Shiva and Parvati Essay Assignment Available

Shiva and Parvati
Shiva and Parvati

Shiva and Parvati


Shiva and Parvati

The basic iconography of Shiva and Parvati is in the form of yoni and linga. Yoni symbolically means womb and a place to give birth.  Yoni Linga is the origin of power. The two implies source of power and life in terms of regeneration. In some temples, the two are represented in various stages of life in their sexual orientation and unity.

Both sculptures and paintings are used to describe the nature of both Shiva and Parvati. There are similarities and differences in the way the two characters are depicted using both sculptures and paintings. To begin with, sculptures portray Parvati as being a very beautiful woman with a very dark skin. She is presented sated on a wild animal like a lion or tiger. Seating a lion symbolizes her ability to rule nature. In most instances, she is portrayed seated on mountains or near mountains.  Seating on mountains reminds people of her earlier role as a goddess. Other sculptures represent Shiva wearing silk clothes with bracelets. The sculptures show her with her son who she is feeding.

On the other hand, the sculptures present Shiva as a limitless person who never changes. He comes in different forms which are very scaring.  Shiva is the main God in Hinduism. He is among the five Gods who are very influential. He is therefore regarded as a destroyer and also a transformer. He is regarded as being present everywhere and lives on the mountain. In addition, the sculptures depict him as being a family man with a wife and two children. So as to portray his fierce nature, the sculptures show him with a sword trying to cut demons. He is therefore recognized as the leader of god of yoga. The sculptures show Shiva as having a third eye on his forehead with a snake tied around his neck (Brown,20).

Paintings are equally used to describe the nature of both Shiva and Parvati. Paintings describe Shiva and Parvati together. They both form a relationship which is referred to as Sira-Sakti. The illustration of the two characters is found both in the wall paintings and in the miniature paintings.  The paintings display Shiva and Parvati as great lovers who are always seated together. The two lovers are shown seated together on a bull or together with a bull.

Similarly, the paintings have portrayed the two as people who enjoyed each other’s company. In some instances, they are shown in their respective attires. The paintings show Shiva with his common characteristics like the crescent of the moon, snake. Furthermore, the paintings show them in love positions seated on top of an elephant.

The similarities in both artworks are the fact that the theme is the same. Both sculptures and paintings portray the two characters as great leaders. However, paintings portray the two as great lovers. Sculptures portray Shiva as being a fierce leader and Parvati as being a very beautiful woman.

The artworks describe Shiva and Parvati as being different. Parvati represents the important virtues in the society which are respected by the Hindu community.  Some of the characteristics of Parvati which are portrayed in the artworks include fertility and dedication and also being very holy. The art work main theme is Parvati’s main significance in terms of her relationship with the husband. She is described as a householder. Her character attracts Shiva who is a lonely man without a family. Shiva is attracted into the world of giving birth. Both artworks therefore describe Shiva and Parvati as being different. Shiva is a fearless leader who is very unruly and destroys everything. On the contrary, Parvati is portrayed as being very humble and corrects the unruly character of her husband. Moreover, in both artworks, Parvati stands for a very civilized person in the society. This is contrary to the mountains and wilderness which are used to describe Shiva. Despite the fact that she is brought up in this environment, she is able to withstand all the challenges and cope up with the husband. This is done through convincing the husband to marry her. Parvati prevents the husband from engaging into controversial activities. Therefore, the couple represents the power of a woman and the blessings that come with marriage. This is especially when both the husband and the wife are held together by love. Parvati’s dedication to serving her husband is outstanding which attracts her husband (Sanderson &Alexis, 349-492).

In both artworks, Shiva and Parvati are not portrayed as being equal. Shiva is portrayed as a leader who is very fearless. This is clearly described through use of physical features like the mountain. Shiva is described as being a supreme being who is after destroying. On the contrary, Parvati is portrayed as a house maker. She is described as a life giver who respects the husband. Her character attracts her husband who decides to marry her. She eventually becomes the source of blessing in Shiva’s life. The artworks portray them as being dissimilar so as to convey the message to the people (Haag 15-24)

Works cited

Ananda Coomaraswamy, Saiva Sculptures, Museum of Fine Arts Bulletin, Vol. 20, No. 118 (Apr., 1922), pp 15-24

James W. Haag  (2013), The Routledge Companion to Religion and Science, Routledge, ISBN 978-0415742207, pp 491-496

Robert Brown (2012), Ganesh: Studies of an Asian God, SUNY Press, ISBN 978-0791406564

Sanderson, Alexis (2004), “The Saiva Religion among the Khmers, Part I.”, Bulletin de Ecolefrangaised’Etreme-Orient, 90-91, pp 349-462

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