Yoga Rama Sita

Yoga sitaramaHere Rama is sitting on an inverted lotus with long petals, which in turn is supported by a square base with an extended ridge. The niche in front would have had his vahana (carrier) and in this case Hanuman, his ardent devotee. The Niche shows Eastern Indian influence.

Sitting in Padmasana his right hand is bent towards his torso with the loop formed by thumb and forefinger is touching the centre of his chest. This hand position is called Dahara mudra, contemplation of the Lord in the heart. (Thanks to SM for identifying this mudra, hand position). This is a yoga position/mudra. Refer to Yogarama for additional information.Yoga sitarama back

Rama’s left hand is resting on his knee. His consort, Sita, is sitting in Lalitasana with her left leg pendant. Sita is holding, what appears to be, a flower in her left hand and her right hand is holding Rama by his waist.

Rama’s ornaments include crown, elaborate earrings, necklaces and one of which has a large pendant, arm bands, wrist bands, some kind of scarf running from right arm to left around his back, anklets and rings on the fingers. His lower garment is about calf length.

Compared to Rama’s ornaments Sita looks bare. Interestingly Sita is looking up to Rama rather than facing the devotees.

Rama would have had precious metal or stones in his eyes. The side flares of his lower garment are quite stylised.

The styling of this bronze is very similar to Somaskandamurti (Fig 239/page 111)in Change and Continuity (Folk and Tribal Art of India), Lowe Art Museum.

The similarity square lower base with a niche, inverted lotus base, side flares of the lower garment, long earrings extending from crown and consort’s hair arrangements is striking. That bronze is dated to the 18th century and said to be possibly from Bengal.

The back is worked on and it is not a common feature for Bengal bronzes of an earlier period. Also to be noted is the way Rama’s long hair is tied. Could not help but try the knot with a piece of thin rope and it works.

It is likely that the bronze featured in this blog is from Eastern Deccan region (Northern Andhra Pradesh/Southern Orissa and not from Bengal as in the reference above). Thanks to DB for correcting place of origin. This is about 10 cm in height. It may not be earlier than the 18th century.

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