Shankaracharya, with his disciples sits in a peaceful location. That he is preaching is evident from the gesture of his hand and the manuscript held in the other. The expression of tranquility is matched by the expression of concentration on the faces of his disciples. They all wear simple ascetic attires; what distinguishes the preacher is the brocade cloth covering his head and falling in his lap. All have markings on their only adornment. There is reflection and reverie, not dramatic action. One senses the interaction of the figures across space.
Not only the subject but the background has a mystic edge too. The orange skies convey dawn and hence the hazy shading. It is noteworthy that the group sits not under the shade of the leafy tree but has sky for the roof. A solitary cottage indicates the remoteness of the place. The pond in the foreground also has a peaceful quality to it with lotus flowers and leaves floating and swans enjoying the cool waters.
A religious theme is imbued with natural serenity to produce a masterpiece such as this.
This description by Renu Rana.
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