Balm on the troubled brow of mankind

 Balm on the troubled brow of mankind

Photo credit: Benoy K Behl

Benoy K Behl

It is in a shrine of the Talagirishwara Temple in Pannamalai, a remote village in Tamil Nadu that you will come across this hardly-ever-seen painting of Shivakami or Parvati of the 7th century. Such surviving paintings help to establish the continuous tradition of painting in ancient India from the 2nd cent. BCE onwards.
When Parvati looks upon Shiva as he dances, she is known as Shivakami. It is a fine philosophic concept, where the cosmic dance cannot exist without her as the eternal witness. Her tender expression here as she looks upon Shiva, makes this one of the masterpieces of Indian art.
In these difficult times, such expressions of love and adoration reach out to us from ancient art and acts as a balm on the troubled brow of mankind.


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