Art Darsanas: Venu-gita

Posted on January 31, 2013 by sanatana

Every couple of weeks, we will posting a new edition of Art Darsanas – a new series consisting of images, sketches, transcriptions of darsanas with Srila Gurudeva and anything else in relation to paintings done by Syamarani didi for the covers of our beloved GVP publications.

We hope the devotees will find some pleasure in our attempt to peel back the curtain for a peek into the process of these incredible paintings, which serve as windows to the heart of our Srila Gurudeva.


Mathura, Nov. ‘93

Srila Gurudeva: Krsna is a restless youth.

Syamarani dasi: In what way?

Srila Gurudeva: A smile is playing on His lips. When someone very eagerly wants to see another’s face, he performs arati to that person. Krsna is like that.

Syamarani dasi: Do you mean to say that Krsna is performing arati to Radhika with His eyes?

Srila Gurudeva: Yes.

Syamarani dasi: You told me previously that I should show more open forest; not just crowded trees.

Srila Gurudeva: The tree next to Radhika should not be so wide. It should be smaller, thinner, and with some little creepers surrounding it.

Syamarani dasi: I was wondering about putting sindhur in the parting of Her hair.

Srila Gurudeva: Yes, you can show that She is married by painting sindhur and ornaments.

Syamarani dasi: Is it better to show Krsna’s eyes very open as He looks toward Her, or more closed?

Srila Gurudeva: More closed.

The two deer are looking toward Krsna. The male deer is the color of Krsna, and the female is golden with some black spots.

Syamarani dasi: Verse Eight of Venu-gita says, “Cuta-pravala-barha-stabakotpalabja.”



madhye virejatur alam pasu-pala-gosthyam

range yatha nata-varau kvaca gayamanau

One of the sakhis said, ‘O sakhi, Sri Krsna and Balarama, singing sweetly amidst the gathering of cows and cowherd boys, are looking absolutely gorgeous, like a pair of expert dancers (natavaras). Krsna, dressed in yellow garments, and Baladeva, wearing blue, decorate Themselves very charmingly with newly grown mango blossoms, peacock feathers, leaves, clusters of flowers and garlands of many colored lotuses. O dear sakhi! What can I say about the splendor of Their appearance? They look like two incomparably beautiful and skilled dancers performing on a stage.’”]

This verse describes how Krsna and Balarama are decorated with bunches of lilies and lotus flowers and other flowers and mango buds on Their turbans. Should I paint Their turbans like that?

Srila Gurudeva: You can paint a flower mukuta, meaning ‘a crown of beautiful flowers.’ You can also paint peacock feathers on the left side of Krsna’s mukuta.

Syamarani dasi: Also, it says in Venu-gita that Krsna’s garland is down to His feet; should I make His garland that long?

Srila Gurudeva: Yes, and with flowers of seven colors.

Syamarani dasi: Should I put designs made from the mineral pigments on Krsna’s and Balarama’s bodies? Do they have pictures on their bodies?

Srila Gurudeva: You can do so, as long as it does not look hiji-biji (conjested). Srimati Radhika’s face is more brilliant than a golden moon. She is Syamarani (the Queen of Syama, Krsna), so She should be like Syamarani – quite beautiful.


Syamarani dasi: What is Balarama thinking?

Srila Gurudeva: Balarama is thinking, “I should go some distance from Krsna, be

cause so many gopis are here and waiting to signal Him by their eyes. When Krsna is with Me, He will not reciprocate with them.” So Balarama is ahead, looking somewhat downward.

Syamarani dasi: Should Balarama carry a plow, or is there no plow in Vrndavana?

Srila Gurudeva: The plow is not with Him in Vrndavana, but the vamsi (flute) may be with Him. He also carries a srnga, or buffalo horn, and Krsna does as well. Krsna carries a buffalo horn and other paraphernalia, but especially the vamsi (flute).

Syamarani dasi: Should there be any peacocks in the trees, or just on the ground?

Srila Gurudeva: They can be in the trees as well.

Syamarani dasi: It’s described in the Venu-gita that sometimes the Yamuna makes whirlpools around Krsna’s feet.

Srila Gurudeva: You can show this.





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