Bronze Gaja Samhara Murthy - Lord Shiva as the Destroyer of the Elephant demon, a popular icon in the Chola art
Make: Bronze cast made using Lost-wax method from Tamil Nadu, India.
Dimensions: 38.0 inch Height X 31.0 inch Width X 15.0 inch Depth
Weight: 84.0 kg/ 184 lbs
Shipping and delivery: 10 - 15 business days
Product description: Gaja Samhara Murthy is Lord Shiva, who slays the ferocious elephant demon Gajasura, and portrays himself dancing on the head of the elephant, and the elephant hide forms the prabha mandala. In the act of Gajasamharam, the mad elephant symbolically represents anger, ignorance and pride. Lord Siva has five faces - Satyojatam, Vamadevam, Tatpurusham, Esanam and Aghoram, and Gajasamharamurti is the aghoram face of Shiva. The bronze statue portrays Shiva standing on the elephant head with his right leg in a straight position, while his left leg is bent and positioned sideways horizontally to his body. The statue is eight armed with his rear two arms tearing open the elephant hide, and the front two arms are having a circular shaped trident, and an alms bowl. The other four arms are having a damaru (drum) and a fire bowl, a sword and a shield. The elephant hide forms the prabhamandala showing the four legs of the elephant and the tail at the top. The iconographical attributes of Lord Shiva are given great attention, such as the River Ganges flowing from his hair, a crescent shaped moon, serpents tied in different parts of his body, his third eye on his forehead, tiger-skin clothing are clearly shown along with the two teeth projecting outside from the sides of his mouth is typical of Gaja Samhara Murthy. The statue of bronze Gaja Samhara Murthy is one of a kind statue made using the lost-wax method; an expert craftsmanship by our South Indian bronze artisan.
Story of Gaja Samhara Murthy: Once some sages (Rishis) were meditating at Tarukavanam (forest), and challenged the omnipotence of Lord Siva. To remove the ignorance of the sages, Lord Shiva appeared in the forest as a young bikshanadar (poor sage wandering about for alms). The wives of sages were attracted towards the young bikshanadar and could not fulfill their daily responsibilities, and this affected the yagnas of the sages. Lord Vishnu then appeared as Mohini (young beautiful women) in the forest. The sages now lost their senses and could not fulfill their yagnas as they started following the damsel and immersed in worldly matters. They did not realize that they were still slaves to their senses. Soon they got their senses and realized their unwise conduct. The sages were ashamed, and became angry, and wanted to avenge Shiva. Hence they created a ferocious mad elephant to attack Shiva. Shiva dwarfing himself entered the elephant’s body and then assumed his original form slaying the demon Gajasura, and covering himself with the elephant hide. Thus he got the name Gaja Samhara Murthy. The sages who saw this dynamic form of Shiva shed their pride and arrogance, and took refuge in Shiva. According to ancient texts, the ‘Gajasamharam’ happened in Vazhuvoor, Tamil Nadu, India, and The Veerateeswarar Temple in Vazhuvoor is one of the place where Shiva took the form of Gajasamhara.
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