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Brajvilas-a rare treasure

Lord Krishna's life has been the inspiration for the spiritual poets of 'Bhaktikaal'. One such poet Brajvasi Das wrote 'Brajvilas' --an illustrated book based on Srikrishna Lila. This illustrated manuscript is one of the rare ones treasured by Allahabad Museum.

india Updated: Apr 17, 2006 01:09 IST

Lord Krishna's life has been the inspiration for the spiritual poets of  'Bhaktikaal'. One such poet Brajvasi Das wrote 'Brajvilas' --an illustrated book based on Srikrishna Lila.

This illustrated manuscript is one of the rare ones treasured by Allahabad Museum.

"The uniqueness of this manuscript is on account of its illustrations that are more than hundred in number. Starting from the birth of Lord Krishna, the illustrations also relate to the period of Mahabharat and have been very finely made with the entire details," said RK Mishra, incharge of manuscripts department, Allahabad Museum. 

Another vital point that makes this manuscript distinct from others is the usage of dohas and chaupais by the poet. "Being the devotee of Lord Krishna, Brajvasi Das got inspired by Ramcharitmanas written by Tulsidas who was the devotee of Lord Ram," he added. 

Brajvasi Das was the follower of the Ballabh sect and he wrote Brajvilas in the year 1770 AD. "The book was written by the poet based on dasham skandh ( tenth chapter) of Bhagvatpuran. Interestingly, another significant poet Surdas too based his compositions on dasham skandh. However, the poets of Ballabh sect who succeeded afterwards, based their poetic compositions on Sursagar," said Mishra.

The illustrations carry captions and depict the incidents such as birth of  Lord Krishna, cattle rearing, Kalia dahan, guj vadh, etc. "We are planning to enlarge the illustrations and organise an exhibition soon in Allahabad. An exhibition of around 60 illustrations was put up by Museum at Guwahati in November 2005. We have already received an invitation  from Vrindavan," said Mishra.

"Allahabad Musuem is also planning to undertake a detailed study on the similarities in the works of the poets who belong to Ballabh sect such as Brijdas, Nanddas, Kumbhdas, Surdas etc," said Mishra. 

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