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Simha Ganesha

Simha Ganesha

Simha Ganesha

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South Indian Temple Wood Carving
Artist: P. Sengottuvel

36.0" X 17.5" X 7.0"
17.5 Kg
Item Code:
EH27
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$775.00
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Viewed 5784 times since 2nd Oct, 2008
This ninety-three cm. tall lion-riding form of Lord Ganesh is known in Puranas, more particularly, in Maudagalya Purana, as Simha Ganapati form of the great Lord, though it also combines elements of his other forms, mainly, those of Vijaya Ganapati, Lambodara Ganapati, Ekadanta Ganapati and Kshipra Prasada Ganapati, which obviously makes the image more auspicious, sacred and effective. Lion is the vehicle of his mother Parvati – Shakti, the primordial cosmic energy that not only eliminated evil forces but also enlivened enertness and lifeless matter. Lion, her vehicle and companion in her battles against demons, stands for strength, formidability, and fearlessness. Auspiciousness and supreme wisdom, which Lord Ganesh represents, lead to victories and success in all walks of life when they are associated with strength, formidability and fearlessness, which are the attributes of the lion.

The white-complexioned Simha Ganapati rides the lion in 'lalitasana' posture – right leg suspending below, and left placed in semi-'yogasana'. He has been conceived with eight arms, holding in them, besides other attributes, also the wish fulfilling 'Kalpavriksha' sprig, 'vina', pot of jewels, lotus – usually a blue one, and a flower bouquet. The 'white' complexion, representing purity of form, has been substituted here in this masterpiece with the corresponding pure wood colour. He preferred six arms of Kshipra Prasad Ganapati form instead of eight of Simha Ganapati, as also a different set of attributes to be carried in them : an 'ankusha' – goad, 'pash' – noose, broken tusk, mace, 'shula' –pointed rod, and delicious mango – the attributes largely common to Kshipra Prasada and Vijaya Ganapati forms. By his 'ankusha', he goads slow ones to move fast, by his 'pash', he ties the straying ones to the right path, by his lower right hand, in which he carries broken tusk, he bestows 'abhaya', and by his lower left carrying mango he assures fertility, fruition and abundance, which 'modaka', carried in his trunk, further assures. These are obviously the aspects of the quick rewarding Kshipra Prasada Ganapati as also of Vijaya Ganapati.

The great god is primarily in his Lambodara manifestation. His prodigious large protruding belly contains in it all galaxies, all known and unknown universes. When Lambodara is adored with the 'mantra' – 'Aum Lambodaraya Namah', that is, adoration to Him who has a large belly, the kind hearted Ganesh imparts knowledge of known and unknown worlds and reveals mysteries of cosmos. With one tusk broken, the image also represents the god in his Ekadanta manifestation. Ekadanta Ganapati also has a large pot belly and when adored with the 'mantra' – 'Aum Ekadantaya Namah', that is, adoration to Him who has one tusk broken, he cut the bonds of ignorance.

The image is elaborately bejewelled and ornamented from toe to head. The only garment, which he is wearing, is an 'adhovastra', an elegantly plaited yellow-red silk 'dhoti' worn below his waist. A beautifully patterned girdle, consisting of 'falis' or beads, keeps the 'adhovastra' in position. Another girdle, substituting the usual 'nagabandha' of Ganapati iconography, is worn around the pot belly. A beautiful decorative sash, tucked with the girdle, unfurls on his both sides, creating a magic of its own. The god also wears a 'yajnopavit'. The figure is elaborately bejewelled with armslets, bracelets, anklets, shoulder-laces, beads around trunk and a broad necklace on his neck. His head-dress-cum-crown is of a moderate size, but every part of it is covered with elegantly rendered various designing patterns and motifs. The form of the lion is that of a mythical being.

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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