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Paintings > Hindu > Shiva > Gods Praying Shiva for their Protection from 'Asuras'
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Gods Praying Shiva for their Protection from 'Asuras'

Gods Praying Shiva for their Protection from 'Asuras'

Gods Praying Shiva for their Protection from 'Asuras'

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Water Color Painting On Paper
Artist: Kailash Raj

9.6 inch x 13.2 inch
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Gods Praying Shiva for their Protection from 'Asuras'
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Viewed 4075 times since 31st Jul, 2013
This excellent work of art, an all time masterpiece and a resonant of the works of early 18th century Mandi master Sajnu, represents one of those many occasions when gods, invaded and overthrown by demons, approached Lord Shiva for seeking his protective assistance. As the Indian legendary tradition has it, the battle between gods and demons had a thousand recurrences and each time demons had an edge over gods. Left with no other option gods every time invoked Lord Shiva to come to their rescue and it was only by his aid that they were able to protect themselves, their abode and the Mother earth from demons. The painting obviously depicts one of many such occasions. The gods - Lord Brahma, Lord Vishnu, Sun, Moon, Indra etc. with folded hands assembled on one side and saints and holy ones on the other are praying Lord Shiva for his protective assistance against demons.

Using the ice blocks - white, pale blue, pale red and pale green, the artist has divided his canvas into two diagonal parallelograms. The upper one has been given the shape of an icy cavern which the Shiva family houses and the lower one that of an enclosure consisting of a patch of green sward. Drowsy Shiva with the bowl of bhang in his hand is indifferent to what gods are praying for. He is more anxious for re-filling his bowl. Parvati, alike indifferent, has Kartikeya in her lap. Kartikeya, born with six heads, has his three heads vanished by the holy touch of his mother and is seen with apparent three heads. Ganesha hugging his father from behind is partially visible. Shiva is in lion skin, Parvati in a mauve saree, Ganesha in yellow and Kartikeya in blue shirt, sash and pale yellow pajamas. A fire-pot hung behind and a hearth burning in front of them are warming the cave. Lying beside the hearth are Shiva's 'tumara', a pot made out of the bottle gourd, and a human skull. On their right stands Shiva's bull Nandi and on their left Ganesha's mouse feeding on some food lying on the ground. Kartikeya's peacock is peeping inside the cavern from above the branch of an adjacent tree. Inside the left triangle created by the parallelograms there lies Shiva's lion and in the right one stand in worship Nandishvara and a Shiva devotee.

Inside the lower enclosure gods on its right side and saints and celestial ones on the left are seen praying Lord Shiva with their hands folded in reverence. Brahma and Vishnu are the foremost in the assembly of gods. The green patch of land in front of them is suggestive of earth and thereby the artist seems to suggest that the assembly of gods and holy ones aimed at seeking Shiva's benevolent assistance in protecting the earth from the demons who were eroding it. Most of the battles fought by gods against demons were aimed at protecting the earth and heaven from them. The presence of flying Gandharvas in the sky offering prayers to Lord Shiva defines the serenity of the occasion.

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.

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