This brass-statue, more prominent zones judiciously polished revealing gold-like lustre, and recessed ones shaded affording through contrast greater lustre to the polished zones, represents the six-armed dancing Ganesha enshrining the body of the sacred syllable AUM. Though the image is a bit complex – a great number of forms, and a far greater number of symbols, blended, it amazes by its novelty and technical ability by which it assimilates not only a wide range of forms but has as great width of meaning. In the statue the sacred syllable AUM has been conceived like fire-arch around his figure, it actually seeks to define the elephant god in cosmic terminology. Ever a lovable figure, in a dance-form an image of Ganesha – in Indian tradition one of the ‘adigurus’ of ‘nratya’ – the founding teacher of dance, reveals greater divinity and is far more lovable. Dance’s other ‘adigurus’ are Shiva, Kali and Vishnu.
As is one of the fundamental principles of Indian theology the syllable AUM is the phonetic manifestation of the cosmos. AUM is contended as containing in it all three worlds that the Great Trinity pervades; thus, Trinity also manifests cosmos, and the sacred syllable AUM, both. The doctrine aptly reveals in this statue of Lord Ganesha. Enshrining the body of the sacred syllable this statue represents Lord Ganesha as pervading both the cosmos – all three worlds, as also the Great Trinity the three worlds manifest in. Whatever the theological tradition contends, under Indian doctrine the life is ‘ananda’ – bliss, all that is delightful, pleasant and beauteous, and world sustains in good, in all that is auspicious and right. Sorrows, inauspicious and wrongs also emerge but finally ‘ananda’, right and auspicious prevail. Lord Ganesha is ‘ananda’, auspicious and right, and is thus the all pervading spirit of the cosmos.
The master-caster has most intelligently managed various parts of the image for revealing the desired meaning. As contend a number of texts, besides the entire mythical tradition, Lord Vishnu had himself prescribed Ganesha’s ‘agra-puja’, that is, the worship of Ganesha to precede every ritual – social, such as marriage, or spiritual, and besides him Shiva and Brahma had also worshipped the new-born Ganesha. This Ganesha-cult – his priority even over Trinity, and Trinity worshipping Ganesha also defines his iconography – his visual image or his form in visual arts. This image is amazing in communicating this Ganesha cult. As its form has been conceived, the sacred syllable is seen emerging from the body of Ganesha and terminating in him, that is, in one of his many manifestations. The visible form of the sacred syllable –manifestation of cosmos, consists of vine and bursts with fire, that is, the entire nature, and the life or energy with which it bursts.
Interestingly, the ‘pitha’ – pedestal, this AUM is raised on, has conch as its central motif. The conch, one of his attributes, symbolises Vishnu, that is, Vishnu holds on him AUM and Ganesha enshrining it. Similarly, on its upper part the sacred syllable has a crescent, the symbolic representation of Shiva. Here the part of AUM fire is also an aspect of Shiva. Thus, AUM is the manifest body of Shiva and Ganesha pervade it. Strangely, one the attributes that Ganesha has been represented as carrying in this statue is a rosary, an attribute of Brahma. Thus, all three Trinity Gods are in subordination to Ganesha. This cosmic position apart, the son of Shiva Ganesha is as much reverent to him. As ‘tri-netra’ – third eye, he holds him on his forehead. The six-armed image of Lord Ganesha holds Shula – pointed rod, broken tusk, beads, lyre, bowl with ‘luddus’ and elephant goad. The flames of fire have been patterned like those in Nataraja icons. Though carrying one attribute or other, all six arms are gesticulated in accordance to the moves of dance that manifests primarily in the moves of legs. Usually the Ganesha’s images have their right broken; here it is left.
This description by Dr. Daljeet and Prof. P.C. Jain.
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