Shiva Vamana

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Shiva Vamana
5th century A.D. (Vakataka Period)

Place of Origin: Mansar, Nagpur, Maharashtra
Materials: Stone
Dimensions: Ht: 85 L: 63 W: 38 cm.
Acc. No. L 77/2

One of the rarest pieces of sculptural art and as rare a manifestation of Shiva this seated dwarfish image of a corpulent divinity represents Shiva as Vamana. It is Shiva's this unique form to which the epithets like Hrasvaya and Vamanaya, used in Shata-rudriya Samhita, best suit. Delightfully conceived with child-like innocence on face, the figure of Shiva Vamana has been neatly executed. The four-armed figure of Shiva, manifest as Vamana - a dwarf form, is seated in 'mahararajalilasana' - a casual sitting posture with one leg laid flat on the seat, while the other, raised upwards with knee angularly bent, on a cushioned seat against a large decorated round pillow.

In three of his four hands Shiva Vamana is holding flowers, a rosary and the stalk of a lotus, the fourth is placed on his knee in absolute ease. This position of the fourth hand is also an aspect of 'ardha-paryankasana'. The figure of Shiva Vamana has been beautifully adorned with simple but brilliantly conceived jewellery: a multi-laced massive strand of pearls, a necklace consisting of a pendant and embedded with precious stones, a large, circular ear-ring, invariably worn by Parvati, his consort, lying on his shoulder, beautifully designed rings on wrists, and decorative laces as hair-ornament. Besides these ornaments, his figure is adorned also with 'sarpa nupura'. His 'jata-mukuta' set on right side varies with the usual form of his 'jata-mukuta', a central knot. The anatomy of the figure has been conceived with bulging belly, heavy limbs, big nose, thick lips and a short statured body. His facial expression indicates his jovial mood, all features so unlike Shiva's general image.

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