Shiva and his family

Shiva with Family

This is Siva, his wife Parvati and their two children Ganesha and Karthikeya. A unique family in the Hindu Pantheon, where are the family members are worshipped together and individually.

Parvati or Uma is sitting on Shiva’s left thigh. Shiva’s rear hands are holding Ankusha and Mirga and his front hands are in Varada (boon bestowing) and Abhaya (protection) mudras. Shiva’s left front arm is close to Parvati’s upper body on the side. If it were just Shiva and Parvati, they will be called Umamaheshwara. So far, I have not come across a name for the family group. What do you suggest?Siva with family back

Parvati is holding a lotus bud in her left hand and her right-hand embraces Shiva. One thing missing is Parvati’s vahana. Not unusual for her Vahana to be missing when she accompanies her husband, Shiva.

Shiva’s vahana, Nandi, is sitting in front of them and faces Shiva and Parvati.

Four-armed Ganesha (on Shiva’s right) and two-armed Karthikeya (on the left) are seated on their respective Vahanas, mouse and peacock respectively. Ganesh and Karthikeya are the sons of Shiva and Parvati.

The back view shows provision for prabhavali. Shiva’s hair locks is an interesting detail.

This Vigraha is from Orissa. The Vigraha is about 8 cm in height and this may be dated to the seventeenth century.

A similar Vigraha is published in the book Change and Continuity: Folk and Tribal Art of India (catalogue item 239 and page 111). For some reasons, the author has identified the Vigraha as Somaskanda. Incorrectly in my view.

Despite the wear, this Vigraha has a strong presence.

There is one more Vigraha of Shiva and his family on this blog site and it is from the Pala period.


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