Baby Karttikeya with His Six Mothers Out to Feed Him

Baby Karttikeya with His Six Mothers Out to Feed Him

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The son of Shiva and Parvati, commander-in-chief of the army of Indra, the destroyer of Tarakasur- Kartikeya’s life has been intriguing from the very beginning. Puranas tell us that as the atrocities of Tarakasur intensified, gods joined hands and fabricated the conditions leading to the union of Shiva and Shakti, out of which the gods’ saviour was going to be born. 

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Item Code: PM22
Specifications:
Watercolor on PattiArtist Rabi Behera
17.5 inches X 11.5 inches
Handmade
Handmade
Free delivery
Free delivery
Fully insured
Fully insured
100% Made in India
100% Made in India
Fair trade
Fair trade

There are several variations to the story that follows, but one common point in all of them is that the result of the union was so potent that the universe started burning up, unable to sustain itself. Ultimately, fire god, wind god, and river-goddess Ganga, as well as Shiva, with their powers gave an anthropomorphic form to the child of Shiva and Shakti, who was nursed by six Kritikas, the female embodiment of the cluster of stars. The baby boy nurtured by his six mothers or Matrikas came to be known as Shanmukh- six-headed.

In this beautiful Pattachitra, Kartikeya is surrounded by the Kritikas- Shiva, Sambhuti, Priti, Sannati, Anusuya, and Kshama. All the Matrikas are wearing traditional sarees and ethnic ornaments. They hold one of their breasts, appearing to be offering it to their child. Their attitude reminds us of the Dugadharini idols of temples- young women with or without a child with their hands on their breasts. Such images are a visual depiction of the ideal of motherhood, whose fine example is the tale of Kartikeya- the child of Kritikas. 

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