Notes on Header Image

Notes on the Header Image

The website site header image is part of painting in the collection of V&A. The complete painting is reproduced below. The painting has been reliably dated to 1650-1658 and it was commissioned by Moghul Prince Dara Shikoh,  the son of Shan Jahan and brother of Emperor Aurengzeb.

According to Elinor W. Gadon (The Sants - Studies in a Devotional Tradition of India edited by Karine Schomer and W. H. McLeod - Motilal Banarsidass 1987 Delhi India)

The miniture painting reproduced... is unique among Moghul minitures in that it includes inscribed portraits of Sants and Yogis who can be identiifed as historical , legendary or symbolifc figures associated with these two unorthodox movements....

The setting can be identified as Ajmer, home of the Dargarh Khwaja Sahib, the shrine of the Sufi saint Mu'inuddin Chishti,..

According to Elinor Gadon the twelve seated figures on the bottom panel can be identified, from left to right, as following:

1. Ravidas or Raidas (fl. 1470), a cobbler from Banaras, a member of the untouchable caste of leatherworkers and as the guru of Mira Bai.

2. Pipa (1353-1403), said to have been a raja who abdicated his sovereignty and distributed his wealth to the poor.

3. Namdev.

4. Sena.

5. Kamal, the supposed son of Kabir.

6. A figure labelled 'Aughar'.

7. Kabir.

8. Pir Muchcandar, the Panjabi form of Matsyendranath, the mythical figure known in the tradition of the Nath Yogis as their first teacher and also as the guru of Guru Gorakh Nath.

9. Gorakhnath (twelfth century), the formeost Guru of the Nath Yogi sect. said to have been converted to Shaivism from Tantric Buddhism and traditionally assoicated with both Kabir and Nanak.

10 Jadrup.

11. Lal Swam, popularly called Babalal Das Vairagi.

The individual portraits of Ravidas, Kabir and Gorkhnath have also been used in this website at different places.



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