Rama Leaves for Exile, Bharata Laments



Rama Leaves for Exile, Bharata Laments


ca. 1710


India, Rajasthan, Mewar


Opaque watercolor and gold on paper
Image: 10 1/2 x 16 1/2 in. (26.7 x 41.9 cm)

Object Number



The Rajasthani text at the top of this painting directs us to begin at the bottom right, where Guha, chief of the Nishadas, a forest tribe, reports his earlier encounter with Rama to Bharata, outside of his royal tent. The other scenes depict Guha’s account. At top left, Guha converses with Lakshmana, who watches over Rama and Sita as they sleep on the forest floor, about the precarious state of Ayodhya. A scene of the court is seen at top right, with Dasharatha surrounded by his three queens. Guha then explains how, taking on ascetic garb, Rama matted his hair with the sap of a banyan tree (center), prior to crossing the Ganges River, ferried by Guha (bottom left). The story ends in the bottom right, where Bharata appears again, collapsing in grief after hearing of Rama’s arduous journey.
In reaction to Rama’s untimely exile, the painting illustrates multiple forms fraternal piety: Lakshmana’s steadfast devotion and Bharata’s pious grief. One joins Rama in his forest trial; the other must endure his absence, reluctantly ruling a kingdom bereft of its true king.

Credit Line

Gift of Jayantilal K. and Geeta J. Patel & Family to further the study of Hinduism


© Michael C. Carlos Museum, Emory University. Photo by Bruce M. White, 2015.
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“Rama Leaves for Exile, Bharata Laments,” Michael C. Carlos Museum Collections Online, accessed April 16, 2024, https://digitalprojects.carlos.emory.edu/items/show/6778.


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