Peaceable Kingdoms, or, The Cosmic Waterhole : A Comparison
of Popular Images from the USA, Pakistan, and Thailand
This article (revised and re-edited February, 2012) was first published in Kirkpatrick, 2003.
The argument then moves from what Kafka meant, to what Kafka really meant, to what we mean when we read Kafka.—Colm Toibin, "Roaming the Greenwood," in London Review of Books, 21:2, January 21, 1999:13.
The previous essay, “Metaphor and Motive” (hereafter cited as M&M), looked at a painting by Edward Hicks in relation to two types of ricksha art images from Bangladesh, the waterhole image and the movie image. My reading of Hicks in that article did not reflect what Hicks "meant" or thought he was up to in painting many pictures on the same theme. The two authors on Hicks cited previously in M&M, Ford and Weekley, however, each considered aspects of what Hicks both "meant" and "really meant," the latter in psychological terms. Instead, I was interested in what I "mean" when I "read" Hicks. I considered the picture in light of popular American images of their political economy and the ideology of unlimited good, comparing it along similar lines to popular Bangladeshi art images. Although I was able to show by quotation that Hicks himself shared my view of the popular imagination of an ever bountiful economy, he did not appear to have considered it as such in generating his famous visual allegories. I did not assume that Hicks himself might have consciously entertained "my" view of the scene rendered in the painting. But the relevance of my socio-economic reading, as one among several possible readings, seems confirmable by the fact that some of his paintings on this theme, including the illustration used in this essay, show men off-loading chests of goods from a boat on the river for purposes of displaying their contents to the assembled Delaware Indians. The latter are not being persuaded toward peace and unity with white men under the theological banner of Christian faith in these pictures. They are more accurately being united with the settlers under the sign of trade. William Penn is presenting, wooing, them with chests of cloth and baubles.
The peaceable kingdom or "peace fable" motif is widespread in world folklore. (1) This essay will compare and contrast different visual conceptions of the motif from three quite different cultures. I shall consider the same peaceable kingdom image by Hicks, this time in light of his own personal motives for the paintings. I shall then compare and contrast his work with two other popular pictures: a Pakistani popular poster and its probable eighteenth century prototype, and a Thai folk mural painting from a temple wall. My conclusion will briefly comment on the cultural status of the Bangladeshi waterhole image in comparison to the three other images addressed here.
The Moral Universe of Hicks's Peaceable Kingdom
Edward Hicks painted his variations on the theme as moralizing and theologically grounded visual expressions. They served to some extent as salve for his aching spirit, often wounded by the schismatic politics of Quaker meetings in the Pennsylvania of this period. As a Quaker minister, his Peaceable Kingdom pictures served not only as personal expression but as warnings to anyone with eyes to see that the Quaker community was, in his view, destroying itself. He did not sell the paintings but gave them away as gifts. I read his choice not to commercialize them as part of their theological intention.
The moral implications of these pictures were clearly set forth in a sermon Hicks gave at the Goose Creek Quaker meeting in Virginia in 1837. There, Hicks proposed the theme of Adam's fall, in which as Hicks scholar Alice Ford puts it: "...the animal man became a slave to the cruel, selfish nature emblematically described by the wolf, the leopard, the bear and the lion. ...To Edward, as to Isaiah, the lamb, the kid, the cow and the ox are emblems of good men and women, while the wolf, the leopard, the bear and the lion are figures of the wicked" (1985:86).
Hicks accepted popular or folk theories of the four humors' agency in human psycho-physiology: Ford wrote that to Hicks, man was "...compounded of the four principle elements: Earth, Air, Water and Fire which, according to humoral theory, determined his character as melancholy, sanguine, phlegmatic or choleric. Earth/melancholics were money mongers, usurers, persons greedy for fame and speculation, signified by the Wolf. Air/sanguinity types were people over-fond of entertainment and male sensuality, Leopards. Water/phlegmatics were cold, dull, unfeeling hoarders whose emblem was the Bear; and the Fire/cholerics, symbolized by the Lion, were subject to arrogance, pride, and self-will, as contrasted to Quaker meekness and submission to God's will" (ibid.: 86-87. See also, Weekely, 1999:4). Hicks painted all of these animals into his compositions.
Here are the peace fable motifs, as found in the Book of Isaiah 11:6-8, which inspired Hicks: “The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf, and the young lion, and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them.” The reader should note these animals carefully, as two of them (lion and goat) appear in the Pakistani poster, to be discussed shortly.
Edward Hicks, The Peaceable Kingdom © Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco.
Weekley writes of Hicks's visual allegory: "Of utmost importance to Quaker quietism, such [biblical] lessons centered on denying or relinquishing the willful self. Stated another way, one must suppress any participation and interest in superfluous outward and worldly concerns and passions. The failure to do so was, in Edward's opinion, the root cause of the [Quaker] schism" (ibid.). Weekley devoted many pages of her extensive Edward Hicks study to psychological analysis of his writings and their self-disclosures. Hicks evidently felt at times that he, himself, was guilty of animalistic anger and hatred. The paintings appear to have functioned for him not just as moral lessons to his Quaker fellows but as exorcisms of his own spiritually unacceptable feelings.
To sum up, Edward Hicks's allegorical paintings of peaceable kingdoms were meant by him, as they were also received by his audiences, as moralizing statements about the Quaker ethos and its necessity to the maintenance of peace and brotherhood in the land. They re-present statements about spiritual polity. They offer a Quaker Christian theology on moral baseness, self will (as opposed to God's will), greed, and worldliness—all redeemed by the Redeemer as in the biblical prophecy.
The Peaceable Kingdom in Pakistan
Ever since its inception as a separate nation in 1947 after the Partition of India formed two countries out of the formerly united British colonial Indian Raj, Pakistan politics have endured violent swings between secularist tendencies and Islamic political radicalism. The founding leader of Pakistan, Muhammad Ali Jinnah, supported a secular constitution and argued in favor of a secular state where all religions could be freely practiced as part of the cultural diversity which was characteristic of the area at that time. Some years later, cultural diversity in Pakistan would be eroded as increasing numbers of Hindus and Parsis moved across the border to India, seeking more favorable social and political conditions.(2) In 1971 Bangladesh (previously the eastern wing of Pakistan) sprung into existence after a bloody war of separation from West Pakistan. Cultural diversity which could only be protected under a secular state again became a politically crucial issue. The integrity of Bengali language and culture had been gradually eroded and repressed by a Pakistani government dominated by the western wing, by non-Bengalis imposing Urdu as the official language. After Bangladeshi independence, Pakistan became a one-winged bird. Secularism was dead.
Pakistani popular Islam became increasingly concerned with the implementation of Shari'a, the Muslim law code. Under the premiership of Pakistani General Zia ul Haq, Shari'a became an official code of justice parallel to the older secular code inherited under colonial rule. The poster I am concerned with in this essay is a visual representation of Shari'a personal law codes as cosmic justice. It was collected in 1979 by George W. Rich, when he was in Pakistan working on his study of Pakistan truck art (see article Bedford Painting, in this section).
Pakistan Poster Print Photo courtesy George W. Rich
Let us first consider the narrative images displayed in the middle and top sections of the poster. The man and the naked woman are shown in conjunction with images of forbidden consumption of alcoholic liquor. To the left just in front of the man is a tray holding whiskey bottles, a cocktail glass, and a bunch of grapes. Just in front of the woman to the right is a large pitcher next to an overturned wine cup, with visibly spilled liquor spreading on the ground. The little black dots on and around them stand for bullet holes. These sinners, buried in the ground up to their chests according to Shari’a law, are being executed by firing squad. Blood issues from some holes in the woman's arms and breasts and from one on the man's chest. Foregrounding this man and woman is the beheading of a man. Behind all of them we see an executioner chopping off the hands of one man on the left, while another man—who's clutching a bottle while another bottle spilling liquor lies before him on the ground—awaits his punishment. The executioners are using scimitars in the Arab fashion of Shari'a punishment, Saudi Arabia being the country from which the most radical expression of Shari'a law is propagated into other Muslim countries. The faintly visible Urdu writing underneath these visually depicted acts of punishment describes the felonies. The woman to the right represents prostitution and fornication; the man buried in the ground to the far left stands for adultery; the men in the background are being punished for stealing; the beheading is for murder. Rape, bribery, and imbibing alcohol are also inscribed as felonious sins.
Rising above all this sin and punishment in the center of the picture is a mosque supporting an open Koran. Above the mosque is a miniature dome and minaret inside a lighted candle, which is the fulcrum of a pair of scales—the scales of divine justice. The burning candle proclaims the light of Islam (nur ul Islam) which in this instance could be either the Prophet Muhammad, his message, or Allah. (Nur ul Islam is a complex philosophical concept. See, e.g., Roy, 1983, and Salomon, 1991.) My reading in this instance is that it represents the message of God transmitted by his Prophet. Part of the message of Islam is the Shari'a law code. It is foundational to the messages in this poster, a description of which follows. Above the scales is written in Urdu, Nizam e Mustapha, which signifies the rules (or laws) of the Prophet. Above that, the kalma or Muslim profession of faith is written across the top poster border, merged calligraphically with the other four fundamental requirements of Muslim practice: prayer (namaz), fasting (roza), pilgrimage to Mecca (haj), and tithing to the poor (zakat). To the right of the scales is a framed window view, so to speak, of the Ka'aba in Mecca, over which is written Ya Allah, "O Allah." Directly on the other side of the ensemble is another window that frames the Mosque of the Prophet at Medina. Over this view is written Ya Muhammad.
The most intriguing detail of the poster are the two animals at its base, peaceably standing together in a pond. They are a lion and a goat¯normally enemies, the latter being natural prey of the former. These are two of the folkloric peace fable animals which also appear in the paintings of Edward Hicks. Here they are not standing agonistically at the waterhole, but in it, at peace. I read them as signifying the peace of Allah under the rule of His law. Like the Quaker worldview, the Muslim worldview calls on men to submit their wills and desires to God's wishes and commands. The poster's images of sin indicate transgressive humans who willfully submitted to their own base desires, together with the requisite punishments. Like the Quaker theology of Hicks's peaceable kingdom pictures, this poster asserts a theological message about what is required to ensure the peaceable kingdom among men.
The Shah Jahani Peaceable Kingdom
Variations of this animal allegory of the peaceable kingdom are found repeatedly in Shah Jahani imperial pictures (see Koch 2001:116ff.), which predate by two centuries the formation of the state of Pakistan where the poster just discussed originated. The Pakistani poster expresses the peace fable allegory, except that in the poster the animals are placed under the symbols of the law of Allah and his Prophet Muhammad, instead of—as we shall see in the following picture—their placement under the Mughal emperor while he holds darbar, or public audience. The illustration that follows is a detail from a drawing of the eighteenth century emperor Shah Jehan's darbar by an artist of the Rajasthani court of Kotah. (Welch, ed., 1997:110 and 113. See also Beach and Koch, on the divinity of the emperor's justice under God, in their Padshahnama, 1997.) The full drawing (in Addendum 2) shows Shah Jehan sitting in audience, surrounded by courtiers, with the animal allegory placed in the center of the picture just underneath his audience window. Ebba Koch has written an extensive art historical analysis of these allegorical "cosmic animals"—the lion together with a goat, sheep, or cow—in her chapter on the Solomonic peace among the beasts (ibid.:2001).
The relevant detail from this Kotah drawing of Shah Jahani cosmic animals is shown here:
Detail, Durbar of Shah Jehan, Drawing.
Photo © S.C. Welch; Rao Madho Singh Trust Museum, Fort Kotah
We see two male lions (both have manes) and two female goats assembled together under the scales of justice, which are located at the top of the scene, in the same placement found in the Pakistan poster. The bottom lion-goat pair is peaceably drinking from the same pond. The other female goat nurses a baby lion while another baby lion watches them. To the left is a baby goat staring at the underside of the other male lion, disappointed no doubt. (I identify the baby lions by their long tails and short faces, the baby goat by its short tail and drooping horns). As already noted, goats are a natural prey of lions. Therefore, in that the mother goat is nourishing a baby lion instead of a kid, the unnatural mingling of species adds power to the symbolism. The string of bells on either side of the animal allegory refers to the custom of hanging bells outside a palace jharoka (audience window), which a subject may ring to call the ruler's attention to his plight and request justice. (I thank Tryna Lyons for an explanation of the bells.) In the full picture (as in many others) Emperor Shah Jehan is depicted with a golden halo of light around his head.(3)
So we see that, in this imperial Mughal image, the scales of justice refer to the quasi-divine, peace-bringing justice of the emperor's rule, just as in the Pakistani poster, with the same animal species and the scales in the center, the divine justice is that imposed by Allah through the message of his Prophet. Thus, the Pakistani poster’s peaceable animals allegory suggests that it descended from Mughal art and lived on into the 20th century. This visual allegory, which "naturalizes" the unnatural or artificial justice of imperial rule to the extent of confounding the usual hierarchy of species, and by metonymic reference imposes order on the entire conflictive world, conforms to a variation of the folkloric peace fable in which a divinity or magical king imposes the peaceable kingdom by his rule. Again, an ordinary waterhole becomes a cosmic waterhole in the animal allegory.
The Buddha's Peaceable Kingdom
While visiting northern Thailand in 1998, I made a round of ancient and medieval temples located at varying distances from Chiang Mai city. Thai temples are replete with wonderful wall paintings. Most of them concern the previous incarnations of the Buddha or episodes from the life of the historical Buddha. At Wat Phra That Haripunjaya in Lamphun town, quite by lucky accident I found another version of the peaceable kingdom in the wall paintings of a small side temple located near the main temple in the compound. Wat Haripunjaya, according to Donald Swearer, who generously sent me the information, traces its origin to the eleventh century (CE) when King Adittaraja was reputed to have discovered the Buddha relic that is enshrined there. Swearer (who has seen them) wrote that the murals depict the story of a saintly monk, Phra Malai, who is taken on a tour of the Buddhist hells and heavens. In the small temple the mural of the Buddhist heaven is on the front wall, above the door as the visitor walks in. The hell scenes, correlated with infractions against the five Buddhist precepts: not to fornicate, not to kill, lie, steal, nor drink alcoholic liquor, occupy most of the wall space (Swearer, 1999). (4)
I saw that the paintings of sins and of hells began to the right of the altar (facing it) and continued round the walls until they ended up to the left of the altar, where to my amazement was a picture that could only be characterized as another "peaceable kingdom" scene. Shooting from below the painting with the camcorder (I had not brought the still camera, unfortunately), I videotaped this picture as best I could, given the darkness in the temple and the sharp light piercing through the door. Thai temple paintings are usually located high up on the walls, and I had to shoot the image from below.
When I consulted a Thai archaeologist, Professor Prateep Chumpol, he explained that this mural painting is a contemporary one made by a folk artist, "...with western influence in anatomy, ...newly painted with modern Thai script. The age of the building," he wrote, "might not be similar to the painting. It should be older since conservation and restoration in the old days were not so good. It is possible that this painting might be on top of the old damaged one. ...The painting should be done around the year 1957 (twenty-fifth Buddhist century). In those days, people were aware of the Buddhist doomsday. Phra Malai preached to creatures both in hell and in paradise, and he told people what he saw in both places… Also, the perspective style of painting [visible in the image reproduced here] was introduced to Thailand in that period, while we had bird's eye view mural paintings beforehand. These considerations imply that the age of the painting is about 50 years." (Chumpol, 1999) (5)
Temple Mural, Wat Haripunjaya Compound. © Joanna Kirkpatrick
The mural shows the Buddha mounted on a lotus, floating in radiance in the sky. (The image resolution suffers as it was digitized from videotape.) Below the Buddha on the ground are a group of peoples of the world, all of different nationalities as one can see from their respective costumes and body language. Difference of nationality can, under other circumstances, signify political contention and war, as difference in general can rhetorically suggest conflict. Included in the mix of peoples is a blond male westerner in blue jeans, shaking hands with a sarong-wearing southeast Asian person (unknown if man or woman). An African and a turbaned Sikh with sword dangling at his side are also discernible. A river runs beside the group and wends into the verdant background, where we see a group of wild animals peacefully herding together: elephants and leopards. The animal to the far right is a cow. Both people and animals are on the same side of the river.
Prateep Chumpol reads the painting this way:
"This painting didn't explain anything in the Buddha's story. The painter only wanted to show the Buddha's Might. Buddhism teaches people to love each other, not only human beings but also animals. So the painting showed animals behind. People would be in peace, also big trees and clean water represent this. There was [nothing] in the scenery that goes with the Buddha's story. It showed the painter's imagination" (ibid., 1999).
My reading of this image is not different from his; to me it stands as a pictorial expression of the Buddha's kingdom of peace under the moral law or dharma. But I would add the comparative perspective, which tells us that the Buddhist image is the reverse, as are the others already discussed, of the Bangladeshi waterhole scene of samsaric contention, about which I wrote in M&M. While they all have in common one or another version of a waterhole, the ricksha art waterhole scene from Bangladesh does not reflect a specific scriptural theology, or dharma, but an ancient if indeterminately textual Indian view of cyclical samsara, or the Muslim Bengali (as opposed to orthodox Muslim) folk sense of takdir, or destiny. By contrast, the three images under review in this article all reflect the theologies of specific scriptural traditions. In the Buddhist Thai version the non-contenders are all on the same side of the river. In the Pakistani poster the non-contenders are standing together in the pond; in its Mughal prototype they are drinking together from it. In Hicks's picture a small stream divides the human from the mystical animal world, while simultaneously both people and animals are on the same bank of the great river, as they are in the Buddhist picture.
Finally, one could observe that within the vast Euro-Asian continent, which includes India, animals for centuries have stood for humans, either positively or negatively—either in animal fables of human impersonation, such as the ancient Greek Aesop's tales and the classical Indian fable collection, the Panchatantra, or as in the images discussed here. The Panchatantra is probably the ultimate source of the allegorical waterhole ambushing or confrontation idea in south Asian arts. The opening frame story features the lion king with his animal entourage going to the river to drink, where he hears the "thunderous" bellowing of a bull on the other side of the river. Frightened, the lion runs away. Later Indian art, however, often represented these scenes as active confrontations between lion or tiger and bull or other animal. (See, e.g., the eighteenth century Mewar picture and ricksha art comparables in my CD-ROM, Transports of Delight : The Ricksha Arts of Bangladesh, in the file titled “Icons of Power.”)
Such complex narrative allegories are polyvalent. The waterhole with animals suggests both the folkloric peace of the waterhole in the wild—where animals supposedly do not attack one another while drinking water (a popular idea lacking a scientific basis)—and also hints at the animality of human nature, an important theme in most of the world's scripture-based religions, in that the animals metonymically stand in for humans.
The "peace among the beasts" theme can also be found in Hindu art. (There is also a Jain peaceable kingdom mandala: Doshi, 1985: pl.18:112.) One Hindu example appears in a charming miniature painting in Welch, ed., 1997, pl.40:156. (His discussion of the picture does not entail the treatment noted here.) The picture belongs to a cycle called Barahmasa, depicting the Hindu twelve months of the year as celebrated in folklore, poetry and painting. This picture shows the effects of the month of Jeth (May-June), the hottest time of the year. Its theme represents the imposition of peace by Prakriti (or cosmic Nature) among normally contending animals, when the whole world can do little but rest in the shade. To the upper left we see Lord Krishna and women attendants sitting on a balcony, surrounded by lush, cool vegetation. One of the attendants is fanning him. To the right below his balcony, next to a small stream, we see two elephants standing under a tree. Underneath one of the elephants, a tiger reposes in its shade. Below these, at the base of the picture, we see a fully extended snake taking advantage of the elongated shade underneath a peacock's tail!
Details from Mas Jeth:
Cobra sheltering under peacock’s tail........... Elephants and sheltering tiger.
Indian oral traditions represent these two animal dyads as iconic natural enemies (compare, e.g., elephant-feline battle themes and a confronting peacock and cobra in the files “Icons of Power” and “Animal Combats” in my Transports of Delight.). In this picture the animals do not confront over a body of water. They are all situated on the same side of the stream, as they are in the Buddhist mural from Thailand and in the Hicks painting. The flaming sun of Jeth has stilled the beast in them. There is no obvious theological motive in this Barahmasa picture, unless Prakriti be conceived as the deity (which in some religious contexts she is), enforcing her rhythms and cycles on the world.
Shah Jahan’s Darbar, full Kotah drawing
(1)The peace fable is Aarne-Thompson tale type 62 (see Aarne, Antti and Stith Thompson,1995). Following are various references that the ambitious reader can access with help from any university library reference staff:
Lancaster, H. C., The Sources and Mediaeval Versions of the Peace-Fable. In PMLA 22, 1907: 33-52; Schwarzbaum, H. The Vision of Eternal Peace in the Animal Kingdom. In Fabula 10: 1969: 107-131.
In Islamic art lore, there are Grube, 1966: World of Islam, pl. 70 (color); Irwin, 1997, fig.168 (color); Denny, 1976, #8; Blair and Bloom, 1991, "Paradise," #25-26; Welch and Welch, 1982: #63; Falk, 1985: "Treasures of Islam," #131; Na'ama Brosh, Biblical Stories in Islamic Painting. Jerusalem, 1991, figs.38-39; Gelpke, Shambhala Publications, 1966: 127. "The wolf no longer devoured the lamb, the lion kept his claws off the wild ass, the lioness gave milk to the orphaned baby gazelle and the jackal buried his age-old feud with the hare" (ibid.:128). This scene is depicted in nearly every illustrated manuscript of the [Layla Majnun] text, of which there are many. See, e.g., Ebadollah Bahari, Bihzad. London: I. B.Tauris, 1996, figs. 27, 65, 80.
On Islamic sources for the peaceable kingdom, Walter Denny wrote: "There are two places in Islamic painting to look for peaceable kingdom themes that come immediately to mind. The first is in the Shahnameh, specifically the first part of the epic, where the good king Gayumars rules over the peaceful world from his throne in the mountains. Depictions of this always show animals of two types, predators and prey, together in amity. See the most famous of all [its] representations, that by Sultan-Muhammad, in Stuart Cary Welch, A King's Book of Kings; there are many, many more. The Shahnameh iconography is, of course, Persian not Arab. The second is the tradition of depictions of Solomon and Belkis enthroned that appear, sometimes added to the first page of the Shahnameh, as a sort of interpolation. Sometimes they show one or the other surrounded by angels, and at other times surrounded by lions relaxing with lambs and the like. The origins of this depiction are complex; for starters try Thomas Walker Arnold, Painting in Islam. This iconography is indeed Arab rather than Persian."
And finally, as Robert Dankoff wrote: "The Solomonic lore is based primarily on Koran 27: 14-44."
The list could go on, but these should suffice to get a reader started on the pictorial manifestations of the peace fable, especially in Islamic sources. Thanks for all these references, inter alia, to Profs.U. Marzolph; Robert Dankoff; and Walter Denny, all sent to me by e-mail.
(2) As Rajesh Sinha reported in Indian Express online (2000):
"Overwhelmingly Hindus, a large number of people from Pakistan have crossed over to India to seek refuge here. While many have been granted citizenship, around 5,000 of them are still believed to be waiting. And the influx continues though on a much smaller scale. Refugees from Pakistan are said to have arrived in three phases. The first was in 1965, the second in 1971 and the third after the 1971 war. The post-1971 phase can be divided into before and after 1992 or before and after the Babri Masjid demolition. The influx is reported to have picked up after 1992 and is still going on."
http://www.indian-express.com/ie/daily/20000611/ina11024.html [Page no longer available.]
3) See also Hansen, 1972, pp. 102-103, on the ruler's appearances in the audience window (jharoka).
4) My thanks to Donald Swearer (1999). He suggested that anyone interested in the story of Phra Malai should see Bonnie Pacala Brereton, Thai Tellings of Phra Malai: Texts and Rituals Concerning a Popular Buddhist Saint. Tempe, Arizona: Arizona State University Program for Southeast Asian Studies, 1995.
5) Thanks to Prateep Chumpol, Professor in the Oriental Language Department, Faculty of Archaeology, Silpakorn University, Thailand. Quotations are from personal e-mails, routed through Ms. Chirayoo Dasri, Librarian at Silpakorn University: 6/11/1999, 9/02/1999. I wish to acknowledge the trouble she took by calling my query to Prof. Prateep's attention.
6) Thanks and special gratitude to Dr. Tryna Lyons for her many suggestions of useful references and Hindu paintings.
7) This article was hacked and all but deleted on my website in September, 2010. I have edited it and re-uploaded it today, 2/16/12.
Aarne, Antti (Translator); Stith Thompson (Translator).The Types of the Folktale: A Classification and Bibliography. (Ff Communications, No.184.) Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1995.
Beach, Milo Cleveland, and Ebba Koch. King of the World: The Padshahnama; an Imperial Mughal Manuscript from the Royal Library, Windsor; with new translations by Wheeler Thackston. London: Azimuth Editions; distributed by Thames and Hudson, 1997.
Brereton, Bonnie Pacala. Thai Tellings of Phra Malai: Texts and Rituals Concerning a Popular Buddhist Saint. Tempe, Arizona: Arizona State University Program for Southeast Asian Studies, 1995.
Doshi, Saryu. Masterpieces of Jain Painting. Bombay: Marg Publications, 1985.
Ford, Alice. Edward Hicks, His Life and Art. New York: Abbeville Press, 1985.
Hansen, Waldemar. The Peacock Throne : The Drama of Mogul India. 1st Indian Reprint edition. Delhi: Motilal Banarsidas, 1981.
Kirkpatrick, Joanna. Transports of Delight : The Ricksha Arts of Bangladesh. A CD-ROM. Bloomington, Indiana University Press, 2003.
Koch, Ebba. Mughal Art and Imperial Ideology: Collected Essays. New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2001.
Roy, Asim. The Islamic Syncretistic Tradition in Bengal. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1983.
Salomon, Carol. The Cosmogonic Riddles of Lalon Fakir. In Arjun Appadurai, Frank J. Korom, and Margaret A. Mills, eds., Gender, Genre, and Power in South Asian Expressive Traditions. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1991.
Swearer, Donald K. E-mail communication, 18/5/1999.
Weekley, Carolyn J. The Peaceable Kingdoms of Edward Hicks. The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, in association with Henry N. Abrams, N.Y., 1999.
Welch, Stuart Cary, ed. Gods, Kings and Tigers: The Art of Kotah. Munich and New York: Prestel-Verlach, 1997.