GANESHA sculpture in the Victoria and Albert Museum


GANESHA sculpture in the Victoria and Albert Museum



Identifier: indianmythlegend00inmack
Title: Indian myth and legend
Year: 1913 (1910s)
Authors: Mackenzie, Donald Alexander, 1873-1936
Subjects: Hindu mythology
Publisher: London, Gresham
Contributing Library: Indiana University
Digitizing Sponsor: Indiana University

Text Appearing Before Image:
andleaps on her husbands body. When she observes, how-ever, what she has done, she ejects her tongue with shame. As Sati, Shivas wife is the ideal of a true and virtuousHindu woman. When Satis husband was slighted byher father, the Deva-rishi, Daksha, she cast herself onthe sacrificial fire. Widows who died on the funeralpyres of their husbands were called Sati\ because in per-forming this rite they imitated the faithful goddess. Sati was reborn as Uma, Light, the impersonation ofdivine wisdom; as Amvika the same goddess was a sisterof Rudra, or his female counterpart, Rudra taking the placeof Purusha, the first man. ParVati was another form ofthe many-sided goddess. Shiva taunted her for being black,and she went away for a time and engaged in austerities,with the result that she assumed a golden complexion. A trinity of goddesses is formed by Saraswati, thewhite one, Lakshmi, the red one, and ParVati, the blackone. The three were originally one—a goddess who ^ Often spelled Suttee,
Text Appearing After Image:
GANESA (see page 151)From a sculpture in the Victoria and Albert Museum DIVINITIES OF THE EPIC PERIOD 151 came into existence when Brahma, Vishnu, and Shivaspoke of the dreaded Asura, Andhaka (Darkness) andlooked one at another. The goddess was coloured white,red, and black, and divided herself, according to theVaraha Purana, into three forms representing the Past,Present, and Future. It was after Sati burned herself that the sorrowingShiva was wounded by Kamadeva, the love god, whomhe slew by causing a flame of fire to dart from his thirdeye. This god is the son of Vishnu and Lakshmi. Heis usually depicted as a comely youth like the EgyptianKhonsu; he shoots flowery arrows from his bow; his wifeRati symbolizes Spring, the cuckoo, the humming bee, andsoft winds. As Manmatha he is the mind-disturber;as Mara, the wounder; as Madan, he who makes onelove-drunk ; and as Pradyumna he is the all-conqueror. Ganesa^, the four-armed, elephant-headed god of wis-dom, is the son of Shiva and Parva

Indian mythology is exceptionally diverse. There are 330 million deities in it. There are gods and goddesses, spirits, personal gods, household gods, and gods of space and time. There are gods for every caste and those that care for artisans. There are nature-protecting gods who live in trees and those who take the form of animals. Some are fascinated by minerals, some by geometric shapes.





Image from page 264 of "Indian myth and legend" (1913)

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public domain

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ganesha in sculpture
ganesha in sculpture