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Folio from a Bhagavata Purana with text to canto 10 chapter 15: the cowherd boys Krishna and Balarama return to Vrindavan from Talavana forest where they killed the ass-demon Dhenuka. To the reverse the cantos written in Bundelkhandi dialect. Datia, circa 1790-1800. Opaque watercolour with gold on wasli. 30.5 x 37.4cm (max).
Reverse with seal from royal library of Maharaja of Datia
In chapter 15 it is brought to Krihna's attention that the fruits of Talagana forest are being kept from the people by the ass-demon Dhgenuka and cohorts. Accordingly Krishna and Bbalarama visit Talagana and commence battle where they kill the demon and asses by grabbing their hind legs and dashing them against the palm trees. The victorious Krishna and Balarama accompanied by the sung preaises of gopas (cowherd boys) then return to Vrindavan where awaiting them are demi-gods who shower them with flowers, celestial music and prayer. The gopis are delighted by Krishna's return being no longer fretful about their separation from him while Krishna's stepmother Yashoda fusses over him and also Balarama, eventaully putting the boys to bed.
With thanks to the kindness and generosity of Tarun Pant for identifying canto, translating inscriptions and annotating image reproduced below.
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Images and text © Peter Blohm