SOLD Shiva Battling the Elephant Bronze Statue 18"
Item #: 60b64
Total Height Including Base: 18 inches
Base Width & Depth: 12 x 6 inches
Weight: 18 pounds
- Gorgeous craftmanship!
- Artisan art at its finest
- Magnificent triumphant pose!
The surrounding carcass of the elephant is a marked contrast from the Nataraja sculpture's cosmic arch. Look at the large "O" that is formed by the elephants tail on top of the piece. In his left hand he holds a cobra, and a scalp. In his right hand he holds a dhamru or drum, which is a symbol of the beat in which creation takes place, a knife and trident. Shiva's trident is a symbol of the Hindu trinity of Shiva, Brahma and Vishnu. His remaining two hands are holding the fiery carcass of the elephant.
This sculpture is called Gajasamharam - Shiva Dancing on elephant.
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, 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.
Lost Wax Method: This sculpture is a one of a kind, lost wax method bronze statue hand made by the artists of South India. The sculpture pictured is the only sculpture Lotus Sculpture has like this in our store. When you order this piece you will receive this exact sculpture. It is truly one of a kind as there is only one made exactly like this! Each bronze is hand made by a group of bronze artists whose families have been crafting bronze sculptures for centuries with the art being passed on by each generation. The hand crafted bronzes statues have an incredible amount of detail which many other mass produced, brass Hindu statues lack. Lost Wax South Indian bronze statues are the only sculptures used by Hindu temples throughout India and the world. Click here to learn more about the Lost Wax Method.
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.
Bronze is an extremely durable metal made from a combination of 5 metals; copper, iron, tin, with minute additions of silver and gold. This combination is called Panchaloha bronze and is the basis for making the sacred Hindu temple statues of India and the world. Copper is the most prevalent metal in the alloy. Copper also gives the metal a softer composition that allows the bronze artisans to carve the details that are prevalent in each piece. All the South Indian bronze sculpture Lotus Sculpture carries are Panchaloham and thus suited for any home altar or community temple.
Because of the durability of the metal not much is needed to maintain a bronze sculpture. Many of our customers purchase a bronze statue and perform daily puja and abhisheka consisting of bathing the Hindu deity in ghee, milk, coconut milk or other liquids. In this case nothing is needed to keep the statue clean as it will be bathed daily. If the sculpture is used for "darshan" or simply viewing the sculpture it is best to dust the statue as needed so no dirt collects in the details of the sculpture. For both polished golden bronzes and antique patina bronze statues if you would like the sculpture to shine use a cotton cloth with some coconut oil or other natural oil to wipe down the piece as needed.
Many of our bronze Hindu statues have been placed in outdoor temples. Bronze's durability makes it perfect for cold winters and hot summers of any climate. We suggest you bathe the sculpture every couple of months so that dirt does not collect on the sculpture and then use a cotton cloth with some natural oil to give the statue a shine. Both indoors and outdoors a bronze statue can be left alone which, overtime, will give the bronze an antique patina.
On some bronze statues you can see small hints of lime green, verde-gris patina. Some people prize this color for its age others want to remove it. If you would like to remove the verde-gris use a tooth brush with some coconut oil or other natural oil and lightly go over the verde-gris. This should remove the unwanted patina from the sculpture.
If you have any questions concerning your bronze statue please email us at [email protected] or call us at 1(760) 994-4455.
This sculpture is in our Oceanside, California store and ready for immediate shipping. The shipping charge is automatically calculated by UPS for shipping within the United States. Each sculpture is usually shipped within 24 hours of the order with the exception of the weekend. To obtain a shipping quote simply add the statue you are interested in to your shopping cart and then select click on the "Calculate Domestic Shipping" button. 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.International Shipping
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 [email protected] 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.