In classical terminology the resplendent image of the elephant god is close to his Haridra Ganapati manifestation. Haridra Ganapati is the four-armed lord with golden body colour that drags the mind by its rare beauty and great lustre. He prefers putting on bright yellow costumes and a few but decently designed ornaments. A posh and richly fabricated throne with majestic look and some paraphernalia around is his seat. Among the attributes that Haridra Ganapati carries his broken tusk and ‘modak’ are the foremost. He carries besides a noose to hold his devotees close, and variously the elephant goad or battle-axe with one he inspires them to move forward, and with other, assures that they can move forward without fear.
Though not expressly defined in such terms, Haridra Ganapati is the majestic form of Lord Ganesha. As Haridra Ganapati or otherwise, this great masterpiece in brass overwhelms with the same great majestic element as Haridra Ganapati alludes to, though its tone is subdued and does not over-burden the whole composition with its resplendence or regalia lest his divine aura is subdued. If not required for revealing his great majesty, or affects his divine aura, the artist preferred not to include attendants, and much of regal paraphernalia : standards etc. In most things this brass-image almost completely adheres to the iconography of Haridra Ganapati. Like Haridra Ganapati this form is also four-armed and has been conceived as carrying a battle-axe, noose, broken tusk and ‘modak’, all prominently cast. It abounds in the same kind of lustre as defines the Haridra Ganapati imagery.
The four-armed majestic form of Lord Ganesha has been installed on a throne raised on four tall legs designed like the legs of a lion, a broad upwards tapering frame around carved with beautiful design-motifs and a circular back-rest designed like a ‘prabhavali’ – fire-arch, with a Shrimukha motif and further atop a beautiful canopy. The rings-like styled whiskers of Shrimukha are delightful. Two huge bolsters define the wide ends of the throne. Close to right leg of the throne lies a circular side-table that the Lord’s mount mouse occupies. Though the mouse is eating something, it seems to massage its master’s right foot. Costumed in an artistically pleated ‘antariya’ – lower wear, and large sash laid over shoulders and extending down to both arms Lord Ganesha is seated in ‘lalitasana’ in full ease. He is putting on a moderately tall but beautifully conceived crown with a wheel-like designed halo on its back. A few but elegantly designed ornaments, especially the ornaments for ears and the ‘nagabandha’ around his belly, are magnificent. On the face of the elephant god reflects the inner bliss, great contentment and absolute ease define his mood and mind, absolute balance and complete relaxation, his demeanour, and a benign sublimity and great composure, the bearing of his face.
This description by Prof. P.C. Jain and Dr Daljeet. Prof. Jain specializes on the aesthetics of ancient Indian literature. Dr Daljeet is the chief curator of the Visual Arts Gallery at the National Museum of India, New Delhi. They have both collaborated on numerous books on Indian art and culture.