Item Code: PB56
Water Color Painitng on Paper
16.5" x 21.0"
Price: $135.00 Shipping Free - 4 to 6 days
Virabhadra was created by Lord Shiva for destroying the 'yajna', the sacrificial rites, of Daksha, Shiva's own father-in-law. Daksha was Brahma's son who by a hundred year long penance had sought Mahamaya's blessings to be born as his daughter. Mahamaya was born by the name of Sati to his wife Asikni as their daughter. 'Puranas' say she was Parvati in her previous birth. She was the most beautiful maid on earth and was married to Shiva. In the mean time in a dispute Shiva decollated one of Brahma's five heads and carried it with him all the time as a trophy. Gods outcasted him as 'Ashuddha', the polluted one. Daksha was especially annoyed. For insulting Shiva as also his own daughter Sati Daksha organised a great 'yajna' and did not invite Shiva and Sati to it. Shiva dissuaded Sati from attending the 'yajna' but Sati went. She was not only an unwelcome guest but was so much slighted by her own father that she jumped into sacrificial fire and committed suicide.
Shiva loved Sati madly. When he heard of her death, he was mad with fury and grief. His matted hair waved in air and struck the earth and from it emerged Virabhadra and Bhadrakali. He commanded them to destroy the 'yajna' of Daksha. Different from this depiction of Devi Bhagawata the Shanti-parva of Mahabharata acclaims that they were born from Shiva's mouth. It is said from each hairpore of Virabhadra there rose a fearful monster. This monster has been called 'Raumya'. The host of these Raumyas attacked the sacrificial fire of Daksha and extinguished it. Thereafter the furious Virabhadra began destroying the entire creation, but Shiva appeared and pacified him. He attributed to him the status of a planet by the name of Angarakshaka who would guard Mangala, the Auspicious and would be revered by all.
In 'Puranas' there are several other accounts of his exploits against demons and of protecting the holy ones. Once sage Kashyapa and all other sages were devoured by the wild fire. Virabhadra swallowed the fire and by the power of incantation revived all sages to life. Once a serpent swallowed all gods. Virabhadra killed the serpent and saved gods. Alike once the demon Panchamedhra arrested in his mouth all gods, sages, Bali and Sugriva. Those who could escape did not dare go near him. Virabhadra fought against him, killed him and set all free from his grip.
The robust figure of Virabhadra has been consecrated under an arch rising from a couple of mythical elephants. The arch terminates on it's apex in a 'Shrimukha'. As usual with Mysore art the two corners above the arch have been embellished by arabesques. Virabhadra has around his face flames of fire symbolical of his swallowing wild fire. On his right there stands a Garuda-type divine figure, symbolising perhaps his exploit against serpent, and on his left a Devi, a probable form of Bhadrakali.Virabhadra has on his head a towering helmet type crown typical of South Indian art. In one of his four hands he is holding a sword, in two a bow and arrow and in the fourth a highly artistic angular shield type object. His entire body is covered with broad patterned ornaments and jewels.
The painting has a deep shocking red background. Bold details, broad patterns, stylised motifs, arabesques, an elaborate anatomy - fleshy body-parts, stylised features with a massive typical South Indian moustaches, the wide open eyes and horizontal face, are characteristic features of the painting. The use of basic colours in deep tone unsubdued even by self patterned designs or the like is typical of South Indian art of painting both of Mysore and Tanjore, though this colour dominance is not so much felt in Tanjore art due to its inlay of beads, stone pieces and metal leaves. In Mysore art, as here in this painting, the purity of colours is superb. These translucent colours of Mysore art look neither for contrasts nor for balance and neither conceal a form in their brilliance nor are themselves lost in them. The artistic superiority of this painting lies in both, in its delightful display of colours as well as in its bold and broad features.
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.
Of Related Interest:
Sati and Shiva (Paperback Comic Book)