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Krishna Splits the Double Arjuna Tree
Page from a dispersed series of the Bhagavata Purana

Artist/maker unknown, Indian

Made in Gujarat, India, Asia
Probably made in Surat, Gujarat, India, Asia

c. 1720

Opaque watercolor and gold on paper

Image: 9 × 7 1/2 inches (22.9 × 19.1 cm) Sheet: 10 1/2 × 9 inches (26.7 × 22.9 cm)

Curatorial Department:
South Asian Art

* Gallery 331, Asian Art, third floor (Dutt Gallery)

Accession Number:

Credit Line:
Stella Kramrisch Collection, 1994

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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.

* Works in the collection are moved off view for many different reasons. Although gallery locations on the website are updated regularly, there is no guarantee that this object will be on display on the day of your visit.