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Paintings > Hindu > Shiva > Pancha-Mukha Shiva
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Pancha-Mukha Shiva

Pancha-Mukha Shiva

Pancha-Mukha Shiva

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Water Color Painting on Paper
Artist : Kailash Raj

8.0 inch X 11.0 inch
Item Code:
HL60
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$455.00   Shipping Free - 4 to 6 days
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Viewed 13577 times since 29th Dec, 2018
This miniature, a contemporary masterpiece rendered against a turquoise green background in the late 18th century Kangra art style, represents five-faced form of Lord Shiva usually known in the Shaivite tradition as Sadashiva. This representation almost exactly pursues the iconographic convention of Shiva’s Pancha-mukha form as it initially evolved in early sculptures which have four of his faces carved on all four sides believed to guard all four directions, and the fifth, above the other four skywards-facing. The representation is simply exotic for in miniature paintings the canvas does not have the stone's multi-dimensionality to portray four directions and to plant a fifth, above them. However, this miniature, reproducing a great masterpiece from Kangra in hill region of late eighteenth century, so manipulates the canvas that it imparts a strong sense of multi-dimensionality.

Corresponding to his five faces Shiva’s anatomy has been conceived with ten arms, all carrying his one attribute or other : the right side hands carrying four – trident, thunderbolt ‘mustaka’ or heavy-blow-beat rod, sword and axe, the fifth being held in protective posture – ‘abhaya’, and the left, snake, noose, bell, goad and ‘damaru’, the double-drum. All five heads have their independent hair but in addition also a large basket-type massive ‘jata-juta’ – matted coiffure, cradling on it the fifth head. Except a snake carried in one of his hands merely as an attribute he has neither his usual elephant hide, tiger skin, serpents crawling on his body, skull-garland or anything revealing his ferocious form. On the contrary, in everything : from the iconography of his form – his large fluid eyes, sharp features, hair-style and the style o ear-ornaments, to his modeling and moonlike translucent body-colour, he reveals a strange feminine look.

Instead of seated on his usual tiger-skin this sublime form of the Great Lord has been conceived as seated on a large double lotus installed on a beautifully inlaid hexagonal chowki in cross-legged posture wearing a delicately printed ‘antariya’ – lower wear, reflecting a sari’s look. The figure reveals great benignity and rare divinity. The chowki, enshrining his figure, besides embedded with precious stones, has a high back and an umbrella canopying over Lord Shiva’s form, though like the entire Creation it also falls short of his expanse. A large bolster in maroon-red affording pleasant contrast to his figure’s pearls-like translucent white and his yellow ‘antariya’ is, like the lotus-seat, an element not usually represented in Shaivite iconography. In exact miniature tradition all five faces are in profile. The absence of his mount bull is noticeable. The form of his third eye has been conceived like an ornamental mark on the forehead, not like a feature that awed by its strange grotesqueness.

In Shaivite thought, Shiva is one of the Gods-Trio but also the ever present Sadashiva. The Pancha-mukha cult has broadly two lines, though both accept that it is the manifest form of Sadashiva – the ever present Shiva. Under one tradition, it is in his ‘ling’ form that Shiva has his five faces and that it is the ‘ling’ which is his ultimate manifestation. The ‘ling’ is the ‘jyoti’ – the potential flame, which represents ‘pancha-bhutas’ – the five cosmic elements or constituents of the cosmos. Thus, it is out of him that the cosmos is born. The other tradition is not much different. It conceives Shiva as Ishan, or as ‘Panchavaktramatrinetram’, that is, Shiva combines in him Tatpurusha, Vamadeva, Aghora, Sadyojata and Ishan, representing respectively the wind, the water, the fire, creative function, and the space. Thus again Shiva's five heads manifest the five cosmic elements and functions.

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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Testimonials
Thank you very much. Your sale prices are wonderful.
Michael, USA
Kailash Raj’s art, as always, is marvelous. We are so grateful to you for allowing your team to do these special canvases for us. Rarely do we see this caliber of art in modern times. Kailash Ji has taken the Swaminaryan monks’ suggestions to heart and executed each one with accuracy and a spiritual touch.
Sadasivanathaswami, Hawaii
Good selections. and ease of ordering. Thank you
Kris, USA
Thank you for having books on such rare topics as Samudrika Vidya, keep up the good work of finding these treasures and making them available.
Tulsi, USA
Received awesome customer service from Raje. Thank You very much.
Victor, USA
Just wanted to let you know the books arrived on Friday February 22nd. I could not believe how quickly my order arrived, 4 days from India. Wow! Seeing the post mark, touching and smelling the books made me long for your country. Reminded me it is time to visit again. Thank you again.
Patricia, Canada
Thank you for beautiful, devotional pieces.
Ms. Shantida, USA
Received doll safely and gift pack was a pleasant surprise. Keep up the good job.
Vidya, India
Thank you very much. Such a beautiful selection! I am very pleased with my chosen piece. I love just looking at the picture. Praise Mother Kali! I'm excited to see it in person
Michael, USA
Hello! I just wanted to say that I received my statues of Krishna and Shiva Nataraja today, which I have been eagerly awaiting, and they are FANTASTIC! Thank you so much, I am so happy with them and the service you have provided. I am sure I will place more orders in the future!
Nick, USA
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