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Iconic and Aniconic Shiva

Iconic and Aniconic Shiva
Item Code: BG22
Batik Painting On Cotton
2.3 ft x 3.8 ft
Shiva has often been described as the 'erotic ascetic', who is promiscuous and also the celibate yogi, meditating in the Himalayas. His anthropomorphic image serves only as embellishments on temple walls, they are never objects of actual worship.

In this batik work, we can see Shiva's iconic and aniconic images. He can be seen blue bodied with long hair, matted with banyan juice and coiled in the shape of a conch shell. With these mighty locks, he could trap even the mighty river Ganga. The crescent moon crowns Shiva's head. Like the Waxing and waning of the moon, Shiva is in tune with the activity and passivity of the cosmos. He wears a snake around his coiled hair and his neck. The snake is symbolic of sexual energy. The three eyes of Shiva represent the sun, the moon and fire. The frontal eye is vertical, in the middle of the forehead and when directed outwards it burns all that appears before it. His attributes, the trisula and the damaru are seen next to him.

In the foreground is the Shiva's linga, the most common aniconic symbol. According to Brahmanical literature, linga is the sign of the transcendental unseen and symbolizes Shiva's capacity to produce life itself. Here, the mark of Shiva is shown on the linga, further adorned by a red dot.

This description by Kiranjyot.

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