Hand Carved Indian Black Marble Gajasamharam Shiva Battling Elephant with Yali Base 35"
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- An awesome sculpture of Shiva battling the elephant in the Gajasamharam pose with a menacing 8 armed, fanged Shiva dancing within the circle of the body of an elephant with his right foot planted on top of his head
- The marble has its own energy with cream colored veins within the sculpture that add to the palpable energy of the figure of dancing Shiva
- The base has two lions of singhas on both sides with 2 mythical beasts called makaras that are a combination of elephant, lion and peacock carved in bas relief on the front of the base
- Shiva is hand carved from one solid piece of black marble by the artist, Balan, and completely one of a kind, you wil receive this exact statue with your order
- Click here to view other marble statues by the artist Balan or you can travel to India to meet Balan and his two daughters by reading Kyle's Travel Blog
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 base with all its detailed work is a 360 degree pleasure! The base is carved hallow. In the front of the sculpture there are two narsis, A narsi is a mythical lion like beast used in south Indian sculpture. Carved into the the foundation of the sculpture in bas-relief between the two narsi are two yali. A yali is a mythical animal with body of a lion, tail of a peacock and the trunk of an elephant. On either side of the base are two carvings of Shiva's bull, Nandi. On the back of the base is one large face of a narsi. All the fine detail work fully covers the base from every angle.
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 the Black Marble: The black marble, called sange-rathek, is found in Jhansi, in the state of Bihar, India. The stone is known for its wonderful deep black/blue color and the colored purple and yellow veins that flow through the stone. Looking into a piece of sange-rathek is like staring into deep space and seeing distant galaxies. It is a very unique and wonderful stone. Sculpture is very rare to find in this stone because there are seldom pieces of raw stone large enough to accommodate a full-sized sculpture.
You just know when you find the right piece to bring into your home and into your heart. - Kyle Tortora, Founder of Lotus Sculpture
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.
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
White marble statues that are unpainted can be placed outdoors. We recommend keeping our smaller red and black marble statues as well as any painted marble statues in an indoor environment. The red and black marble statues have some delicate pieces that could chip if left outisde. The paint from the white marble statues will not last for more than 4 years if left outside so use discretion when placing your statues outdoors.
Please feel free to contact us directly if you have any questions regarding your marble statue from Lotus Sculpture, (760) 994-4455 or [email protected].
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.
You can obtain a shipping quote for any statue by clicking the link, Calculate Shipping beneath to the Add To Cart button on every statues' page. Besides the shipping price, the results will also display the date the statue will arrive at your home. 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.
This sculpture is in our Oceanside, California store and ready for immediate shipping to anywhere in the world. International shipping charges will be calculated automatically upon checkout.
You can obtain a shipping quote for any statue by clicking the link, Calculate Shipping beneath to the Add To Cart button on every statues' page. Or you can email [email protected] or call us 760-994-4455 to receive a shipping quote. Please include the item number of the statue you are interested in purchasing as well as your country and postal code. 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.