Letter to: Jadurani
31 December, 1971
My Dear Jadurani dasi,
Please accept my blessings. I beg to acknowledge receipt of your letter dated December 15th, 1971.
In reply to your question whether TLC or the original cover of Srimad-Bhagavatam gives the authoritative picture of the hand symbols, what is written in TLC is correct. On page 69 of TLC first there is a description of the symbols for Vasudeva, Sankarsana, Pradyumna, and Aniruddha. Then follows a description of the representations of Narayana. Although there should be twenty, only eighteen are given. The two who are missing are Sri Kesava who is represented holding from the lower right hand lotus, conch, disk, club; and Sri Vamana holding conch, disk, club, and lotus flower. So altogether this makes twenty-four. The twenty-two as they are written in TLC are correct.
Muralidhara's version of Krishna and the cowherd boys with the Gopis watching them shown in the lotus is nice. Krishna and the cowherd boys used to return in the evening, and the Gopis while looking on used to enjoy Krishna's smiling face. This is stated in Srimad-Bhagavatam.
Regarding whether the Brahmajoti should be painted rainbow colored. It is our experience that in the material world when the sunshine is very bright there is not any color, just whiteness. Colors of sunshine only become manifest when there is a tinge of clouds. So in the Brahmajoti there is no possibility of material tinge. So how it can be rainbow colored? In the dazzling light there is no possibility of colors. Considering all these points, Muralidhara should paint maintaining the artistic sense as well.
The Mahattattva may be shown underneath the lotus if it is required for design purposes.
I hope this meets you and all the devotees in the best of health.
Your ever well-wisher,
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami
P.S. I have received all letters from the devotees in N.Y. through Sriman Gopala Krishna who is now here in Bombay—ACB
Link to this page: https://prabhupadabooks.com/letters/bombay/december/31/1971/jadurani