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Guru Nanak's meeting with Praladh, from a manuscript of the Janam Sakhi (Life Stories)
Place of Origin: India or Pakistan, Punjab region
Date: approx. 1800-1900
Object Name: Manuscript page
Materials: Opaque watercolors and gold on paper
Dimensions: H. 8 1/8 in x W. 6 3/4 in, H. 20.6 cm x W. 17.1 cm
Credit Line: Gift of the Kapany Collection
Department: South Asian Art
Collection: Books And Manuscripts
Object Number: 1998.58.26
On Display: No
Culture: Sikh

Description

Label:

In some Janam Sakhi stories, Guru Nanak interacts with Hindu or Islamic religious figures. Some incidents are historical events from Nanak’s lifetime but others are not, such as meetings with learned men who lived before Nanak’s time or with beings who appear in Hindu religious literature. Such episodes symbolically express the inclusive nature of Nanak’s teachings.

An example appears in this painting of Nanak’s meeting with Praladh, a devotee of the Hindu god Vishnu. Praladh’s father, an arrogant and evil king, was defeated by Vishnu in his lion avatar (Narasimha). Praladh was devout from a very young age, despite being threatened with death by his father for his faith. This story is popular in Sikhism as an expression of the themes of devotion and humility before God. In this painting, both major figures have halos suggesting their spiritual status, and the young Hindu greets Guru Nanak with clasped hands, in a gesture of reverence.


More Information

Exhibition History: "Saints and Kings: Arts, Culture, and Legacy of the Sikhs", Asian Art Museum, 3/10/17 - 6/18/17
Label:

In some Janam Sakhi stories, Guru Nanak interacts with Hindu or Islamic religious figures. Some incidents are historical events from Nanak’s lifetime but others are not, such as meetings with learned men who lived before Nanak’s time or with beings who appear in Hindu religious literature. Such episodes symbolically express the inclusive nature of Nanak’s teachings.

An example appears in this painting of Nanak’s meeting with Praladh, a devotee of the Hindu god Vishnu. Praladh’s father, an arrogant and evil king, was defeated by Vishnu in his lion avatar (Narasimha). Praladh was devout from a very young age, despite being threatened with death by his father for his faith. This story is popular in Sikhism as an expression of the themes of devotion and humility before God. In this painting, both major figures have halos suggesting their spiritual status, and the young Hindu greets Guru Nanak with clasped hands, in a gesture of reverence.


Exhibition History: "Saints and Kings: Arts, Culture, and Legacy of the Sikhs", Asian Art Museum, 3/10/17 - 6/18/17