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Sculptures > > > > Ashtabhuja Simhavahini Durga, Her Ferocity Contained
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Ashtabhuja Simhavahini Durga, Her Ferocity Contained

Ashtabhuja Simhavahini Durga, Her Ferocity Contained

Ashtabhuja Simhavahini Durga, Her Ferocity Contained

Devi Durga is unputdownably the personification of power. It is this invincibility and ferocity that She is worshipped for, especially in the East and in the South. She grants Her devotees the strength required to sustian oneself amidst the vicissitudes of life. This portrayal of the deity is benign, fit to be worshipped upon a altar on a daily basis. Seated in lalitasana on Her characteristic mount, the simha (Sanskrit for lion) portrayed with docility like its vahini (rider). Her saree and shringar have been done up in richly coloured inlay, the embroideries and jewels brought out with great beauty by the artisans. It is not just Her attire but also the signature implements in Her eight (ashta) hands (bhuja) that are interspersed with gold finish. Note how the inlay and the spattered gold match with the garment of the lion as well as its mane.

The deity's very name means that which is unattainable. It refers to Her origins in the mountains when the lords of the Hindu pantheon gathered to put together the enigma that She is. Her temples are simple whitewashed structures, relatively small compared to the architectural wonders devoted to other deities, but are many in number; yet She continues to evoke a sense of the ungraspable in those who dwell upon Her. She is the wife of Shiva, but She is worshipped independently as Shakti. She is the gramadevi (rural deity) of a threatening visage, yet Her devotees count on Her lovingkindness and propensity to mete out Her blessings.

Durga's destiny is the decisive destruction of adharm. She holds symbols of dharmic significance in Her hands. Her gaze is leonine - fierce, determined, and all-vanquishing. A perfectly symmetrical crown sits atop Her luscious silvery locks, which is inlaid in matching colours with the wide rim of Her halo. There are hints of gold in Her hair that escapes from beneath the crown, and the bun that towers from above the crown. Note how the bindi and the danglers are the only parts of Her shringar that are portrayed without the inlay.

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14.0 inch Height x 14.5 inch Width x 7 inch Depth
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