Shiva Battling the Elephant Statue 27"
Item #: 52rm31
Total Height Including Base: 27 inches
Base Width & Depth: 18 x 7 inches
Weight: 46 pounds
- An awesome sculpture of Shiva battling the elephant in the Gajasamharam pose
- Shiva was carved from one piece of red marble
- The base has two Nandis carved in bas-relief
- The stone has its own energy which adds to the power of the Shiva sculpture
The surrounding ring around Shiva is the carcass of the dead elephant. The four feet of the elephant dispersed around the skin of the dead elephant. The dead skin of the elephant is a marked contrast from the Nataraja sculpture's cosmic arch. There is a small "O" that is formed by the elephants tail on top of the sculpture. In his left hand he holds a cobra, and a scalp.
The Stories Behind the Sculpture: In Varanasi, India there was a demon in the form of an elephant who was harassing the saints and devotees of Shiva during their prayer. Shiva then destroyed the elephant-demon for the lack of respect. Thus the name, Gajasamharam, Sanskrit for "Killing the Elephant."
Another story with Shiva battling an elephant is part of the story of the Nataraja. There were rishis and priests living in the forest known as 'Tharukavanam', they became very arrogant as they had mastered all the 'Vedas', 'Agamas' and 'Shastras' and could raise powerful creatures from the sacrificial fires to do their bidding. Lord Shiva wished to show these rishis their limitations and appeared as a handsome mendicant with Vishnu as his wife 'Mohini'. This created chaos in 'Tharukavanam' as the wives of the rishis fell under the spell of this charming, handsome mendicant while the youthful rishis fell for the allure of Mohini. The older rishis became very angry and wanted to destroy the pair. They raised a sacrificial fire, 'Homam', from which appeared a tiger which was directed at the pair. Lord Shiva killed the tiger, peeled off its skin and tied it around his waist. They raised an elephant which they sent against Lord Shiva, which Shiva destroyed. Then the rishis produced a poisonous serpent, which Lord Shiva caught and wore around his neck. The rishis also sent a demon, 'Muyalakan', against Lord Shiva whom he crushed under his feet. Then the rishis sent the sacrificial fire against him which he put on his left hand. The rishis having lost the fire sent the Vedic 'mantras' which the Lord wore around his ankles. At this the rishis conceded defeat and the Lord revealed himself by dancing the 'Oorthava thandavam' with his matted hair unfurling in all eight directions and the world reverberating to his steps.
About Gorora Stone: Gorora stone or Red marble is a wonderful stone for sculpture because of its wide color range. It is rarer than most soft stones and must be shipped into Tamil Nadu from Uttar Pradesh in the north. The stone has wonderful cream/yellow/green veins in it contrasting to the beautiful deep red to sometimes pink natural coloration of the stone. The stone is extremely glossy. When a red marble statue is polished it has a disarming shimmer.
Shiva was originally known as Rudra, a minor deity addressed only three times in the Rig Veda. He gained importance after absorbing some of the characteristics of an earlier fertility god and became Shiva, part of the trinity, or trimurti, with Vishnu and Brahma.
Shiva wears a snake coiled around his upper arms and neck symbolizing the power he has over the most deadly of creatures. Snakes are also used to symbolize the Hindu dogma of reincarnation. Their natural process of molting or shedding their skin is symbolic of the human soul's transmigration of bodies from one life to another.
Shiva's female consort and wife is Parvati; because of his generosity and reverence towards Parvati, Shiva is considered an ideal role model for a husband. The divine couple together with their sons - the six-headed Skanda and the elephant headed Ganesh - reside on Mount Kailasa in the Himalayas.
His guardian is Nandi (the white bull), whose statue can often be seen watching over the main shrine. The bull is said to embody sexual energy, fertility. Riding on its back, Shiva is in control of these impulses.
He often holds a trident, which represents the Hindu trinity of Brahma, Shiva and Vishnu. It is also said to represent the threefold qualities of nature: creation, preservation and destruction, although preservation is usually attributed to Vishnu.
As the destroyer, Shiva is dark and terrible, encircled with serpents and a crown of skulls.
Shiva often wears sacred Rudaksha beads, perhaps a reference to his earlier name Rudra.
The crescent moon Shiva wears on his crown, besides being a symbol of Kama the goddess of nightly love, also represents the bull, Nandi, a fertility symbol.
Shiva holds a skull that represents samsara, the cycle of life, death and rebirth. Samsara is a central belief in Hinduism. Shiva himself also represents this complete cycle because he is Mahakala, the Lord of Time, destroying and creating all things.
Shiva is represented in a variety of forms. One such form is as a lingam. The ovoid shape is a representation of the absolute perfection of Lord Shiva - if that which is beyond form had to be given form, the lingam would be the closest form to the mystical experience of the absolute perfection of Shiva. Shiva is often pictured in a pacific mood with his consort Parvati, as the cosmic dancer Nataraja, as a naked ascetic, as a mendicant beggar, as a yogi, and as the androgynous union of Shiva and Parvati in one body (Ardhanarisvara).
Another example of Shiva's apparent synthesis of male and female attributes is seen in his earrings. He wears one earring in the style of a man and the other as a female.
Shiva's third eye is a symbol of higher consciousness. It is also a weapon he uses to destroy his enemies by emitting a fire missile which has the power to incinerate the three worlds. He can also kill all the gods and other creatures during the periodic destruction of the universe. Shiva's third eye first appeared when Parvati, his wife, playfully covered his other two eyes, so Shiva opened his third eye emitting his destructive missile endangering the three worlds.
View the video below to meet Balan and see his marble workshop and see a little how the statues are carved:
White, red and black marble statues are easy to take care of as they just need some annual upkeep to keep them looking as they did when they were first carved. Here are some easy tips to keep your White, red and black marble statues from Lotus Sculpture looking like the gods they are:
- Dust the statue as needed to prevent dirt build up
- To make the statue shine use a cotton cloth to buff the sculpture
- You can use a small amount of natural oil such as coconut oil or olive oil to further polish the sculpture
- Use a tooth brush to get into the hard to reach spaces of the sculpture
- DO NOT TOUCH the painted surfaces of any of the white marble statues. This will damage the painting if done often
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This sculpture is in our Oceanside, California store and ready for immediate shipping to anywhere in the world. If you are in Canada please select "UPS Standard to Canada" for the shipping option. If you are an international customer please select "International Shipping" during checkout. The shipping charge will be calculated as $0. Lotus Sculpture will email you the correct shipping cost subject to your approval or you may call us at 760-994-4455 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for a shipping quote. Lotus Sculpture uses Instapak foam injection packing system or bubble wrap and recycled peanuts to ensure that all our pieces arrive undamaged. Click here to learn more about Lotus Sculptures packing.