Artistic Expression: Krishna

*Post written by James Wethington, library assistant at the University Archives and Special Collections.

Palace of Gold festival at New Vrindaban in Moundsville, West Virginia, c. 1985. Source: Robert Rosenthal (CS 665-6789)

Palace of Gold festival at New Vrindaban in Moundsville, West Virginia, c. 1985. Source: Robert Rosenthal (CS 665-6789)

Today, we are starting a new blog series, “Artistic Expression”. Over the next few weeks, you will see various types of artwork from different parts of the United States and local artists from Evansville. A large amount of the artwork that will be discussed is located here at the University Archives and Special Collections. Our first piece is from the Hindu community group in New Vrindaban: they are located in Moundsville, West Virginia.

Founded in 1968, New Vrindaban “… is the oldest and largest Hare Krishna farm community in the West …” sitting on three thousand acres (Fellowship for Intentional Community, 2007). It began as a dream for Srila Prabhupada: he wanted to recreate the community from India “… based on Krishna Consciousness, or love of God” (New Vrindaban’s history, 2016). If you are interested in visiting New Vrindaban, they are open to the public.

Devotee art of Krishna, c. 1980 at New Vrindaban, West Virginia. Source: Robert Rosenthal (CS 665-1202)

Devotee art of Krishna at New Vrindaban in Moundsville, West Virginia, c. 1980. Source: Robert Rosenthal (CS 665-1202)

The image, located on the right, is of Krishna: one of the gods in Hinduism. Krishna is the eighth incarnation of Vishnu, whom is the supreme god. The story of Krishna is located in Mahabharata, a fifth century epic. Krishna is one of the most popular Hindu deities and numerous societies have focused on his deity. Krishna has a fascinating story: as a young child, he was impish but performed miracles and fought demons. Krishna established his court in Dwarka, Gujarat; moreover, he married a princess, Rukmini. He refused to get involved in a war between rivaling factions but a huntsman later accidently killed Krishna. Why? The huntsman thought he was a deer and shot Krishna in his weak spot, his heel (Editors of Encyclopædia Britannica, n.d.).

If you are interested in seeing more photographs of Hindu art or of New Vrindaban, check out digitalarchives.usi.edu and search “New Vrindaban”.

References

Editors of Encyclopædia Britannica (n.d.). Krishna. Retrieved from https://www.britannica.com/topic/Krishna-Hindu-deity

Fellowship for Intentional Community (2007). Communities directory: A comprehensive guide to intentional communities and cooperative living. Rutledge, MO. Fellowship for Intentional Community.

New Vrinaban (2016). New Vrinaban’s history. Retrieved from http://www.newvrindaban.com/new-vrindabans-history/

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