Mahadeva -- Shiva Picture

My housing cluster, in our forest community, is called Kailash. According to Hindu mythology Mount Kailash is the abode of Lord Shiva, king of the yogis, the eternal dancer, the destroyer. Years ago a Russian woman sculptor, named Bella, created this bigger-than-life-size statue that sits at the entrance to Kailash cluster. I took this picture recently in an attempt to capture the serene dignity of her likeness of the great god.

The statue shows the goddess Ganga (the source of the river Ganges) sprouting from Shiva’s hair. The crescent moon is also caught in Shiva's matted tresses. He is garlanded with a cobra and has his trident close beside him. His hand is raised in the “fear not” gesture with the Sanskrit symbol Aum painted on it. He wears a mala (prayer necklace) of rudrasha beads and on his forehead are the characteristic three horizontal lines with the third eye open in their midst. Shiva’s eyes are half-closed as he meditates in transcendental bliss.

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