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Paintings > Hindu > Psychological Warfare In The Ramayana
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Psychological Warfare In The Ramayana

Psychological Warfare In The Ramayana

Psychological Warfare In The Ramayana

The events leading up to the battle episode in this painting have been told and retold numberless times in Southeast Asia. With the first version ascribed to the great sage Valmiki, Ramayana is the story of Ayodhya's Prince Rama and His travails prior to ascension of Ayodhya's throne. When His father, the noble King Dasharath, is forced to banish Him to the woods, He not only obeys Him but actively empathises with him without a shred of judgment. He goes off into His fourteen-year exile, accompanied by His wife Seeta and His brother Lakshman, wherein their adventures comprise the major part of the great Indian epic. The holy Seeta is carried away in captivity by the king of nearby Lanka, Ravana. The brothers embark on a tumultuous search for her, succoured by the devoted Hanuman. When Rama finally discovers His Seeta in Lanka, He wages a series of battles against Ravana. This watercolour depicts one of those battles that led to the rescue of Seeta.

The grandest retelling of the Ramayana is the series of 400 paintings commissioned by Mewar's Rana Jagat Singh in the mid-1600s. The Kailash Raj work in question is a copy of one of those splendid paintings, which actually took nearly a decade to finish. It depicts a point in the war when Ravana's forces had been outnumbered by Rama's vanarsena (army of monkey-warriors), and so He sends Indrajit to battle. In his blue-gold chariot drawn by supple white horses, the generously armed Indrajit plays a mind game with the bothers. They are to the left of the painting, their stance unflinching. Indrajit uses His powers to project an illusory image of Seeta, which He grabs by the hair and slays brutally with His long, silver sword. As her body falls to the ground, cut into two, Hanuman rushes to tell the grievous news to Rama and Lakshman Himself. In the meanwhile the vanars are distraught to see their beloved Seeta thus slayed, but they refuse to let their warrior ethic slip as they continue to do battle with Indrajit's troops.

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Water Color Painting on Paper
Artist: Kailash Raj

11 inch X 7.4 inch
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