The Gods and Asuras Churn the Ocean of Milk

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The Gods and Asuras Churn the Ocean of Milk

Item Info

Item No: mcom00151
Title: The Gods and Asuras Churn the Ocean of Milk
Additional Title: Razmnama (Book of War)
Media Type: Manuscripts
Source: Rare Book Department
Notes:

The main story of the Mahabharata, that of the feuding Kauravas and Pandavas, is prefaced by tales of earlier epochs when gods upheld cosmic order while asuras (anti-gods) strove to destroy it. Here, in an unusual instance of cooperation, six gods and an asura use the serpent Vasuki as a rope and Mount Mandara (Meru) as a stick to churn the great milk ocean. Their churning releases all the beneficial things held within the waters, including the elixir of immortality, the celestial steed, and the wish-granting tree. Although it depicts a great Hindu creation story, this painting features a figure clothed in a turban and jama, typical Mughal court costume of the time. The delicately shaded trees spotting the horizon were likely inspired by Flemish engravings, while the flesh- and pink-colored vertical mass of rock is a Persian painting convention.


Region/County: Region/County:Northern India, Mughal court

Creation Year (Single Year or Range Begin): 1599
Call Number: Lewis M 15
Subjects

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