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Krishna Splits the Double Arjuna Tree

c. 1720
Artist/maker unknown, Indian
As a toddler, Krishna stole his adoptive mother Yashoda's freshly churned butter and, standing on an overturned mortar (used for husking rice), fed it to a monkey. When Yashoda discovered this, she tied him to the mortar-or rather, Krishna allowed her to tie him, demonstrating the god's own submission to his devotees. Nearby was a twin-trunked Arjuna tree in which a sage had long ago imprisoned the two arrogant, drunken sons of Kubera, God of Riches. Fulfilling the sage's prophecy, Krishna rolled the mortar between the trunks and the tree split open to release the youths. Here they honor Krishna as the supreme being before departing cleansed and full of grace....

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