The Bhagavadgita

18th century

Manuscript

These two miniature illuminated rolls contain the Sanskrit text of the Bhagavadgita, the Hindu scripture that is part of the larger epic, the Mahabharata. They are examples of an eighteenth-century trend in manuscript production, in which popular Hindu sacred texts were copied out on long rolls of thin, highly burnished paper in minute script, probably to be kept as amulets, conferring divine protection on the owner. The rich illuminations suggest the manuscripts were commissioned by wealthy patrons, and the opened roll starts with seven exquisite pictures of Hindu deities: a seated Ganesh; Brahman, also seated; two illuminations of Vishnu and Lakshmi; two paintings of Shiva and Durga; and Arjuna sitting facing Krishna.

Comments

What makes this a treasure?

I would like to know the exact dimensions of this superb scroll. I would like to include the image in an article about miniature scrolls for the journal Miniature Book News

Posted by Julian Edison

On 22/03/2012

The Bhagavadgita seen in person has much more vibrant colours and the golden details were not captured by the picture. Is definitely a treasure to be seen "with one's own eyes"

Posted by Monica Messaggi Kaya

On 13/10/2011

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