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Folio from a Bhagavata Purana: Krishna and Satyabhama steal Indra's Parijata tree.* Pahari, early 19th century. Opaque watercolour with gold and silver on wasli. 13.8 x 17.9cm
*Indra planted the Parijata (wish-fulfilment) tree, one of the products of the churning of the 'Ocean of Milk' , in his garden. Narada, who delighted in sowing discord, brought a flower of this tree to Dwaraka and presented it to Krishna. He waited to see to which of his wives Krishna would give the flower. Krishna gave it to Rukmini upon which Narada went to Satyabhama, Krishna's other consort, feigning sorrow. When asked why he was sad, the sage replied that he had presented Krishna with a Parijata flower thinking that he would in turn present it to her, his favorite wife, but was grieved to find that he had given it to Rukmini instead. Satyabhama, known for her great pride in being Krishna's consort, found her jealousy aroused and so asked Narada what could be done to spite Rukmini. The sage advied her to ask Krishna to bring the Parijata tree itself to Dwaraka and plant it in her garden. After giving this advice he went back to the celestial world, and informed Indra that thieves were about and that he should guard the Parijata tree with care. Krishna tried to console Satyabhama, she replied that she would not be satisfied with anything less than the Parijata tree itself. Krishna took her to Indra's garden, inuprooted the Parijata tree and stole it. Mounted on Garuda, they escaped with the tree but Indra, warned by Narada, followed in pursuit, resulting in a fierce battle in which Indra was defeated and Krishna took the tree to Dwaraka. Krishna still had the problem of fulfilling the promise to Satyabhama without offending Rukmini, but he solved it by planting the tree in such a position that while its roots and trunk lay within Satyabhama's garden, its branches extended over the adjoining palace of Rukmini, covering it with flowers each morning.
I would like to express my appreciation to Tarun Pant for his kindness in offering the above information.
Pahari Krishna steals Parijata tree 28411
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Images and text © Peter Blohm