Emilia Bachrach

Aug 12, 2021

In the Service of Krishna

Illustrating the Lives of Eighty-Four Vaishnavas from a 1702 Manuscript

Mapin Publishing 2020

Today I talked to Dr. Emilia Bachrach about In the Service of Krishna: Illustrating the Lives of Eighty-Four Vaishnavas from a 1702 Manuscript in the Amit Ambalal Collection (Mapin, 2020).

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 bookintroduces readers to the most popular hagiographic text of the Pushtimarg which tells the sacred life stories of the community's first preceptor Vallabhacharya (1497-1531) and his most beloved disciples. 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. 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 that unite the everyday with intimate experiences of the Divine.

Raj Balkaran is a scholar, educator, consultant, and life coach. For information see rajbalkaran.com.

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