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Sculptures > Hindu > Communicating Not Only Through Aesthetics, But Also Material
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Communicating Not Only Through Aesthetics, But Also Material

Communicating Not Only Through Aesthetics, But Also Material

Communicating Not Only Through Aesthetics, But Also Material

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Kadamba Wood Sculpture from Jaipur

15.0 inch X 7.5 inch X 3.6 inch
1.51 kg
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Communicating Not Only Through Aesthetics, But Also Material

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Viewed 5166 times since 4th Jun, 2011
Radha, also called Radhika, Radharani and Radhikarani, is inseparable from Krishna. She is almost always depicted alongside Krishna and features prominently within the theology of today's Gaudiya Vaishnava sect, which regards Radha as the original Goddess or Shakti. Indeed, Radha Ji is the principal object of worship in nearly all the Vaishnava sects. In fact, Shri Nimbarkacharya, founder of the Vaishnav Nimbarka Sampradaya, declared that Radha and Krishna together constitute the absolute truth. Nimbarkacharya was the first Vaishnava acharya to disseminate teachings about Radha. Radha's relation with Krishna are detailed in scriptures such as the Brahma Vaivarta Purana, Garga Samhita and Brihad Gautamiya Tantra.

Devout followers prefix Radha's name with the respectful term 'Shrimati', thus calling her Shrimati Radharani. Here we see Shrimati Radharani clinging close to Krishna, with her right hand placed on his corresponding shoulder (visible at the back of the sculpture). Radharani is dressed like a typical village gopi (milk-maid), balancing a decorated milk pot on her head, supported by her left hand. But obviously there are some differences. The pot is not placed directly on her head, rather it has a flattened lotus for a base.

As for Krishna, what can be said about him. He is the beauty of all that is beautiful in this world. With his left leg crossed before the right, he charms Radha the innocent gopi with his flute. The Lord wears a long garland of flowers and a crown topped with a peacock feather, both befitting a cowherd of Vrindavan. Krishna wears a long dhoti, and the sash of his upper garment can be seen falling down his left shoulder.

The divine pair is standing on a lotus base shaped like a boat. Its petals can be seen blooming out in celebration of their mutual affection. The pedestal supporting this lotus is itself carved with beautiful flowing creepers. In fact, the carver has dexterously carved out each and every portion of the composition, whether it be the folds of Krishna's dhoti, or the ornamentation of Radha Ji's garments, making the sculpture a dense intermingling of flowing, vibrant forms, throbbing with the intensity of romance.

The material used for the sculpture is itself not without significance. The Kadamba tree is mentioned in the Bhagavata Purana. In Northern India, it is associated with Krishna, while in the south it is known as " Goddess Parvati’s tree". Radha and Krishna are supposed to have conducted their love play in the hospitable and sweet-scented shade of the Kadamba tree. Thus this sculpture, created in the city of Jaipur, communicates the divine love of Radha and Krishna not only through its aesthetics, but also its material.

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