Krishna was born on a dark stormy monsoon night, the skies poured torrential rains on the earth and Vasudev waded through a roaring Yamuna to reach Krishna to Nand. Ever since then, his life intersects repeatedly with the monsoon.
When still a child, he lifted Mount Govardhan with one finger to save the villagers from the wrath of the god of weather, Indra, who had unleashed the terrible forces of nature on the Brajvasis since (on the insistence of Krishna) they had stopped paying homage to him, and were paying their respects to mount Govardhan instead.
Other childhood stories relate his life to ecology, and conservation: he fought with and controlled the Kaliya Naag, an arrogant, venomous snake who was polluting the Yamuna. He killed demons that made the earth unfit, swallowed forest fires – and through his clever interventions made earth habitable, and beautiful again.
As a youth, Krishna, again romances the Monsoon in various ways; either flitting around Braj with his favourite companions – peacocks; or indulging in Sawan raas leelas with the gopis; or making the Gopis pine for him in the season of love. His very being epitomises harmony with the elements.
There is no doubt that Krishna is the ultimate Monsoon man, his life symbolically connected with the forces of nature so deeply – hence in its tenth celebratory year, The Monsoon Festival celebrates the maker of the universe, the fountain of creativity, and humbly attempts to represent him who can never be represented in entirety.
The Monsoon Festival 10: Celebrating Krishna introduces us to this divine personage’s many manifestations, forms, stories, and concepts through the medium of art and design. It also opens up newer ways of looking at Krishna for the sa-hridaya : moving beyond just the immediate, and direct representations; we delve into the abstract and natural representations of Krishna, like his association with Shyam-rang (blue), or natural phenomenon like Yamuna river, Govardhan hill, and flora and fauna (tulasi, peepal tree, peacocks, cows, to name some).
The contemporary creativity of the Indian mind, cannot be and should not be divorced from our traditional aesthetics and values – this has been a core belief of the festival, and with Celebrating Krishna we hope to illustrate yet another beautiful way of merging these two paths.
Radhe Radhe! Jai Shri Krishna!