This excellent brass-cast represents Lord Shiva, one of the Gods-Trio in Indian theological tradition, as engaged in 'Yoga', a kind of penance involving regulation of physique and controlled breathing and thereby commanding the mind to transcend from its material plane to a perception of infinity. Different from a simple 'padamashana' figure, Lord Shiva has been represented in this brass-piece in a posture of 'pranayama', the most difficult and rigorous of all breath-controlling exercises.
Mild tension on
face, over protruding 'triveli', i.e. three folds, of neck, extra inflated
belly drawn and collected around the chest, stern attitude of hands and
straight figure, all define the state of 'Pasupat Yoga', a combination of
'Pranayama' and penance, of which Lord Shiva was the master. Lord Shiva is
usually scupted young and charged with energy. Here he has an elderly look
to befit his 'yogic' posture. The half shut down-cast eyes indicate deep
absorption and prominantly carved muscles inflate with intrinsic energy. He
is too absorbed to take notice of lizards crawling around him. He has been
conceived with normal two hands, as hands have little role in 'yoga' and
penance. This same Shiva is conceived with multiple arms when he is in his
manifestations as 'Tripurantaka', 'Natesha' or when performing 'Tandava',
obviously because he works then for destruction and dissolution.
This 85 cm. high and 57 cm. wide statue has been modeled on South Indian
style of Chola bronzes. A strong sensitive pointed nose, not large but
detailed lips set within a recessed socket, the third eye boldly cutting
across the capacious forehead, shaggy matted hair towering like a turban,
descending Ganga enshrining on its top and the crescent on its middle, are
characteristic features of Shaivite iconography, but here in their style of
rendering they are essentially South Indian. "Jatamukuta', but for a thick
lock let loose to recline on his right shoulder, has been shaped as a
towering crown, again a feature of South Indian images. The image has been
cast with other essential attributes -trident, tiger skin, garlands and
armlets made of 'rudraksha', drum, smoking pipe suspending below on his
right and serpents. An extra drum suspends below towards his right.
Serpents, the symbol of power, re-birth and sexual connotation have special
significance in Shaivite iconography.
In texts, Lord Vishnu has been acclaimed as the 'Adi-guru', i.e., the first
teacher, of 'Yoga', but it is only Lord Shiva who, by practising rigorous
penance and 'Yoga', wins the title of 'Mahayogi'. His earliest icons,
manifest in Indus terracotta seals, depict him seated cross-legged as a
'yogi' engaged in penance. Subsequently, after he emerged as an important
deity of Vedic pantheon, there grew around him a number of legends, some of
which also related to how he resorted to penance and 'Yoga'. As the
tradition has it, once Brahma asked him to assist Brahma in the work of
creation. Shiva, endowed with immense energy, began the work but created all
of his own kind, ferocious and violent. Awe-stricken Brahma prayed him to
stop and resort to penance to better equip himself for further creation. He
retired to mount Munjavat and devoted himself to penance, especially the
'Pashupata yoga'. Later, Brahma held a great 'yajna'. Shiva, although not
invited to the 'yajna', headed to 'yajna-shala'. He had a piece of meat in
his hands. He was disallowed entry. In utter humiliation he left to Varanasi
and engaged there in rigorous penance. It was during his stay at Varanasi
that he killed the elephant demon Gaya inflicting terror in the town.
Early Brahmanical texts are a little critical of Shiva and depict a
reluctance as to his acceptance in the pantheon. It is one reason that many
scholars claim that Lord Shiva had a non-Aryan origin. They allude to
excavations from Mohenjo-daro and Harappan towns, which reveal material
evidencing that, as early 3000 B.C., the inhabitants of Indus valley
worshipped a god who greatly resembled the subsequent god Lord Shiva in his
'Yogi' form. Carved on Indus terrcotta seals this god, seated as 'Yogi', has
three heads and is surrounded by various animals. The sculptural remains of
about 2000 B.C., discovered from Babylonia, reveal the existence of a
similar god known by the name of Teshaba worshipped by the Hitatite tribe of
West Asia. The Indus god did not carry trident nor had bull as his vehicle.
Teshaba had both, the bull as well as the trident. Such scholars perceive in
the ferocious Rudra or Ishana of the Vedas and the 'Trishira' or three
headed "Vrashavaha' or 'Vrashavahana', i.e., the god riding the bull, of
Mahabharata (14.299; 14.390) a blend of the 'Yogi' god of Indus and Teshaba
god of West Asia.
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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