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Ardhanarishvara At The Himalayas

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Ardhanarishvara At The Himalayas
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According to Sankhyadarshana (a system of Indian philosophy), it takes both purusha, the energy principle, and prakrti, the matter principle, to form life. What we perceive around us (drshyam) is but a confluence of these two. The former is represented by the masculine, while the latter is represented by the feminine. They are visualised as Lord Shiva and Devi Shakti, respectively. The painting that you see on this page is a union of the two, a composite Shivashakti figure, called Ardhanarishvara, which translates to the half-woman deity.

The Lord Shiva and the Devi Shakti are easily distinguishable. A loincloth is wrapped around His hips and clutches of rudraksha are His personal adornment. She is in a saree of auspicious vermillion colour and wears gold jewellery, as befit Her status as His wife and complement. He has a jatamukuta, upon which rests a sliver of the silver moon; upon Her brow is a crown studded luxuriantly with the finest jewels in paraloka. He wields a trishool (trident) and She cradles a flushed lotus. Standing next to Him is the devoted bull Nandi, while Her trusty simhavahana is to be found on Her side.

A softly glowing halo graces Ardhanarishvara's head. The riverine Devi Ganga emerges in Her pristine, fluid beauty, straight into the lap of the glacial Himalayas in the background. Their sharp peaks and rugged bodies stand in sharp contrast to the soft blue streams that flow at their feet.

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Item Code: OS38
Oil on Canvas
Artist: Giri Raj Sharma
35.0" X 48"

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