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Rare insights

T.K.V. Rajan's exhibition "In Search of Lord Krishna" seeks to unearth layers of history to bring alive the Mahabharata


Did you know that one of the earliest devotees of Lord Krishna was Heliodorus, a Greek ambassador, who erected a monumental pillar known as Garuda column in Besnagar (modern Madhya Pradesh)? The Greek connection of the God does not stop here. Megasthenes, the Greek ambassador at the court of Chandragupta Maurya, mentions that Sourasenoi (which means Manasurasena, a Yadava tribe to which Krishna belonged) worshipped Herakles (Krishna Vasudeva). He also talks about two places, Kleisobara (Krishnapura, not yet identified) and Methora (Mathura). Some of the early Greek coins had inscriptions of Krishna on them.

T.K.V. Rajan has delved deep into the devotional history and unravelled fascinating details about the deity. An archaeologist, journalist and founder-director of the International Institute of Mahabharata Research, Rajan's findings have been framed and put up on the walls of Vinyasa Art Gallery.

The show (concluding today) aptly titled "In Search of Lord Krishna", corroborates research manuscripts and photographs sourced from archaeological authorities. Though not a visual delight, the exhibition aims to "promote investigation of the archaeological research on Mahabharata, exploring the era of the epic, unearthing literary evidence and study of the epic in depth to apply its principles for a better living."

The show is part of Rajan's major ongoing project that includes video presentations and articles for various magazines on Lord Krishna. "What we call corporate principles or management techniques are hardly new age inventions. They have their roots in the Mahabharata," says Rajan. His computerised graphics of the war details could marvel viewers with the strategies used by the warring sides.

As a research scholar at the Jawaharlal Nehru University, Rajan was inspired to take up the Krishna project by a German archaeologist who said that Mahabharata is no cock and bull story. "He told the students if you dig into the past you will be convinced that it had actually happened. Immediately after, I visited a site called Sonkh. There we found the first Krishna temple." Since then, Rajan has been religiously unearthing layers of history to bring alive the epic for the modern souls.

C. S.

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