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Four-Armed Brass Image of Yogeshvara Shiva

Specifications:
Brass Statue
18 inch x 13.5 inch x 10.5 inch
18 kg
Item Code: ZAH95
Quantity:
Price: $819.00
Discounted: $614.25
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This statue, a brass-cast with some selective parts polished, rest left unpolished for contrast, represents a robust four-armed form of Shiva. With his right leg suspending below he seems to have been represented as seated in ‘lalitasana’ – a style of sitting revealing a beauteous form full of ease, but his stout figure represents him as in meditation, a disposition that the posture of his left leg symbolises. Unlike the form of Devi in which ‘lalitasana’ is a posture revealing absolute beauty and ease, in Shiva’s case it is more often a Yoga-posture. Shiva is known to have used meditation as his tool in every state of mind : deep anguish, self-delight and even for order in the world. In this statue his Yogeshvara form combines his ‘abhay’ granting benevolent form and the readiness to move if a devotee is in crisis and calls him. Seated straight with wide open eyes, absorbed in meditation but alert, Lord Shiva seems to be guarding the world against evil. Apart his aniconic votive ‘ling’ representations his Yogi form is his earliest image-form reported so far. Excavations at many Indus sites have revealed Shaivite icons in his Yogi form suggesting not only its antiquity but also that as Yogi Shiva was in popular worship among Indus inhabitants. His aniconic ‘ling’ icons apart, this image form is his most popular image for a sanctum or as an art piece, protecting a devotee from every misfortune when installed in a personal chamber, and sanctifying a locality, when enshrining a public square. 

Besides assimilating most of his traditional attributes, a regular image form and mental disposition characteristic to him in his Yogeshvara form the artist has wondrously manipulated this representation of Shiva to reveal some of his other aspects : Chandrashekhara, Gangadhara, Nandishvara, and more significantly, a unique form of Sadashiva. While a prominent crescent over his coiffure attributes to him the Chandrashekhara epithet, a prominently cast form of Ganga releasing from it, the Gangadhara epithet. In most of his representations Nandi, his mount, is included as an independent image duly proportioned to the master’s image-size. In his Nandishvara form, as in this statue, Nandi is often a symbolic icon. However, the artist has most ingeniously added to his attributes the conch, a characteristic attribute of Vishnu, and ‘kamandala’ – pot with spout, the characteristic attribute of Brahma, and has thus synthesized into his form Vishnu and Brahma too. Thus, it is a form of Shiva that assimilates also Vishnu and Brahma, and thus himself the Trinity – the artist’s own way of representing him as Sadashiva for Trinity is beyond time. Ordinarily, a usual Sadashiva image is a five-faced form believed to guard with four faces all four directions, and with the fifth, all unmanifest regions. 

A four-armed form, the image of Lord Shiva has been modeled as seated on a tiger-skin laid over a mound formed of irregular rocks. His right leg is placed on a lower rock, and the left, laid over its plain surface. The head of the tiger, cast along its skin, has been so laid that along with a Shiva-ling icon it defines the centre of the mound. Besides, like a ‘Gomukha’ – the cow’s mouth, the form of a drain in every Hindu temple, the tiger-mouth seems to be performing ablution of the Shiva-ling. On its left side of the Shiva-ling there is the Nandi icon, and on the right, some fruits in a tray. Of the four hands the image is carrying in upper ones the conch, Lord Vishnu’s attribute, and a damaru – double drum, his own, the normal right hand is held in abhay – gesture of imparting freedom from fear, and the normal left, holding a kamandala, the Brahma’s attribute. His other essential attribute trident has been cast as posted behind. He has a massive snake, another component of his iconography, around his neck. He is putting on a large lace of Rudraksha beads around his neck, and bracelets and armlets, also of Rudraksha beads on his arms and cuffs. 

A benign face with prominent features, a moderately sized nose, well fed cheeks, wide open large eyes, rounded chin, broad forehead, a mild smile on lips and a well-built neck, the benevolent Lord has been represented as seated with a straightened back, the essential body-posture of a Yogi. A ‘tripunda’ mark and the third eye – most essential features of his iconography, define his forehead. He is also putting on sacred ritual thread – Yajnopavit. His figure, tall and stout, consists of a muscled anatomy. He has moderately thick hair partly knotted and partly scattered over both shoulders. His upright ‘jata-juta’  - matted hair tied in knots, rises like a temple ‘kalasha’ – series of pots serving as finial. Besides a tiger skin around his groins he seems to have tied around his waist a huge snake like a waist-band. It holds the tiger-skin on his waist.

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