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This Mysore painting is a breathtakingly beautiful work of art. it is an original painting but a copy of the master painting that may be either lost or in a private collection. In any case the Master Painting is no longer in public domain as far as we know.
This is a painting of Vishwarupam of Lord Krishna as shown to Arjuna on the battlefield of Kurukshetra. The Vishwarupam of Krishna is vividly described by Arjuna himself in the eleventh chapter of Bhagvad Gita.
The main, central panel of the painting shows six armed Virat Purusha (Krishna) holding Shankha (conch) and Chakra (disc) in two upper hands. In his middle hands he holds a Padma (lotus) and Gada (club) and the lower two arms shown broadly blessing everyone as unseen benefactors of all the worlds.
Virat Purusha is flanked by Surya (sun) and Chandra (moon) on either side on top in the central panel. Surya is riding his chariot driven by seven horses and Chandra’s driven by two antelopes.
Near his crown Shiva and Brahma can be seen with their respective consorts on either side.
All around the upper body of Virat Purusha and till thighs there are hosts of celestial beings shown in groups. The are supposed to be Devas (gods), Apsaras (celestial nymphs), Yakshas (a type of nature-spirits), Gandharvas (semi-gods), Vidyadharas (celestial singers), Kinnaras (exotic demi-gods), Asuras (demons) and Rishis (celestial sages).
Lakshmi, Prithvi, Saraswati and Ganga are shown on and around his chest.
Below his thighs are spheres of Earth and the Nether Regions. All animals, rivers, mountains and vegetation are contained in the Purusha. The four quarters of the world and the four divine elephants supporting them are seen too. The region around his knees is divided into seven sections mostly showing houses, a representation of human civilisation.
Nagas and Sarpas (serpents and snakes) that live in the nether regions are shown around Purusha’s feet.
At the two sides on the bottom the scene of Krishna delivering the Bhagvad Geeta to Arjuna is depicted on the left and Arjuna is seen kneeling on the bottom right with folded hands and awe-stricken with Krishna’s Vishwarupam. A small image of kneeling Garuda is seen above Arjuna’s.
Outside the main central panel is a very ornate border further containing paintings of various deities.
Starting from top left, we see Lord Ganesha.
Next is a scene of Vaikuntham, the abode of Lord Vishnu. He is seen resting on Adi Sesha (devotee-serpent) as Sheshashayee Vishnu and attended to by Lakshmi and Bhumi. Brahma, sage Narada, Gandharva Tumburu and the four Sanatkumaras are seen on the right offering Stuti (prayer) to the Lord. On the left is seen a female deity with many faces. This is Maya, Lord’s Vishnu’s powerful potential to delude beings and make them forget their real nature so they may enjoy the fruits of their Karma.
There are two Yalis (Yali is a mythical being, with elephant’s trunk and lion’s body) on either side of Sheshashayee Vishnu.
This is followed by a painting of many armed Shiva immersed in Ananda Tandava.
Similarly we see paintings of Dashavatara of Lord Vishnu interspersed with paintings of Devas, Deities of Grahas (planets) etc.
Virat Purusha is Vishnu having become this Vishwam. That is, the entire Jagat (all the realms with their beings) is nothing but Vishnu. Just like curd is nothing but milk.
This is quite a uniquely themed and hard to find Mysore Painting.