The pull of Pullamangai is so strong that we are not able to leave its premises soon. So we return with another splendid masterpiece captured spectacularly by Arvind once again. This is also a request for readers to spend a few more minutes on their temple visits to take photos with an inclination to share with us - a slight shift from the general pattern of posing in front of a sculpture to show people that you have been there and taking it for its artistic value. Thanks to the digital age, it costs nothing but a few minutes, a steady hand and some creative props.
Sri Arvind has done exactly that.
Hi, this is not an advertisement of handphones !! You will realise the need for this picture once you finish reading the post and seeing this remarkable sculpture.
The ardhanari aspect of Shiva - as the half man half women ( maybe wrongly titled hermaphrodite in some sites), its signifies the larger concept of equality of man and women, of equal sharing of everything including the self - such a far reaching concept has been depicted beautifully in stone here.
There are umpteen references to this form in the thevaram verses, but chose this one adds the Lord’s bull mount as well.
when the good natured lady who has breasts like the lid of the casket is one half of his body.the god, Civaṉ who rides on a bull. as he entered into my mind wearing a young crescent which has no comparison and water which reached him. fever, cold fits, the ten vital airs of the body, excessive bile, acts are of such of a good nature as not to afflict us reaching us.
Translation: V.M.Subramanya Aiyar–Courtesy: French Institute of Pondichery / EFEO (2006)
The beauty of this composition is reflected in the masterly craft of the stone sculptor. Its indeed difficult to sculpt the majestic manly pose of shiva in stone, but to merge it with the feminine grace of Parvathi without loosing the form of the figure is indeed masterclass.
Lets look at the two halves separately, you can see how the masculine and feminine aspects have been accentuated to come up with a hybrid composite.
This expertise of the sculptor is seen this masterly understanding of human form and anatomy. Just see his hands sculpt the composite waistline.
The slightly erect shoulders of shiva while compared to the gently curved ones of Parvathi.
Have highlighted his strokes so that you can better enjoy the superlative stonecraft.
The manly stance of shiva brought out by the slightly bent leg to balance the frame as against the sublime grace of the devi’s, in the background - The bull ( Nandhi) with its stance, the folds of its skin, wow.
But we are not finished yet, for the beauty of this sculpture is in its size.
Truely, no canvas is too small for this master sculptor.