The Art of Loving Krishna

The Art of Loving Krishna

Ornamentation and Devotion
Cynthia Packert
Distribution: World
Publication date: 07/07/2010
Format: Paperback 58 b&w illus.
ISBN: 978-0-253-22198-8
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Since ancient times, Hindus have expressed their love and devotion to their deities through beautiful ornamentation—dressing and decorating the deities with elaborate clothing, jewelry, and flowers. In this pioneering study of temples in Vrindaban and Jaipur, India, Cynthia Packert takes readers across temple thresholds and into the god Krishna’s sacred domain. She describes what devotees see when they behold gorgeously attired representations of the god and why these images look the way they do. She discusses new media as well as global forms of devotion popular in India and abroad. The Art of Loving Krishna opens a universe of meaning in which art, religious action, and devotion are dynamically intertwined.

Author Bio

Cynthia Packert is Professor of the Department of History of Art and Architecture at Middlebury College. She is author of The Sculpture of Early Medieval Rajasthan.


“A delight . . . original, well-written, and thoughtfully organized.”
 — David L. Haberman, author of Journey Through the Twelve Forests

“[D]oes something truly wonderful: it shows that the clothes that gods wear convey critical information which is hidden to those who 'see through' the clothes and so miss key significations. . . . The wonderful blend of methods and insights from art history, ethnography, and history of religions makes the book compelling.”
 — Lindsey Harlan, Connecticut College

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Table of Contents

Prologue: Seeing Krishna, Loving Krishna
Introduction: A Sense of Place, an Open Heart, and an Educated Eye
1. The Radharamana Temple: Divine Time, All the Time
2. The Radhavallabha Temple: One Is Better than Two
3. The Govindadeva Temple: From the King's God to the People's God
4. Krishna to Go
Conclusion: All Dressed Up and Everywhere to Go

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