"Charming Krishna" is a collection of forty-eight paintings inspired by the devotional hymn "Madhurastakam" of Sri Vallabhacarya a Telugu Sage- Philosopher who established his school called Pusti Marga. The Path of Grace, in North India during the sixteenth century. This tradition prescribes a constant love- suffused worship of Sri Krishna by various acts of homage, such as singing (kirtana), remembering (smarana), beholding a beatific image of the deity (darshana), and offering of services (seva) These acts enable the devotee to enter into the divine presence of Sri Krishna and to experience his real essence (svarupa). The worship involves consecration of all acts by complete self- surrender and by a mystical participation in the divine pleasures of Lord Krishna. Rozalia (now known as Radhika Priya) was initiated into this tradition by no less an authority than Dau Baba Goswami, the main priest of Sri Nathaji’s temple. She has spent over a decade mastering the genre unique to the Nathadvara School of Painting. The "Madhuras takam" evokes Krishna as a supreme embodiment of love, bliss and beauty. The compositions are set within red arched windows, Blooming lotuses. silvery lakes, moons, groves and dancing peacocks fill the inner spaces in and around the rarefied portraits of the divine lovers. These poetic representations break away from traditional Nathadvara painting in that they re-express the concept of the bhakti-bhava of Push Marga in a contemporary idiom. The works are an intimate form of citra-seva personal offerings in the form of a painted icon. meant to be used as an instructional device for contemplation.
Rozaha was born in Budapest, Hungary, in 1946. She was first initiated into the world of art in France, where she was to spend the majority of her life. She has travelled extensively throughout the world and has been visiting India in particular for the last 15 years; the last 5 of which she has been residing in Udaipur, Rajasthan. It was there that the persona of Radhika Priya was born and there also that she became a devotee of Sri Nathaji. Currently she divides her time between Mathura, Vrindaban and Nathadvara,
She is on her path, searching for the highest divine reality, which is beyond worldly means of expression, but at the same time, she remains open to our world; the beauty, the truth, the reality. She is ready to learn from anything and anyone; from everyday experiences with simple people and holy men; from philosophical thoughts of bygone ages and the present day sufferings of man; from this colorful life and visions of other realms. It Is through this present collection of paintings that she conveys to us the messages which she has received through her sensitivity, through this visual language of love, a language understood by everyone. Words and intellect have their own limitations; natural beauty, music, and loving emotions can capture the heart directly and give the highest satisfaction. Through her kindness, simplicity and compassion, the sentiments of love flow.
LORD OF CHARMING SWEETNESS
The beautiful form of the Godhead Himself, Sri Krishna, appeared before Acarya Sri Vallabha in Gokula a t midnight on the eleventh day of the bright half of Sravan, Samvat 1549 (August, 1494 A.D.). In the presence, of the incomparably charming beauty of his beloved lord, Acarya Sri Vallabha was overwhelmed by the highest sensation of divine pleasure and composed the song called Madhurastakam (eight verses on divine sweetness). In his song, Acaryaji described the extreme beauty and loveliness of Sri Krishna for the sake of those godly souls who had been forgetful of their original relationship with the Lord. His sweet words are a continual flow of loving sentiments; they sprang from his heart, from the divine vision of Sri Krishna's beauty. Devotees who cultivate divine emotions towards Lord Krishna, with the feeling that, He is their beloved, can achieve complete satisfaction through the sweet waves of this spiritual love experience.
The word "madhura" expresses the emotional attraction for loving union by the contemplation of the irresistibly radiant beauty of Sri Krishna's divine form. The form of Lord Krishna holds in itself the totality of divine pleasure, supreme bliss, and loving sentiments; this statement has been proved by many saints and rishis (seers of truth). The Srutis (holy scriptures) state that the soul becomes extremely joyful when in contact with the charming beauty, loveliness, and bliss which is experienced in Sri Krishna's divine form, and in everything which is connected with Him; His intimate associates, His games, His animals" His flowers ... all of His surroundings. With this lovely song, Acarya Sri Vallabha pours a constant flow of charming sweetness into the full-bloomed heart of his followers.
Lord of charming sweetness, entirely sweet.. ....
This loving flow of His charming beauty washes away from the heart all misfortunes and purifies the soul, making it acceptable for entrance to the sacred games, Prosperity, strength, fame, beauty, knowledge, renunciation are the six divine powers eternally present In the almighty Godhead, Lord Krishna. The power of divine beauty called Sri holds the extremely attractive charm and loveliness of Lord Krishna. Sri is very dear to the devotees because she helps to develop attraction to God and nourishes the devotional sentiments of love. The divine nourishment of the soul by the incomparably charming beauty and extreme loveliness of Lord Krishna is called Pusti (Grace) by Acarya Sri Vallabha.
Actually, Sri Krishna Himself nourishes the love of His devotees through His incomparable beauty and charm. Acarya Sri Vallabha established Pusti Marga, the path of nourishment of the soul, solely with the help of divine grace. According to Acaryaji' s teaching, Sri, the divine power of beauty, charm, and loveliness is the essence of seva (service) and worship.
The divine form of Lord Krishna worshiped in Pusti Marga is called Sri Natha, the Lord of charming beauty. An everlasting flow of grace springs out of the ocean of charming beauty and splendor of Sri Nathaji and His various games. Radhika Priya has made a praiseworthy effort to bring out this divine flavor in her paintings, with full emotional expression. The viewers are thankful to her. All those who appreciate divine loving sentiments are invited to take a deep bath, again and again, in this ocean of charming beauty and love.
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