Purana, one of the 18 Puranas paints a word picture for the devotee and the
seeker - of the marriage of Shiva and Parvati. As a part of the Hindu marriage
ceremony, Lord Shiva was asked to name his lineage. But who could know about
the family of “Svayambhu”- he who originated from the earth, thus had no parentage?
To soothe the anxious heart of the parents of Parvati- Himalaya and Mena Devi, sage Narada narrated to them the glory of Mahadeva- the great god. He told them that even Brahma and Vishnu can not realize the true nature of Shiva.
He is the formless primordial divine who takes whatever form He wants. His lineage is the Nada- the primeval sound from which the universe originates at the beginning and which the creation collapses upon its end. The Adi-Deva, the primordial god that Narada described to the parents of goddess Parvati, in this awe-inspiring white marble murti manifests himself as “Kailashapati”, the Lord of Kailasha, the mountain that is the axis of the Universe.
masterfully in white marble, Shiva sits at ease on a platform that is the
representative of his divine home-Kailasha. With intricate detailing that
catches the eye, the marble in this Shiva icon has been given contours and
shading that create a realistic effect on the base. A comparatively smaller
image of Nandi- the bull mount of Shiva can be seen squatting near his foot.
Supporting Shiva’s reputation as “Nageshwara”- the Lord of Serpents, three
snakes emerge from the holes that are accurately presented in the marble Shiva
he presence of snakes is also discernible in the icon as Shiva’s
ornaments- pleasingly coiled around his ankles, neck, matted hair (Jata), and
his trident. Maha Deva is clad in tiger skin or “Baaghambara”, which symbolizes
his renunciation of all worldly luxuries as the eternal ascetic. The rug on
which Shiva is made from lion skin, with the head of the majestic beast peeing
from under the folded leg of the God.
celestial beauty is signified through the polished marble surface of the icon,
which with a hint of bluish-green appears to be shining from within. The
magnificence of “Uma-Pati” goddess Uma or Parvati’s husband is marked in this
white marble statue by the ornate aura that surrounds his moon-like face, which
is beautified further by the “Chandra” or moon that adorns his locks. From the
Jata-mukut (hair tied in the fashion of a crown) sprouts the celestial stream
Ganga, who made the tresses of Shiva her first abode as she descended from the
heavens, making him “Gangadhara” or the one who holds Ganga. On the forehead of
Shiva is the third eye, the outward manifestation of his inner, endless yogic
powers. In the four arms, Shiva carries his trident, Kamandala (water utensil),
damru (drum), and the gesture of fearlessness. The artistic sensibility of the
maker of this white marble Shiva murti can be felt in the gracefulness with
which Shiva’s fingers wrap around the trident, musculature that is especially
evident in the leg that is placed on the ground of Kailasha, and the definition
of Ganga that gives it a gushing feel.
not fully describe the glory of Kailashpati in this statue. His exquisite
half-closed eyes that are gazing downward remind us of the nature of Shiva, who
deep in his timeless yogic state, always has his benevolent eyes set on his
devotees. Ruling from Kailasha, Shiva is the primordial Lord whose divine
kindness is the sole path to all goals- worldly and spiritual.
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