Though the Shiva’s son and a deity in Shaivite line, Ganesha is not
linked to dissolution – primary cosmic function of his father; he
rather renders the process of creation detriments free and helps
sustain it by his sheer benevolence and auspices without directly
operative against any, good or evil. Thus, Lord Ganesha is far more but
essentially the deity who sustains and protects by his mere presence.
Whatever the weapons in hands, four or any number of them, wisdom is
the main tool of Lord Ganesha by which he operates and which he infuses
into his devotees. Hence, it is not strange that both, Lakshmi : the
goddess representing sustenance, and Saraswati : the goddess of
wisdom, are alike associated with Parvati’s son, the valiant Ganesha.
In its simple portrayal the wood panel illustrates this essence of
Lord Ganesha. Of his abundant iconographic forms the carver has used
three, all four-armed, carrying alike in them goad, noose, broken tusk
and a piece of sweet, all, pot-belled, wearing identical crowns,
ornaments, belly-bands and antariyas except their colours, golden for
the central figure and green for those on sides, and the same gesture
of arms and an identical seating posture, but the dimensional breadth
of the representation is immense and as far goes its symbolism.
The presiding form of Lord Ganesha, one enshrining the axis of the
defined space, symbolic of the known cosmos, is lotus-seated Ganapati.
Lotus being the manifest form of Lakshmi, this form of Ganesha
represents his Lakshmi-Ganapati manifestation. Ganesha representing
benevolence, auspiciousness and freedom from detriments and
inauspicious, and Lakshmi, prosperity, abundance, fertility and
beauteous, Lakshmi-Ganesha is thus the most potent instrument of
sustenance. Flanking the central deity on the left is the lion-riding
form of Ganesha. The mount of Durga, in her all manifestations, Parvati
and others, lion represents the avenging goddess and the nurturing
mother Durga. This form of Ganesha represents him as the valiant
protector and destroyer of the wicked, another aspect of sustaining
the creation and maintaining cosmic balance. The form on the right of
the centre is the Ganapati’s own mouse-riding form. As the mouse
pierces all material layers in between and reaches its target, wisdom,
with its deep penetrating insight resolves the mysteries facing it. As
Saraswati is the wisdom’s presiding goddess, this form of Ganesha is
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 care for Wood Statues?
Wood is extensively used in sculpting especially in countries like China, Germany, and Japan. One feature that makes the wood extremely suitable for making statues and sculptures is that it is light and can take very fine detail. It is easier for artists to work with wood than with other materials such as metal or stone. Both hardwoods, as well as softwood, are used for making sculptures. Wood is mainly used for indoor sculptures because it is not as durable as stone. Changes in weather cause wooden sculptures to split or be attacked by insects or fungus. The principal woods for making sculptures and statues are cedar, pine, walnut, oak, and mahogany. The most common technique that sculptors use to make sculptures out of wood is carving with a chisel and a mallet. Since wooden statues are prone to damage, fire, and rot, they require proper care and maintenance.
It is extremely important to preserve and protect wooden sculptures with proper care. A little carelessness and negligence can lead to their decay, resulting in losing all their beauty and strength. Therefore, a regular clean-up of the sculptures is a must to prolong their age and to maintain their shine and luster.
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