Tender Lotus-Hands Become Heated Iron Rods or Krishna as Keshava

Tender Lotus-Hands Become Heated Iron Rods or Krishna as Keshava

Item Code: HC10
Water Color on Paper
Basholi School
8.5 inches x 6.5 inches
The Lord's mercy manifests itself both in his soft side as a sensuous lover, and as the ruthless destroyer of evil. Here Krishna can be seen battling the horse-demon named Keshi. Krishna's maternal uncle Kansa constantly felt threatened by him and devised many devious plans to have him killed. This included sending one powerful demon after another to annihilate Krishna.

Keshi, a dreadful demon sent by Kansa came in the form of a wild and powerful horse. Fire spewed from his mouth and his eyes were red like embers. He came charging full tilt at Krishna, his hooves pounding the earth. But an unruffled Krishna stood his ground like a rock, smiling his gentle smile. Then he suddenly thrust his left arm into the wide-open mouth of the horse. The tender lotus hand of Krishna, used to caressing the delicate form of Radha, became like a heated iron rod. At its mere touch, Keshi's teeth fell out one by one. Then Krishna's hand began to swell inside the horse's mouth. It reached such proportions that the demon was unable to breathe; he began to kick his feet, his body was covered with perspiration and he began to excrete dung. Thus choked, his massive body fell to the ground with a great thud and he died.

Hence Krishna came to be known as Keshava, or the Conqueror of Keshi.

In keeping with the spirit of the subject, the artist has set out the background as a stark, hot-yellow. While the hooves of the horse touch the earth, the figure of Krishna charged with vitality seems to be air-borne. The horse is indeed of extraordinary strength. But the skilled artist leaves no doubt regarding the eventual outcome of the struggle.

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