The Dancing Lord Shiva With Goddess Parvati

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The Lord of Dance-“Natesha” (Nata- dance, Isha-god) throws his hand in the air as Bhavani, the Universal mother Parvati beats the dafali (an Indian musical instrument). Abundant in meaning and oozing delight, this watercolor painting by Kailash Raj, created in the Kangara idiom is an ode to the coming together of Purusha (supreme male) and Prakriti (supreme female), a union that creates the three realms and enchants their inhabitants.

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Item Code: PZ30
Artist: Kailash Raj
Dimensions 9.3 INCH HEIGHT x 6.4 INCH WIDTH
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Encircled by a crimson red, the Kangara painting of a dancing Shiva with Parvati is set in an otherworldly plain, with simple strokes of blue, white, and red along with a pale yellow creating a backdrop against which this mesmeric Lila (divine play) of Bhava-Bhavani is envisioned. Contrary to the lush green backgrounds of traditional Kangara paintings, the artist has chosen a simple background to keep the focus on the theme which is so beautifully portrayed through his art.

Maa Parvati in the painting stands to the left of the viewer, clad in regal attire, characteristic of the female subjects of Kangara art. The fine red scarf with a golden border magnificently folds around her moon-like face, attracting our eyes to the riveting features of Tripurasundari- the most beautiful female in the three realms. Her ornaments are of pure gold, gemstones, and pearls, perfectly suiting her queenly ensemble.  Parvati’s henna-painted palms are holding the dafali and her lotus eyes are gazing at her beloved Shiva, immersed in the performance of the blissful dance- Laasya.

With his arms in the air, one leg raised, his splendid robe of leopard skin swinging to his right and the tail of the animal going to the left, Shiva is the very picture of an enthralling dynamism in this watercolor.  “Tripunda”- the auspicious mark of three parallel lines adorns the smoky blue-hued physique of Shiva along with ornaments made of gold and a garland of bones, in which the skulls appear to be white beads with bizarre-looking facial features on them. Dancing vigorously, Shiva has his eyes fixed on the source of his movement, his Shakti- Parvati, on whose musical cues the Lord of three realms, “Tripuresha” performs.

An episode from the Devi Mahatmya tells us of goddess Parvati’s wish to see Shiva dance. However, when Shiva refuses to indulge her, Parvati with her instrument (a lute as per the legend), produces such riveting tunes, that the entire Srishti (creation) began dancing. Entranced by the music, even Shiva’s serpents left his body and started moving in ecstasy. It was then, that Shiva could not control himself and thus He danced! This conjugal pleasure- of requests made and fulfilled is a running theme in the stories of Shiva and Parvati, the divine duo which represents the perfection of togetherness. The warmth between the Uma-Maheshwar is conveyed in this watercolor through the eternal gaze exchanged between them- Parvati with her head up and Shiva with his tilted neck, fusing in each other through the passage of eyes. 

The chance of immersing oneself in the nectar of Shiva and Parvati’s inseparability is in itself a gift from the divine. Through this spellbinding watercolor by Kailash Raj, experience the bliss of Laasya and let your soul dance, just as the flowers in the foreground do.



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