The Blog-o-sphere Think Tank topic for July: ‘Where I went this summer’
I recently travelled to Chennai, to attend the opening of the Contemporary Jewellery show I was participating in. There, I also attended a talk by art historian Chithra Madhavan on ‘The Navrasas in art and sculpture from South India’, organized by Apparao Galleries.
The rasa (mental state) of Karunyam (compassion) was illustrated through the story of rishi Bhringi, carved on the gopuram (a gateway-usually a monumental ornate tower at the entrance of the temple complex) of the Kapaleeshwar temple in Mylapore, Chennai. The top of the gateway traces many other stories of Lord shiva and his consort Goddess Parvati through innumerable sculptures.
A trip to the temple inevitably became my next stop.
There are numerous halls and shrines inside the complex, though the two prominent ones of Shiva and Parvati have impressive flagstaffs outside the buildings housing the sanctum sanctorum.
Can you see sage Bhringi, the 3-legged devotee of Lord Shiva?
According to mythology, Bhringi only wanted to worship Shiva. Shiva’s consort, Parvati, however, took offence at not being worshipped too and sat on her husband’s lap. Bhringi became a snake and slithered between the two.
Shiva, then merged his body with Parvati, taking on the famous ardhanarishwar form. But Bhringi adamantly turned himself into a bee and tried to gnaw his way between the two.
Annoyed, Parvati cursed the sage to loose all parts of his body that came from his mother (In Hindu mythology, bones come from the father and flesh and blood from the mother)
Weakened, Bhringi collapsed on the floor and sure enough, learnt his lesson.
Lord Shiva, then gave Bhringi a third leg to help him stand upright.
Hungry for more? You can read posts of my friends on the same topic here:
andes cruz: http://wp.me/pe2OM-Ml