Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya

Month of Jyestha



20th century CE


Dnyanadeva was the founder of the Bhakti movement in Maharashtra. The Yoga and Bhakti were synthesised by him into the advaita-bhakti in all his four works: Dnyaneshvari, Amritanubhava, Chandeva-pasashti and the Abhanga Gatha.

It is the Dnyaneshwari that establishes him as one of the famous poets of his time. It is a popular interpretation of the Bhagavadagita presenting its teachings in an extremely poetical manner. The grand epilogue called Pasayadana to this monumental work is very significant where he asks for the grace of God. His Abhagas (a collection of devotional lyrics) are equally rich in poetry and spirituality. His Haripatha contains very core of his teachings.

Month of Jyestha

Month of Jyestha

From a set of Baramasa

Rajasthani, Bundi, circa 1770 CE


Jyestha is the third month of the Hindu calendar and is associated with the high summer.

Baramasa, the twelve months (Chaitra, Baisakha, Jyeshtha, Ashadha, Shravan, Bhadon, Ashvina, Kartika, Agahana, Pausha, Magh and Phalguna) of Indian calendar found recognition in the poetry of many poets.

About Baramasa, there are 13 couplets (one doha and 12 chupai) mentioned in Keshavdasa’s Kavipriya. Keshavdasa starts Baramasa with the month of Chaitra and ends with the month of Phalguna. His poetry mirrors his mastery of the selection of words and phrases and describes the life, ceremonies and rituals of the people in different seasons. This has been given visual life especially by the Rajasthani and Pahari painters – each month suggesting a different kind of mood or behaviour. It is a popular subject in Bundi school as it gives the artists an opportunity to indulge in his love for landscape.

summer elephants

Summer Elephants

Rajasthani, Bundi

Mid 18th Century CE


This particular painting is a remarkable and unique example of the depiction of the month of Jyestha or summer. The artist is undoubtedly a sensitive visualizer endowed with a creative imagination.

The painting is divided into three planes demarcated with the help of colours. Four elephants are shown in these planes. In the middle, on the yellow background, an elephant is depicted with raised trunk, intoxicated eyes and a curled tail, signs of anxiety. Agitated by the intolerable heat, the one behind the hillock seems to be rushing somewhere probably in search of water, and another is trying to climb a hillock. A scary monkey is on the top of the hillock while another is trying to take shelter on the bare tree on the left side. At the bottom, an elephant is shown enjoying the comforts of being in the cool waters of the lotus pond.

The artist has very effectively used the combination of orange and yellow to create an atmosphere of the burning summer of Rajasthan.


First Sermon of the Buddha

Grey Schist

Gandhara, Pakistan. 3rd century A.D.

30 x 25.5 x 6 cms.

S 14

The first sermon delivered by the Buddha after achieving enlightenment is symbolised as turning of the Wheel of Law. Buddha is preaching Dharmachakra sutra in the Deer Park at Isipattana (Sarnath). He is seated in the Padmasana under the tree with his right hand turning the Dharmachakra or the Wheel of Law resting on the Triratna symbol flanked on either side by a deer. The Triratna symbol represents Buddha, Dharma and Sangha and the deer indicates the Deer Park. When Siddhartha arrived at the Deer Park the five monks, who resided there were drawn by their inner urge to come before him and pay their reverence. Buddha is surrounded by these five monks with shaven heads, the representatives of the Gods and some Princes.



Gilt bronze

Tibet, 18th century CE

Sir Ratan Tata Art Collection


Vasudhara is the consort of Jambhala (Kuber) and the deity of spiritual and material wealth and fertility. She can be identified by her attribute the sheaf of corn which she holds in one of her hands. The cult of Vasudhara remained extremely popular with Nepalese Buddhists. The six-armed Vasudhara here displays her right hands in varada mudra and holds a ratnamanjiri (cluster of jewels) and a lotus bud. In her left hand she holds a book, dhanyamanjiri (sheaf of corn) and a water pot. The prabha is in the shape of double circle of rays.


Holy Family preparing Bhang

Gouache on Paper

Pahari, Garhwal

last decade of 18th century

Karl and Meherbai Khandlavala Collection


The theme of Shiva's family engaged in different acttivities was fairly popular with Pahari artists and several versios still exist. Shiva, with the crescnet moon on his matted hair, and Parvati are busy preapring bhang, the favourite drink of Shiva. The three-headed Kartikeya, though young and well aware of the effectsof the intoxicating drink, eagerly rushes to his motherto get his share in the bowls held in his hands, while Ganesha quietly steals the drink fom the main container with his long trunk.

There were occasions when artists liked to thin of the great and treeible Shiva as a home-loving god, mindful of his devoted wife of royal estate, who never wearied of tramping the mountains with him.
The Hill folk believe that on Mahashivratri, Shiva and his family can still be seen trekking through the mountains on their way to Mount Kailash.