‘Teracotta tablet dates to Gitopadesham’

CPR Institute of Indological Research director Nanditha Krishna addressing a press conference in Chennai Tuesday

Chennai: “A terracotta tablet depicting a man holding four horses, standing behind a half chariot with a spoked wheel is probably interpreted to be one of the earliest representations of Gitopadesham. The plaque, dating back to 1600 to 300 BCE, is in possession of Jeremy Pine, an art dealer in Hong Kong, which was purchased in Kathmandu years ago,” said CPR Institute of Indological Research director Nanditha Krishna.

She was addressing the media to discuss the possibilities that it could be Mahabharata depiction.

Speaking to reporters, Nanditha said that the finding was authenticated by Oxford Authentication by doing thermoluminescene that confirmed that the date of the firing was between 2300 and 3600 years ago during the late Indus Valley Culture. The two figures in the tablet are seen wearing Harappan-style headbands.

“It is most likely to be a representation of Krishna and Arjuna. While the epic talks about four horses for several people, Arjuna is specifically identified with a chariot drawn by four horses. The outstretched hand is associated with Arjuna, who points to his grandfather and cousins and refuses to fight them. Following which, Krishna advices Arjuna which is Bhagvat Gita,” said Nanditha.

She stated that the second quiver of arrows could not belong to Krishna as he decided not to fight. Interpreting the second quiver, she said, “One reason might be that Arjuna, the world’s greatest archer, may need more than one quiver.”

NT Bureau