A powerful image of the Mahagauri. ‘Maha’ is the Sanskrt word for great, while Gauri is the name given to the ascetic form of Devi Parvati. The painting that you see on this page is of the multi-headed, multi-limbed roopa of Devi Gauri, a superb image of asceticism. Clad in shvetavastra (white garments), the colour popularly associated with the predominance of sattvaguna, She is seated on a pink-petalled golden lotus. Her legs are gathered in padmasana, the finest - and arguably the most difficult - contemplative asana of all time, complemented by the gentle mudra (stance) of Her hands. A gorgeous pedestal, as if cut from the rare blue diamond, forms the seat beneath the Devi’s padmasana (lotus-throne).
Each of the five heads of Mahagauri are painted a distinct colour - there is peach, blue, flesh, green, and olive. A crimson halo surrounds the particularly tall crown sitting on the centremost head, from beneath which cascades a mass of dense black hair all the way down Her long back to Her hips. She is the dashabhujadharini, the one possessed of ten arms, with which She wields a world of divine implements and weapons. The nuances of the complexion of Her faces and the exposed section of Her limbs have been brought out with skilful brushstrokes.
The deep black skies in the background bring out the vibrant jewel tones of the foreground. Curtains in vivid pastel colours and traditional chandeliers fill up the section above the deity’s crown. A series of dense motifs in pink and green colours frame the composition.
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