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There are always trick questions and this is one such. When you murthis with multiple consorts how would you distinguish between them. Are there standard right left positioning - like Vishnu with Sridevi and Bhudevi, how would you distinguish between them. You might ask, why to seek, but then each are expected to bless you with a different gift hamper.

This is especially true when only one is found as part of a buried horde. The answer is pretty simple of course, Iconographic guidelines stipulate that Sridevi always comes with a Kuchabandha or breast band, whereas Bhudevi is without.

Let us test this out in. The Vishnu cave ( Olipathi vishnu griham) in Malaiyadipatti has a depiction of Vishnu with his consorts.

malaiyadiappatti

Lets step in closer to view the costumes of the two ladies.

sridevi+bhoodevi+malaiyadipatti
bhoodevi+malaiyadipatti
sridevi+malaiyadipatti

You can clearly make out the distinctions between the two of them.

Let us know see this wonderful 10 C CE bronze currently on exhibit at the London Museum.

vishnu+consorts

We will study the evolution of the Vishnu bronze images including a few early period bronzes shortly, but for the purpose of today’s study, lets just analyse the distinction in wearing the Kuchabandha.

boodevi
sridevi
vishnu

Lets go closer to Sridevi

sridevi+breastband
sridevi+kuchabanda

You can see that she clearly wears the Kuchabhanda.

Now for Bhudevi, who doesn’t wear it.

closeup
no+kuchabanda

Now, comes the small niggle. The display board under Bhudevi reads as ” Here she wears the characteristic Kuchabandha or breast band‘ which is wrong. She is not wearing in this bronze nor does she ever portrayed as wearing under iconographic canons.

board
wrong+label

Hope the authorities in the London Museum can make this small correction.

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Category: Sculpture

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This entry was posted on Friday, June 17th, 2011 at 15:50 and is filed under . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

14 Comments so far

Udanx
  1  

VJ,

Kacha - Doesn’t it mean hip or waist?

June 17th, 2011 at 16:06
  2  

These restrictions get more and more crystallized as time goes on; in earlier periods, it’s not reliable… Take a look at Mahalakshmi at Varaha cave ( https://picasaweb.google.com/trshash84/Mamallapuram#5513295321051325346 ) where this rule isn’t followed.

But it’s followed again in later works (like GKC: https://picasaweb.google.com/trshash84/GangaikondaCholapuramWithTheLucidCrowd#5580554100839191250).

When did the Agamas crystallize? How do you identify in the early period?

June 17th, 2011 at 17:38
  3  

Hi Shash

Early Pallava had a lot of freedom. However, basing on this is a little difficult, since she is the process of a taking a ceremonial bath !!

vj

June 17th, 2011 at 17:43
Pradeep Chakravarthy
  4  

Sridevi always has her right hand in lola hastha. there is also some converntion on which floer they hold - lotus or lilly.

June 18th, 2011 at 21:27
  5  

Kachai - kind of blouse

KUCHA-BANDHANA An ornament for the (female) breast.
Kucha-bandhana-samyuktarh bahu-mala-vibhushini

June 20th, 2011 at 9:44
  6  

Thanks for this informative post on bhu devi.

June 30th, 2011 at 3:53
Prasanna
  7  

Is this the same for valli and deivayanai?

July 13th, 2011 at 16:49
Narasimhan Srinivasan
  8  

I saw Shashwath’s picassa web collection. How can we be sure that the female deity depicted there in is Bhudevi. I strongly feel it is Sridevi simply because other than her attendants, she is surrounded by two elephants. That makes it Gajalakshmi because Bhudevi near appears surrounded by elephants. Besides it is Sridevi who is Lakshmi where is Bhoodevi represents the earth.

July 14th, 2011 at 10:59
  9  

dear NS

I think you misunderstood his point. there is no doubt that the Mallai varaha sculpture is that of Laxmi / GajaLaxmi. Shash’s question is the depiction there without the KuchaBandana - my reply being that its a bathing scene.

rgds
vj

July 14th, 2011 at 11:09
Narasimhan Srinivasan
  10  

But VJ on seeing the picassa snap of Shashwath, this thought came to me. When the deity in question (if it is one) is in the process of taking bath or being bathed, where is the question of her wearing or not wearing a Kuchabandha?? If she is standing alone or with the Lord as in Malaiyadipatti and is in a blessing pose (whether standing or in Padmasana), then only the question of distinguishing her identity arises (with and without the Kuchabandha). Am I correct??

July 14th, 2011 at 11:59
தேவ்
  11  

ப்ரஸன்னா அவர்களின் வினா நியாயமானது.

வல்லீ தேவஸேநாபதி -

http://www.lotussculpture.com/images/36b60/36b60z.jpg

வலப்புறம் - தெய்வயானை - கற்புமணம்
இடப்புறம் - வள்ளி - காதல்மணம்

இடப்புறம் வள்ளிக்கு மார்க்கச்சு இல்லை

தேவ்

July 21st, 2011 at 14:53
GRS
  12  

In Sanskrit - Kucha means ‘female breast’.

Check out this: http://spokensanskrit.de/index.php?script=HK&beginning=0+&tinput=kucha&trans=Translate&direction=AU

September 7th, 2011 at 7:34
  13  

Thanks for the indepth info. I would like to be enlightened with regard to the thread (poonol) Bhudevi is wearing whereas Sridevi does not have one.

January 28th, 2012 at 21:50
  14  

ஸ்ரீதேவி என்பது மனைவியையும் பூதேவி என்பது அவரது நாட்டையும் குறிக்கும். எந்தத் தமிழ்த்தெய்வங்களுக்கும் இரண்ட் மனைவியர் கிடையாது. முருகனின் மனைவி வல்லி ம்ட்டுமே. முருகன் எங்குட்டுவனே; அவனது மனைவி வல்லி செங்குட்டுவனின் தாய்மாமன் கரிகால்= திருமாவளவனின் மகளே. இதனைப் பழந்தமிழ்[சங்க]ப் பாடல்களும் சிலப்பதிகாரமும் உறுதிப்படுத்து கின்றன. தேவசேனா என்பது பெண் அல்ல. தேவர்களின் சேனையை வென்று படையினர் அனைவரையும் கைப்பற்றியதையே தேவசேனாவை மணந்ததாகக் காட்டியுள்ளனர். திருச்சந்தூரில் வல்லிக்கு மட்டுமே பள்ளியறை உண்டு; தேவசேனா பெண் அல்ல என்பதால் பள்ளியறை எதுவும் கிடையாது. மேலும் திருச்சந்தூரில் தனது தந்தை முசுகுந்த பரசுராம சிவனைச் சேர்க்காமல் தனது தாய்மாமன் திருமாவளவனை மட்டுமே சேர்த்துள்ளனர் என்பது குறிப்பிடத்தக்கது. ஏலும் இத்தகவல்களை றிய எனது வலைத்தளத்தில் காணவும்.

March 26th, 2014 at 20:59

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