About the Book
Krsna Steals the Parijata (Parijataharana) is a collection of a few accounts, edited by Harsha V. Dehejia, on Krsna forcibly taking away Parijata from Indra, which finds expression through the paintings of different kalams. Christopher R. Austin relates this event to the citations and narrations in Mahabharata and Harivamsa, wherein the focus is on Krsna's effort to appease his perturbed wife Satyabhama, by fulfilling her desire to have Parijata from Indra's abode. Mahendra Kumar Mishra approaches this incident from Sarala Mahabharata angle. Here the narrative and episode are little different though the centre theme and characters remain the same.
The third narrative is in Hindi by Narmada Prasad Upadyaya. He approaches this story from a different viewpoint that by forcibly taking away the Parijata tree from lndraloka, Krsna broke Indra's Himalayan pride. The main characters in the episode are same here too: Krsna, Indra and Satyabhama. In the final article, Harsha V. Dehejia provides a visual narrative account of the event. The story looks almost similar to that of Austin with little more narration and a few additional characters. The sequentially given paintings tell the story faster than the literature.
In a nutshell the book is an exemplar attempt to visually covey a well-known, well-rooted story where Krsna is the central character.
About the Author
Harsha V. Dehejia has a double doctorate, one in medicine and other in ancient Indian culture, both from University of Bombay. He is also a member of the Royal College of Physicians of London, Glasgow and Canada all by examination. He is a practising Physician and Professor of Indian Studies at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada. His main interest is in Indian aesthetics. He has published more than twenty books, curated many exhibitions and made a documentary film, Ateliers of Lave, 500 Years of Krishna Paintings.
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