Lalita stands for unsatisfied love and the sorrow of separation at daybreak. One of the sons of Raga Bhairava, Raga Lalita is represented by a handsome young man standing on the edge of a lotus lake fondling a pair of saras (cranes). Saras (cranes) are symbols of fidelity and true love. It is said that when one of the pair dies, the other pines away in grief. The mango tree under which the young man stands is entwined by a creeper. A twining creeper is a symbol of the beloved, while the mango is a symbol of the lover. Love is symbolized by the madhavi creeper entwining the mango tree. This reminds us of ancient India when the marriage of the madhavi creeper and the mango tree was performed by Hindu rishis. In Hindu flower symbolism, the madhavi creeper is likened to a frail young woman clinging for support to her lord and master, symbolized by the mango tree. Thus says Kanva to Sakuntala after she had met Dushyanta:
My child, you found the lover who
Had long been sought by me;
I'll give the madhavi creeper a lover true
This handsome mango tree.
How truly the painting depicts the yearning of a young lover separated from his sweet-heart!
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