PaintingsHinduVarahi: ...

Varahi: One of the Sapta-Matrikas

Varahi: One of the Sapta-Matrikas
Availability: Can be backordered
Oil on Canvas
36 inches X 48 inches
Item Code: OR22
Price: $470.00
Shipping Free - 4 to 6 days
This item can be back ordered
Time required to recreate this artwork: 4 to 6 weeks
Advance to be paid now (% of product value): 20%
Balance to be paid once product is ready: 80%
The amount to be tendered as advance to back order this artwork: $94.00
Viewed 12507 times since 13th Jul, 2010
This painting, reproducing in a different medium and with different dimensions an early masterpiece, a miniature, comprising part of a Tantrika Devi series of around 1660-65 from Basohli, the pioneer centre of Pahari art school and trend-setter for the entire art activity of the hill states, represents Varahi, one of the Sapta-Matrikas – Seven Mothers. For those in Shakta line, Varahi manifests Varaha’s cosmic energy and his operative force, and whatever his exploits, Varahi is his key to success.

Along with other Matrikas Varahi has an early origin. At their earliest Matrikas are alluded to in the great epic Mahabharata, though the concerned part of the text is widely believed to be a later addition of about the first century AD. In early sources the number of Matrikas varies from seven to sixteen, and sometimes even more, but subsequently it standardized as seven and so their Sapta-Matrikas epithet. As denote allusions made to them, their shrines, and the worship-rites offered to them, in literary writings – Bhasa’s Charudatta, Shudraka’s Mracchakatika, or Banabhatta’s Harsha-Charita, Matrikas were well established deities by around fourth-fifth centuries. In sculptures Matrikas begin having a noticeable presence from the seventh-eighth century. Many of the seventh-eighth century temples, in Central India in special, have Sapta-Matrika panels over their main entrances just above the lintel carrying dwaja-deity icon – mini image of the deity that enshrines the sanctum sanctorum. As such, Matrikas seem to have been known to masses much before many of the Puranas came into existence.

The Puranic vision of their emergence is however different. The version which is most relied on comes from the Devi-Mahatmya in the Markandeya Purana. As Devi-Mahatmya has it in its third Canto, when the Great Goddess was confronting the mighty demons Shumbha and Nishumbha and the battle was getting tougher, the male gods who were witnessing the battle created their Shaktis – their female counterparts, for assisting the Devi achieve her target. The number of Shaktis that they created was seven, Brahma created Brahmani; Shiva, Maheshwari; Karttikeya, Kumari; Vishnu, Vaishnavi; Vishnu as Varaha, Varahi; as Narasimha, Narasimhi; and Indra, Aindri. As they were male gods’ counterparts, they had male gods’ like appearance and attributes – completely different from the forms they had in the Mahabharata and other early sources. In later texts, Matrikas’ forms and attributes have been most variedly portrayed; however, their status as the feminine aspects of their male counterparts remained unchanged. The Devi Bhagavata contends that Sapta Matrikas were Devi’s own Shaktis she invoked for assisting her eliminate Shumbha and Nishumbha and forces of evil. The Shiva Maha Purana and other Shaivite texts attribute the emergence of Matrikas to Shiva who created them to assist Virabhadra in destroying the yajna of Daksha and kill him.

Her sow head being a feature common in all texts, this form of the goddess, a reproduction of her form as represented in a seventeenth century Basohli miniature, is widely different from the form as given in various canonical texts. In Anshumadbhedagama she is said to have normal two hands carrying in them a plough and shakti, and an elephant being her mount. Vishnudharmottara adds to her form a big belly and four more hands carrying in them danda, khadga, khetaka and pasha, while the other two, being held in abhaya and varada. The Purvakaranagama and Rupamandana conceive her form with yet other sets of attributes; and, finally, Devi Purana visualises her as carrying skull-bowl and drinking blood from it – a strictly Shaivite transform of the goddess.

In this representation the goddess has the usual sow head with fangs jutting out; however, not two or six arms, she has been conceived here with ten arms carrying in the five of them on the right side sword, arrow, disc, bowl, and mace, and in those on the left, conch, lotus, bow, shield, and trident-cum-spear. Most of her attributes – disc, conch, mace and lotus in the main, are Vaishnavite linking her with Varaha, a Vishnu’s incarnation, whereas the trident and bowl, as also bow and arrow, Shiva’s attributes in his Ishan or archer manifestation, link her with Shaivite line. This duality is not however mutually contradicting but rather better reveals her being. Created by Vishnu’s Varaha incarnation but to assist the Devi in the Shaivite line Varahi was Vaishnavite in origin but Shaivite in role. Not an elephant, the goddess rides in the painting a majestic tiger that not only overshadows the Devi’s figure by its amplitude but also covers the entire breadth of the canvas. She has her head held aloft with air of pride but the rest of her figure does not reveal that majesty. Except the use of beetle-wings which Basohli artists had used for creating dazzling effects and blue-green colour, the artist has represented the goddess in typical Basohli mode, more so in the style of her crown, a characteristic Basohli feature.

This description by Prof. P.C. Jain and Dr. Daljeet. Prof. Jain specializes on the aesthetics of literature and is the author of numerous books on Indian art and culture. Dr. Daljeet is the curator of the Miniature Painting Gallery, National Museum, New Delhi. They have both collaborated together on a number of books.

Delivered by to all international destinations within 3 to 5 days, fully insured.

Based on your browsing history
Loading... Please wait

Items Related to Varahi: One of the Sapta-Matrikas (Hindu | Paintings)

Goddess Kali
Mother Goddess Durga
Goddess Gayatri
Goddess Gayatri
Goddess Gayatri
Checking For Himself The Sweetness of His Own Toe, Wondering What Makes People Drink the Water Touched by It (The Lord and His Maya)
Union of Kali and Shiva: A Tantrika Vision
Rich Lady Playing a Tanapura
Goddess Kali The Mother Goddess
Goddess Saraswati Wearing Sari Seated on Lotus
Goddess Lalita
Goddess Kuan Yin
Eighteen-armed Goddess Durga
I have always been delighted with your excellent service and variety of items.
James, USA
I've been happy with prior purchases from this site!
Priya, USA
Thank you. You are providing an excellent and unique service.
Thiru, UK
Thank You very much for this wonderful opportunity for helping people to acquire the spiritual treasures of Hinduism at such an affordable price.
Ramakrishna, Australia
I really LOVE you! Wonderful selections, prices and service. Thank you!
Tina, USA
This is to inform you that the shipment of my order has arrived in perfect condition. The actual shipment took only less than two weeks, which is quite good seen the circumstances. I waited with my response until now since the Buddha statue was a present that I handed over just recently. The Medicine Buddha was meant for a lady who is active in the healing business and the statue was just the right thing for her. I downloaded the respective mantras and chants so that she can work with the benefits of the spiritual meanings of the statue and the mantras. She is really delighted and immediately fell in love with the beautiful statue. I am most grateful to you for having provided this wonderful work of art. We both have a strong relationship with Buddhism and know to appreciate the valuable spiritual power of this way of thinking. So thank you very much again and I am sure that I will come back again.
Bernd, Spain
You have the best selection of Hindu religous art and books and excellent service.i AM THANKFUL FOR BOTH.
Michael, USA
I am very happy with your service, and have now added a web page recommending you for those interested in Vedic astrology books: Many blessings to you.
Hank, USA
As usual I love your merchandise!!!
Anthea, USA
You have a fine selection of books on Hindu and Buddhist philosophy.
Walter, USA