We saw the Cambodian version of the humbling of Ravana by Shiva when he tried to uproot Mount Kailash in an earlier post. This is another interesting depiction from Ellora.
This verse has been sung often in Shivite saint Appar’s works, but those have been discussed in depth in the tamil version of this post. However, crux of the story is Ravana is stuck and humbled. To what extent. Have a look at the sculpture.
You can see the massive twenty armed, ten headed asura stretched underneath the mount, on top the sublime divine calmness in the faces ( though heavily damaged) of Shiva and Parvati are still evident.
If you notice carefully, Shiva Bootha Gana - demon assistants are making fun of ravana. As you face the image to the left, you can see a Gana making obscene gestures by bending down and showing his back to ravana, while the other one has taken a stick and is hitting his knuckles. On to the right the little gana pulls out his tongue and is making faces at him. What an insult to the King of Lanka.
To get to truly appreciate the composition i kept this picture ( of a friend) to the last - now you get a fair idea of the size and scale of this sculpture.
Btw, how did Ravana get out of this predicament, and how he was humbled many more times we will see in coming posts, along with some more beautiful depictions of the above story in various places.
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Looks like even Gods have domestic quarrels….spotted this superb composition in a temple renovation group recently
http://picasaweb.google.com/reach.foundation.india/BairaveswaraTempleSholapuram/photo#5151797745278369842 This form is called Shiva Gangadhara….when the divine ganges is ordered to flow to the earth ( Bagiratha’s penance…Oh thats another thread by itself) she is filled with anger…her ego…she is filled with rage that she has to leave her divine abode and gushes with all her might to wash away the earth……well she didnt contend with the power of shiva….he handles or rather humbles her… you can see shiva holding up just two strands of his hair…for her to descend into….caught in his locks…breaking her fall and then he lets her fall gently to the ground….
This interesting episode forms the plot of Pallava Mahendra’s amazing cave in trichy rock fort ….he called it lalithangura pallava griham…thats another post as well.
Ok but how does our sculptor see this episode…the divine river is a ravishing beauty…and she has taken temporary refuge in the Lord’s locks….this causes his consort Parvathi to take offense…afterall its competition and she begings to walk away…and then our poor man is trying to cajole and console her to stay… see the mastery in stone here in solapuram and also in gangai konda cholapuram GKC images tks to http://www.kumbakonam.info/kumbakonam/gkchopu/images/vimsta/viar16.jpg
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