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Paintings > Folk Art > The Union of Shiva and Shakti
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The Union of Shiva and Shakti

The Union of Shiva and Shakti

The Union of Shiva and Shakti

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Orissa's Paata Painting on Tussar Silk
Artist Rabi Behera

17.5" x 29.5"
Item Code:
PE88
Frame
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$180.00
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$144.00   Shipping Free - 4 to 6 days
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Viewed 8255 times since 2nd Oct, 2008
Adi Shankaracharya in his Saundaryalahiri claims that only When Shiva is united with Shakti that he acquires the capability of becoming the Lord of the Universe. Shiva is pervaded by the power of Parvati and she is pervaded by the power of Shiva. So, Ardhnarishvara incorporates a synthesis of opposites and on the other integrates the opposites to show that they complement each other.

In this representation of Ardhanarishvara, the body is shown as a complete whole divided vertically into two equal parts – the left half shows him as a male, while the right half represents his shakti in the female form of Parvati. If Shiva has a matted crown, Parvati wears here tresses loose; the former holds the trident and a drum, the latter holds a lotus and a sword. In essence, Shiva is both, male and female, spirit and matter, the seed and the womb of the universe.

It is a compositionally well-balanced painting. The two halves coalesce smoothly into one another. The flowing shoulder cloth of Shiva is balanced by the flowing tresses of Parvati; weapon with weapon. A hermit and a gana stand attendant on either side of the Ardhanarishvara image.

This description by Kiranjyot.

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  • Very lovely painting. However, the description is incorrect: The *right* half is Siva, the *left* is Shakti. That is Ardhanareshwari. When the right is Shakti and the left as Shiva (as in the description, but not the painting), the deity is Ardhanari, i.e. the Shakta form of Devi manifesting as Siva. Such depictions are quite rare, but very powerful.
    by Devi Bhakta (devi_bhakta@yahoo.com) on 28th Dec 2006
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