Khambhavati Ragini: Folio from a ragamala series (Garland of Musical Modes)

Here a female mendicant makes a Vedic fire offering to the god Brahma who is represented with four overlapping faces and holds a text, rosary (mala), and flower. An earlier ragamala text of 1550 provides the following description of Brahma: “He [Brahma] teaches the Vedas . . . and causes other to perform the fire-oblation. A bright garment covers the beauty of [her] body; [her] fair colour gleams.”

Ink, opaque watercolor, and gold on paper


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Metropolitan Museum of Art

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