Mahalakshmi

 

MahalakshmiThis is Mahalakshmi, modelled after the presiding deity of Kolhapur. In her hands, she is holding a fruit, a mace, a shield and a cup. (Starting from her lower right hand Mahalakshmi rightclockwise). She is carrying a lingam in her head and the lingam is protected by a single hooded cobra. A lion, her vahana, is crouching in front of her. Here Mahalakshmi is sitting in Ardhapadmasana (Half lotus asana). An inverted lotus is supporting the base.

The identification as Mahalakshmi is based the attributes in her hands and her vahana.  The deity in Kolhapur is a standing one and has her vahana, lion, standing behind her.

For those of you wondering as to how Mahalakshmi is associated with Linga (Siva’s form), here is a paragraph from Prof S K Ramachandra Rao’s Pratima Kosha Volume 5 page 65.Mahalakshmi left

” Mahalakshmi is to be regarded NOT as the consort of Vishnu, but as the primordial energy manifesting herself as Maha-Saraswati, Maha-Lakshmi and Maha-Kali, from whom the three gods Brahma, Vishnu and Rudra (Siva) took shape to create, protect and dissolve the universe”.

The geometry of the bronze, with her vahana Lion standing in front of the goddess, is not uncommon for bronzes from North Karnataka. More common bronze is Cobra, Linga and Nandi organised linearly.

This bronze is most likely from North Karnataka/South Maharashtra area and probably dates to the nineteenth century. This bronze is about 9.5 cm in height and 8.5 cm in length.

 

 

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