Salvation while being Lynched – Part 2 – Ellora

We had earlier seen the Andhaka Legend in detail. Today, we are seeing another depiction of the same legend in one of the inner wall sculptures of Ellora.

Sadly the sculpture is much worn out and we cannot make much out of the facial features. Yet this seems to be a slightly more sedate depiction or maybe the last act of surrender of Andhaka – so brilliantly depicted by the sculpture, has calmed shiva’s anger.

For even without the intricate facial expressions, there seem to be some gentleness in the way Shiva is holding up the speared Andhaka – almost in a tender manner. But the depiction of the speared Andhaka – is spectacular – the trident has passed clean through his torso and he is impaled on it – but you can see him raising his hands and submitting to the divine grace of shiva.

Down below, we see a visibly unmoved, rather firm posture of Parvathi – unfortunately very much damaged, we cant clearly see what is depicted – but you can vaguely make out the shape of a demon holding a club/mace in his hand ( under the left feet of shiva) – shiva seems to be stamping on him – maybe this is act 1 of the legend, with Andhaka trying to go for Parvathi!!!

Amazing sculpture, beautiful depiction of Andhaka.

Salvation while being lynched – Ellora

We saw the sculpture of Gajasamharam previously, today we take Adhakasamharam. Since we saw a minitature last time around, lets take a massive one for a change – An amazing sculpture from Ellora.

As usual the story first, once while Shiva was in deep meditation, a sporting Paravathi playfully covered the three eyes of Shiva with her soft hands. Immediately the entire cosmos was bereft of light, became just an expanse of darkness. the heat from the third eye of shiva caused beads of sweat to form on Parvathi’s hands. Out of this came a ugly, angry baby who was blind with matted hair – Andhaka ( the blind one). He was given away to the demon Hiranyaksa ( who was childless and prayed for an offspring) . Hiranyaksha was killed by Vishnu and in due course Andhaka grew up to be no better. He did severe penance to strengthen himself – tearing his body flesh to offer – Brahma finally obliged with a boon – for Andhaka wanted vision and divine vision and deathlessness. Brahma couldnt oblige with this – and asked him to vary his. – There is a version that in his deep heart Andhaka wanted to see his mother, so he asked a boon that if every he lusted for his mother he would die but slowly. Having recd the boon, he harrassed every mortal and did not leave the celestial at peace either. He lusted after the divine women and chased them to the heavens. There he heard of the beauty of Parvathi and destiny drove him to his death. Shiva speared him and in that moment he hung there for eternity – atlast seeing his divine parents.

Now See the masterfull depiction in sculpture ( at a towering 15 feet – the proportions are immaculate) – Parvathi being scared of the approaching demon and the fight – holds her hand to her bosom to calm her heart beat. Shiva as usual is mad with rage, eye balls popping out, fangs bared – he painfully spears his own offspring – but the pinnacle of the sculpture is the depiction of the speared Andhaka, despite all his pain and impending miserable death – turns back with folded hands, offers respects to his beloved parents. Maybe the Lord is not fair at times, for what wrong did Andhaka do – to be born blind and as an ugly creature, because of a playful act of his parents, abandoned among demons in his infancy ………once you read the story, you are filled with pity for him, amazing that the sculptor managed to bring this emotion into his creation.