Krishna's Earthly Ties: Page from a Dispersed Manuscript Bivamangalastava
India (Rajasthan, Mewar)
Opaque watercolor, ink, and gold on paper
Image: 10 1/4 x 8 in. (26 x 20.3 cm)
Cynthia Hazen Polsky and Leon B. Polsky Fund, 2006
Not on view
This work presents the devotional vision of Amar Singh II, who sits in the upper left. An inscription along the top, drawn from the devotional text of the Bivamangalastava, states:
On earth there are in all probability only three hitching posts for the elephant called Murari [a name for Krishna]: the wooden mortar, the mind of the ascetics, and the budlike breasts of milkmaids.
The central elements of this passage appear in the image: the blue figure of Krishna, dragging a mortar, approaches his foster mother, Yashoda, while below, an ascetic sits on the riverbank near the elephant Murari.
Inscription: There is an inscription in devanagari at the top of the painting and two inscriptions on the reverse of the page. None are easily readable although the face of the painting mentions Bivamangalastava, the text by Krsnalilasukamuni (1193-1293). All three seem to be versions of a verse from the text: "On earth there are in all probability only three hitching posts for the elephant called Murari [an epithet of Krishna]; the wooden mortar, the mind of the ascetics, and the bud-like breasts of milkmaids". (From purchase report)