Item Code: PO38
Kalamkari Painting on Cotton80 inch X 51 inch
Price: $395.00 Shipping Free - 4 to 6 days
As the scriptures have it, Shiva married twice, once with Sati, the daughter of Daksha Prajapati, and second time with Parvati, Sati’s incarnation. He was so deeply engrossed in love with Sati that after her death for ten thousand years he wandered from forest to forest with her corpse on his shoulder. In the meantime there was born a mighty demon by the name of Taraka, popularly known as Tarakasura. He was blessed with the boon that no other than a son of Shiva could kill him. He knew that Shiva out of his love for Sati would never marry again and hence to him no son shall be born. Thinking that he was thus invincible he became more and more atrocious torturing innocent and sages. He even threw gods out of Devaloka and began ruling all three worlds. When gods learnt from Brahma the secret of his might they decided to approach Shiva and persuade him to marry. With hundreds of years of persuasion Shiva agreed to it. On the instance of gods Himvana’s daughter Kali whose other name was Parvati was doing rigorous penance for winning Shiva’s love. Finally, she succeeded in diverting Shiva’s mind. Their marriage was solemnized. Brahma served as the principal priest for performing marriage-rituals and ‘yajna’ – sacrifice, and Vishnu, representing Parvati’s father, gave her hand in marriage to Shiva – ‘kanyadana’ as the convention is known in India.
The Kalamakari portrays in the centre of the upper register Lord Vishnu giving in Parvati’s hand to Shiva and for solemnizing the gift is pouring holy water from the Kamandala – pot, a timeless ritual of vowing to stand committed to one’s act and words. He is holding the Kamandala in his left hand. Unlike his usual image-form he has been portrayed as two-armed, perhaps for emphasizing his role as father, not as world-commander armed with weapons. Lord Shiva is on Vishnu’s right, and Parvati, on his left. In his upper right hand Shiva is carrying a double drum supported with a snake, and on his left, a deer. In the normal right he holding Parvati’s left hand. His normal left, and Parvati’s right, are suspending below almost identically. Just under Vishnu’s is seated the four-headed and four-armed Brahma holding in his normal right hand a ladle making offering into the ‘yajna’ fire, and the left, held in interpretive form as when uttering the holy ‘mantra’ – syllable. In other two hands he is carrying his regular attributes, the pot and the book. Unlike his routine imagery with Vaishnava tilaka – forehead mark revealing one’s sectarian identity, he has been represented here with a ‘tripunda’ denoting his Shaivite links. As compared to figures in the upper register those in the lower, including that of Brahma, are smaller in size.
Parvati, the bride, is attended upon by Lakshmi and Saraswati, both our-armed, Lakshmi carrying in two of them lotuses, the upper right is in interpretive posture as if repeating the holy ‘mantra’, and the lower left, suspending below; Saraswati is carrying in three of them vina – lyre, book and rosary, and the fourth is held in ‘abhaya’. On Shiva’s side are sage Narada with his usual vina, and Indra, the gods’ chief, with his multi-bladed ‘vajra’ held along his right arm. On Brahma’s left in the lower register are two sages, Vishnu’s mount the great bird Garuda, and on extreme left, the horse-faced Hayagriva with a lyre, one of Vishnu’s other forms. On his right are devotees, celestial beings and Shiva’s mount Nandi, the great bull, holding Shiva’s trident. The entire event has been bound by an elaborate triply conceived border and is contained under a beautiful pavilion adorned with multiple hangings and decorative frills. Besides the background colour, the dull grayish pink, the Kalamakari has used the two traditional colours, black and red, though blended with black the red has produced a third, maroon.
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.