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Nataraja is the most popular representation of the Hindu God Shiva. In Sanskrit, Nata means dance and raja means Lord. Shiva therefore is the 'King of Dancers'. To understand the concept of Nataraja we have to understand the idea of dance itself. Like yoga, dance induces trance, ecstasy and the experience of the divine. In India consequently, dance has flourished side by side with the te
Nataraja is the most popular representation of the Hindu God Shiva. In Sanskrit, Nata means dance an
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The urdhvatandava stance of the dancing Shiva is immortalised in the ancient Thillai Nataraja temple in Cidambaram. The murti that you see on this page depicts the Nataraja in this stance: the right leg is raised high behind the spine, such that the sole of the foot almost touches the back of His crown. Sculpted from pure brass, the dancing figure is balanced on the toes of the left foot. The Lord
The urdhvatandava stance of the dancing Shiva is immortalised in the ancient Thillai Nataraja temple
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This brass-statue represents a winged Naga-kanya, a maiden with a serpent’s lower half. Almost all ancient mythologies world-over comprise the concept of half man-half serpent and half maiden-half serpent, often interacting with the world of man. As regards the cult of man-serpent mixed forms, Indian mythology is far more elaborate though strangely while it talks with definiteness about diff
This brass-statue represents a winged Naga-kanya, a maiden with a serpent’s lower half. Almost all
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Lord Hanuman sits down balanced on a single knee. He sets the mace down to His right, and gathers His hands in the namaskaram mudra. This mudra conveys an acknowledgement of the divine contained within the entity afore oneself. In the case of the great Hanuman, it is none other than Lord Rama before whom He bows. The face with the protruding jaws that bear striking resemblance to a monkey.
Lord Hanuman sits down balanced on a single knee. He sets the mace down to His right, and gathers Hi
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The saptamatrka is a set of interesting deities from the Hindu pantheon. They are the maternal manifestations (‘matrikas’) of seven (‘sapta’) Hindu devas; and, as divine manifestations, are distinct from the wives and companions of those devas. Devi Varahi, whose murti you see on this page, is one of the saptamatrkas. She is the ashtabhujadhari (eight-armed) maternal manifestation of Lord
The saptamatrka is a set of interesting deities from the Hindu pantheon. They are the maternal manif
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Shadakshari Lokeshvara, the supreme soul (‘ishvara’) of the realm of existence (‘loka’) wherein it thrives, a manifestation of the six (‘shad’) syllables (‘akshara’) of om-mani-Padme-hm, is a form of the Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara. He is mentioned in the sixth form of the Sadhanamala. The name Chenrezig has its origin in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition. A solemn, bitone sculpture o
Shadakshari Lokeshvara, the supreme soul (‘ishvara’) of the realm of existence (‘loka’) wher
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This large mythical bird is a representation of birth and heaven and an enemy of snakes, carrying amalgamated features of an eagle and human. Here it sits on a large stylized throne crowned with long and fancy peacock feathers and two peacock torsos heading out at the seat from either side. Garuda is the vahana of Lord Vishnu and appears in both Hindu and Buddhist mythology. It is carved here
This large mythical bird is a representation of birth and heaven and an enemy of snakes, carrying am
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Over the years, Buddhist-Tantric traditions have incorporated numerous elements of Hinduism. Its deities are no exception: they have varied iconographies in different, predominantly Buddhist countries. The murti that you see on this page is of the Japanese Devi Durga. She is known as Butsu-Mo or Koti-Sri and is worshipped as a wrathful protectoress. The Japanese Durga is seated in padmasana on a l
Over the years, Buddhist-Tantric traditions have incorporated numerous elements of Hinduism. Its dei
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The saptamatrka is a set of interesting deities from the Hindu pantheon. They are the maternal manifestations (‘matrikas’) of seven (‘sapta’) Hindu devas; and, as divine manifestations, are distinct from the wives and companions of those devas. Devi Varahi, whose murti you see on this page, is one of the saptamatrkas. She is the ashtabhujadhari (eight-armed) maternal manifestation of Lord
The saptamatrka is a set of interesting deities from the Hindu pantheon. They are the maternal manif
Views: 154
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Hindu religion is a massive expanse spanning countless sects, traditions, and cultures. While some are just nice and elegant, some go beyond the societal norms to realize their spiritual quest. In her essence, Kali is the divine protector of her devotees, protecting them from the forces of evil, and bestows her grace upon those who open their hearts to her. This brass statue depicts kali in her fi
Hindu religion is a massive expanse spanning countless sects, traditions, and cultures. While some a
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It is not just His childlike innocence that makes Ganesha one of the most popular deities of the Indian pantheon. The adorable form of a chubby little boy, His generosity with blessings and boons, and that unfailing love of laddoos - so much so that His iconography is incomplete without a bunch of the delectable Indian sweetmeat in the picture - endear Him to His devotees. The fateful Samudra-Mant
It is not just His childlike innocence that makes Ganesha one of the most popular deities of the Ind
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Buddhism was first very important solely among the people of Tibet, but it gradually increased in popularity all over the world. Gautama Buddha, the first Buddha to achieve enlightenment, founded it. Tibet worships Buddha as a supernatural being rather than a deity and his teachings are a significant source of positivity and harmony among his followers. Buddha mudras and postures are examples of s
Buddhism was first very important solely among the people of Tibet, but it gradually increased in po
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Lord Buddha is the embodiment of peace, compassion, and happiness. The variation in the iconography of Buddha statues reflects through various hand gestures and sitting postures. In this idol, Buddha’s right hand is in Vitarka Mudra representing him in the state when he is transmitting teachings to the disciples while his left hand holds a begging bowl for alms. Exotic India presents a brass sta
Lord Buddha is the embodiment of peace, compassion, and happiness. The variation in the iconography
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Balaji is considered Lord Vishnu's Kaliyug Avatar. Lord Tirupati Balaji is believed to be so powerful that mere sight of the idol is enough to emancipate a man from a lifetime of suffering. Lord Venkateshwara is a full four-armed representation of Vishnu. But only two are visible from the front. Lord Balaji is shown having a U-shaped tilak on his forehead which is the signature style to descr
Balaji is considered Lord Vishnu's Kaliyug Avatar. Lord Tirupati Balaji is believed to be so po
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Goddess Durga created seven Matrikas from her own self and battled against the demon Raktabija. Devi Varahi, one of them is the female counterpart of Varaha, the boar Avatar of Lord Vishnu. The Goddess who is the regent of the southern direction and protector of the age is sometimes described as the Goddess of darkness and the ideal time for worshipping her is after sunset and midnight. Some templ
Goddess Durga created seven Matrikas from her own self and battled against the demon Raktabija. Devi
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A seated Green Tara murti of substantial proportions. Queen of the Buddhist heavens, the epitome of karuna (compassion), metta (natural kindness), and shunyata (nothingness), She is a bodhisattva in the Mahayana tradition and a buddha in Vajrayana. On a petal-embossed throne, She sits, with the right foot cradled by a minuscule bloom in the foreground.n This is a signature aspect of the iconograph
A seated Green Tara murti of substantial proportions. Queen of the Buddhist heavens, the epitome of
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The beauty of the Devi Kali lies in Her ferocity and invincibility. The very picture of Her is enough to make the adharmee tremble with fear. Each of Her ten arms ('dasha' in Sanskrit means 'ten'; 'bhuja', 'arm') bears a deadly weapon of divine prowess. She uses them to slay adharmees, whose severed heads are hanging in the garland that hangs down Her neck a
The beauty of the Devi Kali lies in Her ferocity and invincibility. The very picture of Her is enoug
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Nara-Narayana, sages who were the incarnations of Bhagavan Vishnu were deep into austerities when Devas alarmed by their powers, sent celestial nymphs to disrupt their effort. Reacting to this nuisance, Narayana placed a lotus flower on his thigh, from which an unmatchable beauty emerged. She was Urvashi, the maiden whose beauty put to shame all the women of the Devlok. Among the many lessons from
Nara-Narayana, sages who were the incarnations of Bhagavan Vishnu were deep into austerities when De
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This brass image of Ganapati, small in size but immeasurable in its magnificence and grandeur, defines his Vira Ganapati – the ‘valiant warrior’ form, one of his initial thirty-four classical forms which early texts, the eighth century Maudgalya Purana in special, have identified or conceived. Though exceptionally beautiful and endowed with divine aura, Vira Ganapati, primarily a votive form
This brass image of Ganapati, small in size but immeasurable in its magnificence and grandeur, defin
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She is the fairest Devi of the Hindu pantheon. She strums Her veena, cradled on the lap of a divine lotus. She lulls Her devotees with Her music and Her charm. She is the wife and the loved one (‘priya’) of Lord Brahma, who presides over the creative process (termed ‘srshti’ in Indian philosophy). She is the Devi of learning and the arts, crucial to that process. She is Devi Sarasvati, the
She is the fairest Devi of the Hindu pantheon. She strums Her veena, cradled on the lap of a divine
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Krishna is the most popular subject of choice for artistes in India. The predominant deity to be featured in paintings and sculptors, is because He is to most Hindus the superlative of all Indian deities. He is portrayed as the most handsome of youths, the calmest and wisest of minds to have descended on ihloka (our actual realm of existence), and the most divine of all flutists. The stance that H
Krishna is the most popular subject of choice for artistes in India. The predominant deity to be fea
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Krishna or Kanhaiyya is the major deity in Hinduism. He is revered as the God of love, compassion and tenderness. He is also regarded as the eighth avatar of God Vishnu. He is reflected through the legends of Mahabharata, Bhagavada purana and Bhagavad Gita, portraying him as God's child, a lover and a divine hero. Janmashtami, his birthday, is celebrated, with great enthusiasm, as son
Krishna or Kanhaiyya is the major deity in Hinduism. He is revered as the God of love, compassion an
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This image is that of Dakini Vajrayogini. A Dakini is the most important female principle in Tantric Buddhism, representing the ever-changing flow of female energy. They are the guardians of teachings and are considered the supreme embodiments of wisdom. The Dakini can help change human weaknesses into wisdom and understanding, and the concept of self into enlightened energy. There are two kinds o
This image is that of Dakini Vajrayogini. A Dakini is the most important female principle in Tantric
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Harihara is a lesser-known deity from the Hindu pantheon. He emerges from the amalgamation of Vishnu and Shiva, the preserver and destroyer of the trinity right after Brahma the creator. The sublime serenity of Vishnu meets the fierce stance of Shiva in this composite deity. A number of defining contrasts characterise this composition. Shiva's jaatmukuta to Vishnu's golden crown; Shiva&#
Harihara is a lesser-known deity from the Hindu pantheon. He emerges from the amalgamation of Vishnu
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The primordial female energy, the invisible Shakti (power) that is the basis of all our actions, armed with the power of all the gods, becomes the great goddess, Durga. The slayer of Mahishaur- Mahishasurmardini and the mother of the universe, Jagadamba, Devi Durga is the female element at the peak of its beauty and ferocity. In the terms of Hindu esoteric philosophy, Maa Durga among many things i
The primordial female energy, the invisible Shakti (power) that is the basis of all our actions, arm
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