Kamalasana Saraswati

Kamalasana Saraswati
Availability: Can be backordered
South Indian Temple Wood Carving
48.0" X 14.4" X 4.0"
14.2 Kg
Item Code: EG71
Price: $1390.00
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: $278.00
Viewed 6864 times since 2nd Oct, 2008
Saraswati Chaturhasta Svetapadmasananvita
Jatamukuta Sanyukta Suklavarna Sitambara

This extract from Hemandrabratakhand (Vishnu dharma), and many other texts delineate Saraswati, the goddess of learning, music, arts and all that is creative in man, as four armed, seated on white lotus and having clotted hair and a mukuta, crown, on her head. White, revealing the bhava, emotional bearing, of quiescence, piety and spiritual purity, is significantly associated with Saraswati, but the white did not essentially define the colour of lotus that she sits on. Hence, later texts perceived red lotus also as her seat. Subsequently, swan, and sometimes, peacock replaced lotus as her seat. Scholars justify the presence of both as part of her iconography, lotus being her seat, and swan or peacock her vahana, vehicle – two sets of attributes serving two purposes. This representation of Saraswati adheres exactly to this position. Though with her left leg lifted, the goddess is in a posture of dance, her other leg is firmly placed on a lotus, elevating the lotus to the status of her seat. She is, thus, kamalasana. Towards the left edge of the lotus, and behind the figure of the goddess, there perches a peacock, her vahana. The peacock, ready to serve her any moment, does not claim the status of her seat. It is more like a vehicle parked behind. Here kamalasana or padmasana Saraswati is also Mayuravahini, peacock-riding goddess.

This 15 inch wide and 48 inch tall wooden image, rendered using fine vangai wood, is in characteristic Mysore style. It represents Saraswati, one of the Vedic goddesses and the earliest one of the Brahmanical pantheon. In Vedic literature and subsequent Puranas, she has been conceived as the timeless youth brimming with vigour and unique lustre. As the early texts have it, Saraswati originated direct from the mouth of God : Avirvabhuva tatpashchanmukhatah Parmataman. Hence, the Rig-Veda called her Vak – speech, an aspect of the Formless that did not reveal in Brahma, Vishnu, or Shiva. They represented operative aspects of God, while Saraswati represented His all-knowing mind, cosmic conscience – both, knowledge and expression. The Rig-Veda hence realised her independent of the Great Trinity and the subsequent Vedic literature further widened her cult, giving her several other names – Vagdevi, Vagishvari, Bharti etc. Her Brahmani form emerged later when Puranas reduced her status to that of Brahma's consort.

The parama jyotiswarupa Saraswati, as the early texts address her, has glowing complexion, such as has the dawning-sun, which the Vedas perceived as Ushas, an independent divine presence, and Saraswati's another female Vedic counterpart. Saraswati is conceived with a benign face, celestial bhava in her eyes, and divine aura around. This wood-masterpiece greatly adheres to these textual parameters and adds to it classicism and authenticity. As prescribed, she is four-armed carrying in two of them a vina, in the upper right a rudramala, rosary, and in the lower left a pustaka, book. She is obviously playing on vina, which is reflected in her enthused dance-mode and posture of the peacock. Her rounded face with angular thrust towards the chin, lotus eyes with quiescence enshrining therein, sharp nose, well-shaped cheeks, and small cute ears define her iconography. She has moderate height, small feet and recessed waist. Her prominent breasts, possessed of inexhaustible wealth of mind as also of material world, involve multi-symbolism. Prabhavali, with two chauri-bearing devotee-figures and a couple of parrots, and beautiful foliage, comprising banana plant, is a beautiful feature of the statue.

This description by Prof. P.C. Jain and Dr Daljeet. Prof. Jain specializes on the aesthetics of ancient Indian literature. Dr Daljeet is the chief curator of the Visual Arts Gallery at the National Museum of India, New Delhi. They have both collaborated on numerous books on Indian art and culture.

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