Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Images of the Goddess - Museum of Fine Arts, Boston


Anonymous said...

Jeronimius, do know what the backstory is on the "Goddess transferring sleeping figures"? It's an intriguing image.


jeronimus said...

Thanks for commenting V. Yes, it is mysterious. I checked on the MFA website but they didn't give a commentary on the painting. Just the title you mentioned.

I think it's an illustration from the story of the birth of Shri Krishna.
The eight-armed goddess is probably Yoga Maya (also called Vishnumaya, because she is the embodiment of Vishnu's Maya, his magic illusory power).
Vishnu asked her to transfer the 'embryos' (or 'souls', in some accounts) of Krishna (his eighth avatar), and Krishna's brother Balarama, from the womb of imprisoned Devaki to that of Rohini.

I'm not sure why there are three figures being transferred, not two. The third may be the soul of Vishnumaya herself, which the goddess will transfer to the womb of Devaki, thereby sacrificing herself to save Krishna. She is born, in his place, as the 8th child of Devaki. The evil king Kamsa plans to kill the eight child of his sister Devaki, because of a prophecy that this child would kill him.

The objects in the goddess's other hands may be wombs or broken eggs from which the embryos have emerged. Very mysterious. Also, I don't know who the two crowned figures in the foreground are, or why one appears to be walking into the city wall, and the other standing in a lake.
The figure on the far right is definitely Lord Vishnu, observing events.

jeronimus said...

A friend agrees that the three babies carried by the goddess are: Balarama,
Krishna and Vishnumaya, the figure on the top right is Shri Vishnu. The two figures at the bottom are Nandana and Vasudeva.

Neha Gupta said...

Amazing artwork!
Goddess have a very impotent place in Hindu Dharma. It is completely related to Indian traditions. Indian traditional painting are very beautiful and full of inspiration.