A brilliant example of how in a simple form with no specific identity or contexts, mythical or any, the highest kind of beauty can be contained, this brass-structure represents a small square pavilion raised over four plain upwards narrowing pillars except turned into series of tiny pots on the tops and the bottoms.
It is obviously a
model of ‘vedika’ – a makeshift altar, an art-piece that may
illuminate any space by its tiny form endowed with so much of beauty
but more likely an article that spontaneously walks into a domestic
shrine, occupies prime position and drags the shrine’s principal deity
to occupy it, if its enshrining space suits the deity image by size
and sectarian character. As suggest the strangely designed and cast
tiny pairs of bulls : each consisting of one head and two bodies
separated for holding pillars, four pairs for four pillars, obviously
alternating Nandi-dhwaja, the temple’s banner with Nandi icon denoting
the temple’s sectarian identity, the vedika seems to have been
designed for a Shaivite image, more so for installing a Shiva-ling for
installed in the centre of its square space a Shiva-ling icon would
best reveal its divine aura and radiate in all directions.
As its common meaning and wider use suggests, ‘vedika’ is a makeshift
altar for shifting the deity image from its regular position to a
periodical one. In ritual worship traditions in India, in Hinduism,
Jainism, or Buddhism, shifting of deity from its place is effected on
two kinds of occasions, one for taking the deity into a periodical
procession, and second, for the performance of special rituals.
Besides ritual processions like those held on Nava-Ratri or
Ganesha-Chaturthi, in which clay-images are usually massive or large
in sizes and are taken to immerse in water, almost all religious
systems have a calendar of processions taking the deity on a round. In
such processions the deity is shifted from its regular altar in the
temple or in a domestic shrine to a ritually consecrated and variously
driven chariot and taken to a temporary site, installed there,
worshipped and brought back the same day or as scheduled. In Himalayan
hills there is a regional calendar and more often these are the
deities from personal and domestic shrines that are taken out in the
form of processions.
In Krishna’s temples the season-wise shifting of the enshrining image
is a routine. In hot summer the idol would be shifted from the inner
chamber, which is relatively hot, to an outer space in a temporary
chamber erected using festoons comprising flowers and green leaves and
other cooling agents. At seats like Vrindavana and Nathadwara seasonal
adornment of the deity is always a special feature. This tradition is
observed on microcosmic scale also at domestic shrines. The
season-wise shift is effected even in the same space, but the deity is
dressed anew and with an altar is shifted to the temporarily
consecrated space. In Jain tradition the procession of an image of one
of the Tirthankaras, more often Mahavira, is a regular feature to take
place following the ten days’ long ‘Paryushana-parva’ – a ritual
period of rigorous fasts. As the sanctum sanctorum in a Jain temple is
designed with a ‘vedika’ in the centre and one, two or three each
flanking it on either side making three, five or seven ‘vedikas’ in a
row the Tirthankara images enshrining them constitute a group. As
such, when a particular Tirthankara’s rituals are to be performed, the
deity image is shifted away from its place and consecrated into a new
space, often a makeshift ‘vedika’. Obviously, this piece of great art
might also be used for any of such rituals or processions.
The square ‘vedika’, cast from fine gold-like lustrous brass, consists
of four broad segments. A plain but mirror finished square moulding
out-sizing the rest of the structure comprises the base of the
‘vedika’. A beautifully turned rising : its plinth – about one and a
half inch high, consisting of stylized lotus-petal moulding, takes it
to the vedika’s floor-height. The inner floor of the ‘vedika’ has been
adorned with beautifully conceived floral designs : entire space
divided into squares and a four-petalled flower motif covering each
one. On its four corners are seated four pairs of bulls, each
comprising one head but two bodies. In between its two bodies there
rise the four pillars which support on them a roof, a plain frame with
an upwards slanting rising consisting of stylized lotuses. In its
centre the roof has a projected square base with a thin lining
consisting of plain moulding for holding on it the tiny dome with a
flame-like sharply pointed plain finial. The neck of the dome has been
most artistically conceived and the dome itself has been adorned with
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.
How to keep a Brass statue well-maintained?
Brass statues are known and appreciated for their exquisite beauty and luster. The brilliant bright gold appearance of Brass makes it appropriate for casting aesthetic statues and sculptures. Brass is a metal alloy composed mainly of copper and zinc. This chemical composition makes brass a highly durable and corrosion-resistant material. Due to these properties, Brass statues and sculptures can be kept both indoors as well as outdoors. They also last for many decades without losing all their natural shine.
Brass statues can withstand even harsh weather conditions very well due to their corrosion-resistance properties. However, maintaining the luster and natural beauty of brass statues is essential if you want to prolong their life and appearance.
In case you have a colored brass statue, you may apply mustard oil using a soft brush or clean cloth on the brass portion while for the colored portion of the statue, you may use coconut oil with a cotton cloth.
Brass idols of Hindu Gods and Goddesses are especially known for their intricate and detailed work of art. Nepalese sculptures are famous for small brass idols portraying Buddhist deities. These sculptures are beautified with gold gilding and inlay of precious or semi-precious stones. Religious brass statues can be kept at home altars. You can keep a decorative brass statue in your garden or roof to embellish the area and fill it with divinity.
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