Apart a number of myths narrating how his one tusk broke, such as one
relating to punishing the arrogant moon for its mischief by removing
it and missile-like hurling it on it, removing it for taking from the
great sage Vyasa uninterrupted dictation of the great epic
Mahabharata, or losing it while holding on it the blow of the
battle-axe that variously his father Lord Shiva, or the great Brahmin
warrior Parasurama inflicted on him, Ekadanta, his one-tusked form
highly venerated in devotional tradition, is primarily a manifestation
by appearance. A four-armed figure Ekadanta is pot bellied and carries
in normal right hand his broken tusk. Whatever the focus on
appearance, Ekadanta form has as strong symbolic thrust. Ekadanta
stands for optimum sacrifice, singleness of mind and unparalleled
resourcefulness. The pot-belly is believed to contain oceans of
knowledge and with his large penetrating trunk he is believed to
explore womb of the earth, unfathomable depth of oceans, and
inaccessible regions of the sky and bring from there hidden treasures
for his devotees.
The image of Lord Ganesha that the statue represents abounds in
exceptional beauty, great divine aura, gold-like lustre and great
energy and vigour, the attributes of all-conquering Vijay Ganapati.
The most accomplished Vijay Ganapati is the Lord of victory who
bestows success and every kind of bliss. In consideration of his wider
role the Vijay Ganapati images often assimilate other forms of Lord
Ganesha, mainly, Vakratunda, one with curved trunk, and Lambodara,
pot-bellied. Vakratunda is known for a firm hold, and Lambodara, for
stores of riches and knowledge, the aspects that Vijay Ganapati most
needs. In effect Vijay Ganapati is Vighnesha and is required to redeem
his devotees from every crisis and this aspect he inherits from the
elephant god’s Sankatahara Ganapati form. The lotus seat is the
essence of Sankatahara Ganapati iconography. Seated and thus covering
the lotus in full he is seen as pervading the entire cosmos and
guarding it against everything untoward. Obviously, the statue
assimilates three forms, though it is on his Vijay Ganapati form that
the iconography and anatomy of the image centre.
As in this image, all three forms that this image combines, Ekadanta,
Vijay Ganapati and Sankatahara Ganapati, are four-armed forms carrying
in two of them elephant goad and noose, in the third, some eatable, a
golden mango, laddu or a bowl of pudding, and in the fourth, Ekadanta
and Vijay Ganapati carry the broken tusk. Besides goad, noose and
broken tusk this image carries in the fourth a golden mango, and in
his trunk, a laddu. Corresponding to the body-colour of Vijay Ganapati
the statue has been painted in gold mixed with red imparting to it
extra lustre. Texts and traditions define his seating posture, with
right leg laid suspending earth-wards, and the left, horizontally in
semi-yogic posture, as ‘lalitasana’, a posture revealing great
aesthetic beauty and majesty. The image enshrines a Prabhavali
consisting of a stylized upwards rising flowering creeper supported on
two parallel columns terminating into a rounded apex. Besides leaves,
flower and fruit forms it also assimilates birds – parrots, and
monkeys, all conjointly symbolizing the cosmos that Lord Ganapati
pervades by his presence.
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.
How to care for Wood Statues?
Wood is extensively used in sculpting especially in countries like China, Germany, and Japan. One feature that makes the wood extremely suitable for making statues and sculptures is that it is light and can take very fine detail. It is easier for artists to work with wood than with other materials such as metal or stone. Both hardwoods, as well as softwood, are used for making sculptures. Wood is mainly used for indoor sculptures because it is not as durable as stone. Changes in weather cause wooden sculptures to split or be attacked by insects or fungus. The principal woods for making sculptures and statues are cedar, pine, walnut, oak, and mahogany. The most common technique that sculptors use to make sculptures out of wood is carving with a chisel and a mallet. Since wooden statues are prone to damage, fire, and rot, they require proper care and maintenance.
It is extremely important to preserve and protect wooden sculptures with proper care. A little carelessness and negligence can lead to their decay, resulting in losing all their beauty and strength. Therefore, a regular clean-up of the sculptures is a must to prolong their age and to maintain their shine and luster.
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