The ten-armed elephant god is seated on a double lotus installed on a two-tiered stylized lotus base with a multi-petalled floral medallion conceived with seven concentric circles like ‘Shri-yantra’, a mystic diagram assuring accomplishment and auspiciousness, defining its face, the centre, symbolic of the axis of the universe that Lord Ganesha enshrines. The symbolic thrust further extends in the form of the double lotuses Lord Ganesha is seated on. The sculptor has conceived neither two full lotuses nor just one but rather one and a half, the one on the bottom being full with inverted and upwards petals, and the upper, just the upwards half. This formation is symbolic of three worlds or cosmic regions, the earth, the sky and the ocean, that Lord Ganesha pervades with his divine presence. On the right corner of the top of the base is installed formally on a pedestal the Lord’s mount mouse with due reverence like a ‘dhwaj’-deity, and on the left, lays a tray of ‘modakas’ – laddus, the fruit of accomplishment with which Lord Ganesha blesses his devotees.
As this sitting posture has been defined in iconographic tradition, Lord Ganesha, with his left leg laid horizontally on the top of the lotus seat, as in ‘yoga’ posture, and right, suspending downwards, is seated in ‘lalitasana’, a sitting posture revealing rare aesthetic beauty and ease. The entire figure has been most agreeably balanced and rhythmically conceived. From its very base to the top the image’s right half, and the left, reveal delightful symmetry that more powerfully reflects in the figure’s upper part, in rhythmically branching arms, the normal ones and the shoulders from where all arms branch in particular, the face with trunk, eyes, eyebrows, red ‘bindi’ – auspicious vermillion mark on the forehead, ears …, crown, its various parts, two strangely conceived decorative loops branching from the crown’s back … He is carrying in his right side hands elephant goad, trident, rope, snake and in the normal one, his broken tusk; in those on the left side, noose, dagger, rod with blunt head, nail, and in the normal one, basket of ‘modakas’. Apart, he is holding in his knotted trunk a pot believed to contain all treasures of the world.
The figure of Lord Ganesha has been conceived with large ears, small almond eyes, broad forehead and delicate slenderer trunk. He has a prominently broken right tusk and in his main right hand its broken part. These aspects of the image link Lord Ganesh to his Ekadanta manifestation. Similarly, the figure has a large pot-like inflated belly linking the elephant god to his Lambodara manifestation. Ekadanta symbolizes singleness of mind and his readiness to undergo any sacrifice for his devotees and for curving a mischief, and Lambodara, his immense bounties and immeasurable knowledge that he stores in his belly and imparts them to his devotees. The figure of Lord Ganesha has been clad in a lemon yellow ‘antariya’ : the sole ensemble, embellished with green check-design held on the waist with a broad girdle and a decorative central ‘patta’ consisting of vertical loops conceived like ‘phalis’ – seed-pod. The entire figure : head, neck, shoulders, arms, wrists, belly, waist, ankles, feet …, has been elaborately bejeweled with a number of ornaments most of them consisting of beads and ‘phalis’. The crown with two beautiful loops, one on either side, reveals great magnificence and beauty.
This description by Prof. P.C. Jain and Dr Daljeet. Prof. Jain specializes on the aesthetics of ancient Indian literature. Dr Daljeet is the chief curator of the Visual Arts Gallery at the National Museum of India, New Delhi. They have both collaborated on numerous books on Indian art and culture.
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