The story of the Bhagvadgita. Seated on the throne and served by an attendant waving a whisk made of peacock feathers, the blind king Dhrtarastra listens as the visionary narrator Sanjaya relates the events of the battle between the Kaurava and the Pandava clans
The mahatmya of the tenth adhyaya. The servants of Shiva find a dead Brahman in the city of Kasi on the auspicious day of Ekadasi. Shiva explains that by reciting the tenth aghyaya of the Bhagvadgita, the Brahman had once saved a swan and an apsara (fairy) who had been turned into a lotus. Shiva's attendants take the Brahman to Shiva's heaven
The mahatmya of the 13th adhyaya. An adulterous woman from the city of Harinam goes to the forest with her husband and is attacked by a tiger who only eats those who commit immoral acts. Reborn as a low-caste Chandala, the woman hears the 13th adhyaya of the Bhagvadgita from the holy man and asks him to recite it to the tiger as well. Both the woman and the tiger receive divine bodies and are taken to Visnu's heaven
The mahatmya of the fifth adhyaya. The bottom half of the painting depicts Pingala's life as a Brahman, his argument with his wife and his death by poisoning. The upper half illustrates the narrative of their subsequent births as birds: they fight in an ascetic's skull in a cremation ground and are given new divine bodies. In the new form they are taken to the court of Dharmaraja, the judge of the actions of mortals
The narrative setting of the mahatmyas. Laksmi asks Visnu about the greatness of the Bhagvadgita as he reclines on the serpent Sesanaga in the cosmic ocean. The four headed god Brahma is seated on the lotus that emerges from Visnu's navel. The scalloped arch and rolled-up curtain at the yop of the picture evoke the symbols of temple icons
Krsna enchants the natural and human worlds with his flute. Standing in the tribhangi or 'three bends' posture, Krsna plays the flute as enchanted gopis, cattle, and birds look on. A clump of trees act as a sheltering umbrella, the symbol of gods and kings in Indic iconography.
Christ cures the paralytic at the therapeutic pool of Bethesda. Engraving by S.F. Ravenet and V.M. Picot, 1772, after W. Hogarth.