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Folio from a Bhagavad Gita manuscript: the Brahmara Gita episode - Uddhava, the bee and the gopis. Pahari school at Kashmir. Circa 1820. Gouache and gold on fine glazed paper. Text to verso. 18.9 x 11cm

The painting illustrates verse 2611 of the Bhagavad Gita, the famous episode of Uddhava, a friend of Krishna. Krishna, by is once again in Mathura and has killed the evil king Kamsa but has had no time to go back to Vrindavan to visit the gopis. He sends his friend Uddhava to talk to them. They, however, steeped in the love of Krishna as they were, did not agree to converse directly wth Uddhava: indstead they took a bee (Brahmara in Sanskrit - visible on the painting) for an intermediary. This whole episode and the long conversation between Uddhava and the gopis is known as Brahmara Gita.

I would like to express my gratitude to Anna Dallapiccola for kindly identifying this scene.

Ref: Kashmir Brahmara Gita 26111

All images and text © Peter Blohm