The Loves of Krishna in Indian Painting and Poetry by W. G. Archer

By W. G. Archer

Comprises Krishna the Hero, Cowherd, and Prince and of poetry and portray, with 39 plates

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From where they are working the cowgirls hear it and at once are plunged in agitation. They gather on the road and say to each other, 'Krishna is dancing and singing in the forest and will not be home till evening. ' One cowgirl says, 'That happy flute to be played on by Krishna! Little wonder that having drunk the nectar of his lips the flute should trill like the clouds. Alas! Krishna's flute is dearer to him than we are for he keeps it with him night and day. The flute is our rival. ' A second cowgirl speaks.

Everything in the scene reminds them of their love and they address first a chakai bird. 'O chakai bird, when you are parted from your mate, you spend the whole night sadly calling and never sleeping. Speak to us of your beloved. ' They speak to the sea. 'O sea, you lie awake night and day, heaving sighs. ' Then they see the moon. 'O moon, why do you grow thin? Are you also filled with longing? ' In this way they address birds, hills and rivers, seeking from each some consolation for their frenzied love.

But the night is empty, their cries go unanswered, and moaning for the Krishna they adore, they toss and writhe on the ground. At last, Krishna relents. ' Some of the cowgirls hardly dare to be angry but others upbraid him for so brusquely deserting them. To all, Krishna gives the same answer. He is not to be judged by ordinary standards. He is a constant fulfiller of desire. It was to test the strength of their love that he left them in the forest. They have survived this stringent test and convinced him of their love.

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