I worship Kameshwari in my heart. She is as delicate and beautiful as the crescent moon.
Kameshwari, another aspect of the primordial female energy, combines in her form the oneness of Shiva and Shakti, that is, matter and energy and is the giver of form, fame, bliss and victory. She is the upholder of good and at times the destroyer of enemies. She is revered as the mother of the world, embodiment of truth and consciousness. Burnt gold-like is her complexion and of the sun, moon and fire consist her eyes.
Kameshwari is the spouse and the half of Kameswar Shiva and is hence endowed with many of Shiva's attributes and half of Shiva's form. It is said that pleased by the severe austerities of Parvati and the ardor of her sacrifices, which she performed for attaining him as her husband, Lord Shiva offered Parvati the left half of his body. Thus, the spirit, the purusha who was Shiva, united with energy, the prakriti which was Parvati and the form that evolved was a comprehensive existence wherein energy and matter combined. In artistic innovations, as here in this painting, there evolved a deity form which combined half male and half female, obviously the right side that of Shiva and the left of Parvati. This is what is known in art as the likeness of Kameshwari. In Tantrika worship Kameshwari is re-named as Bhairavi capable of fulfilling all desires. This deity form embodies the principle of the union of matter and energy which can overcome all obstacles and achieve all desired ends.
Kameshwari occupies here a large magnificent throne and holds in her four hands a bow, a dart, a noose and a goad. Her right half, which relates to Shiva, has been defined by a snake around it and the tiger-skin wrapped on its lower part. Her other side is wrapped in a sari richly laid with gold work. The artist seems to have kept in his mind even the minutest details. The earrings in the right and left ears vary from each other. Her two palms are painted in feminine manner, while the other two are plain. The leg representing Shiva is exposed to view but the other one is fully covered. Even her breasts and bodice have been variedly cast. The faces of devotee figures too have been enlivened with great devotional serenity.
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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