Sandstone Indian sculpture of Shiva in the shape of Bhairava (Sanskrit: भैरव, ("Terrible "or" Terrifying").
Bhairava is the cruel manifestation of Shiva associated with destruction. He is one of the most important deities in Nepal and many parts of India. In the Hindu epic “Shiv Maha-Puran” the god Vishnu asks the god Brahma who the supreme creator of the universe is. In an arrogant tone, Brahma replies that he is the supreme creator and therefore Vishnu should worship him. This response irritated Vishnu so much that he reincarnated in the shape of Bhairava to punish Brahma and he beheaded Brahma so that of his five heads only four remained. However, because of this, he was guilty of the crime of killing a Brahmin (Brahmahatyapap), forcing him to wear the decapitated skull for twelve years and to roam like a mendicant ("Bhikshatana") until he was released from the sin.
Bhairava is depicted here with a royal headdress, clearly depicting skulls. He wears the Vishnu mark on his forehead, wears royal earrings, has a moustache and beard and dangerous teeth protrude from his mouth
(Uttar Pradesh, India, 11th century)
A similar statue is found in the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore (VS).
Weight = 24 kg
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Origin: private collection Belgium.
- Total nr of items
- 11th century
- Region/ Country of origin
- Theme/ depiction
- Very good condition, see description
- 38×25×20 cm