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Goddess Durga

Goddess Durga
Availability: Can be backordered
South Indian Temple Wood Carving
36.0" X 22.0" X 5.5"
18 Kg
Item Code: RE08
Price: $1440.00
Shipping Free - 4 to 6 days
This item can be back ordered
Time required to recreate this artwork: 20 to 24 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: $288.00
Viewed 8925 times since 7th May, 2011
Unlike a lion-riding form, or one in the battle-field killing demon Mahisha, Raktabija or any of their clan, this form of Durga, seated on a lotus throne in ‘lalitasana’ displaying rare beauty, represents the typical South Indian idiom of her images enshrining sanctums in many Shaivite temples sometimes as Durga but also by regional deity-names like Mari Amma or Mari Amman. In all traditions, textual, popular or any, Shiva’s consort, in her manifestation as Parvati, Uma or Durga, is the model of supreme beauty to have ever emerged on the earth; however, in her context, at least as Durga, valour, not beauty, is what defines her being. Hence, Durga beyond battlefield, not engaged in eliminating demons, is not her image in the North. Thus, whatever the thrust, this Durga’s image is an essential synthesis of supreme beauty and ultimate valour.

This statue of Durga, an absolute figure modeled with perfect anatomy and abounding in supreme beauty while carrying in her hands in simultaneity the instruments of war, a trident, spear and double-drum with a serpent to hold it, is a unique blend of valour and beauty, neither subordinating the other. Apart, as represents her figure in the statue, the goddess manifests in her being both dissolution and sustenance, and thus, the entire cosmic act. She has, rising from around her face, flames of fire : a manifestation of Tandava – Shiva’s dance and the ultimate tool of dissolution. Trident, destroying all three cosmic regions by its three blades, and ‘damaru’ – double drum, announcing both, dissolution and creation, the tools that she is carrying, further emphasize her role as destroyer. Besides defining her Shaivite links, the tiny bust of Shiva with identical flames rising from around his face, carved close to her right foot, symbolises that the goddess assimilates into her being all that Shiva stands for – his role or whatever.

Serpents are an essential element of Shiva’s iconography; however, the five hooded great serpent Shesh is linked solely with Vishnu or his incarnations, or to Lakshmi, his consort. By assimilating Shesh with the image of the goddess the artist has added to it Vaishnava dimension attributing to her the sustainer’s role. Her figure has been conceived with pots-like large breasts full of milk, and she has been portrayed as carrying a long bowl in one of her hands, obviously filled with milk, both elements defining her universal motherhood. Her figure enshrines the Prabhavali consisting of lotus-motifs and topped by a massive Kirtti-mukha. Prabhavali symbolises cosmos, lotus-motifs, life, and Kirtti-mukha, good and auspicious : all the aspects of life and its prevalence suggestive of the role of the goddess as sustainer. A towering Vaishnava crown that the goddess is wearing, or the Shaivite ‘tripunda’ mark on her forehead are iconographic features not much significant in regard to her image.

The figure of the goddess, conceived with well defined features, a sharp nose, meditative half-shut eyes, rounded cheeks, receding chin and a face revealing benignity, feminine softness and bliss, has been installed on a tall two-tiered seat, both rectangular with chamfered corners composed of lotus-motifs. The flames of fire which a halo-like cover her face from behind are symbolic of her divine energy, besides symbolising her power to dissolve. The four-armed Durga is seated in ‘lalitasana’, revealing great aesthetic beauty, carrying in her hands ‘damaru’ knotted with a serpent, trident, a spear-type weapon with shorter length, and a long bowl. Her sensuously designed ‘stana-patta’ – breast-band, enhancing the beauty of her breasts, and an elegantly pleated ‘antariya’ covering her body below her waist, are characteristic features of the South Indian sculptures. A subdued belly, broad shoulders, sensuously moulded breasts and a well proportioned body-structure, all have been brilliantly conceived.

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.

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