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Home >> Painting Trivia >> Bhagvata Purana

Bhagvata Purana

Bhagvata Purana has inspired many Indian painting styles. Rajashani Paintings such as Pichwais and Phad paintings are based on Bhagvata Purana.

Bhagavata Purana is one of the Puranas, a part of the epic literature of Hinduism.the primary focus of Bhakti Purana is the process of bhakti yoga (loving devotion to the Supreme Lord) in which Vishnu or Krishna is understood as the Supreme all-embracing God of all Gods . Earlier sections of the literature contain stories of devotees and objects of their devotion: the various avataras of Krishna or Vishnu. The most famous section is one of the latter Canto's (10th canto) which deals in detail with the story of Krishna's appearance and pastimes in Vrindavan.

The Bhagavata Purana is in a conversational format. A cursed (the curse being inevitable death in seven days) King holds conversation with a young disciple and the conversation is what we know as the Bhagvad purana. The conversation between the cursed King and his disciple goes on uninterrupted for seven days, during which the king does not eat, drink or sleep. During this time the saint explains that one's goal in life is understanding the supreme absolute truth defined as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krishna

Lord Krishna

Lord Krishna is seen, as a figure of inspiration and spirituality .His love dalliances with the gopis is the main focus of Bhagvada Purana. Radha's unflinching love for Krishna and their relationship are often interpreted as the human quest for union with the divine. This kind of love is of the highest form of devotion in Vaishnavism, and is symbolically represented as the bond between the wife and husband.

Radha, daughter of Vrishabhanu, was Krishna's faithful companion since childhood and subsequently, lover during that period of his life when he lived among the cowherds of Vrindavan. Their childhood intimacy, as projected through lore, was indicative of the love that was to blossom between them - they played, they danced, they fought, they grew up together and wanted to be together forever, but the world pulled them apart. He departed to safeguard the virtues of truth, and she waited for him. He vanquished his enemies, became the king, and came to be worshipped as a lord of the universe. She waited for him. He married Rukmini and Satyabhama, raised a family, fought the great war of Ayodhya, and she still held a torch for him. So great was Radha's love for Krishna that even today her name is uttered whenever Krishna is referred to, and Krishna worship is though to be incomplete without the deification of Radha.

For ages, this evergreen love theme has engrossed poets, painters, musicians and all Krishna devotees alike.

Lord Vishnu

Known as the Preserver, he is most famously identified with his avatars, or incarnations, especially Krishna and Rama. He is also frequently referred to as Narayana. Hindus believe that Vishnu incarnates periodically for the establishment and protection of righteousness, good dharma and destruction of evil adharma.

There are ten primary avatars of Vishnu ( dashavatara ), apart from other, less significant, incarnations.

They are (in order of avatar)

  • Matsya(Fish)
  • Kurma (Turtle)
  • Varaha (Pig/Boar)
  • Narasimha (torso upwards lion, below, human)
  • Vamana (dwarf)
  • Parashurama (Fierce man / Hunter)
  • Rama (Greatest Warrior/ Ideal man)
  • Krishna (Mentally advanced man) and sometimes Balarama(Rama with the plough) is mentioned as an avatar, who appeared as the elder brother of Krishna
  • Buddha (The all knowing one) who appeared in the 5th century BCE.
  • Kalki (Prophesied, yet to take place)

Manuscripts such as Bhavad Purana have shaped the Hindu understanding of Gods and Goddesses. Artists and artisans refer to these very texts for authentic description of gods.

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