[INDOLOGY] Fwd: Re: Fwd: Help on mystery painting of Ramayana (?) episode

Nityanand Misra nmisra at gmail.com
Wed Aug 26 06:45:36 UTC 2015

On Aug 25, 2015 2:53 PM, "John Brockington" <John.Brockington at btinternet.com>
> Subject:
> Re: [INDOLOGY] Fwd: Help on mystery painting of Ramayana (?) episode
> Date:
> Tue, 25 Aug 2015 10:14:11 +0100
> From:
> Mary Brockington <mary.brockington at btinternet.com>
> Dear all
> Many thanks to Nityanand Misra for providing such a plausible
identification, and for bringing to our attention yet another source book
to be trawled for our inventory of Rāma narrative motifs.  It is all truly
exciting, and yet another lesson to us scholars not to neglect the
influence of non-written sources on visual tellers.
> I suppose the black speck in the middle of the dish is the [reflection of
the] bee/wasp.  Might the almost-hidden female figure perhaps be
Mandodarī?  Is there any explanation for Lakṣmaṇa’s feet being off the
ground?  [The cynic in me links it to the requirement to stand for hours on
a pan of boiling oil]

The black speck should be the reflection as the arrow has not been shot yet
by Laksmana.

Also note that the feet of Laksmana are coloured red, in stark contrast to
the fair skin shown on the face and the hands. The shade of red looks quite
like burnt skin. This possibly captures the narrative of standing for hours
on a pan of boiling oil. Are the feet in the air to show he has just jumped
out of the pan to get a full view of the reflection of the bee/wasp in the
oil and have a better aim at the target? The body posture of Laksmana looks
like that of somebody jumping forwards and simultaneously looking down

> As for the severed hands, either they represent Rāma’s previous
unsuccessful attempts to kill Rāvaṇa (in which case why haven’t they
regenerated?), or (less plausibly) the beginning of his disintegration at
the point of death.

The hands have just been severed, all three are shown falling on the
ground. This could possibly explain why they have not regenerated [yet].

Another mysterious element is an ardhacandra arrow shot at the pan. Who has
shot it? Ravana is not holding any bows.

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