The Indian Artist, Revamped: The Story Behind the Composition

Good Afternoon!! I hope that you are all well. As promised, this week I will be sharing with you all the new piece that I started inspired by the Bhagavad Gita and one of my favorite artists, Bijay Biswaal. Strap in!

For those of you who are not aware, the Bhagavad Gita has been colloquially termed as the “Hindu Bible.”  It is one of the holy scriptures of Hinduism containing 700 verses dictating a conversation between the deity Krishna and the soldier Arjuna. The Bhagavad Gita does not talk about religion at all, it speaks on the values necessary to lead a good life, how to be a good person, and the answers to daily struggles. It is said that if you were having any problem, open to a random page of the Bhagavad Gita and you will gain some wisdom!

Bhagavad Gita: Moralistic guide of Life | Sambad English

As such an important part of my culture, I decided that I wanted to create my next big piece based off of the famous cover of the Bhagavad Gita. The most common picture that you would see if you were to buy the book is shown to the left. Interestingly, the cover is factually incorrect! There are supposed to be 5 white horses, not 4!

The chariot represents the human body. The five white horses are the five senses—tasting, seeing, hearing, smelling and touching. The chariot’s reins, which the charioteer uses to drive his vehicle, symbolize the human mind. Finally, the driver represents human intelligence while the passenger symbolizes a person’s spirit or soul. The first time I heard this I thought that it was such beautiful symbolism. It gives one full autonomy to control our sense, giving way for our soul to go down the correct path.

I am so excited with my progress on this piece. I decided to recreate the cover of the Bhagavad Gita according to scripture, making sure there were 5 horses instead of 4. Additionally, I wanted to stylize the piece more and took inspiration from some works by Bijay Biswaal, who’s work I am very fond of and have recreated once before (check it out here!)

I am doing this piece, untitled currently, on a 40″x50″ canvas with oil paint. The underpainting was done with acrylic and was painted over an old existing painting. I still have a long way to go and many many details to sculp. I look forward to keeping you all updated!

As always, if any questions or thoughts arise, please comment or reach out to me!


Until next week,



Riya A

My name is Riya and I am currently a Senior at U of M studying Molecular Biology with a double minor in Art & Design and Sociology on the pre-med track. Art has been a huge passion of mine from a very young age and in the final iteration of my column, I look forward to sharing my passions as they connect to my culture, medicine, and art.

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2 Comments on "The Indian Artist, Revamped: The Story Behind the Composition"

1 year 24 days ago

Hi there! I just wanted to say I also really like that symbolism and think that it is a perfect representation of humans. Do you know why the cover ignored one of the horses? Thanks!