Durga-Lakshmi-Sarasvati is the Hindu Devi trimurti. As wives of the all-powerful Lord Shiva (Devi Parvati), Lord Vishnu, and Lord Brahma, they are the fundamental entities to which almost every other Devi manifestation may be traced. In the subcultures of the Eastern Delta, Lakshmi and Sarasvati are considered to be daughters of Durga.
The Tanjore painting that you see on this page depicts a not-so-wrathful, in fact serene Durga flanked by Lakshmi and Sarasvati. She is seated in lalitasana on Her simhavahana, while Her daughters are cradled in gigantic lotus blooms with the gaja and the swan, respectively. Lakshmi showers gold piling onto a goblet in the foreground, while the music from Sarasvati’s veena seemingly suffuses the frame.
The temple pillar and archway structuring that frames this Tanjore painting is made with embedded, gold-layered gessowork. So is the goblet of plenitude into which pours Lakshmi’s good cheer. The same goes of the tridevi’s crowns and shringar.
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