Abhinav Goswami: A Chaumasa in Vrindavan


Abhinav Goswami

A Chaumasa in Vrindavan

Photographs printed on archival paper (24 variants)

Size Opt 1: 12 x 18” / 30 x 46 cms ; Size Opt. 2: 16 x 24″ / 41 x 61 cms

Year of execution variable; Edition of 15 each


Curatorial Statement: “जोग, तप, बैराग, एकांत : Asceticism, penance, renunciation, solitude: ideas that are central to the four month period of the Chaumasa; but in Vrindavan, the land of Krishna : these ideas live eternally, in practice, as Bhakti dances unalloyed in its colours of संयोग and वियोग (union and separation). 

This selection, culled from Abhinav Goswami’s extensive archives documenting the cultural life of Braj; portrays the natural elements, the landscape of Vrindavan, and human and ascetic experiences in the Monsoon. 

The Yamuna, central to the Vaishanava experience fills up to the brim during the four monsoon months and life around it seems to come alive: young boys dive and play in the waters, ascetics meditate on the ghats, pilgrims take boat rides and offer obeisance to the mother-river… Clouds darken, intensifying the darkness of Viraha (a mood of longing): the Gopis were perennially longing for his lotus face; not just for four months!

We get a glimpse of the sacred geography of Vrindavan. The evocative skyline is enough for devotees as a soul stirring Darshan unto itself! The architecture of the Ghats comes alive in the Chaumasa with the gushing Yamuna; temple spires dot the landscape like luminescent lamps burning bright amidst a maze of built environments… 

Ascetics of various denominations, young and old alike, living between renunciation and the world of sensory pleasures that Krishna embodies, dot the landscape of Vrindavan, presenting a story of love, restraint and inner light. 

We may say that these images take us onto a journey of a Chaumasa in Vrindavan; but equally it is true that Vrindavan is nothing but a perennial Chaumasa: always radiating light…”

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