Quantcast

Posts Tagged ‘Chandeshwarar’


Today we head back to Pullamangai - Brahmapurisvarar temple. A treasure trove of miniature panels and we are going to see a whole ….lost for the right phrase to describe it!! Want to say something that will sound - like when Steve Irwin lands up on a viper’s nest or a pool filled with crocs. Isn’t she a beauty! Crickey, she’s a fiesty one!! How else to describe these. One particular sculpture, where the master sculptor - the master creator that he is, has tried to create the creator likeness. Well, if a creator creates his creator’s likeness - who is the creator. Read on to understand why i say this.

A very important legend is sculpted into these panels. The legend of Shiva - the one without an end or a beginning, the omni potent and omni present, the legend of Lingothbhava. This is a very important sculpture and a concept that was entwined into later temple building canons to occupy a permanent position on the the Shivaite temple architecture - into the Vimanam, positioned on the rear of the sanctum.

The objective of this post is not to hurt anyone’s sentiments, but just a simple reproduction of the legend as required to explain the sculpture.

Ligothbhavar panel pullamangai

There are ofcourse umpteen things to notice in this panel.

so much to see

To start with we see the whole composition from far. There are 4 different parts of this sculpture and we will take each one in detail to view and study.

The main Lingothbhava sculpture.

closeup of the panel

The legend first - For the uninitiated, Hinduism’s basic trinity play a big role here - The creator ( must be five faced before this episode) Brahma, The preserver Vishnu and the destroyer Shiva. The story goes thus, once there arose an argument between Brahma and Vishnu, as to whose role / job was bigger and thus who was numer uno. As they kept on arguing, a huge pillar of fire emerged in front of them and a heavenly voice declared that whoever can find the start or end of the pillar is the best. Brahma took the form of a Swan and flew upwards to reach the summit and Vishnu took the form of a Boar and started digging down to find the base. They continued for ages without any success, when finally Vishnu gave up. Brahma on the other hand, noticed a flower falling down. He asked where was it coming from and the flower replied that it was falling down for ages from the top, not wanting to give up, Brahma convinced the flower to lie and brought it as proof to Vishnu to state that he had won the wager and collected the flower from the summit. At this point, from inside the fiery pillar Shiva burst forth and plucked out the lying head of Brahma ( he became 4 faced henceforth), and since he had lied, made a ruling that henceforth he wasn’t fit for worship ( so you generally don’t see Hindu Shrines dedicated to Brahma in India). Incidentally the said flower was also made unfit for worshiping within temples henceforth.

Both Brahma and Vishnu accepted that their ego had made them not realise the obvious that it was Shiva in front of them and he was Aaadhi andan ( endless, no beginning , no end). Now we return to the sculpture to view the characters.

Brahma flying upwards, Vishnu as the Boar boring down. Shiva (sadly badly mutilated) bursting from inside the pillar.

closeup of flying brahma
flying brahma
vishnu as varaaham
shiva emerging from the pillar

To the left and right, of this main panel - we see amazing sculptures of Brahma and Vishnu.

vishnu - on the other side
Vishnu closeup
brahma -on one side
closeup of brahma
brahma closer
brahma - what a beauty

The facial features of Brahma are so exquisite - despite the legend, the sculptor has not once missed to shape the creator’s likeness - So, if a creator creates his creator’s likeness - who is the creator

Hey, this is not a movie or play, to end with the title. We have more beauties to take notice and enjoy.

We have some spectacular miniatures below the main panel, which we will see one by one. The panels first

the left side bottom row panel
the left side first row panels
the right side first row panels
the right side lower row panel

We have already seen the famous Chandesaanugrahamurthy sculpture from Gangaikonda cholapuram. He is a pint sized beauty of the same. Shiva is shown fondly bedecking a flower garland on Chandesa’s head.

miniature panels - chandesaanugraha murthy

The next is Vishnu lying down on the coils of Adisesha with Lakshmi and another attendant.

mahavishnu on adisheshan with lakshmi and an attendant

This looks like Shiva and Paravathi - The posture seems to resemble Shiva as Gangadhara

shiva paarvati - is it a gangadhara

The other side, we have three attendants, heavenly beings or royal persons

three attendants

Next to them, is a very interesting miniature again - Shiva as Maha Sadhashiva. or is it Brahma??

shiva - mahasadhashiva or brahma

Down below, we come to the last miniature in the panel ( there are of course some lovely Yaali rows which we will see in another subsequent post)

shiva parvathi and a ghana

This has Shiva and Parvathi , kind of sitting on a throne with one leg bent ( upto the Knee) and kind of casually put on the throne. Its so amazing that they could sculpt to this detail in this scale. There is a cute Shiva Ghana by the side as well. Well inorder to truly appreciate the greatness of this we got to give you our signature photo - a scale comparison.

to give you an idea of the size of these miniatures

Satheesh’s masterstroke …another miniature from the same temple but with a car key by its side.

Picture courtesy’s are for our inhouse specialist Satheesh and Varalaaru.com archives.

Leave a comment »

We had earlier seen the story of Chandeswarar and caught a glimpse of this amazing beauty from Gangai konda cholapuram when we saw the Big temple Chandesa panel. To do full justice to this sculpture, here is an exclusive on my favorite sculpture from Gangai Konda Cholapuram. ( dont fail to notice the panel surrounding the main sculpture - which has a delightful sculptural representation of the chandesa story - read the linked post or the full story and verses)

Often i have argued that the pallava stone sculpture is the pinnacle of stone art. For their sculptures are not cramped into any set rule, rather the imagination of the sculpture is given a free hand and he sculpted the forms in fluid grace, the images would look breathed upon - ready to take life and walk away. One such Pallava master craftsmen seems to have been in the employment of Rajendra Chola - for this sculpture is the crowning glory of sculpture. That Such exquisite grace, such infinite beauty, such immaculate emotions, can be brought into stone - is sheer poetry in stone.

breathing life.jpg
chandesaanugramurhtigangaikondacholapuram.jpg
electric wires.jpg
longshot.jpg
the full panel.jpg

Chandesanugrahamurthi :

I thought it fit to use Dr. Nagaswamy’s words to describe the sculpture,

Siva seated on a throne with four arms carries axe and antelope in his upper arms; with the lower the Lord is seen crowning Chandesa with a garland of flowers, a symbol of affection and stewardship. Chandesa is seen seated in front and with folded arms receiving the pride of place bestowed on him by his Lord. Chandesa is the embodiment of devotion and piety and the place he attained is considered the highest, a devotee of Siva is privileged with. It is called the Chandisa padam, the abode of deliverance. According to Saiva Siddhanta Siva bestows this grace, in the company of Sakti, His consort. In the sculpture under reference, Parvati or Uma Parameswari as she is often described, is seated by the side of Her Lord. The treatment of ornaments, the portrayal of limbs and affection with which Siva is seen taking the garland around the head of Chandesa are suggestive and truly convey the supreme message of Saiva Siddhanta, the image seeks to depict. In the figure of Chandesa, Rajendra Chola has carved his own image. Sri C. Sivaramurti in his work ‘the Chola temples’ states that “The most remarkable carving here, the Chandesanugrahamurti panel, is almost a suggestion of the laurels won by Rajendra through the grace of Siva and he humbly presents himself as a devotee of Lord, who blessed Chandesa”.
On the side walls is shown the story of Chandesa; Chandesa worshipping Siva as a Linga; the cows standing by the side; his father watching the happenings hiding himself behind the branches of a tree; disturbing Chandesa’s worship; perturbed Chandesa throwing his axe at his father and Siva bestowing grace on both.

bestowing flowers.jpg
chandesaanugramurhtigangaikondacholapuram.jpg
closer.jpg
delightful.jpg
divine.jpg
majestic.jpg
sheer poetry.jpg
spectacular.jpg
splendid fluid grace.jpg
what grace.jpg

http://www.tamilartsacademy.com/books/gcpuram/chapter06.html

Picutre courtesy: Ravages & Mohandoss ( flickr friends), Saathmeeka ( ponniyinselvan egroup)

Leave a comment »

 Page 1 of 2  1  2 »