Radha, Enter Krishna's Intimate World
Page from a series of the Gita Govinda (Song of the Dark Lord)
Artist/maker unknown, India
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The Gita Govinda, an exquisite devotional lyric written by the twelfth-century Indian poet Jayadeva, tells of the love play between Krishna and Radha. Krishna abandoned Radha to frolic with the other village women; she withdrew in jealousy but is tormented by longing, a longing he soon shares. In this painting, Krishna awaits her in his forest love nest, his divine radiance illuminating the night shadows around him. Radha's friend urges her to overcome her pride. "Revel in wild luxury on the sweet thicket floor!" she says, wrapping a comforting arm around Radha's shoulders, "Your laughing face begs ardently for his love. Radha, enter Krishna's intimate world!"