Saturday, April 09, 2016

Feb 2014: The Birth of Krishna

There are two relief sculptures in the Bhopal Museum which show the birth of Krishna. The Vishnu Purana, Book 5, Chapter 3 describes the birth as follows:

THUS eulogized by the gods, Devakí bore in her womb the lotus-eyed deity, the protector of the world. The sun of Achyuta rose in the dawn of Devakí to cause the lotus petal of the universe to expand. On the day of his birth the quarters of the horizon were irradiate with joy, as if moonlight was diffused over the whole earth. The virtuous experienced new delight, the strong winds were hushed, and the rivers glided tranquilly, when Janárddana was about to be born. The seas with their own melodious murmurings made the music, whilst the spirits and the nymphs of heaven danced and sang: the gods, walking the sky, showered down flowers upon the earth, and the holy fires glowed with a mild and gentle flame. At midnight, when the supporter of all was about to be born, the clouds emitted low pleasing sounds, and poured down rain of flowers.As soon as Ánakadundubhi beheld the child, of the complexion of the lotus leaves, having four arms, and the mystic mark Śrívatsa on his breast, he addressed him in terms of love and reverence, and represented the fears he entertained of Kansa. "Thou art born," said Vasudeva, "O sovereign god of gods, bearer of the shell, the discus, and the mace; but now in mercy withhold this thy celestial form, for Kansa will assuredly put me to death when he knows that thou hast descended in my dwelling." Devakí also exclaimed, "God of gods, who art all things, who comprisest all the regions of the world in thy person, and who by thine illusion hast assumed the condition of an infant, have compassion upon us, and forego this thy four-armed shape, nor let Kansa, the impious son of Diti, know of thy descent."To these applications Bhagavat answered and said, "Princess, in former times I was prayed to by thee and adored in the hope of progeny: thy prayers have been granted, for I am born thy son." So saying, he was silent: 
It is one of the iconic moments in Hinduism so not surprising that it was immortalised in stone. What is also fascinating is to see how such a complex display has been captured in a relief. Very difficult to do so, but the unknown sculptures managed to do it. Also note the similarities...the distance from Rewa to Shahdol is about there could have been movement of sculptures. Fascinating..

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