Surya (Pala)

Surya Pala

This is Surya and in Hindu belief system, Surya is considered the source of light and life.  Origin of Surya worship can be traced to the early Indian text, the Rigveda. Worship of  Surya as primary deity used to be very prevalent during Pala era (8th-12th centuries).

Even now it is a Pan-India practice to chant Gayatri mantra, invoking Sun god, in prayers and during some Hindu religious ceremonies. One translation of part of mantra reads,  ‘We meditate on the adorable glory of the radiant sun; may he inspire ourSurya pala back
 intelligence’.

In this example, two armed sun god is sitting in Padmasana on a double lotus pedestal. Surya’s hands are holding blossomed lotuses by their stem. Surya is wearing a conical crown. The details of jewellery are not clearly visible. There an oval base with beaded rim supporting the Padmapeetha. The front pedestal shows a horse. More common representation is  Surya riding a chariot driven by seven horses.

Seated Surya is rarer. Met museum has some examples (2009.225 and 1.987.142.353). Those examples are slightly larger.

The double lotus pedestal is one of the characteristics of Eastern India bronzes and another regional feature is the beaded rim.

This bronze is about 6.5 cms in height. The bronze is crusted, may be the result of being buried for long period. Experts views are welcome. Below is a picture of lower part of the front.

Surya bottom front

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