The Mother Goddess Durga’s most iconic legend – of vanquishing the demon Mahishasura – is visually presented in this ‘panchaloha’ bronze sculpture. The shape-shifting great-grandson of Brahmarishi Kashyapa, after severe austerities and penance, was granted by Brahma the boon that Mahishasura could only be killed by a woman. The demon’s wrathful and fearless wake of destruction troubled the gods, who channelled their divine energies into the Trimurti of Brahma, Shiva, and Vishnu in order to create a warrior goddess that would conquer the demon’s powers.
conception was accompanied by the gods providing her with a copy of their
weapons, along with the lord of Himalayas, Himavan, providing a lion as Durga’s
fearless mount or ‘vahana.’ While we do not have the sculptural visualisation
of the ‘vahana’ here, we see a variety of weapons from different traditions,
acknowledging the syncretic fate Durga (and the larger Shakta tradition) has
had in Hindu mythology. As detailed in the iconographic conventions of texts
Devi Mahatmya and Devi-Bhagavata Purana, this eight-armed form of the goddess
carries the attributes of Vishnu, Shiva, and Brahma: the ‘sudarshana chakra’ or
war discus, the ‘shankh’ or conch, a bow and an arrow, a dagger, a cup, and an
iconic ‘trishula’ or trident, held against the neck of Mahishasura. The demon
spawned several avatars, which Durga easily annihilated, and is said to have
been overcome while he was in the process of shapeshifting into a buffalo –
hence we see a zoo-anthropomorphic form of the demon at the feet of the
goddess. This act exemplified her existence as Mahishasuramardini.
universal nature of being the goddess of preservation, power, energy, strength,
and protection has meant that she has amassed a large following; a following
that is not confined to Hinduism. Nepal (celebrating the Dashain festival for
the goddess), Bangladesh (celebrating the Sharadiya Durga Puja), and Sri Lanka
(celebrating Durga as Vaishnavi) compliment Buddhist, Jain, and Sikh
celebrations revering the goddess – as do Hindus in Java, Cambodia, and
Vietnam. Such a unified belief makes this high-standing fearsome yet blissful
image of the goddess not simply an artistic masterpiece, but also a testament
to the mythic and religious camaraderie the Asian continent has experienced for
iteration of Durga vanquishing the demon Mahishasura in a Kalamkari painting
can be accessed here.
WHAT IS PANCHALOHA BRONZE AND HOW TO TAKE CARE OF IT ?
Bronze is a metal alloy that has the primary composition of Copper and Tin. There is also an addition of other metals such as Manganese, Aluminium, Nickel, and some non-metals such as Phosphorus. This composition of several metals and non-metals makes Bronze an extremely durable and strong metal alloy. It is for this reason that Bronze is extensively used for casting sculptures and statues. Since Bronze has a low melting point, it usually tends to fill in the finest details of a mould and when it cools down, it shrinks a little that makes it easier to separate from the mould.
" If you happen to have a bronze statue, simply use a cotton cloth with some coconut oil or any other natural oil to clean the statue. "
A village named Swamimalai in South India is especially known for exceptionally well-crafted Bronze icons of Hindu Gods and Goddesses. The skilled artisans of this place use Panchaloha Bronze for casting the icons. Panchaloha Bronze is made of five metals; Copper, Zinc, Lead, and small quantities of Gold and Silver. Zinc gives a golden hue to the finished figure and Lead makes the alloy softer for the easy application of a chisel and hammer. The common technique for producing these statues and sculptures is the “Lost-wax” method. Because of the high durability of bronze sculptures and statues, less maintenance is required, and can still last up to many decades.
Exotic India takes great pride in its collection of hand-picked Panchaloha Statues. You will find the murtis of Gods (Krishna, Hanuman, Narasimha, Ganesha, Nataraja, and Kartikeya) and Goddesses (Saraswati, Lakshmi, Durga, and Parvati), and Buddha statues. You can also buy Ritual paraphernalia (Wicks lamp, Puja Kalash, Cymbals, and Puja Flag) on the website. All these statues and items have been made with a lot of care and attention, giving them a flawless finish. Their fine carving detail represents the rich tradition of India.
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