A composite Shiva-Parvati deity. Ardhanarishvara is the culmination of all by way of drshyam or one’s subjective experience of the self and the surroundings. This Indian deity is the very image of the confluence (sammelana) of purusha and prakrti, the energy and matter principles respectively. In the Sankhyakarika, the definitive text of Indian philosophy, the energy principle has been equated to the masculine whereas the matter principle to the feminine.
This explains the fusion of the Lord Shiva and Devi Parvati iconographies. His broad shoulder and wide torso, the gentle curves on Hers. His ascetic’s loincloth, the virtue that lies in Her mid-leg dhoti. The powerful musculature of His chaturbhujadhari (four-armed) form, the ample adornments (two-armed) on Her dvibhujadhari roopa. Finally, the tall templetop-esque crown towering over a handsomely sculpted face is highly characteristic of the Southern bronze.
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