indian art - miniatures - archecticture - vedic philosophy

Classical - Mewari - Gita-Govinda - Series One
Plate 16 - "Hrdi visalata... tumhye kyon pide hain."  


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We return to the pitiful cries of Krsna; He calls out to Kamadeva:
 "Lotus stalks garland my heart,
Not a necklace of serpents.
Blue lily petals circle my neck,
Not the poision blue of Siva's throat;
sandal wood paste and not ash.
Don't attack me oh Kamadeva,
Mistaking me for Siva.
Why do you rush at me in rage?"

Few artists attempt to depict this verse pictorially. It is favorite in the athinaya sections of many dance styles as it provides immense possibilities for improvisation and elaboration. The Mewari artist places Krsna in the arched bower. An aggressive Kamadeva in the trees is pelting Krsna with two arrows. The figure of Kamadeva is repeated to bring home the intensity of the phrase "the repeated attack by the arrows of Kama." Diagonally opposite is the figure of Siva as described by the poet with coiled serpents around his body and a god of love releasing his arrows at him. The story of Madana disturbing Siva during his penance and his being reduced to ashes is evoked.
Also the refrain of Radha and the sakhi is repeated. Significantly the artist does not duplicate the figures of Krsna and the gopis and Radha's walking away. Nor does he elaborate the idea. With purpose he concentrates on this one powerful concept. The lotus and the night lily have both disappeared from the Jamuna.