Anjaneya – Sanjeevini (Chromolithograph)

The scene is Anjaneya bringing Dronagiri mountain from Himalayas to Sri Lanka.

The story: “Rama, Lakshmana and the army of monkeys that included Anjaneya get into a war with Ravana, King of Sri Lanka, in their effort to rescue Sita, Rama’s wife.

In the war, Lakshmana was injured by an arrow from Ravana’s son Meghnad. Lakshman was unconscious. The local medicines and/or the physician could not help. Hanuman was then asked to get Sanjeevini (restorer of life) plant available in the Dronagiri mountains.

Hanuman was not able to identify the medicinal plant and brings back the entire mountain. And that is the scene above. Lakshmana was revived with the medicinal plant . Rama, Lakshmana and the rest of the army then go on to win the war.”.

There are several interesting features in the above lithograph. It shows Vibhishana, the crowned and bearded figure, Ravana’s brother. Vibhishana did not agree with Ravana’s action and switched sides and supported Rama in the war.

Rama is to our right next to Laxman. The identification of Rama is based on similar crown and necklace as that of Lakshman. Contrary to the normal practice, the most significant person in the hierarchy, Rama, is not given the central position.

The background shows snow-clad mountains and given the scene is in Sri Lanka, it is bit of a stretch. May be the artists wanted to show from where the Dronagiri mountain came.

The arrival of Anjaneya is yet have an impact on despair displayed, except for Rama’s recognition of Anjaneya’s arrival.

The turbaned and mustachioed figures shows Maharashtrian influence. Not surprising as this lithograph is attributed to M V Durandhar.

This lithograph is from Raja Ravi Varma press and probably dates to the first half of the twentieth century. The lithograph is 36 by 25 cm.

This blog site has a terracotta example of Anjaneya carrying Dronagiri mountain on his way to Sri Lanka.

28 Jan 2021: India sent Brazil 2 million does of Covid Vaccine. The tweet below is from Brazil’s ambassador to India. Interesting to see India’s epics creates expectation in others as to India’s behavior.

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