The blissful marriage
of creation and destruction has been beautifully captured by the ‘sthapati’ in
this bronze sculpture, coming to us from the region of Swamimalai. As witnessed
throughout the history of Hindu religion and spirituality, the element of dance
or ‘nritya’ has powerfully served as a medium of devotion and jubilation for
the benevolence of the god. This Shiva figure, performing his famous
‘anandatandava’ or the dance of bliss, resonates with that same understanding.
The four armed
spectacle of Shiva is performing his tandava over the vanquished body of
Apasmara, the dwarf that represents ignorance, and in Shiva’s performance, we
see the active and dynamic process of relinquishing the vice of ignorance from
our dharmic lives. The supreme deity here is inornately presented with austere
clothings – the ‘sthapati’ clearly understanding the frugal nature of our
wandering ascetic, not tied to showy material bonds. An elaborately tied bun along
with a ’prabhamandala’ tops the figure of Shiva, while his upper two hands hold
the ‘damru’ and the eternal flame that cleanses the soul of the devotees. In
Shiva’s iconography, the lower left hand points to where the devout must bring
rest and bring their concerns to the lord, and pay heed to his wisdom.
The decorative nature
of the raised pedestal on which Shiva performs his tandava is also reminiscent
of the ‘adhishthana’ and ‘jagati,’ or the base and platform of a Hindu Nagara
styled temple. Therefore, in perfect execution of the ‘madhuchistavidhana’
sculptural casting of the lost wax technique, this image not only represents
the immaculate deity, but also a complete cosmological understanding of Hinduism
and its temporal and spiritual affairs.
Eternal Brilliance Unveiled: The Mystique of Panchaloha Bronze and Artful Maintenance Rituals
Bronze is a metal alloy that has the primary composition of Copper and Tin. There is also an addition of other metals such as Manganese, Aluminium, Nickel, and some non-metals such as Phosphorus. This composition of several metals and non-metals makes Bronze an extremely durable and strong metal alloy. It is for this reason that Bronze is extensively used for casting sculptures and statues. Since Bronze has a low melting point, it usually tends to fill in the finest details of a mould and when it cools down, it shrinks a little that makes it easier to separate from the mould.
" If you happen to have a bronze statue, simply use a cotton cloth with some coconut oil or any other natural oil to clean the statue. "
A village named Swamimalai in South India is especially known for exceptionally well-crafted Bronze icons of Hindu Gods and Goddesses. The skilled artisans of this place use Panchaloha Bronze for casting the icons. Panchaloha Bronze is made of five metals; Copper, Zinc, Lead, and small quantities of Gold and Silver. Zinc gives a golden hue to the finished figure and Lead makes the alloy softer for the easy application of a chisel and hammer. The common technique for producing these statues and sculptures is the “Lost-wax” method. Because of the high durability of bronze sculptures and statues, less maintenance is required, and can still last up to many decades.
Exotic India takes great pride in its collection of hand-picked Panchaloha Statues. You will find the murtis of Gods (Krishna, Hanuman, Narasimha, Ganesha, Nataraja, and Kartikeya) and Goddesses (Saraswati, Lakshmi, Durga, and Parvati), and Buddha statues. You can also buy Ritual paraphernalia (Wicks lamp, Puja Kalash, Cymbals, and Puja Flag) on the website. All these statues and items have been made with a lot of care and attention, giving them a flawless finish. Their fine carving detail represents the rich tradition of India.
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