In the Service of Krishna mapinpub

In the Service of Krishna

Illustrating the Lives of Eighty-four Vaishnavas from a 1702 Manuscript
Emilia Bachrach
Foreword by Amit Ambalal

The Pushtimarg, or the Path of Grace, is a Hindu tradition whose ritual worship of the deity Krishna has developed in close relationship to a distinct genre of early modern Hindi prose hagiography.

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The Pushtimarg, or the Path of Grace, is a Hindu tradition whose ritual worship of the deity Krishna has developed in close relationship to a distinct genre of early modern Hindi prose hagiography.
This volume introduces readers to the most popular hagiographic text of the Pushtimarg—the Chaurasi Vaishnavan ki Varta, or “Narratives of Eighty Four Vaishnavas,” which tells the sacred life stories of the community’s first preceptor Vallabhacharya (1497–1531) and his most beloved disciples.

At the core of these narratives are descriptions of how Vallabhacharya’s disciples cultivated intimate relationships with Lord Krishna through ritual performances known as seva, or loving service. Despite the widespread practice of illustrating seva through painting, these narratives, which showcase everyday men and women, have rarely been visually depicted. This book focuses on the only extant Chaurasi Vaishnavan ki Varta manuscript dated to the beginning of the 18th century, now in artist Amit Ambalal’s collection.

In the Service of Krishna invites readers to learn about the literary and cultural history of these delightful narratives. The volume will appeal to scholars and students of Indian art and literature, to those who have grown up in the Pushtimarg tradition, and more broadly to those with an appreciation for the distinct ways in which pictures can tell stories, particularly those that unite the everyday with intimate experiences of the Divine.

• Acknowledgements
• Note on Translation and Transliteration
• Foreword Amit Ambalal
• Introduction
• The Pushtimarg and its Devotional Aesthetics
• The Chaurasi Vaishnavan ki Varta
• The Illustrated Manuscript from the Amit Ambalal Collection
• Pictures that Tell Stories
• Select Varta Episodes and Illustrations
• From the Varta of Damodardas Harsani
• From the Varta of Krishnadas Meghan
• From the Varta of Padmanabhadas
• From the Varta of Tulsa
• From the Varta of Parvati
• From the Varta of Raghunathdas
• From the Varta of Rajo Kshatrani
• From the Varta of Seth Purushottamdas
• From the Varta of Rukmini
• From the Varta of Gopaldas
• From the Varta of Madhavdas and his brother Benidas
• From the Varta of Harivams Pathak
• From the Varta of Govindadas Bhalla
• From the Varta of a Kshatrani from Mahavan
• From the Varta of Jiyadas Suri
• From the Varta of Purushottamdas and his wife
• From the Varta of Tripurdas Kayasth
• From the Varta of Puranmal Jenval
• From the Varta of Narhari Joshi
• From the Varta of a Brahmin woman from Adel
• From the Varta of a Kshatrani from Sinhanand
• From the Varta of Virbai
• From the Varta of a Carpenter from Adel
• From the Varta of Narhar Sannyasi
• From the Varta of Krishnadas and his wife
• From the Varta of Gopaldas Kshatri from Naroda
• From the Varta of Krishnadas Adhikari
• Illustrated Index of the 1702 Manuscript
• Glossary
• Notes
• Bibliography
ISBN 9789385360558
Pages 164
Number of illustrations 143
Size 8.5 x 11.5" (216 x 292 mm), hc
Date of Publishing 2019
Language(s) English
Co-publisher(s) Mapin
Rights Available World rights
“The [book] stands as a noteworthy text for documenting the sacred rituals and practices of the Vallabha community... the vibrant visuality allows even a lay reader to interact with the Pushtimarg tradition.”
—Sama Haq, Critical Collective

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