Golden Flute

Consider his Krishna. It is not difficult to see what the sources of his image are, but those are primarily in the area of iconography. The Lord is rendered naturally in blue, dark as a cloud, like he is in countless paintings from the past, whether Rajasthani or Pahari. The tilak mark that adorns his forehead is, again, naturally vertical urdhvapundra for that is what Vaishnavas wear. What he carries in his hands is no weapon or other ayudha, but a bansuri flute; around his loins is the brilliant yellow garment, the pita vastra, that glistens against his dark skin; surrounding him, or at play around, are either peacocks with the feathers of whose tails he decorates his crown the Lords legs, in part to turn his neck upwards to listen to the flute and in part to offer himself as his vahana vehicle. There is an unearthly air about all this, these constructs and abstractions. The remarkable thing, however, is that for the viewer there is no loss of feeling, perhaps even of reverence. It is a different kind of lila that he is being invited to witness.