Purusha is a king; prakrti, the dancing girl. The masculine and feminine principles, respectively. The Ardhanarishvara that you see on this page is a union of the masculine and the feminine, of matter with energy, that which causes life and motion and beauty and ultimately the quest for sublimation. The Ardhanarishvara deity is a half-and-half of Lord Shiva and His ardhangini Devi Parvati.
It is a stately bronze number, a solemn monotone composition the colour of deep, dark earth. A slender lotus pedestal under the feet of the deity, one leg clad in a loincloth, the other in a full-length dhoti as befits the limbs of a woman. The angular lines of His torso, the supple curves of Hers. He is chatubhujadhari, She dvibhujadhari. A serene, handsome face, beneath a tall but asymmetrical crown. Finally, the karnakundalas of Lord Shiva cascade down His shoulders, in contrast with Hers which are gently grazing the clavicles.
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