Much as in the Christian art of Medieval Europe, it is woman the Mother, the
Madonna suckling a babe who has been painted with reverence, in the Indian
Diaspora it is woman the beloved who has been painted with love and passion.
The female friends of Krishna with their warm sensuous faces, eyes filled
with passion, and delicate sensitive fingers, represent not the beauty of a
particular woman, but the beauty of entire womanhood. In fact, she is there
as the incarnation of all the beauty of the world and as a representative of
the charm of her sex.
In the embrace of Krishna, Radha, maddened with desire, found refuge; in
her love dalliance with him who was the master in all the sixty-four arts
of love, she felt a thrill indescribable; and in making love with him
in that climatic moment of release, in that one binding moment, she felt
that joy and fulfilment which could not but be an aspect of the divine.
Through her experience, thus, the erotic the carnal and the profane became
but an aspect of the sublime, the spiritual and the divine. This cumulative
myth sustained one basic point: for women, Krishna was a personal god,
always accessible and unfailingly responsive. He was a god specially made
for women. In the popular psyche, Krishna and Radha became the universal
symbol for the lover and the beloved. Krishna was the ideal hero, and Radha
the ideal heroine.
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