“Let us meditate on 5-faced Rudra who is shining like a clear crystal. Yellow, white, green, red and black are the colours of 5 faces. The Shiva is with long hairs with moon tied into them, he is with his consort Uma and has serpents as his ornaments.” By Madvacharya
Translated and provided by K Subodh Bhat
Five-headed and ten-armed Sadasiva is identified by his vahana, bull, below his left feet, his son Ganesha by his right knee and cobra on the right side of his torso.
Sadasiva’s attributes include prayer beads, drum, lotus flower, arrow, dagger, Mirga (antelope), Trishul, club(?), lotus bud, begging bowl and water container (Kamandala). The begging bowl and water container are held in the lowermost left hand.
Not all heads are attached to the body and this reminds of the depiction of Ravana with his ten heads. The primary head has a linga at the top of his crown. An unusual depiction of Siva with aniconic representation of himself.
Sadasiva means eternal Siva and another blog on this site has more details on Sadasiva.
Back is worked on and the nature of work is cursory. Uma’s left arm is broken but that does take away the importance of this bronze.
This bronze is most likely to have come from Northern Deccan/Maharastra. There is some folkish aspect to this bronze. Notice the bulging eyes.
By arranging the hands in three layers the craftsman has managed to create a complex sculpture (Five heads, ten arms and each with distinct attributes and three other figures) with elegance. See the profile picture.
This bronze is only 10 cm in height. This may date to the eighteenth/nineteenth century.
PS: This is one few forms where the deity carries Linga on their head. The fact the deity is Siva makes this one unusual. The other examples on this site are Mardhini and Mahalakshmi.