This Ardhanarishvara form has to Osho, the most controversial and a totally different kind of thinker of the late 20th century, as great mystic and cosmic significance as it had during the days of Rigveda. The Rigveda said, "what you describe to me as Male are in reality also Female. He who has the penetrating eyes of the mind discerns this truth". Osho advises that the wise ones should have in their houses the image of Ardhanarishvara for it keeps reminding that division of God's creation on the line of male and female is only superfluous. The creation is essentially composite in its character and this Ardhanarishvara form is its best manifestation. An Ardhanarishvara image is more complete and hence more sacred for it represents Him in His absolute form and reverence paid to Him in this form is also absolute.
This phenomenal manifestation of Shiva is the perception of the unity of creation as perceived the Rigveda. The existence, which seems to be composed of two sets of diverse elements, is composite and Shiva as Sadashiva, Adishiva or Adipurusha manifests it in his being. Everyone born is either a male or a female, the Adipurusha Shiva, the Sadashiva, the ever present benevolent One, is the total, all that is masculine and all that is feminine. Cupid and Psyche, the Western models of love, represent the Western vision of the inseparable union of male and female, though it is the unity of two in two forms. In Ardhanarishvara this unity is in one form. Vedas and other ancient texts have talked of this unity time and again and modern scientists and psychologists are amazed on such a vide and scientific concept of Ardhanarishvara or the union of male and female as one being.
As an innovation of art form this Ardhanarishvara brass-piece is simply superb in its craftsmanship. It combines in one form the forms of male and female - in the right half the factors of male physiognomy and in the left half those of a woman. The right half is Shiva and has most of his attributes and the left half his spouse Parvati and has most of her attributes. The half of four armed Shiva has two arms whereas that of two armed Parvati only a single arm. The magnificence of artist's execution lies in discovering the unity of his form in ever the most conflicting and diverse elements, the masculine and feminine, and what is more, the unity so created is superb and at the same time the distinction, precision, and minuteness with which he has created his contrasts is also unique.
This description by Prof. P.C. Jain and Dr. Daljeet. Prof. Jain specializes on the aesthetics of literature and is the author of numerous books on Indian art and culture. Dr. Daljeet is the curator of the Miniature Painting Gallery, National Museum, New Delhi. They have both collaborated together on a number of books.
Of Related Interest:
Ardhanarishvara (Ashtadhaatu Bronze Statue)
Ardhanarishvara (Large Sculpture)
Ardhanarishvara (Silk Painting)
Ardhanarishvara (Miniature Painting On Paper)