Artists experiment with forms; in case of Lord Ganesha, it is him who
experiments with the artists’ power to innovate challenging them to
discover a form that the elephant headed god has not assumed before,
and every time their imagination falls short and the forms of Ganesha
outreach it. The artist of this cute tiny bronze statue has, however,
baffled the Great God and arrested him into a form before he could
take to it of his own and defeat his effort to innovate a new form.
Not merely that the artist has discovered a new theme for his figure
of Lord Ganesha, he has made a notable shift in his iconographic vision
too. A pot-belly and elephant head apart, he has conceived his figure
with normal two arms, not four or more with which his statues are
usually conceived, nor various arms and attributes carried in them.
Alike, his trunk is neither laid on his chest nor it is turned to left
as it usually does. It is rather upwards raised. He is putting on his
usual ornaments and a loincloth but the most essential of them all,
his towering crown which is also his helmet, is missing.
For giving his figure the look of one toiling hard for pulling forward
a cart the artist has completely revolutionized the form of Lord
Ganesha. An ordinary being with his divinity shed, Lord Ganesha has been
endowed with normal two arms, not four or more, and those too, not
with any divine attributes in them. Turned to his back where they hold
a chain these hands are dragging a cart on which his lavishly
bejeweled mount mouse rides. With his left foot placed ahead of the
right, his figure is making a forward thrust. His posture, especially
the suppressed left knee, reveals strain of toiling hard. In the
process both his belly and hips inflate and the stress reflects also
on his face. This stress reflects also in the action of his trunk.
Usually when enraged, sporting or toiling hard an elephant identically
raises its trunk.
With its upwards raised muzzle the mouse is looking at its master,
perhaps with indebtedness for his compassionate treatment of it.
Symbolically, with his rare divinity Lord Ganesha leads even the most
humble creature like a mouse to a divine destination redeeming it from
every kind of bondage. The statue seems to relate to a lesser known
myth according to which the mouse that served Ganesha as his mount was
a demon by the name Musaka. While it was doing a mischief Lord Ganesha
caught hold of it and subdued it. Redeemed of its evil nature Musaka
prayed Lord Ganesha to take it into his service. Lord Ganesha granted
his prayer and nominated it as his ‘vahana’ – vehicle. This origin of
the mouse that Lord Ganesha rides gives it its tremendous might to
carry over its tiny figure the massive form of Lord Ganesha.
Symbolically the statue represents Lord Ganesha leading Musaka to his
destination : his redemption.
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
Click Here to View the Reverse of this sculpture.
Your email address will not be published *
Send as free online greeting card
for saving your wish list, viewing past orders, receiving discounts, and lots more...
Email a Friend