The only use of Sanskrit I saw was on religious occasions. The Hindu rituals are all conducted in Sanskrit as opposed to the common language spoken by the local followers.
‘The Mahabharata: Mewari Miniature Paintings by Allah Baksh’, a four volume set was launched today, at the India International Centre. Published by Niyogi Books, the books are authored by Alok Bhalla, a critic and poet and by Chandra Prakash Deval, poet and historian.
While addressing the audience, Chandra Prakash shed light on how the great Indian epic of Mahabharata was first translated into Mewari and then into Sanskrit. “The paintings of Allah Baksh capture Mahabharata in a Rajasthani, particularly Mewari style. They are painted by a Mewari as well,” told Prakash.
He described the paintings as possessing a vibrant quality that, upon viewing, has the potential to bring about a transformative experience, leaving the observer forever changed. According to him, these artworks present the Mahabharata in a manner that is wholly unprecedented.
These artworks were created between 1680 and 1698, commissioned by Maharana Jai Singh of Udaipur. This collection comprises almost 2000 paintings, carefully chosen from a larger folio of 4000.
Alok Bhalla, in his admiration for Allah Baksh’s creations, remarked that these paintings offer a soothing visual experience. He noted, “The construction of these paintings allows for diverse perspectives and interpretations, as humans are inherently resourceful beings.”
Instead of showing strong heroes and spiritual pride, the paintings of Baksh focus on the pain that the creatures of this Earth experience when they fail to fulfill their dharma.