic relations are expressed through design, as well as expression on the faces of the lovers, is a remarkable characteristic of the paintings of the Sat Sai series. The architectural element in these paintings - the straight lines of walls and windows - provide a setting for the love drama of Radha and Krishna. Their graceful figures, framed by vertical windows, and their confidantes watching them from a corner produce a balanced composition of great beauty. The following verses are illustrated in this painting:

jasu apajasu dekhata nahin,
dekhata sanvala gata
kaha karaun lalacha bhare
chapala naina chali jata

ali ina loina saranu ko
kharau visama sanchara
lagain lagaye eke se
duhun karate sanhara

One sakhi says to another:
"Not caring for reputation, she gazes at his dark body; Helpless, her playful, greedy eyes are attracted towards him. O sakhi, the arrows darting from the eyes are unique. They injure the assailant and the victim alike."

The love norm of society is conjugal fidelity and when Parakiya love, or love of a woman for a man other than her husband is mentioned, it is in a spiritual sense. The sacrifice of family honour and reputation involved in Parakiya love is the soul's complete surrender to God and the highest sacrifice one can make. Hindi poets are lavish in the use of metaphors to indicate the beauty of the eyes. The restless eyes of the beloved are here compared to lightning. Stolen glances are the speech of love. They convey the feelings of lovers who cannot find an opportunity to speak or to write to each other.