Jaur Gita Govinda, Part 8


Sep 14, 2011 — CANADA (SUN) — Reprise of a 2005 month-long series on the illustrious Jaur Gita-Govinda.

Text Folio No. 16

Bhava 17

Bhava 17 (continued) describes the weary sakhi, who has been unable to persuade either Radha or Krsna to break the silence. Krsna then takes the initiative and begins to address Radha. He asks her pardon for any wrong he may have done and reminds her that there is no defeat or victory between them. Gradually Radha gives in and takes him in her arms. The sakhi is happy, moves away and lets the lovers experience one moment of love, the melting away of the yearning of years. This is a clear departure from the Gita-Govinda, because it introduces an intermediary meeting of the two lovers. This may indicate that the author misread the original Sanskrit.

Illustration Folio 15

The panel (not pictured) is divided into three sections. In the first, Krsna is approaching Radha who appears to be walking away and yet turning around to listen to him. In the second, she stands alone and pours water, and in the third the sakhi holds a screen, suggesting her own walking away and perhaps very delicately suggesting the meeting of the lovers. The emotions of the words are illustrated through a pictorial device where the artist is obviously deviating from the verbal imagery to create in pictorial terms the suggestion of a mood which he wishes to portray. The passage of time is beautifully conveyed through a gradual darkening of the horizon and the emergence of the moon.

Text Folio No. 16

Bhavas 17 and 18

Bhavas 17 and 18 describe the preparation for the union in stages. Radha prepares for the union, closes the door behind her, arranges the bed, and adorns herself after a ritual bath. Then she addresses Hari, the all-knowing one and bows to him. Krsna is pleased, and takes her in his arms.

Illustration Folios 16 and 17

Folio 16 and part of 17 illustrate this section of text through three panels of 16 and one of 17. In the first section of folio 16, Radha is seen arranging the bed excitedly. In the second, she is seen bathing, and in the third, waiting under a tree.

In the first section of folio 17, the two are seen together in an embrace. The painter is faithful to the text of the Jaur Gita-Govinda. A decorative floor covering is set on a background that changes from red to yellow to mauve. The color is distributed asymmetrically and lends an air of gaiety.

The second panel shows the two again outdoors, in separation. They appear to be bidding one another farewell. Radha is brilliant in her red and blue sari against a pastel green background. Krsna, in a bright yellow dhoti, moves against a dark night sky. The juxtaposition of the green and blue backgrounds indicates movement, a parting of ways. Krsna's bold red halo is a reminder to the viewer that this is a drama of divine personalities, and must be viewed thus.


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