ART HIS 56A Spring 2006 Paper- Shiva and Parvati Revealed

ART HIS 56A Spring 2006 Paper- Shiva and Parvati Revealed...

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Unformatted text preview: AH56A—Fall/2004 1M Paper Shiva and Parvati Revealed Through Scat} Itures Shiva’s unparallel powers within Hinduism make him the In ost commonly worshipped God and prevalent subject in Hindu artwork. Shiva’s wife and counterpart, Parvati, is another dominant God in Hinduism, therefore there are also many sculptures of her. Sculptors illustrate Shiva and Parvati by themselves, togethe r, and in an androgynous form. In the Los Angeles County Museum of Arts, three sculptures show these different representations of Shiva and Parvati. During AD. 2- fiatcentury sculptors produced The Androgynous Form of Shiva and Parvati in Mathura with the provincial red sandstone. The image stands tall at approximately twelve by fo it by three inches with minimal damage. Shiva’s masculine side on the left and Parvati’s feminine half on the I?” . . i nght vertically delineate this smoothly textured sculpture. Behind the androgynous image rt” m is a thick tubular linga, which is the most sacred and aniconic form of Shiva. Shiva is one (3,15%qu . .. . . MM - of the most complex gods because he represents seermngly contrac ictory qualitles, therefore the juxtaposition of the female and male in one body manifests his duality. Shiva further displays his multifaceted personality and intricate relationship with Parvati through Shiva’s Family and The Hindu Goddess Parvati, Shiva and Parvati’s androgynous and separate forms, as well Parvati alone manifest th : different interpretations that Hindus have of Shiva and Parvati and show the :ir importance to Hindus by having such a variety of sculptures. These three sculptures, especially the ‘ Androgynous form of Shiva and Parvati, illuminate Shiva and Par vati’s dynamic N ' relationship as well as reveal the complexity and duality of Shiva’ 3 character through sculptures’ symbolic compositions. The Androgynous Form of Shiva and Parvati on exhibit at LACMA shows many characteristics of Shiva. He is recognizable by his attribute of an erected phallus on his body. It represents his masculinity, which is important since he is ti 6 male fertility God. The linga behind the androgynous figure is also a symbol of Shiva and his procreative energy. Hindus venerate Shiva through his aniconic and anthropom arphic form because he is the creator of humans, animals, and vegetation, which are all vital for their survival. The raised phallus is also a yogic technique that is central to advanced mediation. Shiva’s ithyphallic depiction indicates his expertise, thus clearly showing his creative control and fertility. The sculpture also stresses his austere yogic lifestyle through his matted dreadlocks, which are emblematic of being an ascetic. In addition t) being a creator and ascetic, he is a guardian. Shiva raises his hand with palm forward in abhaya mudra, or fear—not gesture, which bestows reassurance and protections to his levotees.1 Powerful gods often wear an immense about of jewelry to show their favorable fortunes and authority. Shiva has multiple bangles and earrings, and a necklace :0 show his godliness _ .7 /“"‘CH’ MW ‘ and especially to emphasize that Hindus refer to him as the “auspicious one.” Shiva’s attributes and posture show many of his qualities through The And rogynous Form of Shiva and Parvati. flaw/v? MYSIS‘. While those characteristics are imperative, Shiva is most notable for his complexity in embodying seemingly paradoxical qualities. He is a creator and a destroyer, a major ascetic and a figure of sensuality, a compassionate herdsman of souls, and an irate punisher. The most apparent contradictory characterisic in the Androgynous Form of Shiva and Parvati is in the juxtaposition of male, Shiva, aid female, Parvati. The sculpture depicts half of a man and half of a woman, which is a corr mon illustration of Shiva and Parvati because it symbolizes the universal aspect of their union. Theologians devised the concept of the androgynous image uniting Shiva and Pa rvati to emphasize the divine unity of masculinity and femininity.2 A broad shoulder, angular waist, flat chest and matted locks piled high on the head distinguish Shiva’s portion The most striking characteristic is Shiva’s attribute, the prominent raised phallus. On be other side, Parvati has a narrower shoulder, wider hip, curvier waist, and an especially eminent breast. Her large daneg earring and long wavy hair in an elegant coiffure furth er differentiate Parvati from Shiva because these characteristics are obviously of a woman There is surprisingly negligible disorientation in the sculpture because the sculptor joins the figure’s distinctly male and female halves with such agility and precision. This figure substantiates Shiva and Parvati’s equality because they equally share one body. Shiva combined himself with Parvati so that sages would pay homage to both of through circumz mbulating their one sculpture. 3The most obvious division between male and female is the phallus and breast. Both attributes are exaggerated to show their importance and to distinguish the sides. Nevertheless, there are more subtle distinctions such as the image’ i eyes. Shiva’s eye is in jatamakuta, which is slightly smaller and less emphasized than l’arvati’s eye, which is in karanda-makuta.4 The vertical delineation of the figure is also 8- :en through Shiva’s side that is more angular and Parvati’s curvier half. Despite the cle ar characteristic features, the body’s composition appears poised. Shiva and Parvat are in tribhanga, in which the body’s posture forms an “s” shape. 5 This smooth curvature reinforces the accord of male and female in the figure. Balancing this perfectly b alanced delineation manifests Shiva’s divine unity with compelling grace and majesty The earring on Shiva side symbolizes masculinity and Parvati’s earring denotes femininity .6 This expresses their duality and Shiva’s power to combine opposing forces. The cor tradictory male and female halves embodied in one entity emphasize Shiva’s complex personality through mostly her duality in femininity and masculinity. For this, many Hin :lus venerate him because his character is more intricate then any human. Devotees also worship him because the powers over so many vital components in their lives, such as creation and destruction. —- W M Mflgig OUK‘LIV Shiva's complex personality is further complicated because of his dynamic relationship with Parvati. Three sculptures from the LACMA I'CPI'CSI :nt their connection differently. In the Androgynous Form of Shiva and Parvati, the cow; le shares one body, this demonstrates their equality. They are also dependent on one anc ther because one cannot live with only half a body. However, Shiva is on the right, m Jre virtuous side, therefore, the audience can infer that although the gods are equal in power, Shiva is the more righteous one. The are both the Creators because Shiva, The Great God, molded himself with The Great Goddess, Parvati, to produce one entity that could give birth to mortals.7 This sculpture shows how the gods compliment each other rather than the relationship of Shiva and Parvati in Shiva's Family. In this sculpture, Parvati is much smaller than Shiva, which indicates that Shiva is literally of larger importance than Parvati. In addition, Parvati sits on Shiva's leg as if she was his child. This shows Shiva's dominance over Parvati and her dependence on her husband. They 2 re embracing each other, Parvati with her arm around Shiva’s neck. He has one hand b. irely touching her breast and another on her thigh, indicating their intimacy. The coupl e is in complimentary yogic positions and both are adored similarly, yet the figurative size and composition of the gods elucidates their overall significance in Hinduism. While in '30th of these sculptures Parvati is with Shiva, V‘he Hindu Goddess Parvati, Parvati is alone. This L - signifies that Parvati does not need to have Shiva in order for Hindu; to worship her. She maintains her powers without her counterpart. She is in a yogic pose and over Nandi, Shiva’s vehicle, which shows her self—control and power over Shiva through the symbolism of his bull. Her character is strong and independent, just like Shiva. The three sculptures depict Shiva and Parvati differently, which illustrates the different interpretations that Hindus having regarding the gods’ relationship. "it also reinforces adoration because of their variety of sculptures can suit the diverse opinions of Hindus. Comparing sculptures is crucial to fully understanding the significance of the gods, their relationship, and their character. Shiva and Parvati sculptures within the LACMA and outside readings show the audience their value to Hinduism. The sheer number of sculptures p roves their significance because they are the most represented gods in Hinduisr 1. Devotees show their admiration for their gods through puja. They pray, sing, and p6 rform rituals to make a spiritual connection with the divine, which objects facilitate. Therefore, having so many sculptures of Shiva and Parvati shows how frequently Hindus worshipped these gods. Furthermore, sculptors created different forms of the gods to show how they manifest themselves on earth in multiple forms to benefit the worshippers. In some interpretations, their union also shows their sexual union, in which Hindus display lheir reverence to them through this erotic bond.8 Through multiple forms, the sculptu res cater to the needs of all Hindus because there are many interpretations of Shiva and P uvati’s legends. Hindus most commonly admire them because they are the masculin e and feminine gods of fertility, which are extremely vital to them. In addition, Shiva is the destroyer and creator, so he is especially popular and widely worshiped. His complex and dualistic character, along with his intricate relationship with Parvati make Sh. va and Parvati superhuman, and thus more worshipped. ' Czuma, Stainslaw, Kushan Sculpture: Images from Early India, Cleveland (OH I: Cleveland Museum of Art, 1985, pp.134-135. 2 Goldberg, Ellen, The Lord Who Is Half Woman, New York: State University of New York Press, 2002, pp. 26-36. O’Flaheny, Wendy Doniger, Women, Androgynes, and Other Mythical Beasts, Chicago & London: University of Chicago Press, 1980, p. 316. 4. Goldberg, Ellen, The Lord Who Is Half Woman, New York: State University 0 F New York Press, 2002, pp. 26-36. 5 Czuma, Stainslaw, Kushan Sculpture: Images from Early India, Cleveland (OH: : Cleveland Museum of Art, 1985, pp.l34-135. 6 Ibid, p. 134. 7 Kramrisch, Stella, The Presence of Siva, Princeton (NJ): Princeton University F ress, 1981, pp. 227-240. 8 O’Flaherty, Wendy Doniger, “Change of Sex,” The Divine Consort, Boston: Bu iston Press, 1986, p 132. Papa/r, @Naci a (“We MW WWW” JVLL W/{vLZCaQ [wear/Wages, Bibliography Czuma, Stainslaw. Kushan Scul ture: Ima es from Earl India. Cleveland (OH): Cleveland Museum of Art. C1985, Goldberg, Ellen. The Lord Who Is Han Woman. New York: State L'niversity of New York Press, 2002, Kramrisch, Stella. The Presence of Siva. Princeton (NJ): Princeton University Press, 1981, pp O’Flaherty, Wendy Doni ' “Change of Sex.” The Divine Consort Boston: Boston Press, 1986, O’Flaherty, Wendy Doniger. Women, Androgynes, and Other Mfli ical Beasts. Chicago & London: University of Chicago Press, 1980, my?) Page 1 of 1 Tbéfii‘ndw WW )IMW OMS“ 5W”? “M, \Zm 66’qu , Chian‘fii Schism“, LHCMH http:l/collectionsonlinelacma.org/mwebimages/SSEA__mm/full/M90_1523.jpg 1 1/22/2004 Page 1 of 1 'Hid'lofi‘ (ea-«wrtjflandswwa LAC MR http://collecti onsonlinelacma.org/mwebimages/Ssea_MM/fulllM75_l 1.j- 3g 1 1/22/2004 Page 1 of 1 wwfimgfifgrm of Shim mm’ Parr'mfl’. Imm Mfierfl/IFSA . , I Hmmga, gal/{+14 MW, 2“ 3-515z {fink/H9, Hmflm nod Saw/sham L . http:llcollectionsonline.lacma.org/mwebimages/SSEA03_I\€[1VI/fixllll\/ISS_ 213_2.jpg 1 1/22/2004 NAME: Description GENERAL CONTENT (4 points) : appropriate title, clear thesis statement, focus, creativity SPECIFIC CONTENT (4 points) : visual analysis, interpretations, representations ORGANIZATION (4 points) : intro/body/con, logical order, relatedness, transitions STYLE/GRAMMAR (4 points) : professional and appropriate language, grammar, mechanics USE OF RESOURCES/IMAGES (4 points) : proper sources, citations, bibliography, proper images TOTAL POIl‘ TS: /20 PAPER GRADE: A ...
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This essay was uploaded on 02/21/2008 for the course ART HIS 56A taught by Professor Staff during the Spring '04 term at UCLA.

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ART HIS 56A Spring 2006 Paper- Shiva and Parvati Revealed...

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