The name Rshabha, pronounced and widely spelt as Rishabha, translates to bull. While it could be an epithet for Shiva, Rishabha Devar is considered by many to be the first tirthankara of Jainism, Lord Mahavira, or an avatara of Lord Shiva Himself. Understandably, the iconography of Rishabha Devar is quite dated.
The standing murti of Rishabha Devar that you see on this page is made from panchaloha bronze. Panchaloha is a blend of five (‘pancha’) different alloys of iron (‘loha’) and takes a great deal of skill to work with. The lost-wax process, expounded in the texts as madhuchista vidhana, is what lends such proportions of detail to the composition, which is otherwise a simple standing murti.
Note the lifelike musculature of the loincloth-clad Rishabha Devar. The stance of His right hand is as if resting on the back of His companion, Nandi. Minimal adornment. The feet crossed upon the pistil of the traditional upturned-lotus pedestal. Sharp features, set off by the characteristic turban on the head. The earth-coloured finish with undertones of coppery blue makes for a superb aesthetic.
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