It is highly recommended to visit the Indian Museum, Kolkata to discover the roots of our ancestors and artistic expressions. Below are some fascinating highlights from my visit in August 2023.
Ganesha, remover of the obstacles as we all know him with elephant head. Parvati, his mother, commanded that he should always be the first to be revered before the start of any prayers, festivals, home related poojas, etc. First two sculptures below are from Java, part of modern day Indonesia.
A very rare sculpture of Brahma from Java. Due to fight between Vishnu and Brahma, Lord Shiva stated that Brahma shall not be worshipped. However, there are handful of temples for Brahma in Bharat. It is interesting to see that Brahma could have been revered and worshipped in Java.
Mahishasuramardini, is Durga form of Parvati. There is no history (charithram) where she has never won the courageous battle. She has all the divinity tools to remove the negative forces that a male divinity is usually shown holding. In this sculpture, she is shown holding a few of them.
This is a unique seated form of Vishnu from Java, Indonesia. We know from his tools; chakra and sankh (conch).
After visiting Cambodia in April 2023, it is amazing to see this sculpture of Garuda which is the mount of Vishnu from Cambodia displayed at the Kolkata museum archaeology section.
You might be wondering, what is this? There are various vyala depictions such as simhavyala (lion), sardulavyala (tiger, which is shown below), gajavyala (elephant), mahishavyala (buffalo), asvavyala (horse), etc. I can safely say I have seen these also at the Konark Sun Temple walls. The sculpture has incorporated the animal nature to represent our own natural circumstances. Animal strengths are always sculptured on the walls of the temples and we have to learn to incorporate or embody theirs into ours to gain our strength to victory in all our endeavours. This is my spiritual view.
All credit goes to the archaeologists. Photos are from my journey to the museum. Please credit the rightful owners if you are sharing this article.