Today, we are seeing another interesting pillar from Tiruparankundram – two natural enemies coming together in a show of tender motherly affection and care. Thankfully, the authorities haven’t tried their hand at exhibiting their ignorance and tried to decipher this legend and instead have just simply named it as Shiva and Tiruvilaiyadal Puranam. ( unlike the previous one where they named Shiva as Varaahi !!). The mindless iron railing, anchored on a priceless piece of art and to add insult to injury the thick coir ropes, make you retch. Isn’t there anyone who can campaign their cause at all !!
This is such a rare depiction, maybe the only one of its kind – a sculpture relating to a very lovely act of Lord Shiva, from the Tiruvilayadal Puranam of Vembathur Nambi.
For starters, how do we confirm that this is indeed Shiva? Simple, look for his attributes.
Pretty simple ahh. You cant miss the Axe and the deer !! ( unless ofcourse you are the temple authorities – naming shiva as varaahi!!)
But then what is so unique about this pillar sculpture? Check out what is in Shiva’s hands.
This does look like a tiger. See how Shiva is holding it like an infant on his hip!!
But then this, is a stunner.
His other hand carries a fawn and it seems to be suckling from the tiger’s udder!!
Yes, its correct. The legend goes that a lactating mother deer, comes to a lake to quench its thirst, when its felled by a hunter. As it breathes its last, the mother languishes at the plight of its just born fawn. Overcome but its motherly love, Lord Shiva , comes to the rescue of the fawn by having it suckle from a tiger that was nearby.
We have seen many poses of shiva, his role as a destoryer, his fiery dance – but here in this unique pillar sculptures – of Shiva – himself taking the form of a mother pig to suckle piglets and now – having a tiger suckle the fawn – natural enemies but then mysterious are his ways. Such a poetic way of expressing the infinite grace of Shiva, his tender heart and wonderful depiction.