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Sculptures > Hindu > Shiva > Guru-roopa Dakshinamurti Shiva
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Guru-roopa Dakshinamurti Shiva

Guru-roopa Dakshinamurti Shiva

Guru-roopa Dakshinamurti Shiva

The guru-roopa of Lord Shiva is called Dakshinamurti Shiva. The term ‘Dakshinamurti’ has many connotations, the most popular of which is ‘the one facing (‘murti’) south (‘dakshina’)’. Indeed in Shaivite temples of the South, Lord Dakshinamurti is to be found in the southern circumambulatory path as the only deity in the Hindoo pantheon who is wont to face southwards. In Sanskrt, ‘dakshinya’ also means benevolence and efficiency, while ‘amurti’ stands for formlessness (shapelessness).

The Dakshinamurti that you see on this page has been fashioned in keeping with His traditional iconography. The banyan canopy towers above Him, underneath which He is seated in lalitasana. From the yogic musculature of His limbs and torso to the adornments on the same and the unusual style of crown on His head, the whole composition has been finished with shimmery blue undertones. This is the hallmark of the bronze medium, the heritage of Southern artistry since the patronage of the Cholas.

In Sanskrt, ‘gu’ stands for darkness and ‘ru’ for brilliance. Dakshinamurti Lord Shiva is the guru who facilitates the journey of the devoted from darkness to brilliance. Which explains the Apasmara, subdued under His feet. Apasmara stands for all that is avidya (ignorance) and spells darkness, overpowered by the illuminating vidya (knowledge) of the Dakshinamurti.

In the South Indian region of Swamimalai, bronze sculpting is a way of life. Featuring Lord Shiva in the form of Dakshinaguru (the eternal Guru) and a pastel yet shimmery finish, this sculpture testifies that bronze has a decidedly artistic, elite whiff to it. The members of the Chola dynasty constituted the key patron group of bronze sculpture, who demanded great skill in this art form, funded innovative methods that have gone down in history, and caused the golden age of bronze casting to flourish in the subcontinent.

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22 inch Height x 15 inch Width x 12.7 inch Depth
18.5 kg
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