Ritual of spring

This image was sent to us by Alok Bhalla, one of South Asia's best translators and editors. He says it is a "19th century miniature painting from Rajasthan. It shows, on the left and under a sunflower the emperor Akbar of India (one of the few enlightened ones), with Tansen (regarded as one of the most brilliant musicians Indian has ever had --1493–1586), and Tansen's guru, Haridas, a poet belonging to the Bhakti tradition. I am sending the painting to show that in Indian epics, poetry, music, and painting traditions, the wise poet, the saint, the singer almost always finds himself under a sheltering tree teeming with birds, animals, color. In this painting it is, perhaps, the rich shades of green that entice the clouds, rain and song to participate in the only ritual that matters/should matter to men and gods—the ritual of spring."This image was sent to us by Alok Bhalla, one of South Asia’s best translators and editors. He says it is a “19th-century miniature painting from Rajasthan. It shows, on the left and under a sunflower the emperor Akbar of India (one of the few enlightened ones), with Tansen (1493–1586), regarded as one of the most brilliant musicians Indian has ever had, and Tansen’s guru, Haridas, a poet belonging to the Bhakti tradition. I am sending the painting to show that in Indian epics, poetry, music, and painting traditions, the wise poet, the saint, the singer almost always finds himself under a sheltering tree teeming with birds, animals, color. In this painting it is, perhaps, the rich shades of green that entice the clouds, rain, and song to participate in the only ritual that matters/should matter to men and gods: the ritual of spring.”

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