Jan 3, 2013


Navaneetha Natyam:
5' x 4' acrylic on canvas, 2004.

The basic idea is inspired from Swami Desika's verse in Gopala Vimshati (20 verses in praise of Gopala). In the fourth verse he describes Krishna's ways to seek butter (navaneetam). In Nanda's house Yashoda is churning butter. One of his knees bent, and supporting himself firmly on the other leg, he begins to dance. The jingling sound of the ornaments on his person, made by his swinging movements and the rhythmic churning keep the beats for his dance.  He dances and asks for a handful of butter, as if it were a fee. Let this vision appear to me, prays Desika.
The pot is shown as the tabala, which keeps the beat. A comparison is made with the Kurma avatar, where the Lord churned entire ocean of milk for Amrita. Adding to the music, is his own flute, emerging from the pot. Butter is the symbol of bhakti, churned out from milk, a pure heart. This milk goes through various forms to get to the final stage of butter. The various dance poses are pictured in the background, suggesting his various leelas in Gokula.

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