An excellent piece of art synthesizing in one form not only the male and female physiognomies but also the two psyches, behavioral bearings of two classes and everything that distinguishes one from the other, this brass statue represents one of the Shiva’s earliest forms known in the tradition as ‘Shiva, the Ardhanarishvara’ : half male and half female. As is obvious, the statue’s right half with its robust build, leg’s forward thrust as in action, character of breast-part, subdued hip, broader shoulder in contrast to the left, all define masculine physiognomy.
With one additional arm, suggestive of four-armed anatomy, the right
half of the statue is essentially the manifestation of Shiva. The
style of hair on the right side, half knotted as ‘jata-juta’, and
other half, unfurling like flames of fire, and the bell chained around
the ankle of the right feet, are two of the essential aspects of the
Shiva’s iconography in his Nataraja form. Besides a goad, the instrument
of annihilation, carried in the upper hand, the gesture of his lower
hand, suggestive of dissolution, which in the Great Trinity is Shiva’s
cosmic role, are essentials of Shiva’s form. In contrast to fully clad
left leg the right half is clad just in a loin-cloth made of plain
tiger skin except for a bit of lace defining its edge.
Correspondingly, the left half with feminine attributes is the
manifestation of Shiva’s consort Parvati who is acclaimed in
scriptures as Shiva’s ‘Vamanga’ : his left half.
As the Shaivite doctrine has it, Shiva, who manifests in his being the
cosmos, or vice-versa, cosmos is whose mere manifestation, combines in
him both male and female aspects of creation. This doctrine of the
unity of cosmic existence which Shiva manifested in his
Ardhanarishvara form was initially the Rig-Vedic perception acclaiming
that : ‘what you describe to me as Male are in reality also Female.’
The existence is essentially composed of two sets of diverse elements,
which Shiva as Sadashiva and Adipurusha blends in his form. Everyone
born, but Shiva who is unborn, is either a male or a female; the
Adipurusha Shiva, the Sadashiva, the ever present benevolent One, is
the total, all that is masculine and all that is feminine. Western
world’s inseparable unity of male and female seen in the form of Cupid
and Psyche is the unity of the two in two forms. In Ardhanarishvara
this unity is in one form. Unlike most of the Ardhanarishvara images
in which male, that is Shiva, comprises their principal form, and
female, secondary or less significant. Astonishingly, in this
brilliant innovative form it is the female aspect that seems to
dominate the figure’s totality, its anatomy, aesthetics and psyche.
This description by Prof. P.C. Jain and Dr. Daljeet. Prof. Jain
specializes on the aesthetics of literature and is the author of
numerous books on Indian art and culture. Dr. Daljeet is the
curator of the Miniature Painting Gallery, National Museum, New
Delhi. They have both collaborated together on a number of
How to keep a Brass statue well-maintained?
Brass statues are known and appreciated for their exquisite beauty and luster. The brilliant bright gold appearance of Brass makes it appropriate for casting aesthetic statues and sculptures. Brass is a metal alloy composed mainly of copper and zinc. This chemical composition makes brass a highly durable and corrosion-resistant material. Due to these properties, Brass statues and sculptures can be kept both indoors as well as outdoors. They also last for many decades without losing all their natural shine.
Brass statues can withstand even harsh weather conditions very well due to their corrosion-resistance properties. However, maintaining the luster and natural beauty of brass statues is essential if you want to prolong their life and appearance.
In case you have a colored brass statue, you may apply mustard oil using a soft brush or clean cloth on the brass portion while for the colored portion of the statue, you may use coconut oil with a cotton cloth.
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