Mahashakti (Gujarat)

This Goddess is identified as Mahashakti. For lack of any better identification, I am continuing with the name the seller gave. Definitely a Shakti from the Saivite tradition.

Here the four-armed goddess is holding a Trishul, a Trishul/Bell combination and a water pot. Starting from the upper right hand clockwise. The lower right hand is in Varada Mudra (boon bestowing)

The attribute in her upper right hand, a combination of Trishul and bell, is similar in form to what the Mardhini from Gujarat is holding in her top left hand.

Mahashakti is sitting in lalitasana on her vahana, a lion. The way she is sitting on her vahana, not flush, is very typical of Vigrahas from the Gujarat region.

The styling of the pedestal, the flat design of the prabhavali, Kalash on the top, the studs attaching the deity to the Prabhavali, Vahana’s features and Mahashakti’s crown all point to Gujarat (Western India) as the origin for this Vigraha.

This Vigraha is about 11 cm in height. Going by the wear on her face, this may be dated to the seventeenth century.

Reference: Swarnakamal 1995 Heritage of Metallic art of Gujarat. A publication by The Department of Museum, Gujarat State.

11 Nov 2021: Interestingly Hindu and Jain iconographies overlap. Below is one such example.

The photo on our right is from the book Treasures of the Heras institute, 1976, by Kalpana Desai. It is one of the sixteen Mahavidyas (Goddess of knowledge) from the Jain faith. In that book, the Goddess is identified as Mahamanasi and some identify her as Mahakali. Both are of Jain faith. At the top of the Vigraha is a Jina. Baring the seated Jina figures the iconography (attributes and vahana) match. This is not an isolated example. It is a study by itself.

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