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La miniatura come documento storico: le celebrazioni di Saptasvarupa Annakutotsava al Tempio di Śrī Nāthjī a Nathdwara nel 1822

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image of Annali Sezione Orientale

This article highlights the importance of a prominent festival, the Saptasvarupa Annakutotsava celebrated in Nathdwara in 1822, through an iconographic analysis of a miniature painting dated to 1822–1850 in the LACMA collection. First, the essay delimits the area of investigation by briefly introducing the sect of Puṣṭi Mārg, its icons or svarūps, and the installation of its most important deity, Śrī Nāthjī, at Nathdwara in 1672. Secondly, it analyzes the festival of 1822 as depicted in the painting. The final part of the study underlines the significance of the celebrations in the history of the sect by contextualizing the event with information drawn from secondary literature: it introduces some well-documented issues, such as the absence of the svarūp of Bālkṛṣṇajī in the celebrations; it mentions some of the problems that Dauji, the head priest of the temple, had to overcome in the coordination of the festival, such as settling the disputes among the gosvāmīs of the sect; and it concludes with a comparative analysis of the Saptasvarupa Annakutotsava with two similar festivals held in Nathdwara in 1739–1740 and 1966 to emphasize the preeminence of the event of 1822 in the history of Puṣṭi Mārg.

Affiliations: 1: Cleveland State University


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