Shiva as Mahesha

 

 

main-image

Shiva as Mahesha, Chola period, 10th century, granite. Tamil Nadu, India. 

Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY

 

 

guidance from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY

 

‘This statue is part of a group of unusual large stone carvings in the round from the Chola period.

They all portray the same deity, long identified as Brahma but now thought to be Mahesha, a form of Shiva.

Shiva’s worshipers believe that he manifests himself in three stages, which move from the abstract to the concrete—

symbolized by the undecorated linga (shaft);

the linga with one or more faces emerging from it;

and, finally, Mahesha. From him are born the other two great Hindu gods, Brahma and Vishnu.

Mahesha is shown here with four faces:

on the right is Brahma; in the center, Shiva; on the left, Vishnu;

and on the back, Rudra (possibly the predecessor of Shiva).

The attributes associated with Brahma, Shiva, and Vishnu are on their respective sides.’

 

 

 

 

 

 

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.