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Arjuna, third of the Pandava (Pandawa) brothers, approx. 1950

Arjuna, third of the Pandava (Pandawa) brothers, approx. 1950

Arjuna, third of the Pandava (Pandawa) brothers, approx. 1950. Indonesia; West Java. Wood, cloth, and mixed media. From The Mimi and John Herbert Collection, F2000.86.115.

Arjuna, third of the Pandava (Pandawa) brothers, approx. 1950

Arjuna, third of the Pandava (Pandawa) brothers, approx. 1950. Indonesia; West Java. Wood, cloth, and mixed media. From The Mimi and John Herbert Collection, F2000.86.115.

Arjuna, third of the Pandava (Pandawa) brothers, approx. 1950

Arjuna, third of the Pandava (Pandawa) brothers, approx. 1950. Indonesia; West Java. Wood, cloth, and mixed media. From The Mimi and John Herbert Collection, F2000.86.115.

Arjuna, third of the Pandava (Pandawa) brothers, approx. 1950
Arjuna, third of the Pandava (Pandawa) brothers, approx. 1950
Arjuna, third of the Pandava (Pandawa) brothers, approx. 1950

Arjuna is the third of the Pandava (Pandawa) brothers and warrior-caste hero of the Hindu epic the Mahabharata. He is the divine son of the god Indra and disciple of the god Krishna (Kresna). Arjuna is known for his chivalry, loyalty, and handsome looks, which draw the attention of princesses and other maidens. He is depicted as a graceful warrior whose agility on the battlefield is complemented by self-discipline, nobility, and the utmost loyalty to family.

The Bhagavad Gita (“The Lord’s Song”), a pivotal episode in the Mahabharata, is a dramatic dialogue that takes place between Arjuna and the god Krishna (in disguise to the prince as his charioteer). On the eve of the great battle, as the Pandava brothers prepare to go to war with their cousins the Kauravas (Kaurawas), Arjuna anguishes over whether he can fight his own relatives, friends, and teachers. Krishna councils Arjuna that sacred duty (dharma) must precede all personal desires. Therefore, one’s actions should be made in order to fulfill dharma, without concern for the consequences.

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