With his tall crown of matted hair adorned by the crescent moon, Shiva stands here in the graceful, swaying manner known in Sanskrit as the ‘tribhanga’ posture. His upper right hand holds a goad guiding us on to the path of Dharma, while the corresponding left hand holds an antelope. The antelope not only justifies Shiva’s epithet as ‘Pashupatinath’, the Lord of Animals, but also symbolizes ‘Maya’, which even though rules over the entire world, is itself subordinate to Lord Shiva. The other two hands are in the posture of holding a vina (stringed musical instrument), signifying one of Shiva’s 108 names – Vinapani. Pani means hands in Sanskrit.
Shiva’s dignified bearing gives this sculpture a commanding presence. The figure is slender and handsomely proportioned. He wears a short dhoti ending at his thighs. The Lord stands on a lotus pedestal which is itself placed on a carved pedestal. He wears the scared thread of the Hindus across his shoulder and numerous serpents entwine various parts of his body.
This statue was created in the city of Aligarh in the state of Uttar Pradesh.