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Parvati Offers Bhang to Shiva

Parvati Offers Bhang to Shiva
Specifications:
Miniature Painting On Paper
6.0" x 8.0"
Item Code: HB53
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Price: $255.00
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Viewed 60650 times since 28th Oct, 2017
Parvati (also known as Uma) was the daughter of Himalaya, the great Lord of the Mountains. An eighteenth century Bengali poet addresses him thus:

Go, my Lord of the Mountains,
bring our daughter home.
After giving Gauri away to the Naked One,
how can you sit at home
so unconcerned?

What a hard heart you have!
You know the behaviour of your son-in-law-
always acting like a lunatic,
wearing a tiger's skin,
with matted locks on his head.
He not only roams the cremation ground himself,
but takes her, too!

Such is Uma's fate.
I heard Narada say
he smears his body with funeral pyre ash.
The way he dresses is monstrous:
the garland around his neck is made of snakes!
And who would believe me-
he prefers poison to honey!
Tell me, what kind of choice is that?

                                                    --------- Kamalakanta Bhattacharya

Here Parvati is shown lovingly offering bhang, the favorite herbal intoxicant of ascetics to Shiva. They are both seated on a leopard skin. The ashen Shiva wears a loincloth, armbands, and Rudraksha bead malas as also precious necklaces. A snake coils around his neck forming another necklace and also at the same time partaking of the bhang being offered to Shiva.

A skull and burning logs in the foreground create the ambience of a cremation ground. The kamandal and staff point to the essentially ascetic nature of Shiva.

Parvati is shown bejewelled and well-groomed, a perfect contrast to the naked ascetic with his unruly hair sliding down his shoulders like serpentine coils. This apparent opposition in their respective natures is the cause of the concern, expressed by the poet above.

The tree in the background displays a fine foliage and the amber background creates a somber and languid afternoon mood. The whole composition is framed in an oval floral frame.


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