THE ICONOGRAPHY OF LORD KRISHNA IN CHANGING TIMES,
WHEN DID FAMILIAR BLUE BODY AND YELLOW CLOTHES START?
It is interesting to know that iconography of gods and goddesses change over a period of time. We used to watch Abdur Rahman Chughtai paint Hindu themes. The blue body and yellow clothes vexed us. Our questions were usual, why blue? The usual answer was that he was bitten by a snake and that is why it is blue? But all ancients texts, including the word KRSHNA in Sanskirit means BLACK. The ancient imagery changed over the times. Usually we find a young naked boy, with a fantastic cap on his head, known as the butter-thief. But as time went on, plenty of jewelry adorned Lord Krishna, and a yellow dhoti surrounded his body. Obviously a Peacock feather came in his head dress. That today is routine.
It was Emperor Zainul Abideen who started the translation of Hindu Holy texts into Persian language, and that was in Kashmeer itself. The Mughals were very much interested in knowing more about Hindu religion and Emperor Akbar started avidly the process of translating the Holy Texts. There was much resentment in the Brahmins, who did not want the texts to fall in hands and knowledge of common people. But there it was clash of an egalitarian society with a rigid class system here. The Mughals (even their ladies commissioned Royal albums of Hindu texts) were reluctant to use a masculine naked imagery and the clothing of Krishna came into being. The evolution of the new Krishna iconography.
This continued and spread all over the Indian region. Contrary to familiar argument that painters fled the Mughal Court within the reign of Emperor Aurangzeb, it was actually the sack of Delhi by Nadir Shah, which triggered this movement. In fact Emperor Aurangzeb even had a wife of Hindu origin. But more on that later!
CLASH OF ARMIES, CLASH OF CIVILIZATIONS
MUGHAL INFLUENCES ON RAJAS OF UDAIPUR
The history of Mewar is an armed struggle between the Muslim and the Hindu armies. Various stories are there of ancient times. The conquest of Chitor by Sultan Allauddin Khilji in 1296 AD, was the first step of Muslim rule there. Rana Sanga’s defeat at the hands of Emperor Babur is phenomenal in history of the region. Maharana Udai Singh ruled from 1537 AD to 1572 AD. He founded the city of Udaipur in a strategic location. Maharana Pratap refused to succumb to offers of joining hands with the Mughals, not by any alliance or matrimonial relation. It was at the battle of Haldi Ghat in 1576 AD, that finally Maharana Pratap was defeated by Emperor Akbar, and there ended the Hindu dream of containing the Muslim armies.
But this is not about the clash of armies. It is about clash of civilizations in which culture criss-crossed frontiers and both sides started acquiring habits of the other side. In a painting in Govardhan vilas palace, even Rana Sanga is shown n the dress of a Mughal courtier. Mughal Architecture and costumes invaded Udaipur. But with an equation of their own. The ratios different from geometrical equations of Euclid. A detailed analysis can be made of this cultural interaction.
The iconography of Lord Krishna also took place here. In all traditional icons, Krishna is always depicted as black in colour. The change to JAMAN (purple) colour took place and finally to blue colour. This is a most interesting development and we will look into it as a particular research in itself. We here present Mewar miniature portion in which Lord Krishna is dressed as a Mughal Prince, in same Mughal pose as other miniatures, smelling a flower. Surprised. Wait for our next blog for more complete review of same.
AN UNKNOWN CHIEF ARCHITECT OF AURANGZEB’S TIME
MIR IMARAT AMANULLAH AND THE QAZI OF DELHI
QAZI REPLACED BY QAZI HAIDER THE NEW PERSON
It is not easy in any times. For an architect to report on the corruption of a Qazi of the times. But Amanullah did and succeeded in proving to the Emperor of the corruption charges against the Qazi. The case is on record as the Qazi was replaced by another, that is Qazi Haider. A similar incident of the removed Qazi is there. The name is known as Qazi Abdul Wahab Gujarati. The Qazi instigated the Emperor to have Lutufullah Ahmad killed, and it was the love of people of Lahore, that Lutufullah escaped to Assam in those times. What an ordeal it must have been? We have the direct report of same in a poem by Khairullah Muhandis son of Lutufullah Muhandis, who had also fled to Gul Bahar colony in Afghanistan in those times.
Qazis are meant to give justice. But Qazis on rampage do otherwise. Allah saves us all the time!
It was when Emperor Aurangzeb Alamgeer declared a general pardon, that Lutufullah Ahmad came back to Lahore. A manuscript of SEHR HILAL, a bay nuqta poem on ethics, exists, which is dedicated to Emperor Aurangzeb Alamgeer. That is history in action! Reflect on the past. It was like our time too.
“THE DIGNITY OF DEATH IS NOT GIVEN TO ALL BY ALLAH” – (BRIG SALEEM ZIA)
A FULFILLMENT OF LIFE SPENT FOR NATION IS DREAM OF EVERY SOLDIER
We come across Commandos all the time. The film version and the real ones. Arnold Schwarznegger and Sylvester Stallone look rather unreal in actual life. But to hear the ordeals that go in making a Commando and then the trials of leading a life like one, is stuff of dreams. Somehow we do get a chance to meet and know real ones.
Amongst the pioneer ones was Brigadier Saleem Zia. A prisoner of war in India in the 1971 war, and subject to daily torture is a story all its own. The crushing of the Balochistan rebellion and he was part of it. Mountains with brain washing techniques going on, just like a movie story. The many Lahore boys caught in the rebellion there. All for Pakistan. May Allah grant him peace in heaven!
THE DAYS OF IKE AND AYUB, GOOD WILL AND LAUGHTER,
THE ZENITH OF RELATIONS BETWEEN USA AND PAKISTAN
Today we see Heads of State meet and seriousness surround their faces. Like sulking childs, every one trying to get the maximum advantage. International relations were never ever like that. It included smiles and laughter, and sharing odd jokes. We took out two photographs of the American and Pakistan Generals, and were amused to see them so happy with each other. The laughing Generals are viewing a Khattak dance display at Presidents House Karachi on the visit of General Eishenhower to Pakistan.
We look forward to those days when our Presidents will laugh again.
CONSTRUCTION OF IMARATS BY MIR IMARATS OF MEDIEVAL TIMES
AS OBSERVED BY THE LEGENDARY USTAD KAMAL UD DIN BEHZAD
A new wave of construction is in vogue nowadays. The newer methods are not time tested. Not even environment tested. Aesthetics borrowed from far away Islands. Use of metal and plastic abounds. But our traditional construction in its simplicity and in its strength stood the test of time. Even today you find the same kind of construction taking place as was done thousands of years back. Even in Islamic lands it was same. The tools of the architect, the mason, the labourer are all that we recognize today and use in lesser craftsmanship form. The spade is miserable as compared to a spade 500 years back. The plumb line was a thing of beauty and we have collected plumb lines of the past. A real decoration. Time has made many buildings fall but we still see their remnants standing as strong as ever.
The greatest legendary painter of Islamic lands Kamaluddin Behzad recorded some of these construction scenes and he had the most observant eye for them. It is a treat to see these forts and palaces and mosques being constructed in previous times. We share some old views. Relish the pleasure of looking at them!
ATTA ULLAH RUSHDI SON OF USTAD AHMAD MIMAR LAHORI,
THE CHIEF ARCHITECT OF EMPEROR AURANGZEB ALAMGEER
A book on Atta ullah Rushdi is due from us and it will eventually be published. More and more material has come to light and it is not recorded anywhere. More information on his achievements, his books, and his own family. We will try to put same on blog too. Suffice to say that he, Atta ullah was a favourite of Prince Alamgeer during his tenure as Governor. Later on the patronage continued when Aurangzeb Alamgeer became Emperor. Some information is not in new minor places but major missed sources like Maiseray-e-Alamgeeri itself.
We all know that the Mausoleum of Rabia Durrani wife of Aurangzeb Alamgeer in Aurangabad was made by him. And surprisingly the information is on the entrance itself. We publish the inscription in this blog. We include a rare Seal of Atta ullah on a Mughal document which links him to the Emperor in 1075 AH. We also know that the Rabia Durrani structure is based on the achievement of his father, that is the Taj Mahal itself.
We also know that the tomb of Ustad Ahmad Mimar is in Aurangabad too, that is in the graveyard of Khuldabad. But we have not contact with people in charge there. M.S. Vatts article is still the source of light for us. This Vatts Sahib informed us that there is an inscription on it put by Lutuf ullah Ahmad Muhandis. We continue to research on that. Perhaps somebody from Khuldbad can help us. We will be very grateful. Till then enjoy!
THE CONSTITUTION OF PAKISTAN TREAT AHMADIS AS NON MUSLIMS
WE FOUND MANY AHMADIS BLAMING ZULFIQAR ALI BHUTTO FOR SAME
BUT FORGET THAT MIRZA GHULAM QADIANI HIMSELF WANTED SAME
It is not our job to criticize others. We have to respect our believes and we have to respect believes of others. Dr Allama Iqbal initially welcomed Mirza Sahib as a scholar but then realized the consequences of same, and considered them a threat to Islam. We need not go into that intricate matter. Our reference is to son and second successor Mirza Basheer-ud-din Mahmud Ahmad himself, when he writes in his own book “Ahmad” published in 1924:
“AHMADI TO FORM A SEPARATE COMMUNITY FROM OTHER MUSSULMANS
The year 1901 was the year of census. The promised Messiah issued a notice to his followers, asking them to get themselves recorded in the census papers as Ahmadi Musssulmans. This was. therefore the year when for the first time he differentiated his followers from the other Mussulmans by the name of Ahmadi.”
When the Prophet of the Ahmadis instructed his followers to identify themselves as a separate entity as AHMADI MUSSULMAN, what else is left? The census of 1901 itself proves the point of same. A separate community by any standards.
The strangest part is that the reference to the so called return of Imam Mahndi, does not exists in the Quran, and yet the concept is nudged in culture all the time. The lowering of the Imam Mahndi on the white minaret of a mosque east of Damascus looks like a biblical fantasy all the time. A simple ruse to lower the esteem of our own Prophet (PBUH), nothing else.
Respecting believes of others, does not mean dispensing with ones own point of view. Eventually truth does prevail!
UNLESS YOU SIT STILL AND CONTEMPLATE IN SILENCE,
PIN DROP SILENCE AND THE SECRET OF BELGIAN NUNS
It is an age of rigorous exercise, endless movements, pathetic dance sequences, with a simple message. Keep moving and stop thinking. In fact as long as you are twisting and turning, your mind molecules will not start working. The stereotype of the thinker was always a person sitting in contemplation and solving unusual problems of life. Science, mathematics and philosophy, anything, all owe their existence to the thinking human. In fact Allah tells us not to accept anything without THINKING AND PONDERING over it. Not even Islam itself. And the thinking mind gets worse when with these ridiculous movements, you crash the brain with drugs and alcoholic contents. Certainly without thinking, humankind has no future and no survival chances in a dark and murky world.
This is very well known by devilish lobbies, who are waylaiding the devlopment of the younger minds. Consider any class room and its etiquette. All teachers stop the class from unnecessary talk. No talking please! Sister Anthony of Sacred Heart School was a great and kind teacher. She would demonstrate this silence very well. She used to take common pin in her hand and drop it. And then, she used to ask, have you heard its fall on the floor? All students said in a single word, NO. Well that is the PIN DROP SILENCE I require from you, said Sister Anthony. We remember this all the time. But now the party is where the SOUND is. Blasting your brain out of its rationality.
Life is about mixing Silence and Sound. The best mix is dictated by you, yourself. Screaming sounds, obnoxious pelvic movements, does not even make good sex. Allah has given you various gifts. Utilize them all. Do not let your brain rot. Even today we do not exploit 5% of our brain power. Imagine when we can increase that, at what state of evolution humans will get?