This is Subramanya, son of Siva and Parvati. Subramanya is another name for Palani Andavar or Andi, subject of another blog. Subramanya is predominantly a South Indian deity. North Indian/Nepal sculptures of Skanda or Karthikeya (other names for him) in a group with his parents, Siva and Parvati, or on his own exist.

Subramanya may be seated (on Padmasana or on a peacock) or standing;may have one or six faces: may have two or four or twelve hands. He may be on his own or with one or two consorts.

In this example, behind Subramanya is peacock, his vahana (carrier). The rSubramanya Backear hands are holding  Sakti (right) and  Vajra (left). Lower right hand is in Abhaya (protection) mudra and the left is in katyavalambita (resting on hip) mudra. Vajra is trident double form and translates to thunderbolt.  Sakti refers to weapon in the from of spear or lance. It is a warrior emblem. This sakti is not to be confused with Sakti referring to female counterpart of any god.

Subramanya is a guardian deity and is enshrined in almost every Siva temple. Subramanya in this form would have been accompanied by his consort Valli and Deivani. It is not unusual for the group to be separated.

This was collected, by the previous owner, in the first half of 20th century. It is not likely to be much older than that. There is no worship related wear and it is likely it was made for trade. Absence of details in the crown and stiff lower left hand are some of the indications that it was not made for worship.

This is about 33.7 cm in height. Normally standing Subramanya of this height are made as bhoga beras (processional image).




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