A tribute to Shiva.

Kiratarjuniya panel, Mahabalipuram:

I would wonder whether this panel is a tribute to Lord Shiva or a tribute to the beautiful verses of Bharavi's poetry on the Mahabharata. None the less, there seems to have been a beautiful merger of sculpture, architecture and poetry in this era. As you can see i am pretty overwhelmed by this whole thing.

Here stands Shiva, very clearly surrounded by ganas. The man in meditaion on one foot is either Arjuna or Bhagiratha. We have a view of all the celestials, the gandharvas, the kinnaras, so on and so forth. The reason again for this repetition is that I am seriously tending to believe that they exist, are not visible through normal eye sight but estabhish their presence from the spirit world in rather strange ways.

So much for my strange beliefs which seems to get reinforced only by ancient mythological panels and nothing else!!! somewhere i do hope am right.


ஜீவா (Jeeva Venkataraman) said...

When I first saw that sculputure, I thought it was Muruga for the for the presence of spear (or is it something else?).
Since from the 'arjuna's penance' section, it makes sense to assume its shiva.
Or there any other indications? Is there a crecent moon?

Interesting to see being inspired by the myth and its invisible presence!

Anonymous said...

i recently visited mahabalipuram and saw this sculpture in person. according to the guide who gave us a tour, this is arjuna during penance with shiva.

Saurabh Saxena said...

Story of descent of Ganges seems more appropriate to this panel where Bhagirath is shown in penance and Shiva granted his wish and holds Ganges' water in his hair. The reason for this is the prominence of the middle slit which would be look like a flowing river in rainy seasons. However few historians believe it as Arjuna's penance to Shiva for Pashupata weapon.