Raaslila of Krishna and gopis


Raaslila of Krishna and gopis



Dance, drama, and music form an essential part of the Bhagavata sect since ancient times. There is a mention in the Bhagavata Purana where Krishna says “ My stories should be sung, danced and enacted on festive occasions”. (XI. 27.44).

Philosophically the most important dance of Krishna is Rasamandala (Raas Lila), meaning circle of delight or ecstasy. The love of gopis and Krishna takes place in a circle that has neither beginning nor an end and goes on and on for eternity. During the dance, Krishna multiplies himself and dances with all the gopis simultaneously. He thus convinces them that he participates in their lives, giving freely of himself to each and everyone and ensuring that he is lovingly and completely available to his devotees. The dance leads the gopis to the path of liberation where the individual soul (Jivatman) joins the divine soul (Patmatman).

The present painting depicts the Rasa Leela where Radha and Krishna are shown seated on a full-bloomed lotus in the centre. Krishna is playing the flute and Radha is holding a pink lotus in her hand. They are encircled by Krishna and gopis playing rasa. Krishna has manifested himself in many forms so as to accompany each gopi. At the top, celestial deities in three vimanas (airplanes) are showering flowers on them.

Karl and Meherbai Khandalavala Collection.


Indian Miniature Paintings

Object Type

Miniature Painting


Opaque water colour on paper






C. 1730 CE


Jaipur, Rajasthan


12.5 x 19 cms.