Jaur Gita Govinda, Part 2


Sep 08, 2011 — CANADA (SUN) — Reprise of a 2005 month-long series on the illustrious Jaur Gita-Govinda.

Text Folio No. 2

Bhavas 4 and 5

These bhavas vividly describe Krsna singing and dancing with the Gopis, who are described in rich imagery as in the corresponding portions of the Gita-Govinda. There are descriptions here of how Krsna binds the Gopis in His love, how His flute enchants them, and how they dance with kansyatala and hastatala. Both bhavas 4 and 5 end with the praise of this Krsna, the beloved of the Gopis, and declare that all living beings seek His protection. The significant word 'Ghumar' occurs in the context of Krsna's dance with the Gopis. These bhavas are based on the verses of the Sarga I, prabandha 3 beginning lalita-lavanga-lata, etc.

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Illustration Folios No. 3 and 4

The illustration folios capture the spirit of the text through a series of paintings, each depicting a music and dance scene. Both folios are divided into several vertical sections. Section 1 of folio 3 begins with a red-haloed Krsna and a Gopi, or possibly Radha, and is followed by a central panel only of a Gopi in a dance movement. Her feet are in kuncita and the open ardhamandali is evident. Unlike other Gita-Govinda manuscripts, which portray a rasa with numerous gopis, Krsna is seen here with a single Gopi, and most likely Radha.

In the third section of folio 3, there is a drummer playing mrdanga and another lady dancer, this time in an urdhvajanu movement of the lower limbs. One arm is extended in a relaxed dolahasta, the other is held above the head in a partial uromandala hasta.

In folio 4, the theme is further developed, again with divided panels. The text describes Krsna with the gopis in vivid terms. A gopi drenches Krsna, then two others are dancing the ghumara with him. Last, the poet speaks of the enchantment of Krsna's flute.

In the first illustration panel, the Gopi pouring water on Krsna suggests the playing of Holi. In the second, Krsna is flanked by two Gopis in a movement of the dance where an interlocked pindibandha is evident. In the third, He sits alone playing a flute, dressed in white dhoti with a red stripe, and wearing different headgear than in the preceding panels. The illustration communicates the mood of Spring, where Krsna dances with several Gopis, without making the painting a mere pictorial representation of the verbal content. Each section is a self-contained unit through the clearly defined lines and background color. Panel 1 of folio 4 is set against a dull ochre, followed by a dark blue in the second, and the third against a blue and dull mauve. The juxtaposition of these two colors is a clever device, both as pictorial harmony and to suggest passage of time. The dark blue represents the Yamuna, and the mauve is the banks meandering alongside the water. The blackish wedge at top left is most likely the sky.


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