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Thread: ancient pratima of devi

  1. #1

    ancient pratima of devi

    Vanakkam,

    I see many ancient pratima of Devi is not wearing sari, the upper body is nude , only wear jewerly.
    But in now days, many painting of devi is wearing sari.
    From which era Devotee start to drawing Devi wearing sari ?

    Thank you

    OM. VAJRA. VISHNUYA. SVAHA
    OM. VAJRA. GARUDA. CALE CALE. HUM PHAT


    OM. AMOGHA VAIROCANA. MAHA-MUDRA. MANI PADMA JVALA PRAVARTTAYA. HUM

    Om Saha Nau-Avatu |
    Saha Nau Bhunaktu |
    Saha Viiryam Karava-Avahai |
    Tejasvi Nau-Adhii-Tam-Astu Maa Vidviss-Aavahai |
    Om Shaantih Shaantih Shaantih ||


  2. #2
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    Re: ancient pratima of devi

    namaste shian and everyone else.

    I am not familiar with the Agama rules of sculpting stone images, but the answer to the your query in the OP could be this:

    • Stone images are generally installed as mUla-vigrahas--root deities, in temples, subject to various kinds of upachAras--services. We do see stone-carvings on the pillars of temples, but they are usually human figures; divine images in niches are also given the upachAras, as the main deity, although only on special days.

    • Stone, compared to metal, can easily be disfigured or damaged irreparablly and visibly. Any piece of garment sculpted in stone could only form a thin layer over the solid and far denser stone base behind (I am reminded of the veiled Rebecca I saw at the Salar Jung Museum, Hyderabad), whereas ornaments could be sculpted in denser stone.

    • Even after the deity is sculpted in stone and the image installed in the temple, pujas are not started until the netrAnmIlan--eye opening, ceremony is performed at the time of the kumbhAbhiShekam--sanctification of the temple with ablution to its vimAnam--apex of the main deity room. The sculptor who earlier made the image with closed eyelids, removes the thin layer of stone representing the eyelids and opens the eyes of the deity. Thereafter, the deity and the devotee get their communication channel open in full.

    Here is an interesting episode of the eye-opening involving shrI KAnchi ParamAchArya:
    http://www.hindudharmaforums.com/sho...40&postcount=2

    • An elaborate set of daily services are performed to the main deity in stone in temples. The deity is given a coat of fresh sesame oil, the archaka--priest, running his hand all over the image using a piece of cloth soaked in oil. Such darshan of the deity in its original form is known as vishvarUpa darshanam--darshan in all its unveiled original splendour.

    • Then one or more abhiShekams are performed, before the deity is clothed with a fresh sari/vEShTi and adorned with ornaments and flowers. On special days, a silver kavacham--vest is fixed on the stone image after the abhiShekam, and the clothing and adornments are done over the kavacham.

    • All these services necessarily result in wear and tear of the surface layer of the stone, so any thin layer of garment provided in sculpting could easily come off and the deity might look damaged, which would be inauspicious.

    • With metal images, clothing can be sculpted more easily and permanently. In picture, however, the deity is to be represented as a devI--divine woman, and since the human eye and mind can easily be distracted by details of the female angga-lAvaNya--loveliness of limbs, the Devi pictures are clad in the attire of Hindu women in the picture itself. I think the first such pictures originated from the brush of Raja Ravi Varma and the divine tradition followed.

    Here are the pictures of SarasvatI DevI in stone, metal and portrait:
    sarasvatI-3forms.jpg
    रत्नाकरधौतपदां हिमालयकिरीटिनीम् ।
    ब्रह्मराजर्षिररत्नाढ्यां वन्दे भारतमातरम् ॥

    To her whose feet are washed by the ocean, who wears the Himalayas as her crown, and is adorned with the gems of rishis and kings, to Mother India, do I bow down in respect.

    --viShNu purANam

  3. #3
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    Re: ancient pratima of devi

    Namaste Shian,

    The Saree is being used since earlier than 3000 BC in India as we gather from Indus Valley Civilization. I don't think that the Pratima of Devi you saw is older than this.

    The reason why the the Old murtis have uncovered breasts lies in our social conditioning. The exposure of bare breasts of women or even the sexual union of man and woman was not a social taboo in old Hindu culture. There are some old Hindu temples where you can find bare-breast women sculptures or the act of sexual union depicted on the outer temple-walls.

    Breasts on a woman in old Hindu sculptures are shown round, full and a little bigger in size. That actually shows the mother's nourishing bhAva of a woman. What we feel by seeing any thing is due to our own conditioning.

    OM
    "Om Namo Bhagvate Vaasudevaye"

  4. #4

    Re: ancient pratima of devi

    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedi...lur_temple.jpg This statue does not look like in any way she could be wearing a saree.
    http://i.imgur.com/Y9Jgd.gif
    Jai Chausath Yogini Devi(s)

  5. #5

    Re: ancient pratima of devi

    Namaste,

    The two preceding replies make excellent points; I am reminded of two popular misconceptions- one, that the statuary of the ancient Greeks was intended to be as it is seen today, bare and austere stone- when in fact they were quite colorfully painted, as to be lifelike... the other is the belief that anything like a muu-muu is "native dress" for Polynesian women- this was imposed by the western missionaries.

    Only within recent history has such a strong connotation of immorality or shame been tied to the female breast- for thousands of years, there was no such thing as "formula"; and though much religious and symbolic significance has been historically given to breasts, nursing or lactation in many cultures (here is a somewhat unusual, yet interesting survey of this), the "prurience factor" seems to be a relatively new aspect.

    As devotee said- social conditioning.

    Also, as saidevo said- stone is prone to weathering from sheer age and handling, but also humidity cycles, chemicals in the air, etc. not to mention, the stone easiest to work has the poorest ability to preserve fine detail.

    Enough rambling from me,

    JAI MATA DI
    || जय माता की ||

  6. #6

    Re: ancient pratima of devi

    Thank you

    I like ancient form of Devi, there is also many statue of Devi , Mahisasuramardini etc in Indonesia (from ancient Indonesia Hindu and Buddhist Tantra Temple) not wearing saree. In upper body only wear jewelry , head garland or skull garland. I like that, i think that is very beautiful fashion, divine fashion, very simple, but very artistic, that is not taboo in ancient Indonesia. But now, is different, there is have some crazy people who use the ancient statue for joke, take photo with silly position, or add some stuff with photoshop, because the pratima show the breast. This is mean after receive some influence from others culture, their brain become dirty.

    OM. VAJRA. VISHNUYA. SVAHA
    OM. VAJRA. GARUDA. CALE CALE. HUM PHAT


    OM. AMOGHA VAIROCANA. MAHA-MUDRA. MANI PADMA JVALA PRAVARTTAYA. HUM

    Om Saha Nau-Avatu |
    Saha Nau Bhunaktu |
    Saha Viiryam Karava-Avahai |
    Tejasvi Nau-Adhii-Tam-Astu Maa Vidviss-Aavahai |
    Om Shaantih Shaantih Shaantih ||


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    Re: ancient pratima of devi

    Namaste,

    I, too, prefer to see Devi appearing in her ancient bare-breasted stone form. There is something remarkably beautiful about the classical style of sculpture on the old Hindu temples. I much prefer it to modern renditions of Mother Goddess, or indeed any other Deva.

    Only within recent history has such a strong connotation of immorality or
    shame been tied to the female breast- for thousands of years, there was no such
    thing as "formula"; and though much religious and symbolic significance has been
    historically given to breasts, nursing or lactation in many cultures (here is a somewhat unusual, yet interesting survey of this),
    the "prurience factor" seems to be a relatively new aspect.
    I would hazard a guess and say that a lot of what the Victorian English saw in other cultures that they conquered was barbaric and shocking, and had to be curtailed as necessary as per their sense of morality and decency. Breasts in particular had much more of a functional purpose in religious and symbolic iconography in ancient times, emphasising the life-giving power of a mother's milk to her infant, nourishment and abundance. Consider why so many people in the West today find breastfeeding in public so distasteful, yet many will gladly pass by a newspaper stand full of magazines that contain breasts that are meant to be sexually enticing?

    Yes, in summary, it's social conditioning. Amazing how drastically it can change over time and cultures.

    Om namah Shivaya
    "Watch your thoughts, they become words.
    Watch your words, they become actions.
    Watch your actions, they become habits.
    Watch your habits, they become your character.
    Watch your character, it becomes your destiny."

    ॐ गं गणपतये नमः
    Om Gam Ganapataye namah

    लोकाः समस्ताः सुखिनो भवन्तु ।
    Lokaah SamastaaH Sukhino Bhavantu

  8. #8
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    Re: ancient pratima of devi

    Namaste,
    I, too, prefer to see Devi appearing in her ancient bare-breasted stone form. There is something remarkably beautiful about the classical style of sculpture on the old Hindu temples. I much prefer it to modern renditions of Mother Goddess, or indeed any other Deva.
    Are we looking at the murtis as sculpted stones for our visual enjoyment of the art form, much like a trip to a museum; or as representations of different incarnations of the Divine, to draw some spiritual vibrations from? If it is a reflection of the Divine, do we owe them some dignity, some clothing? Just the things going through my mind!

    Pranam.

    PS, I view the apsara type statues outside the temple as different from the deities on the alter.
    Last edited by Believer; 27 February 2012 at 10:09 PM. Reason: Added the PS

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    Re: ancient pratima of devi

    Vannakkam: I've never actually seen an abhishekham to a shakti, lots to lingams, lots to Ganesha, and lots to Muruga, but never to a shakti. Usually something more powerful than art holds my attention ... something called the energy (also called shakti) from the event. There are female statues in our temple, with painted clothes on but they stand outside the shrines, something like the guardians, and they are well-endowed, showing health and fertility. But the whole thing to me doesn't really matter. I think the sculptors are just fantastic artists besides the symbolism, or the inhabiting of the murthis.

    On the island of Mauritius, many of the murthis are actually quite poor artistically, as the indentured laborers weren't trained in the craft, but still wanted murthis, so any old volunteer did the carving (often from lava rock, just from memory). Still these murthis hold incredible power. So the two ideas are distinct.

    Aum namasivaya

  10. #10

    Re: ancient pratima of devi

    off course when we talk about art and form, it doesnt mean we ignore the spiritual side or we not see the spiritual side.

    When we talk about how amazing the form of Ganesh, the lila of Krsna , the form of Shiva etc, it doesnt mean we ignore the philosophy or esoteric side.

    Because Bhagavati is really amazing, in outside and inside. Perfect !

    OM. VAJRA. VISHNUYA. SVAHA
    OM. VAJRA. GARUDA. CALE CALE. HUM PHAT


    OM. AMOGHA VAIROCANA. MAHA-MUDRA. MANI PADMA JVALA PRAVARTTAYA. HUM

    Om Saha Nau-Avatu |
    Saha Nau Bhunaktu |
    Saha Viiryam Karava-Avahai |
    Tejasvi Nau-Adhii-Tam-Astu Maa Vidviss-Aavahai |
    Om Shaantih Shaantih Shaantih ||


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