This awesome iconic image of Shiva depicts him drinking the lethal poison which threatened to contaminate the world. As the story goes, the gods once, decided to churn out amrit, the celestial nectar from the primeval waters. The gods and the demons began to twist and twirl the ocean and the waters began to curdle. What first formed on the surface was dark and sticky, a viscid scum, emitting caustic fumes it was the dreaded poison halahal. The poison began to spread all around, contaminating the waters and polluting the air. In fact, the very existence of the cosmos wat at stake. Just then Shiva appeared on the scene, scooped up the lethal fluid and drank it.
Shiva, in this image is shown doing just that. Ganga can be seen in the swirling hair of Shiva, as the crescent moon adorns his brow. Snakes form his necklace and also slide across his trident. Along with the trishula hang his damaru, the hour-glass shaped drum and the kamandala, the pot used for rituals and ablutions.
In this sculpture, Shiva is shown as arising out of the cosmic ocean. The artist has given the curving lines depicting waves, which stand out very well in relation to rest of the image.
This description by Renu Rana.
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