Kamadeva Reduced to Ashes by Shiva's Wrath

$115
Item Code: DC75
Specifications:
Madhubani Painting on Hand Made Paper treated with Cow DungArtist Vidya Devi and Dhirendra Jha
Dimensions 1.8 ft x 2.4 ft
Handmade
Handmade
Free delivery
Free delivery
Fully insured
Fully insured
100% Made in India
100% Made in India
Fair trade
Fair trade
This highly simplified but as much powerfully executed painting of Madhubani art style depicts a widely known but rarely painted episode of Indian mythology related to Lord Shiva. Once when Lord Shiva was engaged in deep penance, Kamadeva, the god of love, passion and beauty, attempted to kindle passion in Shiva's being. This arrogance of Kama enraged Lord Shiva and he angrily opened his third eye. It emitted fire and in this fire was burnt Kamadeva. The place where Kamadeva's ashes fell came to be known as 'Anga', namely, the 'body'. In the great epic Mahabharata this state of Anga figures prominently. It was part of Kauravas' state, which was subsequently given to Karna. Karna is often addressed in the Epic as Angaraja.

Kama was the second son of Dharma, one of the Prajapatis born from the right breast of Brahma. His other two brothers were Shama and Harsha. All three brothers were extremely handsome but Kama excelled all and became the god of love, beauty and passion. He was married to Rati, the goddess of beauty. As to how Kama became prey of Shiva's wrath there are two stories in prevalence. In the process of creation Brahma created a girl who was extremely beautiful, sweet tongued and wise. She was named Saraswati. Brahma placed her on the tip of each one's tongue but himself fell in her love. After he realised that his act was immoral, he cursed Kama for kindling in him the related passion. He cursed that he would turn to ashes by Shiva's wrath.

Brahma's curse takes effect later. After the death of his wife Sati Shiva retired to Himalaya and engaged himself into deep penance. Those days a demon Taraka had grown quite powerful after he was blessed with the boon that save the son of Shiva none else would be able to kill him. Shiva had refused to marry any woman. Thus, Taraka was practically invincible. This made him arrogant and he began harassing even gods and snatching from them the Indraloka. In the mean time Parvati, the daughter of Himavana, fell in Shiva's love and vowed to marry none but him. She engaged in rigorous penance for winning the Parmeeshvara. Indra decided to exploit this situation. He sent Kama to rouse in Shiva's mind the passion of love. Accordingly Kama reached where Shiva was engaged in penance and shot at him his arrows of passion. The enraged Shiva did not open his normal eyes as these were buried in meditation. He opened instead his third eye. There emitted from it a flood of fire and Kama was burnt into it. His wife Rati moaned and prayed Lord Shiva to revive her husband but Shiva said that he would live for ever but only as 'Ananga', the one without a material form.

This excellent Madhubani painting has its canvas divided into upper and lower compartments. The upper one portrays Lord Shiva engaged in deep and rigorous penance inside a tree-grove on a mountain range, obviously the Himalayas. He is seated on lion skin. His third eye has been prominently portrayed on his forehead. On his right he has his trident and drum nailed into ground and on his left he has his 'kamandala'. The 'Neelakantha' or the blue throated Shiva has been portrayed as total blue. Black trees with green leaves are typical of Madhubani art. The lower compartment depicts Rati and Kamadeva. Kamadeva has in his hands his bow and arrow ready to shoot. Two flowering plants, one each on both sides, further symbolise Kamadeva and the season of spring when Kama is stronger than ever else. In front of Kamadeva there emerges a heap of fire and coal like black ashes under it. It depicts the prime theme, that is, Kamadeva reduced to ashes.

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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Of Related Interest:

Shiva - The Sensuous Yogi (Article)

Kama-Artha-Siddhi Sadhana (Tantra Painting)

How is a Madhubani painting made?

Madhubani painting is also known as Mithila art as it is practiced in the Mithila region of India and Nepal. It has specifically originated from the Madhubani district of the state of Bihar. Traditionally, the women of this region created these paintings and in recent years, it has become a widely practiced art and has now become renowned throughout the world. This art expresses the creativity and culture of the people of Mithila and is passed from one generation to another. In this way, the heritage of Madhubani art has been preserved for many decades.

The subjects of these paintings are usually religion, love, and fertility. Sometimes, social events like festivals, weddings, and royal court are also depicted in the paintings. The most commonly painted designs and themes are the forms of Hindu Gods and Goddesses such as Ganesha, Shiva, Saraswati, Lakshmi, Krishna, and Ram. The characteristic features of Madhubani paintings are their vibrant colors and eye-catching geometrical patterns. The empty spaces are filled with traditional motifs such as floral and foliate patterns, animals, birds, geometrical structures, and other designs. The local artists create these paintings using a variety of items such as matchsticks, twigs, brushes, pens, or even their own fingers. The paints are usually made with natural dyes and pigments.

As simple as it may seem, the making process of the world-famous Madhubani paintings is certainly not easy and requires lots of hard labor.

Traditional Madhubani paintings are done either on cloth, handmade paper, or canvas. Select the medium of painting as per your choice. If you have chosen cloth, attach it to cardboard to make a solid base.

The making of the painting begins with making a double-lined border. This is a very important step because the border is filled with various geographical shapes and patterns or other motifs. The average width of the border is 1.5 - 2 cm.

Now that the border is created, you will be left with a blank middle space. This is the main workspace. Start drawing your choice of figure, designs, and shapes. These must be relevant to the Madhubani painting themes.

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When the key design has been made, the empty spaces in between are filled with some designs.

Now is the time to color the painting using vivid shades and hues. Colors in Madhubani are sourced from nature; Indigo is used to produce blue, flower juice produces red, turmeric gives yellow, leaves produce green, cow dung mixed soot gives black, and rice powder gives white.

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To paint these colors, the artist uses a bamboo stick and wraps cotton around it. This acts as a traditional brush.

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The entire painting is now painted using this special brush with natural vibrant colors. · However, in modern times, the common brush is used and instead of natural colors, artists prefer to use acrylic paints.

Since the entire painting is made with natural materials and colors, it appears simple yet enriching. Originally, this art was created on mud walls or soil grounds but when it evolved over many years, the people of Madhubani started to make it on fabric and paper. Today, this art has become globalized and is receiving worldwide attention and appreciation.

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