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ERNEST LEROUX, 28, Rue Bonaparte, Pans. 
MARIINUS NIJHOFF, The Hague, Holland 







AtMstant Aichceological Sit pet intend tnt foi hfaqtapliy, 
Southern Circle 

Published under the authority of the Government of Madras. 


THIS little book o\Se^s its origin to a suggestion made 
by His Excellency Lord Carmichael, when he was 
Governor of Madras in the year 1912. He felt that, 
while there was a multitude of books dealing with Hindu 
religion and incidentally with Hindu iconography, there 
was 110 popular handbook which would give information 
about the images one commonly sees in temples or 
museums in Southern India, and that it would be a 
distinctly useful thing to supply that want. The 
Madras Government entrusted the task to me, presu- 
mably because my official duties bring me very often to 
visit the various temples in the Province and to study 
and classify the images found therein. 

When I accepted the task, I was not fully aware of 
the difficulties that lay before me. In the first place, 
there were very few printed books, in Sanskrit or in 
translations, that gave the orthodox description and 
significance of the images set up in temples. And when 
I 'managed to collate notes from a few old manuscripts 
treating of this subject, it was almost impossible in 
several instances to reconcile the discrepancies which 
they showed or even to understand the technical terms 
which abounded in them. In some cases, the descrip- 
tion of a particular image found in the local chronicles 
or Sthala-Pnrdnas could not be traced in the A gam as. 
I am not altogether sanguine that I have steered clear 
of these difficulties and succeeded in presenting a clear 
and readable account to the average reader. 


My chief source of information in compiling this 
book has been an excellent work entitled u Tattvanidhi," 
published by the Sri-Venkatesvara Steam Press at 
Bombay, and compiled by His Highness the Maharaja 
Mummadi Krishnaraja Vodeyar Bahadur of Mysore. 
A short bibliography of other Sanskrit works consulted 
by me is given at page xv. 

Among the many friends who have kindly helped 
me in this task, my special thanks are due to Sir J. H. 
Marshall, Kt., C.I.E., M.A., LITT.D., F.S A., Director-General 
of x^rchaeology, Simla, and his assistant Mr. V. Natesa 
Aiyar, B.A., for extracts from ancient manuscripts on the 
subject of Indian iconography , to Mr. A. H. Longhurst, 
Archaeological Superintendent, Southern Circle, for the 
numerous illustrations without which the book would 
be almost unintelligible ; and to Mr. C. S. Anantarama 
Aiyar, the Under Secretary to the Government of 
Madras, for much valuable criticism which has been of 
great assistance to me. My thanks are also due to Mr. 
T. Fisher, Superintendent, Government Press, Madras, 
for his many kind suggestions about the get-up of 
the book and a practical arrangement of the numerous 


ist Apnl 7916. H KRISHNA SASTRI. 





Temples and images, the subject of Ajfi//ias and bilpa-bastm* ; origin of 
stone temples in the Pallava peiiod (page li.) Their development 
m the Chola period (2) Signs to distinguish a Saiva temple from a 
Vaishnava temple ; ritual generally followed in temples ; annual 
festivals (^f.) Ritual in temples of village-deities (7) . ... i 9 



Not worshipped as the chief deity in a temple ; his images and general 

description (10) Various forms , illustrations (n) .. ... ... io-~l6 



His general description (17) Incarnations (22) Boar incarnation and 
the reverence paid to it by the early South-Indian kings (22f.) Man- 
lion incarnation and its varieties (24!.) Dwarf incarnation (jof ) 
Rama incarnation (3$f ) Krishna incarnation and varieties (3/f ) 
Buddha and Kalki incarnations (47) Anantasaym, PadmanaKha or 
Ranganatha (5of ) Jalasayana, Vaikuntha-Narayana, Lakshmi- 
Narayana, Garuda-Narayana and Yogesvara- Vishnu (52! ) The 24 
general forms of Vishnu , Plnduranga, Uayagriva and Venkatesa 
(55f.) Pradyumna 01 Manmatha, Vishvaksena and Garuda (62f.) 
Hanuman (64f.) Sudarsana(66f.) Saligrarna stones (/of ) ... 17 71 



His temples and their non-sectarian nature, l^tt^a^ s>mbol of Siva; 
its significance, dcscuption and varieties (72f.)~~ Subsidiary images 
in a Siva temple , importance attached to his sportive forms (74f.) 
The general foim Rudramuiti , its description and varieties ; Panoha- 
dehamurti and Maha-Sadasiva (76f.) Natarija and his several dan- 
cing postures (77!") The Chidambaram, temple ; its history (88f.) 
Dakshmamurti and his various forms (89f.) -Lingodbhava (93f.) 
Bhikshatana and Mohim (9/f.) Katxkalamtirti (103) Ivalyana* 
sundaianciGrti (iO3f.) Somaskanda and albed forms (i07f) 


Vrihharudha (113?) Chandrasekharamurti (li4f. ) Ardhanaii 
(I2of) Harihara (125) Gajahamurti (i25f.) Gangadhara (129!") 
Kalahaianiurti (i$2f ) Nilakantha (iS/f ) Tripurantakamurti 
(I4of.) Kiiataijunamuitj (i4if.) Chandesanugrahamurti (l43f ) 
Sarabhamurti (1475) Pasupatamuiti, Rakshoghnamurti, Aghdra- 
muiti, Bhaira\a and his vanous forms, Mahakala and Kalagni- 
Rudra (148!".) Virabhadra and his various forms (1555.) Kshetia- 
pala (isqf ) Chandesa, Nandlsa, Bhrmglsa and Jxaradeva (l6if ) 
Ganapali and his various foims ; his popularity (i65f.) Skanda and 
his different forms ; the antiquity of his worship (i77f) . ... 72 183 



Then significance (184) Then division into three classes and then 
\\orship on chakras, y unit as and pjthas (185) Sarasvati and her 
different foims (i85f ) Lakshmi and her different forms (187^) 
The eight energies of Vishnu personified (189) General description 
of Gaurl or Parvati (190) The Saptamatnkas (190!".) Sakti god- 
desses holding Vaishnavite symbols . Chamnnda, Durga, Mahishasura- 
mardini and Maha- Lakshmi (196 211) Kalaratri, Tvarita, Tnpuia- 
Bhaira\i, Vajiaprastarmi, Sura, Suiapriya, Srivid^aclevl, Pranasakti, 
Svasthavesmi, Satruvidhvamsmi, Ugra-Tara, Dhiamravatl, SuhnT, 
Pratjangira, Sitaladevi, Tnkantakidevi, Bhutamata and Sivaclutl 
(2iif ) Jyeshtha-Lakshmi (2i6f ) Bala-Tripurasundari, Saubhag- 
yabhuvanesvari, Annapurna, Gayatri, Savitri and Saras\ati, Tulaja- 
Bhavani, Rajamatangi, Laghusyamala, \ T aruni, Kurukulla and 
Vindh>avasini [2i8f.)~ Lalita, Tupuiasundari and Rajarajes\ari j 
their worship on Bala-yantra and Stz-chttkta (zzof ) 184- -222 



Their origin traceable to Tantrik goddesses ; names of a few of them 
(223f.) Their \\oiship and worshippers (226) Ceremonies peculiar 
to temples of village deities , Draupadi temples a.\\&karagam (226f ) 
Sati-\v orship and the fire-vvalkmg ceiemony (229) Village gods . 
Ai>anar and Kartippannasarm (229f ) Ileio-woiship ; devil-dances 
(234; ... . .. . 223234 



The nine Planets (235) The Sun , his description and the bufya-yantni 
(235f ) The Moon and the other Planets (239f ) The Dikpalakas 
Indra, Agm, Yama, Nanrita, Varuna, Vayu and Kubera (24if ) The 
Nagas (248!.) The demi-gods Yakshas, Vidyadharas, etc., and 
Dvarapalas (2Sif ) Saints and sages (2545) The three religious 
reformers; Sana and Vaishnava saints (259^ jaina images 
(z62f) Pedestals, postures, symbols, weapons and jewellery of 
images f26$f) .. . ... 235272 


FRONTISPTECK. The Tanjoie temple. 

FIG. i. Gopura, Narasimha temple ; Mangalagui . cj 

,, 2. Back view of central shrine, Siva temple; Gangaikonda- 6 

solapuram ..... 8 

,, 3. Handranadi tank ; Mannargudi g 

4. Processional images (metal) , Madura . . . I2 

5. Lamp patterns and /#/ ^-utensils , Uttatlui . 13 

6. Brahma ; Seven Pagoda^ . . . .14 

9J 7. Do. Kumbakonam . . . -15 

8. Do. Tiruvadi . . . . , 16 

,, 9. Brahma and Saras vatl ; kandiyur . . .18 

10. Brahma on swan vehicle , Chidambaram . ic; 

n. Vishnu (Ashtabhuja) ; Conjeeveram . . .20 

12. Vishnu, Bellary . . . . . , 2 i 

,, 13. Do. Paramesvaramangalam . . 23 

14. Vishnu and his consorts , Aiiyamba-kkam , 25 

,, 15. Boar incarnation of Vishnu ; St-ven Pagodas . 27 

,, 16. Narasimha bursting forth from the pillar; Ahobalam 28 

17. Ugia-Narasiniha do. . 29 

18. Do (metal) ; Madras Museum . , 31 

,, 19. Yoga-Narasimha ; Tmipati Hill . . .3^ 

,, 20. Tnvikrama , Seven Pagodas . . . $4 

2j. Do. KumbakOnaiu . . . .36 

22. Vamana , Namakkal . . . . , ^ 

23. Rama and group (metal) , Raine-;varam . 40 

24. Krishna tied to a mortar , Pcnukonda . . ,42 

25 Butter-dance of Bala- Krishna (metal) ; Madras Museum 44 

26, Serpent-dance of Kfihya-Krishna (metal) do. 4^ 

27. Venu-Gopala do. 46 

,, 28. Madana-Gopala; Little (Conjeeverani . . . 48 

?J 29. Govardhana-Kiishna , Seven Pagodas 

,, 30. Krishna on the puniitii~\xw (wood) , Kumbakonam 40 

31. Faithasarathi teaching Bhagavad-Gitdto Arjuna ; Pushjja- 51 

lri 53 

,, 32. Anantasayin ; Seven Pagodas .... 

v33- Vaikuntha-Narayana ; Niimakkal 


FIG. 34. Lakshmi-Narayana , Namakkal . . . . ^4 

35. Garuda-Narayana; Chidambaram ... 56 

36. Garuda-Narayana and Gajendramoks ha ; Kumbakonam 57 

> 37- Yogesvara-Vishnu , Huvmahadagalh 58 

,, 38. Do. ( ? ) Kumbakonam . 59 

, 39. Panduranga ; Tirupati . . . . 60 

40. Do. Ahobalam . . . .61 

41. Rati-Manmatha ; Chidambaram ... 63 

42. Garuda ; Tanjore . ,65 

43. Sudarsana; Tirupati ..... 67 

,, 44. Do. back view ; do. . . . .68 

,, 45. Do. front and back view (metal) ; Dadikkombu 69 

?) 46. Sahasra-lmga ; Tiruvottiyur . -75 

)} 47. Panchamukha-linga ; Tiruvanaikkaval . 78 

48. Nataraja (metal) ; Panchanadakkulam . 80 

,, 49. Do. Rarnesvaram . .81 

,, 50. Urdhva-tandava , Tiruppanandal . . 83 

51. Patanjali ; Chidambaram .... 85 

, 5 2 - Vyaghrapada do. . .... 86 

53 Kahka-tandava (metal) , Nallur ... 87 

,, 54. Dakshinamurti ; Avur . . . . .91 

55- Vinadhara-Dakshinamurti ; Chidambaram . . 92 

56. Yoga-Dakshinamurti ; Conjeeveram . . .94 

57. Dakshinamurti , Tiruvengavasal ... 95 

58. Lingodbhava ; Tanjore . . . . .96 

n 59 Ekapada-Trimurti ; Tiruvottiyur . . 98 

60. Do. Tiruvanaikkaval . . .99 

,, 61. Mohim (metal) ; Valuvur .... 101 

62 Bhikshatanamurti (metal) do. . .102 

63. Kankalamurti (metal), Tenkasi . . 104 

,, 64. Kankalamurti ; Dharasuram . . . . 1 05 

65. Kalyana-Sundara , Madura .... 106 

66. Kalyana-Sundara and Svayamvara ; Chidambaram 108 

3, 67. Somaskanda (metal) , Sivankudal . . . 109 

68. Somaskanda; Seven Pagodas . . , m 

3 , 69. Umasahita do. . . .112 

,, 70. Vnshavahana ; Chidambaram . . . 115 

71. Do. (metal) ; Vedaranyara . , 116 

} , 72. Chandrasekhara (metal) ; Tiruvottiyur . 117 

73. Chandrasekhara ; Tanjore . . . 118 

74. Chandrasekhara (Alingananiurti) ; Bagali . . 1^9 

ii 75- Ardhanari ) Madura . . . . .121 

,, 76. Do. Kumbakonam . . . . 122 



FIG. 77. Ardhanari ; Tanjore . . . . . 123 

78. Do. Tiruchchengodu . . . .124 

,, 79. Do. Dharaburam . . . . 126 

,, So. Do. Tiruvadi . . . . .127 

,, 81 Sankaranarayana , INamakkal .... 128 

,, 82. Gajahamurti ; Dharasuram . . . 130 

83 Do. Tirutturaippundi . . . 131 

84. Gangadhara ; Gangaikondasolapuram . . 133 

,, 85. Do. (metal) , Vaidis varan koyil . . 134 

86. Gangadhara , Tanjore . . . 135 

87. Do. Trichmopoly . 136 

88. Kalaharamurti ; Pattisvaram . . .138 

89. Do. Chandragiri . . . 139 

,, 90. Tnpurantakamurti , Chidambaram . . .142 

91. Kiratarjunamxirti ; Pushpagiri . 144 

92. Do. Chidambaram . . .145 

93, Chandesanugrahamurti , Gangaikondasolapuram . 146 

94. Sarabhamurti , Dharasuram . . . 149 

95. Pasupatamurti Chidambaram . 150 

96, Aghoramtlrti ; Pattisvaram . 152 

97. Bhairava do . 153 

c;<S. Kala-Bhairava ; Durgi . . . .154 

99. Kulagm-Rudia (?) do. . . . 156 

100. Virabhadra throwing the- head of Daksha into the fire; 

Tanjore . . . . . . 157 

10 1. Virabhadra ; Mudikondam . . . 158 

102. KshStrapala ; Tiru varan gu lam . . .160 

103. Chandesa ; Tiruvottiyur .... 163 

,, 104 Nandisa and his consort (metal) ; Valuvur . .164 

105. Bhringi , Srisailam . . . 166 

1 06. Jvaradeva , Bhavani . . .167 

107. Ganapati standing , Lepakbhi .... 169 

108. Do. (metal) ; Pattisvaram . 170 

109. Do. seated ; Siyamangalam . 171 

no. Do. dancing ; Gangaikondasolapuram . . 172 

in. Maha-Ganapati ; Madura . 174 

112. Heramba-Ganapati (metal) ; Negapatarn . 175 

113. Skanda ; Tiruvottiyur . .179 

114. Do. (Shadanana) , Madura .... iSo 

115. Skanda and his consorts , Samayapuram . . 181 

116. Do. lighting with giantb ; Chidambaram , . 182 

117. Sarasvati -, Hagali ..... 186 

118. SaniLnya-Lakshmi , Seven Pagodas . . iSS 



FIG. 119. Parvati; Bolumampatti - . 191 

,, T2o. Do. Paramesvaramangalani . . 192 

121. Do. in penance ; Pattisvaram . . . 193 

122. The Seven Mothers , Tanjore .... 195 

123. Chamtmda (Mahakah) ; Tiruchchengodu . . 198 

,, 124. Durga ; Seven Pagodas . .... 200 

, 125. Do. do. . . . 201 

,, 126. Do. Srimushnam . . .203 

,, 127. Do. Dharasuram . . . 204 

128. Durga- Lakshmi ; Tirumalisai - . . 2 5 

,, 129. Mahishasuramardmi , Gangaikondasolapuram . 207 

130. Do. Dharasuram . . .208 

,, 131. Do. Durgi . . . 209 

132. Durga-Mahishasuramardini ; Seven-Pagodas . . 210 

133. Pratyangira ; Tiruchchengodu . . . 214 

134. Do. (?) (metal) , Tiruppalatturai . . 215 

135. Jyeshtha ; Tiruvellavayil . . - 217 

136. Saubhagyabhuvanesvan , Dharasuram . . .219 

137. Rajarajesvari ; Ramesvaram . . . 221 

138. Mutyalamma , Avani ..... 225 

139 Group of images in the Draupadi-amman temple ; 

Kumbakonam . . . . .228 

140. Aiyanar (metal) ; Tnuppalatturai . . 231 

141. Do. Valuvur . . . .232 

,, 142. Do. Ramesvaram . 233 

143. Surya , Kumbakonam . . . 237 

J3 144. Do. Chidambaram . . . . 238 

145. and Ketu , Chidambaram . . .240 

n 146. Indra do. . . . 242 

147- Agni do. . .24.1 

,, 148. Yama do. , - , 245 

,, 149 Nairnta; Ahobalam , . ... 246 

,, 150. Varuna , Lepakshi ..... 247 

151. Vayu do. .... 249 

. ic 2. Kubera do. . 2co 

' o o 

153. Adisesha ; Chidambaram .... 252 
154 Kmnari ; Ramesvaram . . . 253 
5 , 155. Dvarapala ; Tiruvottiyur , . .255 
156. Do. Dharasuram . 256 
157 Narada ; Chidambaram . . . ,257 
158 Agastya do. . . 258 
159- Gaulisvara (Gaudapada ^) and Sankaracharya , Tiru- 
vottiyur . .... 260 



FIG. 160 (metal). () Garuda ; (b) Vedanta-Desika , (c) Vishvak- 
sena ; (d) Raman ujacharya , (e) Tirumangai-Alvar ; 

Namakkal . . , . 261 

161. Mamkkavasagar (metal); Tiru varan gulam 263 

,, 162. Karaikkal-Ammai , Madura .... 264 

PLATE I. Pedestals, postures, etc. . . . 269 

II. Do. do. ... 2 7 

III. Do. do. .... 271 

IV. Do. do. ... 272 




Chaturvargachintaroam (Hemadri). 

Hnhatsamhita (Varahamihira). 

Kasyapa-Silpa (from the Bhanumat or Ambumat-Tantra) 





r Fattvanidhi (with numerous quotations; printed at the Su- 

Venkatesvara Steam Pi ess, Bombay). 
Sabdakalpadruma (the Encyclopaedia of Sanskrit Literature by 

Raja Ra.dhaka.nta Deo ; printed in Calcutta). 






Almost every village of any importance in Southern India 
has its temple, round which centres in a very large measure 
the corporate civic life of the community which lives in it. 
The casual visitor is at once attracted by the temple and 
when he goes there he sees various images in all sorts of 
incongruous postures and is generally puzzled to know what 
they mean or what they represent, and how they serve to 
evoke the religious feelings of the people worshipping them. 
An attempt will be made in the succeeding pages to 
describe and classify them in various groups so as to make 
them more intelligible to the ordinary visitor. 

Elaborate rules have been laid down m the ancient 
Agamas and Silpa-Sastras as to the place where temples are 
to be built, the kinds of images to be installed there, the 
materials with which such images are to be fashioned, and 
even the dimensions and proportions of various kinds of 
images, to vary which will result in untold calamity to the 
maker and the worshipper alike. The curious reader may, 
for example, refer to Sukranitisfira (Chapter IV, Section IV, 
verses T30 et seq.). 1 


Temples must have existed in this part ol the country from 
time immemorial. But the earliest inscriptional evidence of 
the existence of temples takes us back only to the age of the 
Pallava kings, which is supposed to be between the fourth 

1 Pages 166 to 182 of Vol XIII of the " Sacred Books of the Fast 51 series, 
published by the Paniai Press, Allahabad. 


and the ninth centuries of the Christian era. 1 The more 
ancient temples were probably made of wood and other such 
perishable material, as we find to this clay in parts of Malabar. 
Perhaps the Pallavas were among the very first in Southern 
India to build temples of durable material. In fact one of 
the most famous of these Pallava kings, Mahendravarman I, 
who reigned about the beginning of the seventh century A D., 
was known by the title Chetthakari, i.e., the maker of chaityas 
or temples." 

The earliest Pallava monuments so far discovered are 
those of Mahabalipuram or the Seven Pagodas. They con- 
sist of solid rathas cut out of a single rock and of temples 
scooped out of the living boulder. The form of these rathas 
and temples served perhaps as models to the later temples in 
cut stone, such as those of the Shore Temple there, the Kailasa- 
natha and Vaikuntha-Perumal temples at Conjeeveram, and 
other Pallava temples elsewhere. 


The Pallavas were succeeded by the ChOla kings, who arc 
justly entitled to be regarded as the greatest temple-builders 
of Southern India. About 90 per cent of the temples now 
found were erected in their time. They are generally 
dedicated either to Siva or Vishnu, and in their simplest form 
consist of a cell called the Garbha-gnha, the central shrine, 
surmounted by a spire or dome, with a hall in front, called 
Mukha-mandapa and a narrow passage or vestibule connecting 
the two, called the Ardha-mandapa, which is open on two sides 
to permit of the priestly worshippers circumambulating the 
central shrine. In the Mukha-uiandapa or just outside it will 
be placed the image of the deity's chief vehicle, the Nancli- 
bull in Siva temples and the Garuda-bird in Vishnu temples. 
This is generally the limit up to which the non-Brahmun 
classes are allowed to come. Round and outside of these 
are the Maha-mandapa, the big hall, and other pavilions in 
which on special occasions processional images of the deity 
are placed and worshipped. Next after the M aha- man dap a 
there will be two raised platforms, one behind the other, on one 

1 The Buddhist stupas at AniaravatI and other villages in the Guntur district, 
the stvipa at Sankaram in the Vizagapatam district, and the caverns with rock-cut 
beds in the Madura and Tinnevelly districts are certainly much older but cannot 
n any sense be called temples. Some of these last may, however, have been used 
as temples in a much later period either by Buddhists or by Jamas. 

* Simultaneously with Mahendravarrran I, in the Pallava dominions, rock- 
cut temples appear to have come into existence in the Panclya and the Cher<i 
(Jvongu) countries under the patronage of their respective sovereign* 


of which is planted the flagstaff or dhvaja-stambha, made of 
stone, wood or metal, and on the other is offered what is 
called the Sribah, when sacrificial cooked food and flowers are 
offered to the minor divinities or powers who have to be 
appeased in order to ward off all evil and to prevent disturb- 
ance to the ordinary conduct of the daily worship. It is only 
up to this limit that foreigners are allowed to enter the 
temples by the orthodox Hindu. 

In temples of any importance there will be a separate shrine 
for the goddess, but generally on a smaller scale than that of 
the chief deity. There are separate places for the kitchen 
where the offerings are prepared with scrupulous regard to 
ceremonial purity ; there are storehouses where the articles 
required for a year's consumption in the temple are stored; and 
there is generally a fresh waler well which is often the best 
source of drinking water in the village. The whole group of 
buildings is surrounded by high prakara walls, whose gate- 
ways are surmounted by the characteristic towers (figs. I and 
2) which lend distinction to a temple city. In some cases 
there will be outside the temple a big pleasure tank (fig 3), 
generally square in size, built round with stone steps on all 
sides, and with a central wandapa, where once a year the god 
and goddess are taken in procession for the floating festival. 


The outer walls and the lofty flagstaff will easily show to 
the sight-seer whether the temple is dedicated to a Saiva 
divinity or to a Vaishnava god. In the former there will be 
seen images of the Nandi-bull in a recumbent posture, while 
the latter will show similar images of the Garuda-bird. 
Temples other than those of Siva and Vishnu are not 
uncommon and can easily be identified by similar marks of 
the characteristic vehicle of the god. Vishnu temples may 
also show the symbols of the conch and the discus and the 
caste mark (namam) of the Vaishnavas painted on the walls. 


The ritual followed every day in the temples of Siva and 
Vishnu may be generally described as rajopachara, or the 
paying of royal honours. Thus in rich temples there will be 
elephants and camels with their appropriate paraphernalia, 
the royal umbrellas and chauris mounted on gold or silver 
handles, palanquins and other vehicles, a troupe of dancers 
and musicians, a host of other temple servants to wash the 
god, anoint him with sandal or decorate him with flowers and 

I -A 


. Gopwa^ Narasimha temple ; Mangalagiri. 




so on. Crowns and other rich and costly jewellery, set with 
gems and pearls (fig. 4), and often presented by Rajas and 
Chieftains or other rich devotees, are a special pride of the 
wealthier temples. 

The Brahmana priest is to purify himself by bath and pray- 
ers early morning, and then open the doors of the sanctum and 
gently wake up the god, who is supposed to be sleeping, by 
chanting appropriate hymns in his praise. Then, after duly 
worshipping the guardian deities, he washes the feet of the 
chief deity, bathes the image, clothes it properly, decorates 
it with the usual jewellery, sandal and flowers, waving incense 
and lamps of diverse pattern (fig. 5) in front of the god and 
finally offering him the cooked food or naivedyam and the 
final betel leaf and nut. At stated intervals the god comes 
out in procession and perhaps sees to the comfort of his 
attendant deities Usually there is an important annual 
festival, representing in some cases the marriage of the god 
or some other special event in the doings of the god 
registered in local chronicles or Pur anas- On such occasions 
the procession is carried on different vehicles, both common 
and special, the latter being such as the kalpa-vnksha, the 
wish-giving celestial tree or the kamadhenit, the wish-giving 
celestial cow, or the mythic animal gandabherunda. The most 
important procession will generally be the car festival when 
the god goes round in the huge car through the main streets 
where his worshippers live and receives worship and offerings 
at their very homes. 


In the temples dedicated to the village deities the cere- 
monial is not much different. Brahmanas however rarely 
officiate and animal sacrifices are generally offered, especially 
when the village is threatened with an epidemic or with 
serious scarcity or famine. Vedic incantations are not 
uttered m these temples. 

With this brief general description of the temple, we can 
now proceed to study the various images which are found 
represented in them. 


Flo. 4. Processional images (metal) ; Madura. 








Brahma, distinct from Brahman, the all-pervading Eternal 
Spirit, is the first member of the Hindu Triad. His principal 
function is creation. Independent shrines dedicated to him 
are rather rare Still, figures of this god are commonly found 
decorating one of the niches in the north wall of the central 
shrine in a Siva temple. Images of Brahma may sometimes 
also be seen on pillars, ceilings or other parts of a temple ; 
but the one point that deserves to be noted is that though 
often pictured the god is not worshipped 1 as the chief clcMty 
in a temple, like the two other members of the Triad, Vishnu 
and Siva. 

According to Manasara, one of the standard works on 
sculpture, Brahma is represented with four heads. He has, 
type however, only one body and four hands. The image may be 
standing or seated and made of metal or of stone. The palm 
of the left lower hand exhibits the posture of conferring boons 
(varada) while the right lower indicates protection (abhaya). 
The corresponding upper hands hold the water-pot (kaman- 
dalit) and the rosary (akshamdld) or sometimes the sacrificial 
ladle (snk) and spoon (sruva). The following ornaments are 
seen in a finished picture of Brahma: (l) ear-rings or 
pendants fashioned like the face of a crocodile ; (2) the sacred 
thread yajnasutra hanging right across the body from above 
the left shoulder; (3) the scarf (uttarlya) thrown round the 
neck so as to stretch down to the knees ; (4) the udara- 
bandhana* or literally, a girdle going round the belly; (5) 
necklace and torque; (6) armlets, arm-rings, wristlets, anklets, 
waist-zone, finger-rings set with gems, etc. His hair is made 

1 According to the Brahmavaivarta - Purana he was cursed by Mdhinl not to 
receive any worship ; see also below, p. 93 In the Telugu and Canaresc 
districts we occasionally find temples dedicated to Traipuru^ha, i.e , the three 
J gods Brahma, Vishnu and Siva Cunously enough the place of Biahma is here 
occupied by Surya, the Sun god; see Babu Nagendra. Natha Vasu's Mayurabhatt.ja % 
p xxiv From the Nrisitnhaprasada quoted in 7'attvamdhi we learn that one 
variety of Brahma is of the form of Sun-god. 

3 In the Tanjoie inscriptions this ornament is mentioned as made of gold and 
set with gems, see, e.g., South- Indian ftisCf? ptions, Vol II, p 189 


up in the fashion known as jatd-makitta and he is attendecNs$L. 
the two goddesses x SarasvatI (on the right) and Savitri (on 
the left). 

Another representation shows Brahma riding on a chariot Vano 
drawn by seven swans (hamsa*). His right lower hand rests forms 
on the palm of the left lower, the two other hands holding the 
usual rosary and the water-pot. He is seated on a full blown 
lotus-flower, with his eyes closed in a meditative posture. 
The goddess Savitri is seated on his left thigh. 3 There are 
various other representations of Brahma drawn purely from 
the imagination of the sculptor or painter and sometimes 
also based on Puranic legends. But the mampoints which 
distinguish Brahma from the other gods are the same in all. 
Hemadri mentions some forms of Brahma such as Prajapati, 
Visvakarma, * Lokapala and Dharma It may be noted that the 
swan vehicle and the goddesses are rarely, if at all, found in 
the figures of Brahma generally set up in South-Indian temples. 

An old picture of Brahma from Seven Pagodas (fig. 6) and must 
a later one from KumbakOnam (fig. 7) illustrate the standing 
posture described above. In the latter the left lower hand 
rests freely on the waist of the god and does not show the 
posture of conferring boons. The sitting attitude of Brahma 
surmounted by a parasol and cliauris the symbols of supreme 
power is beautifully illustrated by a picture from Tiruvadi 
near Tanjore (fig. 8). Another figure, which is unfortunately 
mutilated, shows the same position, but includes the standing 
figure of SarasvatI on the right side of Brahma (fig- 9)- ft * s 
noticeable that in this figure the right upper hand of Brahma 
is made to hold a lotus instead of the usual rosary. An image 
from Chidambaram (fig. 10) shows Brahma on his swan 
vehicle folding two of his hands in ( a worshipping posture and 
holding the rosary and water-pot in the other two. 

1 For a description, of these goddesses, see below, pp. 185 f and 218, note 3. 
The Kahka-/ 5 w5y/# mentions also the two goddesses, the ghee-pot on the left jpid 
the Vedas m front, together with a number of attendant sages engaged in meditation 

2 The conventional bird hamsa is represented in Hindu sculptme with a high 
neck, a crest (sttifit) on its head, white body, red feet and a beak of golden yellow. 

^ Brahma with Savitri on his left side, is called Prajapati-Brahma. He has 
only one face and no swan vehicle. 

4 Visvakarma has ten hands and holds the characteristic symbols of the three 
gods Brahma, Vishnu and Ma-hesvara One of his symbols mentioned m the 
Silpasara is the inana-danda^ * measuring rod.' He rides on an elephant and has 
his body besmeared with ashes. Another such god, who partakes of the nature of 
all the three gods, is the Sun Still another is Dattatreya who granted the 
objects of his desire to sage Atn. He is represente4 as a wandering mendicant 
with ashes rubbed over his body and followed by the four Vedas in the form df 
four dogs Dattatreya is considered to be a form of Vishnu. 


FIG 6. Brahma , Seven Pagodas 


ic*. 7, Bralima j Kuwbakonam. 


FIG. 8. Brahma, Tiruvadi. 


FIG. 9. Brahma and Saras vatl ; Kandiyur 



FIG. to. Brahma on swan %ehicle ; Chidamban 



Vishnu is the second member of the Hindu Triad- His 
principal function is that of the protector of the universe. 
He is worshipped in South-Indian temples in various forms 
and under various names. The general description of Vishnu 
without reference to any of his particular incarnations is given 
in the Mdnasara as follows : He has four arms and two eyes, 
wears a high crown and a yellow scarf; on his breast is the 
auspicious mark Srlvatsa\ he holds the discus and the conch 
in his upper arms and the club and the sword (or lotus) in the" 
lower and wears the garland (vanamdla) of flowers, reaching 
down to the knees\ In some cases the lower arms exhibit the 
protecting and the boon-conferring postures (fig. II). 1 A 
prominent nose, broad eyes and smiling countenance are other 
features of Vishnu. The goddesses Sri or LakshmT (wealth) 
and MahT or PnthvT (Earth) are usually represented on his 
right and left sides respectively. 2 The discus is generally 
held in the right hand and the conch m the left; but this 
arrangement is reversed in the case of an image found in the 
Bellary district (fig. 12). According to the Kasyapa-Silpa 
the left lower hand of Vishnu may, without showing the 
varada or boon-conferring posture, rest on his waist freely 
(fig. 13) and the goddesses need not always be represented 
with him. Figures of Vishnu may be seen standing, seated 
or reclining. They receive different names in their different 
postures; but the Vaishnava symbols, viz., the discus and 
conch, the garland vanamdla and the auspicious mark Srivatsa 
always remain the distinguishing features of Vishnu. Fig. 14 

3 This figure shows, however, four more hands holding a bow and arrow and 
a sword and shield 

2 For a description of these goddesses, see below, p 187. The 2'ancharafra- 
gawa mentions also the goddess NiUdevi and describes her as seated with fcui 
hands in t\vo of \\hach she holds Jotus flowers. 



FIG, U. -Vishnu (Ashtabhuja) ; Conjeeveiam, 


FIG. 12. Vishnu ; Bellarj. 



13. \ishnuj Painniesvaramangalatti. 





from Ariyambakkam in the Chingleput district illustrates the 
sitting form of Vishnu with the goddesses Sri and Bhu and 
two kneeling devotees. 


niore popular forms of Vishnu, worshipped in the 
temples, generally refer to his numerous avatars or incarna- 
tions. There are ten such avatars recognized as of primary 
importance ; but of these only five are commonly represented 
for worship. They are (l) Varaha *' the Boar incarnation "; 
(2) Narasimha " the Man-lion incarnation " ; (3) Vamana " the 
Dwarf incarnation," developing eventually into Trivikrama ; 
(4) Rama, the hero of the Ramayana ; and (5) Krishna, the 
pastoral god and the chief actor in the great war of the 
Mahfibharata. The other five incarnations of Vishnu, viz., 
the Fish, the Tortoise, Parasurama, Buddha and Kalki though 
represented largely on walls, pillars and ceilings of temples 
foxing either carved or painted, are not generally worshipped 
ks the chief deity in a temple. 1 


Varaha, also known as Adivaraha, Dharanlvaraha or 
Bhuvaraha, is beautifully illustrated by the image in the 
Varaha-Perumal cave-temple at Mahabalipuram. Here the 
boar-faced Vishnu is seen standing with his right foot resting 
on the hood of the serpent-god Sesha. On the right thigh is 
seated the godde s Earth, 2 supported in position by the two 
lower arms of the god. He wears a high crown and has 
in his two upper hands the discus (held sideways) and the 
conch. As these images however have recently been covered 
with a thin coating of plaster and painted fantastically in 
variegated colours, it is not possible to say what sculptural 
peculiarities the original may have exhibited. Fortunately, a 
panel representing this same Varaha- avatar of Vishnu (fig. 15) 
with attendant deities, is found in another rock-cut mandapa 
at that village and is decidedly a true copy of the sculptures 

1 Parasurama, "the a\e-Ltarer, Rama ' is supposed to be the founder of the 
west-coast country, having miraculously reclaimed it from the encroaching sea. 
He is, therefore, often worshipped in Malabar m special shrines dedicated to him! 
Siva temples wuh the name Parasurames\ara are common and these are believed 
to owe their existence to Parasurama, In the Kachchhapes\ara temple at Conjee- 
veram, on a stone set up under a tiee, there is a ^presentation of the Tortoise 
incarnation of Vishnu, worshipping Siva This is reproduced by Mr. Rea in his 
Madras Archaeological Survey Report for 1910-1:, Plate V, fig. i 

2 The BraAmiya-Silpa states that Lakshmi (i e. Sri) is also to be depicted 
on the side of Varaha. 



found in the shrine of the Varaha-Perumal cave-temple. The 
scene depicts the primeval Boar rescuing from the depths of 
the ocean the goddess Earth, who had been kidnapped thither 
by the demon Hiranyaksha, an enemy of the gods. Sesha, 
on whose wide-spread hoods the earth is generally s^lpposed 
to rest, is also represented as rising from the ocean along 
with the Boar-god. He is folding his hands in the attitude 
of worship. The devas worshipping the god from above, the 
sages on the right, and Brahma and Siva on the left indicate 
the joy felt by the entire universe on this occasion. This 
representation exactly follows the description given by 
Hemadri in his Chaturvarga-Chintdmaui, The hand with the 
discus is sometimes also shown as raised in the act of killing 
Hiranyaksha. The god may be represented as smiling after 
having killed Hiranyaksha and revived him by divine grace. 
Figures of the Man-boar in meditation or of a full Boar 
digging the earth in the midst of many demons, are also 
sometimes represented. In the pictures of LingOdbhava 
(Siva) noted in the sequel, is seen the full Boar form of Vishnu 
digging the earth. 

Temples dedicated to the Boar-incarnation of Vishnu arc 
not many. This incarnation was a particular favourite of 
the Western Chalukya kings in the early centuries of the 
Christian era. A fine sculpture of Varaha carrying the 
goddess Earth is tound in the Chalukyan rock-cut temple at 
Badami (Ind. Ant., Vol. VI, p. 354)- 1 In later times, too, the 
Kakatlyas, the Reddis of Kondavldu and the Hindu sove- 
reigns of Vijayanagara, paid particular reverence to Varaha, 
adopting the boar as their royal crest. At SrTmushnam in the 
South Arcot district is a beautiful big temple dedicated to 
this god and so also is another at Tiruvadanclai near 
Mahabalipuram in the Chmgleput district. 


Narasimha or Nnsimha, the Man-lion is more popular 
than Varaha. A large number of families in the south, 
Brahman and non-Brahman, own him as their tutelary deity. 
In Tamil, the name is corrupted into Singa (Sanskrit Shnha) 
or Singa-Perumal, and in the other vernaculars into Nanisa 
(a contraction of Narasimha). The story of this incarnation 
of Vishnu is briefly as follows : 

Hiranyaksha and Hiranyakasipu were two demon 
brothers, naturally hostile to Vishnu. Hiranyaksha was killed 

1 See also Vtsvakar?>i a, Part VI, No 



FIG, 16, Xaiasimhabutsting forth from the pillar , Ahobalam, 


by Vishnu in his Varaha-avatar. Hiranyakasipu then became 
the king of the demons and vowecl eternal war with Vishnu. 
His young son, Prahlada, however, became a devoted adher- 
ent of Vishnu and was always praising him as the all- 
pervading lord of the universe. Exasperated with this, 
Hiranyakasipu asked the young boy whether his god Vishnu, 
if he was all-pervasive, could be found in the pillar in front 
of him; and then hacked at it with his sworcl. The pillar 
cleft in twain and out burst from it, to the astonishment of 
Hiranyakasipu, the angry god in the shape of a Man-lion, 
(fig. 16), who forthwith tore to pieces the impious demon king. 
The angry god is called Ugra (the ternble)-Narasnnhu 
(figs. 17 and 18). When, however, his anger subsided at the 
earnest prayers of Prahlada he became serene and in this form 
Nli he is known as Lakshrni-Narasimha. Yoga-Narasimha (fig 19) 
MHA; is another form in which the god is seen squatting in a 
MHA. meditative mood. Simhachalam in the Vizagapatam district, 
Ahobalam in the Kurnool district and Namakkal 1 in the 
Trichinopoly district may be mentioned among the places 
sacred to Narasimha. The usual Vaishnava symbols, saukha 
(conch) and chakra (discus), are seen in the two upper hands 
of the image "of Narasimha in all his forms The monolithic* 
Ugra-Narasimha* found in the ruins of Vijayanagara was 
there established' by king Knshnaraya in A.D. 1528. It may 
be noted that here the god, though called Ugra-Narasimha, is 
not represented,' as may be expected, in the posture of splitting 
open the bowels of the demon Hiranyakasipu. 

Hemadri states that Narasimha must be represented with 
muscular shoulders, a stout neck and a slender waist. Halt 
man and half lion, his face must be fiery and so also the 
mane round it. Standing with his right foot bent forward 
(alidha) he splits with his sharp nails the breast oi 
the tyrant Hiranyakasipu, who, as the wise men say, is 
an embodiment of ignorance. The Pane hard trd^nnni thus 
describes the form of Narasimha suited for meditation : - 
" (Terrible) like flaming fire, he has a lion-face with a human 
body, furious fangs, a protruding tongue, an open mouth, a 
thick mane and muscular chest. He stands in the dlhilui 
posture in an angry mood and spirts the breast oi the giant, 
thrown flat upon his thigh, with the sharp nails of both his 
hands. In his two other hands he holds the symbols ot the 
club and the discus." The Mayamata, while giving almost 

1 A. detailed description of the images in the rock-cut temples at N.imakLi! 
given in the Madras Epigraphical Report for 1906, Part II. pp. 75 and 76 


FIG. 19. YOga-Narasixuha ; Tmipnli Hill* 


the same description of him, states that the cruel form of 
Narasimha is installed on mountain-tops, caves, forests or 
the enemy's territory when the enemy has to be destroyed ; 
when installed, however, in villages and towns he has four 
hands, two of which wear the conch and the discus. 


A. or Vamana or the Dwarf incarnation of Vishnu is wor- 

l . rf shipped in its ultimate manifestation, under the Sanskrit 

name Trivikrama or the Tamil Ulagalanda-Perumal. The 

former means " the god who took three strides " and the latter 

" the lord who measured the universe (with three strides)." 

The story is that a powerful demon king named Bali, the 
great-grandson of Hiranyakasipu mentioned above, conquered 
the three worlds and ruled them, in spite of his birth, in charity 
and with justice. Indra, the chief of gods, was thus super- 
seded. Vishnu as the avowed destroyer of the demons 
(danavas) and the upholder of the gocls had to restore Indra 
to his legitimate position. Vishnu could not go to war against 
Bali, as he was a virtuous king. So he went in the guise of a 
Dwarf Brahmana, a student of the Veclas Cbrahmachann), and 
begged of Bali for three feet of land on which he could sit 
and meditate on Brahman undisturbed. The generous Bali 
granted the request. But what was his astonishment when 
he saw the cunning god grow to a height transcending the 
world, take in at one step the whole earth, covering the sky 
RAMA, with the next, and demanding of Bali to show him room for 
the third. True to his promise, Bali offered his own head, 
on which the god placed his foot and sent him down to the 
lower regions. Greatly pleased with the king's nobility and 
firmness of character, Vishnu is still supposed to be guarding 
as his servant the palace of Bali in the world below. 

There are not many temples dedicated to this god. At 
Tirukkoyilur in the South Arcot district is a celebrated shrine 
of Trivikrama. Another one is the Ulagalanda-Perumal 
temple at KanchT. In the Va.raho.-jfi an Japa at Mahabali- 
puram, on the panel opposite to the Varaha-^wzfozr 
described above, is a fine representation of Trivikrama 1 (fig. 
20). Here the god has eight hands. The foremost arm on 
the right side is artistically made to support the lintel, while 
the remaining three hold the discus, club and the sword. Of 
the arms on the left side two hold the bow and the shield ; 

1 There is also a panel in the rock cut temple at Namakkal, representing 
Trivikrama with more details 

FIG 20 ,-Trivikraim; Seven Pagodi 


the third has the conch and the fourth is pointed towards 
Brahma seated on the lotus. This Brahma has four hands and 
four faces (?). He reverently touches with one of his hands 
the toe of the uplifted leg of Trivikrama and with another 
touches the finger of the god pointed towards him. On the 
corresponding right side of Trivikrama is found apparently 
Siva, also on a lotus-seat. The Sun and Moon, with circles 
of light behind their heads, perhaps to distinguish their 
respective functions, are seen flying in the air half way down 
the high face of the god. Two other heavenly beings, one of 
which is on a level with the head of Trivikrama and has a 
horse-face, 1 are also flying in the air. The seated figures at 
the foot of Trivikrama are apparently Bali and his retinue 
who are struck with amazement at the sudden transformation 
of the stunted Vamana into the all-pervading Trivikrama. 
In the Ramasvamin temple at Kumbakonarn is a sculptured 
pillar (fig 21 ) on which the story of the V< is 
well represented. The lower section shows Bali and his wife 
granting bogps to Brahmanas. In the upper section is the god 
Trivikrama under a floral arch. His right foot is placed in 
the two open palms of the Earth On his right is the image 
of the Dwarf. His vehicle Garuda is behind him. On the left 
side are evidently Bali and his wife standing. This descrip- 
tion of Trivikrama exactly coincides with what has been 
given above, except that the hand supporting the lintel in the 
Mahabahpuram panel is here shown as offering protection. 
Tumburu is also seen above on the floral arch, flying in the air. 
The exact form of Vamana, prior to his manifestation as 
Trivikrama, is, according to H^madri, that of a fat young 
student of the Vedas with crooked joints, holding a staff in 
his hand and wearing on his back the skin of a black buck 
(krishndjina) (fig. 22). Representations of Vamana figures 
with water-pot in one hand and an umbrella in the other 2 on 
demarcation stones of fields granted in charity, were quite 
common even down to the end of the nineteenth century. 
This auspicious figure evidently denoted fortune and was 
appropriately connected with boundary stones and the 
measurement of land. A festival in honour of Bali is still 
observed by the people of Mysore on the first day after the 
DipSivali-Amavasya. In Malabar people connect Bali with 

1 Kvidently Tumburu with drum in hand, leading the hosts of gods. Mr. 
Venkayya takes the same figure in the Namakkal rock-cut temples to he Jamba vat ; 
see Madras Epigraphica) Report for 1906, p 76. 

2 This is the description of Vamana as given in the Pan char air again a. 



FIG 21. Trivikrama ; Kiunbakonam. 



FlG. 22. Vamana ; Narna.kka.1 


their national harvest festival, the Onam, in which they 
worship a clay figure of this high-minded emperor. It is 
supposed that the king is permitted by Vishnu to visit every 
year the fair earth over which he once ruled and to satisfy 
himself that the people are quite as happy and glad as in his 


We now come to the avatar of Rama, Ramachandra or RAMA 
Ramabhadra, the hero of the beautiful epic Ramayana, which natlot 
in its various aspects has permeated the life of the Indian 
people and moulded their character to a great extent. Rama 
was the eldest son of Dasaratha, the king of AyOdhya (Oudh). 
As such, his images do not, like those of the avatars so far 
described, avatars which were sudden outbursts of divine 
energy exhibit either the four arms of the gods or the 
distinguishing Vaishnavite symbols of conch, discus, club and 
lotus. Human in form, but god in essence, Rama is always 
represented as a royal personage of bewitcnnig 4 ' beauty, well 
developed in body, having broad eyes, long arms^fyrly tresses, 
ornaments and auspicious marks that indicate- high birth 
and noble character. Paintings of Rama's life are numerous 
and cover the whole period of his history from his birth to his 
passing away bodily from this world into the depths of the 
Sarayu river. In many South-Indian temples may be observed 
scenes from the Ram ay ana, either painted on the walls or cut 
into panels, forming continuous belts round the central shrine 
or the prakara wall. 1 When represented as the consecrated 
deity within a temple, Rama is generally seen to be a standing 
figure with his queen STta on the left and his faithful 
brother Lakshmana on the right. He and his brother hold 
bows and arrows. The bow is called kodanda and so Rama 
with the bow is sometimes known as KOclandgi-Rama. 

In the accompanying illustration of metallic images from 
Ramesvaram (fig. 23) the positions of Slta and Lakshmana are 
interchanged and the arrows and quivers are missing. The 
two images at either extreme represent their faithful servant 
Hanuman (see below p. 64). As stated in the Silpasangraha, 
the figures of Rama are distinguished as independent and 
dependent. In the former case he stands alone and has four 
arms, two of which hold the bow and the arrow and the other 
two, the conch and the discus. In the latter he has two arms 
and may be accompanied by his three brothers, his queen 

1 For example, in the Hazara-Ramasvamin, temple at Ilampi ; in the 
Ramasvarnm temple at Kumbakonam - and m the Tcrmapuram temple at Chandra- 
gin, Chittoor district. 



Slta, the monkey hosts and the Rakshasa chiefs headed by 
Vibhlshana. Rama with Sita on his side is generally contem- 
plated upon as seated in the aerial car Pushpaka in the virasana 
posture within a golden pavilion and underneath the celestial 
tree (kalpa-vriksha). In his front stands Hanuman reading, 
while Rama is explaining the mystery of philosophy to the 
crowds of sages who gather round him along with his royal 
brothers Bharata, Lakshmana and Satrughna. 1 


Krishna is the next avatar of Vishnu 3 which is highly vener- KRISIIN 
atedbythe Hindus. The RhSgavata~P//r/m which describes i ncarna 
in detail the early life of Krishna in Bnndavana (Brinclaban) tum 
has provided more material for iconology than his subsequent 
career as the moving spirit of the Mahabharata-Viar, the author 
of the " Divine Song " Bhagavad-Gltd or the benevolent chief 
of Dvaraka (Dwarka, Baroda). 

Three stages in the life of Krishna have been marked 
out to be the most prominent. As a baby, not yet weaned from 
his mother's breast, he is represented in the arms of YasOda. 
This form of Krishna receives the name Santana-G5pala. S^NTAN 
Also as a baby divine, identified with Supreme Vishnu, GQPALA 
he is sometimes pictured as lying on a banyan-leaf (Vatapa- VA-IAPA 
trasayin) sucking the toe of his leg held by the hand. These sAYIN * 
pictures of the baby-god are commonly seen in paintings. 

Krishna is also represented as a winsome boy, full of 
fun and frolic and fond of thieving milk and butter from 
the neighbouring cottages of cowherds living at Brmda- 
vana. It is said that on one occasion YasOda punished him 
by tying him up to a mortar. The child then ran along, 
dragging the mortar behind him ; but in trying to pass between 
two tall and stout trees standing close together, the heavy 
mortar was caught between and felled them down ; when lol 

1 This conception of Rama is perhaps to be traced to the fact that m the work 
called Vasishtliaramayana, Kama is stated to have given lessons in philosophy 
to his family priest \asishtha. The story of the Ramayatia as clescubed by 
the poet Valmlki, is said to be referied to in the Mantia of the Rig-Veda, 
beginning with the words bhadro Ihadraya^ etc. The explanatory comment 
(nirukta) is, however, not included m Yaska's Nint&ta. The historical develop- 
ment of Rama and Krishna cults have been fully dealt with by Dr JR. G. Bhandar- 
kar in his Vaishnavism^ Saivism^ etc 

The verse which is usually quoted m connexion with the ten a-vatfas of 
Vishnu, mentions Balarama or Ilaladhara " the bearer of the plough," as the incarna- 
tion which came next after the epic hero Rama. Knshna, the younger brother of 
Balarama, being, however, considered to be Vishnu himself, receives divine honours 
in preference to Balarama. The famous temple at Pun-Jagannath contains figures 
of Balarama and Krishna with their sister Subhadra standing between them. 


the trees assumed the shape of the two sons of Kubera, the god 
of riches, who being cursed by the sage Narada to assume the 
shape of trees had been waiting long to be thus restored by the 
Lord Krishna to their original form. The first part of this 
incident is represented in fig 24. 

In South India pictures of Krishna with a pot of butter 
under his left arm and eating out of a ball of it placed in 
the palm of his right hand are not uncommon. On either 
side of him are represented shepherd girls of Brindavana- 1 
This form of Krishna, though very often meditated upon and 
sung about even in nursery rhymes, is rarely worshipped as 
the chief figure in temples a famous exception to this being 
Udipi in the South Canara district, where a big temple, richly 
endowed, is maintained for the worship of the god Bala- 
Krishna. 2 In the Madras Museum are two metallic images of 
dancing Krishna, one of which holds in its right hand a ball 
of butter 3 (fig. 25). A peacock's feather stuck into the tuft of 
hair Imotted overhead is, along with the other golden jewellery 
peculiar- to children, a special feature of Krishna as a boy. 
Gold and silver images of this form of Krishna in miniature 
are among the set of idols worshipped daily in an orthodox 
Brahmana's house. Vaishnavism in its various forms prevail- 
ing throughout India praises the child form of Krishna in the 
sweetest of strains with an overflow of devotion peculiar to 
that creed alone. 

Another story of the boy Krishna is represented in his 
dance on the head of a serpent named Kahya (the black). 
Kaliya was hiding in a pond in the Yamuna river and making 
the whole neighbourhood poisonous to all living beings. 
One day the cattle tended by Krishna and his companions 
strayed into this region and were thereby poisoned. Krishna 
then plunged into the pond and holding the viper by the tail 

1 The name given to this figure m the Silparatna is Santana-Gdpala, already 
referred to Krishna under this designation i& described as a young playful baby 
decorated with the jewels of children, holding fiesh butter in his hand and sur- 
rounded by <j<3/z-women He \vears also a necklace with a pair of tiger's claws 
decorating it A variety of this same Krishna is sometimes represented to be riding 
on a chariot and to have four arms in two of which are seen the Vaishnava symbols 
sankka and c/iakra 

2 Krishnaraya, the well known Vija>anag,ira king of the bixteenth century 
A.D., is stated to have installed in the Krishnasvamm temple near Ilampi, an 
image of Bala-Kris>hna which .he had brought as a trophy from Udayagiri (Nellore 
district) and to hav given many ornaments and villages to it. 

3 The Byakmtya-Szlpa refers to the dance of Krishna called Navamla-nrittg. 
*' the butter- dance " in which the god bends his legs and dances stretching out one 
of his arms. 




^-. . 

FIG, 24 -Krishna tied to a mortar ; Penubi 


'la dras '. 


in one hand began to dance heavily on his raised hoods. The 
demon writhed under the pressure of the god's tiny feet, 
vomiting blood profusely from each of his several mouths, 
and was completely exhausted and overcome. Then at last 
the serpent Kaliya recognized the Lord and took himself 
away to a remote island in the far-off sea. The esoteric sense 
of this is clear The serpent represents the embodiment of 
all that is vile and wicked in this world ; the clance of Krishna 
represents the fight with evil and its final conquest by the 
Divine Spirit. Kaliya-Krishna is found only as a decorative 
figure in temples but not as the object of worship m the central 
shrme. As in the case of Bala-Krishna, miniature figures of 
Kaliya-Krishna are often found among the images of worship 
in a Brahmana's house. A copper idol representing this 
sport of Krishna was discovered some years ago among the 
treasure trove found at Kattu-Edaj-aru in the South Arcot 
district (fig. 26). The figure has two hands, a jewelled 
crown and the usual ornaments. Being a copper image it 
may be inferred that the idol was used only for proces- 
sions in the temple to which it originally belonged. Accord- 
ing to the Silpasara the right foot of Kalmgamardana 
(i.e., Kaliya-Krishna) is slightly bent and the left raised up. 
Of the two arms the heft is stretched out in the abhaya posture 
and the right holds the tail of the serpent The figure is fully 
decorated with ornaments and is dark in colour. The illustra- 
tion from Kattu-Edayaru shows the same features except that 
the positions of the right and left legs are interchanged. 

The third and the most divine sport of Krishna is his 
moonlight dance on the sand-banks of the Jumna in the 
company of the damsels of Brindavana. The inspired poet 
Lilasuka, describing this dance, says that " there, in the circle 
of dancers (filled with love for Krishna) was seen between 
damsel and damsel a Madhava (Krishna) and between 
Madhava and Madhava a damsel ; and in the centre of the 
group again, was the son of DgvakT playing upon his flute/' 
thereby indicating in poetic language the mystic significance 
of the dance. Of the many Gopl (cow-herd) girls thus in 
attendance on Krishna in his early life in Brindavana the 
most beloved was Radha, so much so that Radha-Krishna is KADI 
the name by which he is addressed by the most ecstatic of KRISI 
the zealous Vaishnava cult. 

Images of the flute-playing Krishna generally called VKNI 
Venu-Gopala (MuralTdhara) without, however, the circle of G6l>A 
dancers, are largely worshipped in temples. He stands on 
his left leg with the right bent across and resting on the toe, 


fl ^ I / s * f \ 

j' ( .?-t . i ; ,'' ' 

FIG. 26. -Serpent-dance of Kalija-Knshna (metal) . Madras Museum 


and plays upon the flute. When the figure is intended for 
worship in temples the two upper hands will hold the conch 
and the discus and there will usually also be the images of his 
two consorts RukminI and Satya on either side (fig. 27). l In 
the hundred-pillared mandapaoi the Varadara.jasvS.min temple 
at Little Conjeeveram is a figure of the flute-playing Krishna 
with ten arms (fig. 28). The Pancharatrdgama calls this 
form of Krishna by the name Madana-Gopala. In paintings MADA 
Venu-GOpala is often represented as leaning against a cow, GOPA] 
with one foot bent crosswise and resting on the toe. Cows 
and cow-herds are also often shown gathering round him. The 
dance with Gdpis, with which the flute-playing Krishna is 
intimately connected, is found only in drawings. The eso- 
teric sense of this flute-play and the dance is the supreme joy 
which the devotees experience in moments of overflowing 
love in the presence of the object of their devotion. 

Another well-known sport of Krishna during his boyhood GOVA 
was the lifting up of the hill called Go vardhana- He is said to *^ 
have held the hill aloft so as to give shelter to the cow-herds 
of Brindavana from a continuous down-pour of rain sent down 
by Indra in anger in order to flood their small village. A 
beautiful old representation of this scene comes from the 
Seven Pagodas (fig. 29) where, in the so-called Krishna- 
mandaptJ, Krishna stands in the centre with his left hand 
raised straight up to support the hill, while his right hand is 
held in the posture of offering boons (varada)? All round the 
god are seen cows and cow-herds, men and women, the latter 
carrying pots of milk, butter, curds or other cooked offerings 
to the god, and leading their young ones by the hand or 
accompanying their husbands. The ornaments of Krishna in 
this picture are very sparing. They are the usual large ear- 
rings peculiar to the sculpture of the Pallava period, bracelets, 
armlets and the waist-band. The high crown on the head is 
also a noticeable feature. This representation differs, how- 
ever, from the description given in the Silpasara where the 
god is described as having one hand with flute resting on his 
waist and the other supporting the hill. 

1 At Turaiyfir in the Trichmopoly district the god worshipped m the shrine 
has only two hands Ilemadri states that the image of Gopala playing on the flute 
is made with the head ornament of peacock feathers, blue body and tvso arms. 
The Silbinangiftha adds that he is chiefly found in a standing attitude 

- "Cr Vogel sa\ s that the central figure of the group is Balarama, (Balade\a), 
the brother of Krishna (Aichreological Surve\ Report for 1910-11, p. 51, note i) 
He is seen throwing his left hand round the neck of a cow-herd boy who rests 
his hands crossed on the head of a long hatchet. 



FIG. 27 Venu-Gopala Madras Museum. 



. Madana-Gopala ; Little Conjeeveram 

4 6 




FIG. 31. Parthasa-iathi teaching the Bhagavad-Gita Lo Arjuna , Pushpagu 


regarded by some as an avatar designed to lead the asuras 
into ruin by giving them bad advice. Others like Jayadeva 
regard him rightly as an incarnation of mercy who came to 
teach the people the essential cruelty of animal sacrifices. 


Besides the avatars mentioned above, there are other forms 
of Vishnu which are also often found in South-Indian temples 
The most important of such is his reclining form, kno^n by 
the names Anantasayin (or Seshasayin), Padmanabha and 
k. Ranganatha. 1 The temples at Srlrangam and Trivandrum 
may be specially mentioned as the places where this form of 
Vishnu is worshipped. In Tamil he is known as Palligondan. 
A good illustration (fig. 32) comes from the old sculptures at 
Mahabalipuram. In the so-called Mzhishasura-mandapa, on 
the proper right wall of the front verandah is depicted the 
scene under reference. Here on the coils of the serpent Ananta 
sleeps on his back a gigantic figure of Vishnu with two arms. 
The right hand is carelessly thrown on the body of the serpent 
while the left hand is raised up at the elbow. The god wears 
a cloth round the waist, which reaches down to the feet The 
usual ndarabandhana is also tied round the lower part of the 
.stomach in the form of a girdle, its ends gracefully hanging 
down and touching the right side of the serpent couch. The 
garland round the neck (i.e., the vanamdla) has slipped down 
the right arm of the god, thus emphasizing his sleeping 
posture. By the side of the serpent couch, near the feet of 
Vishnu, is the figure of LakshmT kneeling down and 
worshipping him with folded hands. In front of her are two 
other figures also seated by the side of the serpent couch. 
These may be the two colleagues of Vishnu, viz., Brahma and 
Siva, or the attendants Jaya and Vijaya- Above the sleeping 
god in the air are two flying figures, one a female and the 
other a fat figure, probably a goblin. Beyond his feet and 
looking him straight in the face are two stalwart figures 
standing one in a defiant attitude with a club in his hand and 
the other dissuading him from what looks apparently like 
a murderous attack on the god. The Padma-Purana gives a 

1 The Mayamata says that the serpent, the couch of Anantasayana, may be 
of five or seven hoods, its white colour indicating great bliss. Padmanabha means 
"he of the lotus-navel " , and we see, m figures of Anantasayana, the navel of 
the god sending forth a stock at the end of which is a lotus flowei and in it the 
four-faced Brahma. Ranganatha is " the lord of the ranga^ the assemblj-hall." 
It might be noted that in the illustrations of Anantasayana the central hgure of 
Vishnu is surrounded by all the other gods as if in an assembly-hall. 




description of Vishnu, which comes very near to what has been 
depicted above It says : " The god of gods sleeps on the 
serpent. One of his legs lies on the thigh of LakshmT, while 
the other is placed on the body of the serpent- He has two 
hands, one of which is stretched along the right thigh and the 
other is placed over his head Brahma is comfortably seated 
on the lotus which springs from the navel of Vishnu. 
Entangled in the stem of the lotus stand the demons Madhu and 
Kaitabha. The symbols of the god, viz., the conch, discus, 
club and lotus are all represented about him, each assuming a 
body " 1 A similar description is given by He'ma'dri under the 
LYANA. term Jalasayana. 

God Vishnu seated comfortably on the serpent couch is 

NTHA- named Vaikuntha-Narayana " (fig. 33). The left leg is 

ANA. stretched down and the right is bent at the knee ; the left 

hand rests on the knee-joint, while the right hand rests 

carelessly thrown back on the head of the serpent ; the two 

back hands hold the weapons sankha and cliakra. The image 

is decorated with jewels and by its side are his consorts 

LakshmT and Pnthvi. 

EMI- Lakshml-Narayana is another of Vishnu's seated forms 

ANA. W j ler6j to the left of the god, by his side or sometimes on hisj 
thigh, is found seated the image of LakshmT throwing her 
right hand round the neck of the god while she holds -in her 
left a lotus The left hand of Vishnu similarly passes round 
the waist of LakshmT. A female deity called Siddhi stands 
near, with a fly-whisk in her hand. The vehicle Garuda is 
on the right side at the foot of the god The sankha and 
chakra not being held by the god are carried by two dwarf 
male figures standing in front of him ; Brahma and Siva also 
stand by, worshipping Vishnu with folded hands'* (fig. 34) 

1 Vasude\a described by Hemadri as a standing Vishnu figure of four arms, 
holds in the two upper hands the lotus and the conch and instead of having in the 
two lower, the weapons cliakra (discus) and gada v club), he places the paJms of these 
hands on the heads of two dwarf figures, one male and one female, holding 
chavt-rte in their hands and looking at the face of the god These dwarf figures are 
stated to be the personified weapons chakra and gada; (see Mayurabhanja^ fig. 16, 
on plate facing p. \1) The descriptions given by the same author of 
Sankarshana, Pradyumna and Aniruddha other standing forms of Vishnu refer 
also to personified weapons. 

a See the Madras Epigraphical Report for 1906, p. 76. The Brahmiya- 
Silpa calls this same figure Adimurti and describes him as being attended by 
gods and risTiis in a worshipping attitude. 

3 Hemadri According to the Silpasangraha, Lakshml-Narayana has four 
arms m which he displays the conch and the discus and the protecting and the 
boon-giving postures. Mr. JRea portrays a fine picture of Lakshml-Narayana from 
Nilagunda (Bellary district) on Plate L1II of his Chalukyan Architecture, 



FIG. 33. Vaikunlha-Narayana ; Namakkal. 



FIG. 34. -Lakshmi-Narayana , Namakkal. 


The Silpasara mentions an image called Garuda-Narayana GARUDA 
wherein Vishnu is seen riding on Garuda, holding a bow and NARAYANA 
arrow, conch and discus. An illustration from Chidambaram 
(fig. 35), which is mutilated, is apparently one of Garuda- 
Narayana. On a pillar in the Ramasvamin temple at Kumba- 
konam is a fine representation of this form of Vishnu in the 
attitude of blessing the elephant (gajendra) after rescuing it 
from the attack of a crocodile. The scene is generally known GAJENDRA. 
as Gajendra-moksha (fig. 36). " MOKSHA. 

Figures of Vishnu, with four arms seated in a meditative YOGESVARA 
posture, are probably those of Yogesvara-Vishnu, described 
by Hemadri as seated on a lotus, with eyes half-closed and 
directed towards the tip of the nose. An image (fig. 37) from 
the ruined Vishnu temple at Huvinahadagalh (Bellary district) 
illustrates this form. Another image, probably of this same 
form of Vishnu but seated on the serpent couch, comes from 
KumbakOnam (fig- 38). Here the god is bathed by two 
goddesses with pots in their hands. 

The twenty-four well-known names of Vishnu repeated by Twenty-four 

the Brahmanas in their daily prayer known as sandhydvandana, i| n j ral forn 

, . . .. of standing 

are represented each by a standing figure of the gocl with four Vishnu, 

hands holding the four symbols sankha (conch), chdkra (discus),. 
gada (club) and padma (lotus), in different combinations. 
Consequently we may often find in Vishnu temples images 
named Trivikrama, Vamana, Padmanabha, Narasimha or 
Krishna represented as plain standing figures of Vishnu, 
without reference to any of the Pnramc scenes connected 
with these gods. Four of the above mentioned twenty- 
four forms, viz., VasudSva, Sankarshana, Pradyumna and 
Aniruddha are sometimes represented by different weapons. 

The two illustrations in the accompanying plates (figs. 39 
and 40) show another form of standing Vishnu, known as PANDURAW. 
Panduranga or Vithoba. The characteristic feature of the or VITHOBA 
image is that it has two arms which, being bent at the elbow, 
are placed on its hips. A poem in praise of this form of 
Vishnu, entitled Panduran%ashtaka, is attributed to Sankara- 
charya of about the eighth century A.D. 

Hayagrlva is still another form of standing Vishnu, UAYACJRIVA 
represented with the head of a horse. Hemadri describes him 
as having a white complexion, and placing his feet on the 
hands of the goddess Earth. He has eight hands, in four of 
which are held the Vaishnavite symbols conch, discus, club 
and lotus. With the others he carries the four Vedas personi- 
fied. The Pdnchardtrdgama mentions only four hands in 
which are seen the conch, losary, book and the jndna-mudrd* 


35. Garuda-Narayana ; Chidambaram. 

FIG 36 Garuda-Narayana and Gajendia moksha , Kumbakdnam 


FIG 37 Yogesvara- Vishnu ; Huvinahadagalli, 



38. Yogesvara- Vishnu (?) Kumbakonam. 

FIG. 39 Paiiduranga ; Tirupali. 


FIG. 40 Panduranga , Ahobalam. 


VenkatSsa or Venkataramana (also called Srmivasa) is a 
name of Vishnu applied to the god on the Tirupati Hill. 
He is in form like one of the twenty-four images of Vishnu 
described above. 1 


Pradyumna, which is mentioned among the twenty-four 
r general names of Vishnu, occurs in the Sanskrit lexicon 
Amarakosa as a synonym of the god Kamadeva orManmatha, 
who is recognized as a son of Krishna- Vishnu. His consort 
is * Love * (Rati). This god of Love was reduced to ashes by 
Siva. His form that was thus destroyed is still alive but is 
visible only to Rati. The metaphysical meaning of the story 
is more or less clear. Rati and Manmatha are often found 
among the sculptures in a temple. The latter is represented 
as a graceful youth of unparalleled elegance. He has eight 
hands in four of which he holds the conch, lotus, bow and 
arrow. The four other arms embrace his four beautiful wives 
called Rati (love), Prlti (pleasure), Sakti (power) and Bheda- 
Sakti (jealousy). Kama has five arrows, each arrow being a 
fragrant flower ; the crocodile (makara) is his banner. More 
often he is represented with two hands, riding on a chariot (or 
a parrot) with his chief queen Rati by his side (fig. 41). 
Vasanta, the Spring, is his intimate friend and ally. His five 
arrows are the flowers of lotus, asoka, mango, jasmine, and 
blue-lily ; and he shoots them with his graceful bow of 
sugarcane. Mayamata says that Manmatha's arrows are made 
of the cruel teeth of women and are called tapam, "the 
tormentor/' ddhinl " the consumer/' sarvamohim " that which 
completely infatuates," visva-mardim "the all-destroyer" and 


Vishvakse"na, a synonym for Vishnu also found in the 
lexicon Amarakdsa, is recognized as a Vaishnava god who, like 
Ganesa of the Saivas (described below), is wox'shippecl by the 
SrI-Vaishnavas, at the beginning of every ceremony in order 
to avoid obstacles. He has his face turned towards the south 
and is a guardian deity in Vishnu temples- In three of his 
hands he holds the usual Vaishnavite symbols, viz., the conch, 

1 It is believed, and perhaps on reasonable grounds, that the image on the 
Tirupati Hill is a combined form of Vishnu and Siva. The name Vnsha-saila, 
i.e., " Bull-hill " applied to the mountain on which the temple is situated, indicates 
also the Saiva nature of the god. In later times, the name Sesha-saila " the 
hill of the serpent god Sesha " came to be applied to it. 


FIG. 41.; Chidambaram. 


discus and the club and in the fourth exhibits the threatening 
finger-pose called tarjam. He is seated with his right leg 
hanging down from the pedestal and the left bent crosswise 
and placed on the same [fig. 160 (c), below]. 

Vishnu's vehicle Garuda is installed in every Vaishnavite 
temple right opposite to the central shrine and is a standing- 
human figure of stone or mortar, with a beak-shaped nose and 
with spreading wings proceeding from his back on either side. 
He has his two arms folded over the breast in a worshipping 
posture (fig. 42). 1 When made into a processional image of 
metal, Garuda is represented as kneeling on the left knee, the 
right foot being firmly placed on the ground and a serpent 
decorating his head. 2 


Hanuman, the monkey-god, has been already referred to 
as a great devotee of Vishnu intimately connected with the 
incarnation Rama- avatar. In Southern India he is very 
popular, even insignificant villages containing a shrine for 
Hanuman. He is represented in two postures. 3 When 
included in the group of Rama, Lakshmana and Sita, he stands 
at a distance on one side, or opposite to them, in a humble 
and devotional attitude, with the two hands folded together, 
the tail hanging down close to his feet. 1 In shrines exclusively 

1 According to the Silparatna, Garuda figures may also be shown with the tv; o 
hands pointing the abhaya and the varada postures. Occasional!}, Garuda 
may be made to carry m his right hand a pot of nectai. This is evidently a 
reference to the story that Garuda while young carried away from Indra the pot of 
nectar, in order to fulfil his mother's promise to Kadru, the mother of serpents 

2 The Silpasangialia describes a foim of Gaiuda who has fierce protruding 
teeth and eight arms in si\ of which he has the conch, discus, club, lotus and 
the nectar-pot while- the others aie sketched out to receive the feet of the Lord 
(Vishnu) It is furth'er stated that the eight lords of serpents are worn as jewels 
by him, thus showing ^that Garuda had complete!} subdued the Nagas. Garuda 
when represented with four arms is called Vamateya. It may be noted that the 
bird Garuda is of Vedic fame, his body being supposed to be completely made up 
of the Vedas. A Vedic sacufice called Garuda-chayana is performed by offering 
oblations to the gods on a platform built in the shape of Garuda. Vishnu is 
sometimes known as Yajna-purusha the personified god of sacrifice. 

3 The Silparatna mentions a third posture in which Ilannman is described as 
a yogiti> teaching philosophy to a numbei of pupils who surround him. 

4 See above, fig. 23. Here, at the right end of the picture Hanuman is seen in 
a submissive attitude while another figuie of his at the left end, carries m both 
hands two Sivn-lfugas which Rama had ordered him to bring foi establishing at 
Karnesvaiam, on his way back from Lanka Fisvafcarma, Part VI, Plate 100, also 
gives a metallic figure of Hanuman from Cejlon, with his hands stretched out, 
indicating evidently a mixed feeling of wonder and despair. 



FIG 42 Garuda , Tanjore 


dedicated to him he is always the heroic Hanuman , who, on 
seeing his beloved masters Rama and Lakshmana faint with 
fatigue on the battle field of Lanka, flew in an amazingly 
short time to the Himalayas and, uprooting a whole hill 
containing drugs that have power to raise a dead man to life, 
returned to revive Rama and Lakshmana and with them also 
the millions of dead monkeys. His heroism, strength and 
devotion are always admired and the one aim of sculptors in 
cutting a figure of Hanuman is to give effect to these three 
special characteristics. No wonder that even the Muham- 
madans (or, rather Muhammadan converts of later ages) who 
set high value on physical strength and individual heroism 
came to appreciate the story of Hanuman and to erect shrines 
for him. There is mscriptional evidence to prove that in the 
Ceded districts, where the Muhammadan influence has been 
very strong, certain classes of Mussalmans are still devoted to 
this heroic servant of Rama. This must also have been the 
object of Chiefs in erecting shrines for Hanuman at the gates 
of their forts, viz., to infuse into the hearts of their fighting men 
the spirit of loyal attachment to their masters and indomit- 
able heroism. Sometimes Hanuman may also be represented 
with hands showing the abhaya and the varada postures. 


Of the Vaishnava symbols and weapons referred to in the 
previous paragraphs as being sometimes personified, the 
discus (chakra) under the name Sudarsana deserves special 
mention, it being separately worshipped in the SrT- Vaishnava 
temples under the name Chakra-Perumal (figs. 43 and 44). 
The Silpasdra describes Sudarsana to be brilliant as fire, with 
sixteen arms holding the weapons conch, discus, bow, axe, 
sword, arrow, trident, noose, goad, lotus, thunderbolt, shield, 
plough, pestle, club and spear. The figure has protruding 
teeth, fiery hair and three eyes. It is fully decorated and 
stands in front of a shatkona or hexagon. Dancing thus 
amidst the flames of the discus, the Sudarsana is supposed to 
kill all enemies. Sometimes the image may be represented 
with eight or four arms holding the discus in all of them. 

Mr. Longhursthas supplied two other photographs (fig. 45) 
in the first of which Sudarsana appears to be similar in all 
details to the Tirupati figure No. 43, but has at the back of it an 
equilateral triangle within which is the seated figure of 
Nrisimha in the yogasana attitude (see above, fig. 19) with flames 
of fire proceeding from his crown, This form of Nrisirnha is 


FIG. 43. Sudarsana ; Tirupati 



FIG 44 Sudarsana, back view Tirupati, 


6 9 


evidently what is popularly known as Jvala-Nrisimha " the 
fiery Nrisimha." It may be noted that the famous Chakra- 
pani temple at KumbakOnam is dedicated to the discus 
Sudarsana of Vishnu. 


Apart from the various forms of Vishnu detailed above, 
every Hindu worships certain formless stones, called 
Saligrama, as these more satisfactorily answer to the idea of 
the formless Brahman- The Saligrama stones are generally 
picked up from the bed of the river Gandakl (in North Bihar) or 
are made of a particular kind of stone procurable at Dvaraka. 
The former are perfectly smooth and rounded pebbles 
and are heavier than ordinary stones. The belief is that 
within them is found gold or other heavy metal. The Sali- 
grama stones are believed to possess certain mystic and 
sacred virtues. In the country of AvantI, at the foot of the 
sacred hill known as Hariparvata, is stated to be a big pond 
called Chakratlrtha, from which flows the river Gandakl. 
On rare and auspicious occasions, within this pond, are 
produced the Saligrama stones, which, after remaining for 
1,000 years in water, become the abode of Vishnu, who then 
assuming the form of a brilliant little insect called vajrakita 
enters into them and bores a hole with his mouth, forming 
therein a discus (chakra) of numerous varieties- The stones 
are of many colours and sizes and are distinguished by these 
chdkras to represent either Vasude" va (white colour), Hiranya- 
garbha (blue), Pradyumna (red), Vishnu (black), Sri-NarSyana 
(dark-green), Narasimha (tawny), or Vamana (deep-blue). 
Eighty-nine varieties are recognized, each bearing a different 
name of Vishnu. One well-known test of their suitability for 
worship consists in placing them in milk or in rice, when, 
a genuine Saligrama is supposed to increase in size and in 
weight. A strange feature about these stones is that, while 
they mostly represent the forms of Vishnu, some are stated to 
be also forms of Siva, Sakti, Surya (Sun), Ganapati and the 
Planets. TheSaligramas are never fixed on pedestals as the 
lingas of Siva (see below, p. 72) or as the images of other 
gods. In many of the South-Indian temples of Vishnu, 
garlands of Saligrama stones a're hung round the necks of 
images. Saligrama forms the most important object of daily 
worship in every orthodox Brahmana's house in Southern India. 
The water poured over it is most holy and like the Ganges 
water which Brahmanas generally preserve in their homes 
in sealed vessels, is offered to the dying man in order that 


his soul may become pure and depart in peace. The gift of 
Saligrama stones to Brahmanas is considered one of the most 
meritorious 'acts and is as highly prized as the presentation 
of gold itself. Strictly religious people never sell or pur- 
chase Saligramas but only acquire them by gift or by transfer. 
Of the sectarian Vaishnavas of the South, viz., the Srl- 
Vaishnavas and the Madhvas, the latter show greater respect 
to the Saligrama stones than even for sculptured images of 



nples. Siva is the third member of the Hindu Triad and in 
Southern India is more widely worshipped than Vishnu. 
Hundreds of Siva temples of historic fame are tound in 
Southern India, round which are centred traditions of Saiva 
saints whose period may be assigned roughly to the seventh 
century A.D. One noticeable peculiarity of these ancient 
Siva temples is that they enshrine within them images of 
Vishnu as also of various other gods of the Hindu Pantheon, 
whereas Vishnu temples are exclusive in this respect 
Exception must, however, be made in the case of some very 
old Vishnu temples 1 sung in the hymns of the Naldyirapra- 
bandham which are as ancient as the corresponding Saiva 
scriptures collectively called Devaram. Here we find Siva 
and Vishnu often mentioned together as located in the same 
temple and, in a higher philosophical sense, as forming 
different aspects of one and the same Divine Energy. 


iga. Siva is generally worshipped in the form of the phallus 

(hnga) fixed on a pedestal. The phallic cult has been traced 
to very ancient times, its origin, however, being still involved 
in mystery. The worship of the creative energy of God, 
interpreted by the sense-perception of man and represented 
by the symbols yom and linga in union, has apparently been 
as old as man himself. Whatever may be the origin of Hnga- 
worship, there is no doubt that it has come to be recognized 
like the Vaishnavite SaligrSma described above, a perfect 
symbol of the formless, all-pervading Divine Being, unlimited 
by time and space. The Skanda-Puranasays: "The sky is the 
shaft and the earth its pedestal ; all gods dwell in the hnga; 

E.g. Tirumala and Kadalmallai. 

SIVA 73 

since the whole creation finds its origin and rest there, it 
receives the name linga."* In the introduction to his transla- 
tion of the Vishnu-Pz/r^^ (p. Ixix) Professor H. H. Wilson 
makes the following remarks on the Hnga-worship in India : 
" The linga is twofold, external and internal. The ignorant 
who need a visible sign, worship Siva through a ' mark ' or 
' type ' which is the proper meaning of the word linga of 
wood or stone ; but the wise look upon this outward emblem 
as nothing and contemplate in their minds the invisible 
inscrutable type which is Siva himself.^ Whatever may have 
been the origin of this form of worship in India, the notions 
upon which it was founded according to the impure fancies of 
European writers are not to be traced even in the Saiva 
Puranas." Mr. Havell thinks that it " was in all probability 
originally derived from the votive stupa of Buddhism." 3 If 
Saivism is, however, granted to be older in its origin than 
Buddhism the Sakyas themselves among whom Buddha was 
born being mentioned as having Siva for their tutelar deity 3 
this theory cannot be upheld. Various forms of the linga 
are worshipped, from the crude uncut conical gneiss usually 
believed to be svayambhu or self-born 4 to the highly polished 
and hand-made shaft of 8, 16, 32 or more facets of the Pallava 

Ling as, whether self -born or artificial are equally venerated, 
the latter being associated as regaids their origin with the 
Sun, Moon, the Lords of the quarters or ancient sages of by- 
gone millenniums. The linga is generally fixed in a circular 
or quadrangular receptacle on a high monolithic pedestal 
known as ydnt, pamvattam or avadaiyar. 

It is a common adage that Siva is as fond of bathing as 
Vishnu is fond of decoration and the surface of the pedestal 
which receives the linga is so fashioned as to drain off the 
large quantity of water 5 poured over the god every day 
from a copper vessel with a hole at its bottom, hung directly 

1 In Stvarahasya, a chapter of Sa^{.ra-samh^ta.) it is stated that the linga has 
a fivefold significance and denotes the primeval energy of the Creator. At the end 
of the creation all gods find their resting place in the linga, Brahma being absorbed 
into the right, Janardana (Vishnu) into the left and Ga^atri into the heart. 

2 Ideals of Indian Art> p 87. 

8 See JSpigraghia Indica^ Vol V, p. 3. 

4 The S-ilparatna describes this to be a long or short shaft of shattered 
appearance, flat like a board and many cornered with crooked horns. Bana is 
another kind of linga which is shaped by nature and not by the chisel. 

5 According to the May am at a all kinds of pedestals, whatever may be their 
pattern, must have a duct on tlteir left side to carry off the surface water. These 
ducts are to be well decorated. 


over the shaft. In a linga considered as a symbol of 
Brahman, the quadrangular bottom of the shaft is believed to 
represent Brahma, the octagonal middle Vishnu and the 
circular upper portion Siva. 1 Sometimes a single linga is 
known by the name Sahasra (" the thousand ")-linga (fig. 46). 
It is divided into twenty-five facets, each of these latter having 
miniature representations of forty lingas and making up thus 
the number one thousand. 


Round the sanctum of a Siva temple, on its outer wall, are 
usually enshrined in specially formed niches the images of 
Ganapati and Dakshinamurti on the south, Lmgodbhava (or 
sometimes, Vishnu) on the west, and Brahma and Durga on 
the north. In the enclosing verandah round the central shrine 
may be installed the images of the sixty-three Saiva Saints, 
lingas which devout adherents might choose to establish for the 
merit of themselves or of their ancestors, the nine Planets 
(Navagrahas), which, since the time astrology was established 
in India, have been receiving divine homage, and a host of 
other gods and goddesses such as Kumara (Skanda), Vira- 
bhadra, Bhairava, etc. Nataraja or Sabhapati " the lord of the 
divine congregation " is placed in a separate shrine, generally 
the Sabha-mandaj?a or " the assembly hall." The goddess 
ParvatI, the consort of Siva, who receives all kinds of fanciful 
names and surnames according to local traditions, is also 
enshrined separately. Sometimes it is found that every 
important subordinate deity has a separate shrine for itself, 
smaller, of course, in size than the sanctum. 

It may be noted that, while worship is offered in the 
central shrine of a Siva temple only to the formless stone 
linga, for processional purposes images made of metal are 
used ; and these are of various forms and go by various 
names, such as Somaskanda, Vrisharudha, Gangadhara, 
Kalyanasundara, Ardhanari, Bhikshatana, Nataraja, etc. 
Instances are not uncommon where images of Siva in one 
of his processional forms receives more attention from the 
worshippers than the linga itself. In Chidambaram, for 
example, the image of Nataraja receives more attention and 

1 The sirovaitatta or the shaping of the top of the linga which, according to 
the Silparatna,^ may be cucumber-like, umbrella-like, crescent-like, egg-like or 
bubble-like, distinguishes the four different lingas worshipped by the four 
castes. The same work sets down that images may also be carved on the linga. 
Superior lingas are stated to vary from 7 to 9 cubits m height. Fixed fangas aie 
worshipped in temples and movable lingas in houses. 



FIG. 46 Saha&ra-Zm^a j Tiiuvottiyur, 


is more famous than the movable linga of pebble which is 
known as Ratnasabhapati, or the stone linga of Mulasthana. 
At Bhikshandarkoyil in the Trichinopoly district the mendi- 
cant form of Siva is worshipped. Arclhanan is the god 
worshipped at Tiruchchengodu (Salem) and so is the bronze 
image of Somaskanda (under the name Tyagaraja) worshipped 
at Tiruvarur. 


Before describing some of the popular Siva-images 3 it 
may be useful to give a general description of Siva when he 
is represented in the form of an image. The common name 
then applied to him is Rudramurti. 3 He has four hands, of 
which the two upper ones hold the dhakka (kettle-drum) 
and the deer, the two lower hands showing the abhaya and 
the varada postures. His matted hair is made up in the form 
of a crown (jatdmakuta) on whose left shines the crescent of 
the moon and whose right is decorated with the jewel known 
as arka-pushpa. The face of a woman (i.e., of the goddess 
Ganga representing the river Ganges) appears over the matted 
hair, on the right side. He has three eyes, which represent 
the Sun, Moon and Fire, the last being on the forehead. He 
is clothed with a tiger skin above his knees and wears an 
undergarment and a scarf and the usual ornaments, necklace 
and torque, girdle round the waist, wristlets, waist-zone, 
armlets, arm-rings, finger-rings set with gems, anklets, and 
the sacred thread. The left ear of the god wears a woman's 
ornament called lamba-patra, while the right wears a man's 
ornament called makara-knndala. The left side of the neck is 
marked with the blue scar (caused by his having swallowed 
the poison kalakuta 3 ). This general form of Siva may be 
represented either standing or seated on the lotus-pedestal 
with an aureola, and with or without his consort ParvatI 
on the left side. The pedestal may also sometimes be the 
maha-pltha, when, instead of the aureola behind the image, 
there may be the celestial tree (kalpa-vnksha). 

1 Sixteen of these are mentioned m the Silpasara They are - bukhasana, 
Vaivahika, Umasahita (accoidiag to the Mayamata Umaskanda), Vrisharudha, 
Tripurantaka or Purari, Nataraja, Chandrasekhara, Ardhanari, Hanhara, 
Chandesvara {Mayamata gives Chandesanugraha), Kamari, Kalanasa, Dakshi- 
namurti, Bhikshatana, Sadasiva (Mayamata gives Mukhalmga) and Lmgodbhava. 
The Karanagama mentions twenty-five 

2 Hemadii describes Rudra as riding on a bull and having five faces all of 
which are mild-looking, except the one on the right side of the central face. He 
has ten arms and wears garlands of skulls 

{ See below, p 137 f., under Srlkantha 

SIVA 77 

Standing images of Siva generally belong to the class ASHTAMUR 
known as Ashtamurtis or Ekadasa-Rudras. The former have ^SA!**' 
generally four hands and three eyes and wear thejatamakuta. RUDRAS.. 
The fore-arms exhibit the protecting and the boon-giving 
postures ; while the hind arms hold the tcmka and the antelope. 
The Ekadasa-Rudras are almost similar to Rudramurti in 
form, with the black scar on the neck, the crescent on the 
head and the scarf of tiger-skin. In place of the dhakkd 
in the right upper hand is seen the axe (parasu). A 
form of Siva combining five bodies in one is known as 
Panchadehamurti. Though not found in any of the temples PANCUAJ>E 
examined so far, it is often mentioned in the Tanjore inscrip- MUR ' IL 
tions as having been installed in the Rajarajesvara (i.e., the 
modern Bnhadlsvara) temple by the ChOla king Rajaraja 
or his subordinates, in the first qiuirter of ihe eleventh century 
A.D. The Panchadehamurti consisted of five images, four of 
which stood in the four directions and the fifth was placed 
in the middle, its head being higher in level than the others. 2 
One of these was called Aghora The linga with five faces 
called Panchamukha-/zw^rt is only the five-bodied Panchadeha- 
murti translated in terms of the symbolical phallus. 3 It has 
the heads of four Siva-images figured on its four sides. The 
illustration from Tiruvanaikka val (fig. 47) does not show any 
face at the top. The Skanda-Piinlua mentions a seated MAHA- 
form of Siva called Mahakailasa or Maha-Sadasiva which is ofjviAHA- 
representecl with twenty-five faces and fifty hands, wears SADASIVA. 
a garland of skulls and is clothed in tiger's skin. 


Images answering to the two names Nataraja and Sabha- NATARATA 
pati, in the Hindu Pantheon, are identical in design. Nataraja 
(the prince of dancers) is the well-known dancing form of 
god Siva. It has four arms and a body besmeared with 
ashes. The back arm on the right side holds the kettle- 
drum (udukkai, as it is called in Tamil) while the other presents 
the raised palm of protection (abhaya). Of the pair on the 
left, the upper holds a fire-pot and the lower is bent round 

1 According to Hemadii these may be substituted by the club <iud the trident * 
Jama images called Chatwnnikha or Chutmnkhi are often made of a single 
stone The four identical images on the four sides are surmounted by a series of 
umbrellas common to all, \\hich appear like the spire of a temple (see Epigraphia 
Indtca, Vol X, p 115). The Buddhists also seem to have possessed such figures , 
see Nagendra Natha Vasu's Mayurabhanja % p. 41. 

* A linga placed at the entrance into an old Siva temple at Raichur (Hydera- 
bad State) shows a combination of five Imgas, four on the sides and one at the 



in-mm--^ . .... ./... jj-..'1-iginni 

1/4. f /f f 1\ ^ 1\ \ -P 

:===*-., jkV --^*rr_-''WV- V*t- --l^*i- JIT 'L**.- jc- . *F>? 1 "* 

FIG. 47,- Panchamukha-Zwgff ; Tiruvanaikkaval, 

SIVA 79 

across the breast to the right side, its fingers gracefully 
pointing below, towards the left leg which is raised in a 
dancing posture. The position of this hand is known as 
gaja-hasta, " the elephant-trunk." The ecstatic and violent 
nature of the dance, described as Ananda-tandava in the 
sequel, whirling quickly round on one leg, placed on the back 
of the demon Musalagan or Apasmara 1 , is indicated by the 
matted hair (jata) stretching out on both sides of the head in 
wavy lines one above the other and by the cloth, partly tied 
round the waist and partly thrown over the left shoulder, 
also flying in the air (fig. 48). The right hand which shows 
the abhaya has on its wrist a serpent, which is the usual 
ornament of Siva and may have I, 3, 5 or 7 hoods. Another 
serpent, in the hand of the demon below, is explained by 
Mr. Havell (Ideals of Indian Art, p. 79) to be the corresponding 
wrist ornament on the left arm which had dropped down in 
the dance. We are told in the Kasyapa-Silpa of the Amsumat- 
Tantra that a serpent with raised hood is to be shown playing 
near Apasmara on his left side, the right hand of the demon 
pointing towards it (vydla-mudrdf). The head of Siva wears 
peacock's feathers, or an ornament fashioned like them, which 
is a special characteristic of the image. The aureola (prabha), 
which every metallic image necessarily has, is, in this case, 
somewhat peculiar and significant, being surmounted all round 
with flames of fire similar to the one which is held in the 
pot or cup in one of the two left arms of the image. 2 The 
pedestal on which the figure rests is a doubje lotus flower 
placed back to back. Sometimes the jatds are not spread out 
but are tied and made up in the form of jatdmakuta (fig. 49). 
Siva is said to dance in the evening in the presence of 
the goddess PSrvatI in order to relieve the sufferings of the 
devas. The dance of Nataraja is believed to symbolize the 
action of cosmic energy in creating, preserving and des- 
troying the visible universe. The Puranas say that during 
these dances the whole congregation of gods, demigods 
and saints present themselves to render their obei?ance 
to Siva. Hence the name Sabhapati, " the lord of the 

1 Rai Bahadur V. Venkayya describes him s a hideous malignant dwarf, who 
sprang from the sacrificial fire of the rishzs of the Darukavana forest and was sub- 
dued by Siva by being pressed under the Up of his foot (5.7.7 Vol. II, Introduc 
tion, p. 33, footnote) Perhaps he is the personification of the disease epilepsy 
wherein the victim is enveloped in complete mental darkness. 

2 The Silparatna remarks that the aureola of Nataraja represents the ?avi- 
mandala or * the sun's disc." This perhaps accounts for the flaming rays proceed- 
ing from the aureola,, 






49 Nataraja (metal) ; Rarnefevaram 


assembly " of gocls. 1 The asterism Ardra occurring in the 
bright half of the solar month Margali (December-January) 
is sacred to Nataraja. All Siva temples celebrate a festival 
on that occasion by taking out in procession miniature 
representations of Nataraja or, where such do not exist, the 
chief processional image of Siva. In Chidambaram, of course, 
where the worship of Nataraja is the most prominent and 
where the Sabha-mandapa (assembly hall) is covered with gold 
plate, the festival is the grandest held in the year. 

Two mam forms of dancing Siva may be distinguished : 
one with the raised leg as shown in the illustrations given 
above and the other with the same lifted_up higher, to the 
level of the head. The latter is called Urdhva-tandava a 
dance which is locally believed to have been first performed 
by Siva at Tiruvaiangadu near Arkonairu The origin of this 
form of dance is as follows. There was once a dispute between 
Siva and his consort Kali as to who was better in the art of 
dancing- Siva danced many a dance and Kali successfully 
followed him; till at last, in order to suppress her pride, Siva 
lifted up one of his legs to the level of his crown and danced 
on Kail was too modest to imitate Siva in this performance 
and she accepted the superiority of Siva (fig. 50). Images of 
Nataraja are sometimes also seen with a small antelope 
prancing on his left side near the foot, the Gangs. (Ganges) 
and the crescent decorating the head, 2 the sages Patanjah 

1 The Kai a.}ia<*ama has the following about Sabhapati -- 

*' On the top of the Kailasa mountain, in front of the goddess Gaurl 
(Parvati) vsho is seated on a je\\elled throne, Si\a with the crescent on his htad 
dances in the evenings. All the devas attend the dance ; Brahma plays on C}m- 
bals ; liari (Vishnu), on a pataha ; Bharati (Sarasvati\ on the lute , the Sun and 
Moon, on flutes , Tumburu and Naracla supph vocal music , and Nandi and 
Kumara (Skanda) beat drums. r The Alayauiata also mentions cthei gods and 
goddesses in the congregation, such as V ghnesa (Vmayaka), Kali and the 
Seven -Mothers It adds that Siva then performs the dance called Bhujattgatiasita 
with the serpent Karkotaka on him ; see Buigess's Eliiya Card J^mples, Plate 
XLHI, fig 5 

- The description of the image of Aclavallan (i e., "the expert dancer,' 5 
Nataraja) given in the Tanjore Inscriptions, mentions ' ( four arms, nine braids of 
hair (jatd), the goddess Ganga-bhattaraTu on the braided hair and seven flower 
garlands The goddess Umaparamesvarl who formed a part of the group was 
standing on a separate pedestal." Another image of a similai description in the 
same temple was Tanjai-Alagar with whom was connected also the figure of a 
Ganapati. Of the sages Patanjah and Vyaghrapada who usually accompany the 
dancing linage of Nataraja, the Tanjore Inscriptions describe the former as a 
solid image which measured " three-quarters and one-eighth (of a mulaw) in 
height from the tail to the hoods (phana) It had five hoods ; one face in the 
midst of these hoods, one crown (makuta), two divine arms, above the navel, 
a human bod}, and below the navel three coik " ; (S, /./., Vol. II, Introduction, 


FIG. 50. Uiclhva-tandava ; Tirappanandal. 


(with the serpent-body, fig. 51) and Vyaghrapada (with tiger's 
feet, fig. 52) worshipping on either side and the goddess ParvatT 
standing ^>n the left. 

The Agamas speak of seven dancing postures of Siva. 
The first, called Ananda-tandava or the joyous dance, has 
been described above. 

The second is his evening dance Sandhya-tandava. 1 In 
this form the demon Apasmara is absent and the symbols in 
the two left arms are the peacock-feathers and the pose of 
wonder called vis may a. 

The third is the Uma-tandava, i.e., dance with his consort 
Uma In this Siva has two more arms, the additional right 
hand holding the trident (tnsida) and the three left hands 
exhibiting the skull, vismaya, and the gaja-liasta. The left leg 
is placed on Apasmara and the right leg is stretched towards 
the left, and the goddess Uma stands on the left side. 

The fourth, Gaurl-tandava, is almost similar to the first, but 
in one of the left hands of the god is held a serpent. Nandi 
stands on the right side and Gauri (Parvati) is on the left. 2 

In the fifth form, called Kalika-tandava, the god has only two 
eyes, but eight arms. Three of the right arms hold the trident, 
noose and kettle-drum and the corresponding left hold the 
skull, fire-pot and the bell; the two remaining arms exhibit 
the abhaya on the right and gaja-hasta on the left (fig. 53). 3 

The dance of Siva, with sixteen arms and as many symbols, 
having Gauri and Skanda on the left and right sides respect- 
ively,* receives the name Tripura-tandava. 

The last dance called Samhara-tandava " the death-dance " 
shows the god with three eyes and eight arms The left leg 
is placed on Apasmara and the right leg is raised. In the right 

P S3)- This description closeh agrees with the figure of on the eastern 
gGptira of the Nataraja temple at Chidambaram. On the same gopura is the image 
of Vyaghrapada in which the sage is represented as havmg tiger's claws on 
both his hands and feet. The sage is carrying on his right shouldei a hook and 
a flower basket. 

1 According to the Sdpxsangya/ia and the ATayamata, the dance is performed 
under the vat a or the ban> an tree 

2 This same dance is described in the I\ I ay am at a as Bhu/aKgalalita in which 
by quick changes in the position of the legs, the fire in the hand is blown into 
a blaze, and the braided locks are spread out into five, seven or nine On the left 
side stands Vishnu in place of Gauri, and on the right Nandi 

* In the illustrations the weapons and symbols are seen just as they are 
mentioned in the Aqanras. The position of the legs in the one, and the abhaya 
and the gaja-hasta poses in the other, aie, however, leversed. 

1 The Silparattta says that Skanda stands on the same side as Gauri holding 
her b> the hand, and shows fear, Jove and \\onder in his face. 



KIG 51 - Patanjah ; Chidambaram. 

FIG. 52. Vyaghrapada ; Chidambaram. 


FIG. 53 -Kabka-tan'lava (metal) ; Nallur. 


hands are seen the abhaya, trident, noose and the kettle-drum ; 
the left hands exhibit the skull and the fire-pot and the 
postures vismaya and gaja-hasta. On the right and left sides 
respectively are Nandi and Gauri. 

Other Agarnas again, refer to 108 dancing forms of Siva 
nine of which are said to be celebrated. Of these latter the 
only one that deserves to be noted is that in which the god 
has his right leg raised straight up so as to reach the top of 
URDHVA- the crown (ushnisha). Perhaps, this is the Urdhva-tandava, 
described already. He may have four, eight or sixteen arms. 
No account of Nataraja could be complete without a short 
3hidam- history of Chidambaram and its temple. Tradition has it that 
ifstor ' ltS Y ears a a king from the north, called Simhavarman, came 
south on a pilgrimage. All this part of the country was 
then one huge forest. The king happened to bathe in a well, 
and immediately found himself transformed into a bright 
golden figure. He assumed the name Hiranyavarman " the 
gold-armoured " on that account and covered with gold the 
Siva temple which he discovered near that well. It is 
stated that before him the sages Patanjali and Vyaghrapada 
had worshipped there. Simhavarman and Hiranyavarman 
are Pailava names and denote that the origin of the temple 
may be roughly traced to that period. Historically, it was 
the ChOla king Parantaka I, surnamed Vlra-Ch6la and 
Vlra-Narayana (A.D. 907 to about 951) who covered the 
Chidambaram temple with gold, perhaps for the first time. 
Successive ChOla kings, after him, are known to have added 
to the grandeur of it 1 . A later Pailava chief of the thirteenth 
century A.D. called Perunjmgadeva boasts of having con- 
quered the four quarters and utilized the booty secured, in 
decorating the eastern gopura of the Chidambaram temple 
which he had himself constructed. 2 The great Vijayanagara 
king Krishnade'varaya of the sixteenth century A.D. built the 
north gopura of the same temple after his victorious return from 

1 The devotion of Rajaraja I to the god at Chidambaram and the rich presents* 
which he must have made to the temple there, evidently earned for him the titles 
Srt-Rajaraja and Sivapadasekhara ; Rai Bahadur Venkayya think* that Rajaraja 
built at Tanjore the big temple of Rajarajesvara (i.e , Brihadlsvara) in order to 
commemorate the conferring of these titles. He consecrated therein the god Siva 
and called him Adavallan, i.e., the expert dancer, after the famous Nalaraja of 

2 It is from this gopura that the best illustration* are secured. The gopiira is 
very rich in sculptures and has various forms of Siva and his attendant gods In 
this gopura are also found illustrations of the 108 postures in dancing, mentioned 
in the Bharatlya-Natyasastra (vide Madras Epigraphical Report for 1913-14, 
Plates I to IV). They are appropriately meant to be connected with Nataiaja 
the king of dancers 

SIVA 89 

a campaign in the north. It is well known that as a sacred 
place of pilgrimage Chidambaram is intimately connected with 
the Saiva saint Manikyavachaka (Manikkavasagar), the 
Pariah saint Nandanar both of whom attained their salvation 
there and with the Saiva philosopher and scholar Appaya- 
Dlkshita who was much devoted to that temple. The place 
is mentioned in the Saiva hymns of the Devaram, in which it 
is called Tillai. The 3,OOO Brahmana families of Tillai (which 
may have once lived there but have at present dwindled down 
to a few hundreds) claim Siva to be one of them and worship 
Nataraja as their family deity 


The Againas mention, as already stated, 1 twenty-five spor- 
tive forms (llla-murtis) of Siva, most of which are usually met 
with in South-Indian temples. One of the more important of 
these is Dakshinamurti. In Chola temples this image generally 
occupies a niche in the south wall of the central shrine. 
Dakshinamurti or Dharma-Vyakhyanamurti is the form of Siva 
engaged in yoga or philosophic contemplation. Once upon a 
time Daksha, the father-in-law of Siva, insulted him and his 
consort Uma, by not inviting them to a sacrifice which he was 
performing. Uma nevertheless went uninvited to her father's 
house, but being grossly neglected jumped into the sacrificial 
fire-pit and destroyed herself. Siva was furious ; he created 
out of a lock of his hair the terrible Virabhadra (see below, 
p. 155) who destroyed Daksha. Siva then retired to a forest 
with the resolve not to marry again and sat underneath a 
banyan tree deeply engaged in meditation. The gods were 
much concerned ; for it meant that the world would loose 
the benefit of Siva's direct intervention in its affairs They 
accordingly induced Kama, 2 the gocl of love, to stir up once 
again in the mind of Siva the dormant embers of love. The 
fool-hardy Kama incautiously approached the god engaged 
in meditation and shot his flowery arrows at him and hit him. 
Siva then opened his eye of fire and looked straight at Kama, 
when lo ! he was at once reduced to a heap of ashes." Still 
Kama had succeeded. For, soon afterwards Siva gave up his 

1 Above, p 76, footnote i. 

2 Described above, p. 6%, 

' This incident has given rise to the recognition of another sportive form of 
Siva called Kamari or Kamadahanamurti. The scene is depicted on one of the 
pillars of an unfinished mandtiptt near the tank m the Ekamresvaxa temple at 
Conjeeveram. Accoxdiag to the K&ranagama, Kaniaclahaaamurti has four arms in 
which are seen the abhaya^ varada^ a deer and the tanka. He is seated on a lotus 
pedestal and ib fierce in appearance 


penance and married once again Uma, who had now incarnated 
as ParvatI, the beautiful daughter of Himavat (the Himalayas). 
This is the story of Dakshinamurti- 1 He is always conceived 
to be a youthful teacher, seated beneath a banyan tree, teach- 
ing aged pupils and removing their doubts by his very silence. 
The general posture of the images of Dakshmamurti show 
him with his right leg bent vertically at the knee and placed 
on the body of the dark demon Apasmara 3 and the left leg bent 
across so as to rest upon the right thigh. He has a calm 
countenance, indicative of perfect peace within. His matted 
locks are either dishevelled or are formed into zjatamaknta tied 
together by a serpent (fig. 54). The body is besmeared with 
ashes and all the usual ornaments of Siva decorate him. The 
sages Narada, Jamadagni, Vasishtha and Bhngu sit at his 
feet on the right side, receiving instruction, while Bharadvaja, 
Saunaka, Agastya and Bhargava sit on the left. The bull- 
vehicle of the god, the denizens of the forest, Kinnaras and 
other demi-gods are also been on the Kailasa mountain on 
which the god is seated. 3 His right fore-arm points the inana- 
mudra (the pose conveying philosophical knowledge) and the 
back arm holds the rosary (or, the serpent) ; the left fore-arm 
shows the boon-conferring (varada) attitude or is sometimes 
freely stretched, the back of the palm resting in either case on 
the left knee. Some illustrations show a book in the place of 
the varada posture. The remaining hand on the left side holds 
the fire-$ot, the deer, the kettle-drum or the rosary. When 
Dakshmamurti holds in his fore-arms the lute (wia) and 
changes the posture of his left leg apparently for keeping 
/iNAUHARA- the vma in position he is called Vlnadhara-Dakshmamurti 
MKSHINA- (flg > 55^ Jnanamurti is another form of the same god in which 
'NANAMURU the symbol jndna-mudra ot the right fore-arm is raised close 
,nd YOGA- to the heart with the palm of the hand turned inwards. The 
name Yogamurti (or Yoga-Dakshinamurti) is applied when the 
legs crossing each other from the root of the thigh are held in 
position by the belt yogapatta, passing round the waist and the 

1 Havell, Ideals of Indian Art, p. Stf. 

2 The Silfasarigtaha mentions a serpent pla>mg by the side of Apasmara 

* The description of Dakshmamurti given in the Tanjore inscriptions is very 
interesting and instructive, They say that the mountain on which the god is seated 
"had two peaks on which there were two Kinnavas and two Kinrtarls, Under 
the foot of the god was Musalagan On the mountain \\ere four r is/its, a snake, two 
Karnapravritas (i e., devotees of Siva (?) mentioned in the Rawa-yawa, who had 
ear-lobes with holes big enough to allow their hands to be passed through in the 
act of worshipping) and a tiger A banyan tiee was also on the mountain and 
had nine main branches and forty -two minor ones A wallet was suspended from 
the tree aad a bunch of peacock's feathers was one of the accornpa nments of 
the god " j S /./., Vol. II, Introduction, p 33. 


FIG 55, Vmadhara-Dakshmamurti ; Chidambaram, 

SIVA 93 

fore-legs, a little below the knee. The front arms are in this 
case, stretched out and rest freely on the knees, while the 
back arms hold the rosary and the water pot. The illustration 
(fig. 56) differs, however, in the symbols. In this, the upper 
hands hold the water-pot and the antelope and the lower 
hands the rosary (with jnana-mudra} and the book. A 
fine old picture (fig. 57) coming from Tiruvengavasal (Puduk- 
kottai State) shows Dakshinamurti in a different position and 
with different symbols. 


Lingodbhava "the /z^^-manifestation," is a familiar figure LINGC 
of Siva seen on the west wall of the central shrine of Siva BHA\; 
temples built in ChOla times. As his name implies, he is 
represented within a huge linga, the portion of the feet below 
the ankles being hidden in the linga. Brahma in the form of 
a swan is seen soaring up on the left side of Siva ; while, on 
the right side, Vishnu is delving below into the depths of the 
earth in the form of a boar. 1 Also these gods (i.e., Brahma 
and Vishnu) in their true glory stand on either side of Siva 
with folded hands. The figure emanating from the middle 
of the linga (fig. 58) has four hands like Chandrasekhara 
(described below) and holds in its back arms the axe and the 
antelope and in the front hands, the abhaya and the varada 
postures. In the illustration given, the left hand is, however, 
seen resting freely on the waist. In the Tanjore inscriptions, 
Lingodbhava is mentioned by the name Lingapuranade"va, 
i.e., the god of the Umgz.-Purana which describes the greatness 
of the Iniga. The story runs that a dispute arose between 
Brahma and Vishnu as to who is the greater of the two. 
Siva told them that whoever first saw the top or the bottom of 
his own fiery huga-form - and came back to report, he would be 
considered the greater. Brahma soared on his swan to see the 
top of the Siva-/zXgYZ, while Vishnu as a boar dug down and 
down to see its bottom. Ages passed away and neither came 
to his goal. At last Brahma saw one ketakl flower coming 
clown. It had fallen from Siva's head ages ago. Brahma 
suborned it to give false evidence and then came back and 
uttered a lie, saying that he had seen the top of the hnga, 
citing the ketakl flower as his witness. Siva knew the lie and 
cursed Brahma that he should thenceforward go without any 
worship in temples. Brahma had five heads at this time. 

1 The swan and the boai are in some pictures found to be half-man and half- 

2 On the east main gopura of the Chidambaram temple is an image of Lingod- 
bhava surrounded by flames of fire. 



IG 56. Voga-Dakshinamnrti ; Conjceveram. 

FIG. 57 Dakshinamuiti , Tuuvenga vasal 

9 6 


FIG. 58. Lmgodbhava ; Tanjore 

SIVA 97 

Siva also cut off the head which uttered the lie. 1 The flower 
ketnki too, which abetted the crime, was excluded from the 
flowers dear to Siva. On an apology being offered, the latter 
was however accepted, as a special case, during the worship 
on the night of the Sivaratri festival which falls on the 
fourteenth day of the dark half of Magha (January-February) 
in each year and is held sacred in honour of the linga- 
manifestation of Siva. 

Perhaps, images called Ekapaclamurti or Bkapada- EKAP 
Trimurti, in which the gods Brahma and Vishnu, with folded M RT 
hands and characteristic symbols, are represented as proceed- 
ing out of the body of Siva at his waist as in the Tiruvottiyur 
image (fig. 59) or from behind his knee as in the image from 
Tiruvanaikkaval (fig. 60) are either developments of LingOd- 
bhava wherein the superiority of Siva over the two other 
members of the Hindu Triad was established, or an invention 
of the Indian sculptor in which is symbolized the underlying- 
unity of the three gods. 2 The Kdrandgama mentions Ekapada 
murti as one of the sportive forms of Siva and describes him 
as having one foot, three eyes and four arms in which are 
seen the tanka and deer and the varada ancl the abhaya postures. 
On the right and left sides of Siva, almost touching his 
shoulders, are Brahma and Vishnu holding their symbolical 
weapons in two hands and worshipping Siva with the other 

The single foot which is the characteristic feature of these 
figures, is, in the case of the Tiruvanaikkaval image, placed 
on the back of the bull. In it are also seen the vehicle 
of Brahma, viz., the swan, at the right bottom and, at the 
corresponding left bottom, the standing Garuda vehicle of 
Vishnu and a sage perhaps Naracla. Apparently Eka- 
padamurti has to be connected with Ajaikapad, a name 
given in the Rig-Veda to one of the Ekadasa-Ruclras/ 


The story of Lingodbhava introduces us to another form BIIIK 
of Siva, known as Bhikshatana, very often seen in South- TANA 
Indian temples. When Siva cut off one of the heads of 

1 The Karanagatna mentions a sportive form of Siva cutting oH one of the 
heads of Brahma. The image is stated to have four arms holding the thunder- 
bolt and the axe m the right hand and the trident and Brahma's skull in the left 

* Accordingly, we sometimes find Vishnu occupying the central place. On 
P 73 above, footnote I, it was noted that the goddess Gayatrl was absoihed into 
the centre of the hnga while Brahma and Vishnu entered the sides of it. 

3 See Nagendra Natha Vasu's Mayurabnanja^ Introduction, p, xvxj. 


FIG. 59 Ekapada-Tnmurn , Tiruvottiynr. 



60 KkapAda-Tnnmiti yj TiuivanaiklJlval 



BrahniS, he incurred the sin of killing a Brahmana ; and the 
skull of Brahma, it is stated, stuck to Siva's palm and would 
not drop down. In order to get rid of the sin and this 
incriminating skull, Siva had to wander about as a naked 
beggar (bhtkshatana) until he reached the place still known as 
Brahma-kapalam, on the slopes of the Himalayas, where he 
was released from the sin and the skull fell down of its own 
accord. 1 Local chronicles connect Bhikshatana with the 
Valuvur and Tirutturaippundi temples in the Tanjore district, 
and mention that the god Siva assumed a beautiful naked 
form and came out as a wandering beggar to test the fidelity 
of the wives of certain sages of the Darukavana forest, who 
were proud of their chastity. At the same time Vishnu is 
stated to have taken up the form of MohinI in order to tempt 
the sages. In accordance with this story, we occasionally see 
naked figures of women and of MohinT (fig. 6l) depicted in 
close proximity to Bhikshatana. The tip of the lower right 
hand of the image touches the mouth of an antelope. The 
upper right hand holds the kettle-drum. A trident with 
peacock-feathers (not seen in the illustration fig. 62)~ or a 
big bunch of them placed across the shoulder, decorates the 
upper left arm, while the lower left, shows the boon-confer- 
ring posture. In it is also seen the kapala (skull). A serpent 
encircles his waist and he stands on sandals. The right leg 
is slightly bent (kunchita) and the left is firmly placed in the 
attitude of one inclined to walk on. Above the right ankle 
is tied a bell (bhnngipada) which gives notice of the approach 
of the, divine mendicant. A demon called Kundodara, with 
protrudin-g teeth, stands on the left side of the god, carrying 
on his head a begging bowl. The Bhikshatana-murti at 
Perur has eight arms and holds different weapons in each of 
them 3 . A fine figure of Bhikshatana (in Tamil, Pichchandar) 
is found in a niche on the south wall of the central shrine of 
the big temple at Tanjore. A copper image of this god, with 
a goblin carrying the begging bowl and an antelope following, 
is said to have been presented to that temple by Lokamaha- 
devT, the chief queen of Rajaraja I. This god was to witness 
every day the Srlbah ceremony conducted in the temple. 

1 The Mahabharata lefers to a similar stoiy and states that a risht called 
Mahodara got himself relieved of the skull of a giant that had stuck to his knee, 
by bathing in the sacred tank called Kapalamochana-tirtha. 

- This image is published m the Archaeological Survey Report, Madras, for 
r--)ir-i2, Plate J, fi^. 2, hut without the t\vo acoompam ing figures of the deer and 
the demon. 

J The Mayamata says that this form of Siva may have lour, six or eight arms, 


FIG 61 Molnnl (metal) ; Valuvur. 



FIG. 62 Bhikshalanamurti (metal) Valuvui, 

SIVA 103 


Kankalamurti is a form closely allied to Bhikshatana and 
almost similar in appearance. According to the Mayamata, * 
Kankalamurti is draped in a fine cloth and is surrounded by 
lovely women. In his upper right hand he holds the pea- 
cock's feathers and skeleton (kankdla) and in the upper left the 
tanka. A serpent is coiled round his loins ; and he has a knife 
stuck into the girdle on the right side of his waist (figs. 63 and 
641 He is generally attended by demons. Birds and beasts 
follow him in expectation of getting something to eat from 
his hands. The description given of Kankalamurti in the 
Kasyapa-Silpa of the Amsiunat-Tantra is different. He has a 
jatdmakuta 1 decorated with serpents, the crescent-moon and 
flowers ; he is holding the kettle-drum in his left fore-arm and 
a stick (to beat it with) in the corresponding right ; the other 
right hand is in the pose simha-karna and touches the mouth 
of the antelope, while the left carries a bunch of peacock's 
feathers on a staff. He also wears a necklace of skeletons 
(kankdla) which according to the Aditya-Puraua are supposed 
to be those of Vishnu in Ms various incarnations. Sometimes 
he may be represented also as carrying on his shoulder a 
kankdla (skeleton) tied by a rope to the staff. 


The form of Siva, decorated as a bridegroom, is called KALY 
Kalyanasundaramurti or Vclivahikamurti. Siva in this form bU - N1 ? 
is represented as a fair youth, with three eyes and four 
arms. He is clothed in the best of garments and wears a 
garland of blue lilies. On his right side stands Parvatr, his 
bride, whose right hand he holds with his own. In his back 
hands are seen the symbols, tanka (or sometimes the axe) and 
the black buck. The left lower hand shows the boon-giving 
posture. His matted locks are made up in the fashion of a 
jatdmakuta on which is stuck the crescent of the moon. The 
general posture of the god is what is called samabhanga, or 
the medium bend, wherein the figure stands with the right 
leg slightly bent and the left leg placed firmly on the ground. 
The goddess on the right side is represented as a fully deve- 
loped maiden. She has only two hands, one of which holds a 
lily. Brahma, having in his four hands the rosary, water-pot, 

1 The braided hair (jata) of Bhtkshatana, on the othei hand , is generally 
found in illustralions, arranged in a circle Jatamakuta is the arrangement 
of ^tjatas in the form of a makuta or crown. The former ih, perhaps, what is 
known in the Silpa- works as jatamandala 



FIG. 63 Kankalamurti (metal) ; Tenkasi. 



D bS 

64 Kankalamurli , Dharasuram. 




PIG. 65. Kal> anabundara ; Madura 

SIVA 107 

the sacrificial ladle (snk) and the spoon (sruva) (or, the book), 
is seated on a lotus flower in front of a square fire-pit facing 
northwards, and offering oblations to the sacrificial fire, which 
is burning in front with five flames. Menaka and Himavat, 
the parents of the goddess, are standing to her right, carrying 
a golden pot, from which they pour water into the hands of 
Siva and ParvatI in token of giving away their daughter in 
marriage to him. The sages Sanaka and Sanandana stand to 
the left of the gocl with folded hands. Vishnu is present with 
the whole congregation of gods and goddesses. This des- 
cription of Kalyanasundara is found in all its details in a 
figure from Elephanta. The Kasyapa-Stlpa of the Amsiunat- 
Tantra and the Silpasangraha say that Vishnu in the tribhanga 
attitude faces south and stands on the north side of the sacri- 
ficial fire-pit with conch and discus in his back arms. He 
pours with his two other hands water from a gold pot into the 
hands of Siva and ParvatI (fig. 65). The Mayamata describes 
ParvatI as standing by the side of Lakshml. It looks as if 
Menaka and Himavat are sometimes substituted by Lakshml 
and Vishnu. A fine image of Kalyanasundara comes from 
the Chidambaram temple (fig. 66). Svayamvara is the name 
given in the Stlparatna to the figure of ParvatI as a bride. 
She holds a garland of flowers and walks towards Sambhu 
(Siva) to choose him as her husband. 


Somaskancla is the most common of all the sportive forms SOMA* 
of Siva. Its design is as old as the Pallava period and it may 
be found on the back wall of the sanctum immediately behind 
the hnga in almost every temple which pretends to belong to 
that age. The group, e.g., is found engraved on the back 
wall of a niche in the second storey of the Dharmaraja-r^^/za 
at Mahabalipuram which, according to an inscription cut 
on the lintel, was apparently intended to be a shrine for the 
S\v&-hnga called Atyantakama-Pallave"svara. It is also seen 
on the back wall of the Siva shrine facing the sea, in the 
" Shore Temple." The Saluvankuppam cave, called Atirana- 
chanda-Pallavesvara, also has the same image. A similar 
panel is also found in the Kailasanatha temple at Kanchl. 
Later ChOla temples, however, do not show any such panel on 
the wall behind the hnga. On one and the same pedestal 
are seen Siva and Uma with the child Skanda standing (or 
seated) between them. Both the god and the goddess are 
seated comfortably (sukJiasatia), with one leg (right in the 
case of Siva and left in the case of ParvatI) hanging down 


tr. 66 l^lyanasundara and Svayaim ara ; Chidambaram 



(.. 67.- SonuskantU (mclal) , bi\ankuclal 


and the other bent crosswise so as to lie flat on the pedestal. 
The god holds in his upper hands the tanka (or, the axe) and 
the deer and in the lower exhibits the varada and the abhaya 
postures. The goddess holds a lily in her right hand and 
shows the varada or the kataka pose l in her left (fig. 67). She 
may sometimes also be represented as resting the palm of her 
left hand on the pedestal by the side of her left thigh while the 
right hand, as before, holds the lily. Skanda has the crown 
karandamakuta and holds in one of his hands a flower, a 
wood-apple or a mango. According to the Karandgama the 
group must be flanked by two standing or seated figures 
called Bhoga-Sakti and Vlra-Sakti on the left and right sides 
respectively. 2 It is also stated that the right side of the 
pedestal on which the god sits is to be slightly higher than 
the left. 

A photograph from Mahabalipuram (fig. 68) is worth 
noting in this connexion. It shows Siva in the comfortably 
seated posture. In his upper hands, however, the symbols, 
evidently of tanka and the deer, are missing. The right lower 
is in the posture of abhaya and the left lower in that of 
kataka. It is also possible that the latter is resting freely on 
the thigh. ParvatI is seated on Siva's left side, turning her 
face towards him and holding the child Skanda on her knee. 
In the upper corners are seen flying dwarfs, apparently hold- 
ing flywhisks in their hands. The whole group is flanked by 
two four-armed gods raising respective^ the upper left and 
right arms and pointing them towards Siva. 

Among the Mahabalipuram sculptures we find still another 
scene of Saiva pictures apparently allied to Somaskanda just 
.SANA described, viz., Sukhasana or Umasahita mentioned m footnote 
*- I on p. 76. Here, on a pedestal supported by two lion-pillars 
and the recumbant bull between them, is a seated figure of 
Siva with a robe of ornamental fringes, hanging loosely from 
above his right shoulder. In his right upper hand he holds a 
furious serpent. What the position of his left upper hand 
indicates, is not clear. Of the two other hands, the left lower 
rests freely on his right leg and the left thigh, while the right 
lower exhibits a position of the fingers which suggests that 
the god must have held some weapon. The high jatamakuta, 
the divine halo (circle of light) round the face, the necklaces, 
pendants, ear-rings, waist-band, rings on hands and a thick 

1 The actual position of the hand as described m the Agamav, however, is 
mnha-karna or "lion's ear" with the fingers slightly closing on the palrnside. 

2 Siva is supposed to have three Saktis attached to him, VIA, Yoga-Sakti, 
Bhoga-Sakti and Vlra-Sakti j see below, p. 185, footnote I. 





69 Umasahita , Seven Pagodas. 

SIVA 113 

chord across the breast representing the Brahmanical thread 
yajtidpamta, are the other jewels seen on the figure of Siva. To 
the right of Siva's shoulder is Brahma with the water-pot in 
one hand and the erect rosary in the other. The sacred thread 
of Brahma has four strings. Between the heads of Brahma 
and Siva is a circular disc which perhaps represents the Sun. 
Near the left shoulder of Siva is Vishnu holding the discus 
and the conch in his two upper hands. Here again, the posi- 
tion of the two lower hands is not clear. The sacred thread 
of Vishnu has three strings. His crown though high like that 
of the two other gods is shaped somewhat differently. Parvati 
(Siva's consort) with the child Skanda on her right lap is 
seated on the left side of Siva. Her left foot is placed on the 
back of the couchant bull. She as well as her child have only 
two arms each. Close to her left foot, behind the bull, is a 
female attendant of Parvatl, who raises her right hand resting 
it on the back of the bull. Between the head of the goddess 
and that of Vishnu is seen what is perhaps to be interpreted 
as the crescent of the Moon, corresponding to the Sun on the 
other side. But the short handle attached to it at the bottom 
seems to show that it may be an umbrella of honour held over 
the head of the goddess (fig. 69). A similar group, called Uma- UMA-I 
Mahesvara according to Hemadn, consists of Siva and Parvatl, VARA 
the former having eight faces and two hands The left hand 
of the god is stretched over the shoulder of the goddess and the 
right hand of the goddess over that of the god. The Kara- 
ndgama describing this group states that the goddess ParvatT 
should be seated on the left side of Siva with the bull in front 
of them, Indra and other gods behind, Vishnu and Brahma on 
the sides and the devotees Bhringi, Narada, Bana, Bhairava, 
Ganapati, Skanda and Viresvara in the eight cardinal points. 
Rai Bahadur Venkayya considered this description to be 
that of Rishabhavahana (Vnshavahana) 1 mentioned in the 
next paragraph. 


Vnsharudha is a figure of Siva seated on the bull with the VRISIU 
right leg hanging down and the left bent so as to rest on the R0DHA 
bull. He has Ganapati on his right side and Gaurl on his 
left. 2 He holds in his two upper hands the tanka and the 
antelope. When, however, Siva is made to stand leaning 

* .9.7.7., Vol. II, Introduction, p 33, footnote I 

a The Silparatna and the Kasytipa-Silpa state that more often CUurl is seen 
on the right side of the god. 


against the bull and is not mounted on it, the Kasyapa-Silpa 
calls him Vrishavahana. In this case the elbow (kurpara) of the 
right hand of Siva rests on the head of the bull as in the illus- 
trations (figs. 70 and /I). 1 The Mayamata also gives the same 
description, but acids that the bull stands behind the seat on 
which the god and goddess sit. The right lower hand of Siva 
holds the trident while the two upper hands hold the axe and 
the deer. 


Chandrasekharamurti 3 (the crescent-crested lord) may, 
according to the Kasyapa-Silpa of the Amsttmat-Tantra, be 
represented in two different forms, either alone or in company 
of the goddess Gaurl. When alone, he stands on the pe- 
destal with level feet (samapada), holding the antelope and the 
kettle-drum (or, axe) in his back arms and presenting the 
dbhaya and the varada postures in the fore-arms. The cres- 
cent decorates the jatdmdkuta of the god, either on its right 
side or on the left. In other respects the image is a pleas- 
ing representation (fig. 72) of the general form of Rudra 
described above. When accompanied by the goddess he 
may also be seated (fig. 73). The right lower hand shows 
the abhaya posture and the left lower passes round the back 
of the yielding goddess and touches her breasts. Some 
Agamas do not permit the hand to be stretched so far, but only 
up to the left arm of the goddess. The illustration from Bagali 
(fig. 74) answers to this description but holds the trident and 
the kettle-drum in the upper hands instead of the axe and the 
deer. The goddess also with her right hand touches the right 
side of the waist-band of the god from the back and holds a 
flower in her left. She may also be seen passing her hand 
over his shoulder. Such figures of Chandras^khara are called 
Alinganamurti or the embracing form. They are also known 
as PradOshamurti, since in all well-maintained Siva temples, 

1 The illustrations given show two and four hands respectively for Siva, who 
standing with his legs crossed and leaning against the back of the bull, has the 
"kurpara of his right hand placed on the head of the bull. A fine image from 
Ceylon figured as No. 29 in Part II of Vzsvakaima is evidently one of Vnsha- 
rudha as described in the Mayamata The trident in the right lower hand, the 
bull and the goddess are missing. 

2 The great Chola king Raj araja I is represented in the Tanjore inscriptions 
to have been devoted particularly to this form of Siva The figuies of the lung 
and of Chandrasekhara receiving worship from him, were set up by the manager 
of the temple before the close of the 29th year of that king, i.e., before A,D. 



FIG. 70. Vrishavahana ; Chidambaram. 




FIG, 71, Vrishavahana (metal) ; Vcdaranyam. 



FIG, 72, Chandrasekhara (metal) ; Tiruvottiyur. 


I^ 73 Caandnseklvira , Taijora 



^-.f,. *%^: 

Ik" * I* ''*^r Ml I M. 

>*V. i'.v.^ i . i -^-.f*^ . '?*:%%< 

&. s 1 

74 Chandrasckha.r t x (Almganamurti) ; 


the image is carried about in procession in the evenings 


NARI The hermaphrodite or the Ardhanari form of Siva is per- 
haps to be traced to the conception of the Sakta doctrine 
that only when combined with Sakti is Siva capable of 
discharging his divine functions. 1 The idea of representing 
a male ornament in the right lobe of Siva and a female 
ornament in his left lobe must, already, have been due to the 
belief in the inseparable union of the masculine and feminine 
elements in the Creator. The artistic conception of a purely 
philosophical idea has thus resulted in an image of which the 
left half represents the woman (Parvati) and the right half, 
the male (Siva). The jewellery on the image is similarly dis- 
tinguished in every detail ; those on the left side being purely 
feminine ornaments and those on the right, ornaments appro- 
priate to males. The drapery on the right side is the tiger's 
skin of Siva reaching only to the knee, while on the left side 
it is the finely embroidered muslin (dukiila) suitable for the 
goddess Parvati, and stretching down to her ankle. Of the four 
hands, the two right show a hatchet and the posture of protec- 
tion ; the two left are richly decorated with wristlets, the upper 
one holding a flower and the lower one being stretched 
down to the waist (rig. 75). The Kasyapa-Stlpa, however, says 
that the right lower hand may be placed on the head of the 
bull. Some images show only three hands, two on the right 
and one on the left. In that case the right upper hand holds 
the axe while the lower right rests on the head of the bull. 
The figure stands leaning gracefully against the back of the 
bull, bending its body above the waist. Of the two other 
illustrations given, one is from the Nagesvara temple at 
Kumbakonam (fig, 76) and the other is from a niche on the 
north wall of the Tanjore temple (fig. 77). Sometimes images 
of Ardhanari may have only two arms. Thus in the temple 
at Tiruchchengodu (Salem district), dedicated to Ardhanari, 
the image (fig. 78) has only two hands, the right one holding 
a staff with the lower end resting on the waist, and the left 
placed on the left hip. It may be noted that the hair on the 
head of this image is done up in the fashion peculiar to 
images of Krishna. An illustration coming from Dharasuram 
shows eight arms, three visible faces (.with perhaps two others 

1 The populai story connected with the origin of this form is given below 
(p." 165), under Bhrmglsa. 

FIG. 75. Aulhatiin; Madura. 



FIG. 76 Ardhanari ; Ivuivbakonam. 



KIG. /S.Ardhanan ; Tmichchengodu. 

SIVA 125 

behind) and a circle of light in the back ground. This is 
apparently an unusual form (fig. 79). Still another unusual 
form comes from Tiruvadi near Tanjore, in which the right 
half is woman and the left half male (fig. 80). 


A similar composite image of Siva is the one called HARIHA 
Harihara or Sankaranarayana. In this image the left half is NARAYAI 
Vishnu and the right half Siva. Accordingly we see on the 
left side of the figures of Harihara, the conch, the pearl-neck- 
lace, the mark Srivatsa and the brilliant ear-ring characteristic 
of Vishnu and on the right side the skull, the garland of 
bones, the river Ganga, the serpent coil of the ear-ring and 
the trident or axe, characteristic of Siva. So too the colour of 
the body is blue on the left and white on the right. Similarly, 
Garuda, the vehicle of Vishnu, may be seen standing on the 
left and the bull of Siva on the right. SankaranayinarkOyil 
in the Tinnevelly district has a famous temple dedicated to 
this combined form of Sankara (Siva) and N3.rS.yana (Vishnu). 
The illustration given (fig. 8l) comes from Namakkal. A 
similar but more finished figure of Sankaranarayana is found 
at Chidambaram in which attendant sages and demi-gods are 
also depicted. 


Fine images of -Siva represented as the slayer of the GAJAHA 
elephant-demon -are not uncommon in South-Indian temples. MURTI - 
In this form lie receives the name Gajahamurti. The 
image has eight hands generally, but may have occa- 
sionally only four. The two uppermost hands are stretched 
out and hold the hide of the elephant with its tail bent 
upwards in the form of an aureola, while on the sides of 
this aureola are seen the legs of the elephant hanging. 
In the three right hands are held the trident, the kettle-drum 
(or the sword) and the noose (or the tusk of the elephant). 
Two of the three left hands hold the tusk (or shield) and the 
skull (kapala), while the third exhibits the posture indicating 
astonishment (vismaya) or sometimes holds a bell. The left 
leg is placed on the elephant-head of the giant and the right 
is raised up so as to reach the left thigh. A good figure 
answering to this description comes from Pe"rur near Coimba- 
tore. The ValuvQr image (Madras Archaeological Survey 
Report for 1911-12, Plate IX, fig. 2) and the Tirutturaippundi 
and the Dharasuram images (here illustrated) show the 
contrary position of the legs. The god has a terrible face 
with protruding teeth; and by his side is seen standing the 



FIG. 79. Ardha,nai i , Dharas 111^,111 



, 80 Ardh^rxan ; Tiruvatli, 



FIG. 81. Sankaranarayana , Namakkal. 


frightened goddess Uma with the young Skanda beside her 
(fig. 82). The Kdrandgama mentions the weapons tanka and 
deer and the polnting-finger-pose (suchi)}- This last posture 
of the hand is noticed both in the TirutturaippQndi and the 
Dharasuram stone images. The former has perhaps live 
heads (of which three alone are visible on the picture). It has 
ten hands and more attendant figures (fig. 83). 


Gangaclhara, "the bearer of Ganga (the Ganges)," is a form (JAM, 
of Siva which illustrates a well-known Purdnic story. The DIIAl 
story of the descent of the heavenly Ganges into the earth 
to purify the ashes of the sinful sons of Sagara, a king of 
the Solar race, is related in the Rdmayana. At the prayer 
of Bhaglratha, a later member of the same family, k ' the river 
of the gods" consented to direct her course to the earth, but 
her force was such that the earth was unable to bear the 
shock. So BhagTratha prayed to Siva and the latter con- 
sented to receive the Ganges on his matted locks. The river, 
proud of her might, came down with all her force as if to 
crush Siva, but found herself lost altogether in the tangled 
maxc of Siva's locks. Gangs then became humble and Siva 
let her flow forth again from his locks in a tiny trickle. The 
river-goddess, the heavenly Ganges, is believed since then to 
abide in Siva's matted hair as one of his consorts. This latter 
subject of letting the Ganges flow out of his matted hair as a 
tiny rivulet is represented in figures generally known as 
GangavisarjanamUrti. No distinction, however, has been c; AN t 
made in the Agamns between Gangaclhara and Gangcl- ' ANA ' 
visariana. He stands on a lotus pedestal with the right leg 
straight and the left slightly bent. The image is represented 
as embracing the goddess GaurT, consoling and assuring her 
that his affections would not be transferred to the river- 
goddess. 2 One right arm holds up a loek of his hair, on 
which is seen the goddess Ganga. A left arm holds the 
antelope. The goddess Gaurl with a. dejected face (vimhit- 
dncwd) is represented in the samabhanga posture with her left 
leg placed straight on the pedestal and the right leg slightly 
bent. Her right hand stretches down or is sometimes held 

1 The Silparatna defines this as a pose of hand in which the second hnijer 
(tttrjam) is kept straight while the others are bent inwards. It is also adopted 
when images are made to hold the goad or other similar weapons. 

2 The Silp.iwiigraJia sa>& that the right lower arm of .Siva may he in the 
posture of giving boons The illustrations, however, show it holding the face of 
the goddess Gauri 



D 10 

FIG, 82. ~ Gajahanmrti ; Dharasuram. 


#3, Gajahamfirti ; TiruUuraippuudi. 



akimbo while the left holds a flower. The god and the 
goddess are highly decorated (figs. 84 and 85). In the first 
illustration from Gangaikondasolapuram, Gauri appears as 
if she is desirous of being let alone but her anxious husband 
is holding her fast. Figures of Gangadhara are sometimes 
seen without Gauri on the side. In such cases he has 
four hands, of which the right upper supports Ganga on the 
lock and the left upper holds the deer. Of the two others 
the right fore-arm rests on the face of the bull against which 
the god leans and the left rests freely on the waist (fig. 86). 
The bull, not seen in the illustration, is distinct in a similar 
figure from the Siva temple at Kodumbalur. Bhaglratha, who 
was the cause of the descent of Ganga, may also be shown 
standing together with other nshis to the right of Siva. This 
is found only in an illustration from Burgess's Elura Cave 

One other figure (or rather group of figures) representing 
Gangadhara (fig. 87) comes from the rock-cut cave at Trichi- 
nopoly and deserves notice. The central image is Siva with 
four hands. The upper right hand holds a lock of hair in 
order to receive evidently the goddess Ganga descending 
from the clouds The upper left seems to hold a rosary. The 
left lower hand rests on the waist and the corresponding right 
holds by the tail a serpent with the raised hood. The left 
leg of Siva is placed straight on the ground and the right 
which is bent at the knee is placed on the head of a demon 
(perhaps Musalagan) who also supports the leg with his left 
hand which is raised up. The god is fully decorated. Round 
him are four attendant sages, two of whom are kneeling at 
the feet, the other .two worshipping from behind. Above the 
group are two devas flying in the air on either side of the 
god's head.*' Although the details given above do not agree 
with any particular description given in the A&amas, it 
appears to me that it represents Siva standing ready pre- 
pared to receive in his locks the rushing torrent of the river 
of the gods. One of the attendant sages may, in this case, 
be Bhaglratha at whose request Ganga descended from 
the heavens. 


Another Purdmc story is illustrated in the form Kalaha, 
or Kalaharamurti, " the destroyer of the god of Dsath." 
Markancleya was a young boy, greatly devoted to the worship 
of Siva. The fates had decreed that he should not live 

1 Plate XLIII, fig. i, and Plate XXVI, fig i 



FIG 85. Gangadhara (metal) ; Vaidlbvarankoyil. 



9f "S* 

FIG. 86 Gangadhara 5 Xanjore. 



t t i t f r i i f i i i , 
i ' r i r i r i r i, i i i r i. f 

JKia. 87, Gangadhara, Tiichinopoh, 

SIVA 13; 

beyond his sixteenth year. His father was very disconsolate 
as the boy approached the end of his appointed time on earth. 
But Markandeya was not afraid and spent all his time wor- 
shipping Siva. While thus engaged, the god of Death (Kala), 
whose duty it is to take the breath of life away from the mortal 
body at the appointed time, came up to the boy, with his 
weapons, the club and the noose, riding on his fierce buffalo. 
He was not daunted by the fact that the boy was engaged in 
holy duty but at once threw his relentless noose on the boy 
and began to pull his life out. The boy was frightened at 
the sight of the terrible god of Death and caught hold of the 
Siva.-lmga with both his hands. Siva then burst out from 
within the hnga and, with one foot still placed on the linga, 
he kicked with the other the transgressing god of Death, 
pierced him with his trident and vanquished him. 1 Thisjs the 
Piirdmc story of Kalaharamurti. According to the Agamas 
he is represented as placing his right leg on the hnga in 
the same attitude as that of the dancing Nataraja. His left 
leg, which is bent and raised, is placed on the breast of 
Kala. The god wears a jataindkuta and has an angry look, 
protruding teeth, three eyes and four (or sometimes eight) 
hands. The fore-arm on the right side holds the trident 
pointed downwards and raised to the level of the ear. The 
other right hand holds the axe while the two left hands 
exhibit the varada (with skull in palm) and the vismaya 2 pos- 
tures (fig. 88). The Kdranagama adds that he must also be 
accompanied by the goddess. The god of Death has two arms 
and protruding teeth. He holds the noose and is lying flat on 
the ground with legs stretched out wide apart. In the sketch 
from Chandragiri (fig. 89) is seen Markandeya with the noose 
round his neck and embracing the Hnga. Siva also is seen 
holding the trident in two hands while Yama is attacking the 
young sage with a trident. 


Nllakantha, Srikantha and Vishakantha are three synony- NILA 
mous names of Siva, given to him on account of his having r s * 
swallowed the deadly poison (kdlakuta) produced at the 
churning of the ocean by the devas and ddnauos under instruc- 
tions from the Creator, in order to obtain divine nectar. The 

I See Burgess's &litra Caw Temples, Plate XX LV 

'2 In place of the varada some figures show the suchi and in place of the 
vismaytit the hand holding the deer. According to the Silpasangraha the symbols 
may be the trident and the kettle-drum in the right hands and the boon-giving 
posture and the axe in the left. 



FIG. 88. Kalaharamurti ; Pattlsvaram. 




mountain Mandara was their churn-stick, the primeval Tortoise 
(who was Vishnu himself) the pivot on which the stick rested 
and turned, and the serpent Vasuki the churning rope. By a 
clever device of Vishnu, the ddnavas held the head and the 
devas the tail of the serpent. They churned and churned. 
Many great and splendid things came foaming up and every 
one was eager to seize what pleased him most But all at 
once something black began to rise. It grew and grew and 
darkened the whole universe. All the gods and demons were 
mortally afraid For it was the deadliest of poisons, death 
to them and death to all the universe. In this moment of 
horror they called on Siva to help them. The mighty god 
came and took the poison in the hollow of his hand and 
swallowed it. That which was enough to kill the universe 
served only to stain his neck with a bluish tint. Thus he 
came to be called "the poison-necked" or "the blue-necked" 
god. 1 The Kdranagama describing a form of Siva called 
>AHA- Vishapaharamurti, " the destroyer of poison " says that he has 
11 one face, three eyes, braided hair and four arms holding in 
the two upper the antelope and the axe. He is in the posture 
of drinking the poison which is held in the right lower hand. 
The left lower shows the boon-giving posture. On the left 
side of the god is the goddess with two arms. She shows an 
anxious countenance and holds the neck of Siva as if to pre- 
vent the poison from going down. 


AN- Two other forms of Siva connected with Purimic stones 

"JRTI. may be mentioned. These are TripurantakamCirti andKiratar- 
junamurti. 1 The first was assumed by Siva when he killed 
the three demons called Tripura and reduced their three 
magic cities to ashes. During this campaign the Earth is 
said to have served Siva as a chariot, and the Sun and 
the Moon as its wheels. The four Vedas were the four 
horses and the Upanishads were the guiding reins ; the 
mythic golden mountain Meru was the bow, the ocean 
was the quiver and god Vishnu was the arrow. Images of 
Tripurantaka are made with the right leg firmly placed 
on the pedestal and the left leg bent. The right fore- 
hand in the sunha-karna posture holds the arrow and the 
left fore-arm, the bow. The other hands hold the tauka (or the 

1 The h.asyapa-Siipa speaking of Srlkantha sa\s thai he holds the trident 
and the kettle-drum 

2 An image of Tnpurantaka in the thousand-pillared hall of the Madura 
temple shows an actual figure of Vishnu engraved on the arrow held by bua. 

SIVA I4 1 

axe) and the deer respectively. The locks are arranged in the 
form of a jatamakuta and the goddess GaurT stands on the left 
side. The accompanying illustration from Chidambaram 
(fig. 90) answers to this description of Tripurantaka. The 
alternating positions of the leg, the existence or non-existence 
of the demon Apasmara underneath one of them and the 
fashion of holding the bow and the arrow, yield five other 
forms of Tripurantaka, who may also be represented with 
eight or ten arms. Sometimes (when with ten arms), the god 
is seated in a chariot with his right knee touching the sitdha, 
the left leg which is bent at the knee being placed firmly m 
front of the right In the chariot, at its front, is seated the 
four-faced Brahma and below him is a white bull drawing the 
car. A sandal-wood carving published in ihQ Journal of Indian 
Art and Industry, Vol. XV, No. 119, fig. 12, shows the actual 
fight between Siva and the demon called Tripura. 

Kiratarjunamurti is that form of Siva in which he is KIRA 
supposed to have appeared before Arjuna, one of the heroes ' UNA 
of the epic Mahabharata, when the latter was doing penance 
to obtain from Siva a powerful weapon with which he could 
destroy his enemies. God Siva wished to try personally if his 
devotee Arjuna really deserved to wield the matchless weapon 
Ptisiiptita, whose presiding deity was himself. To this end 
Siva and ParvatT assumed the forms of a hunter and a huntress 
and with their retinue of demons and hobgoblins attired for the 
chase, drove before them a wild boar, which rushed to attack 
Arjuna who was then performing his penance. Arjuna, the 
practised warrior, seized his bow and instantly shot the 
animal. Simultaneously also came another arrow from the 
psucclo-hunter Siva. Pierced by both the arrows, the animal 
died. The hunter cried out that the quarry was his and asked 
Arjuna how he dared to shoot at it. The royal hero of the 
Lunar race could not brook the insult from this wild hunter of 
the woods. A fierce fight between the two was the result. 
Arjuna was amazed to see that the hunter was more than his 
match. Arjuna's never failing arrows failed him now and he 
challenged the hunter to a hand-to-hand contest. Sore and 
beaten, Arjuna worshipped the clay hnga of the god Siva 
that he had before him, when, lo ! the flowers he threw on the 
lingti fell on the person of the hunter. Arjuna struck the 
hunter at the head with his powerful bow called Gandlva and 
drew blood. But the bow was mysteriously snatched away 
irom him. In the end Arjuna was overcome by a gentle touch 
of the mighty god. Arjuna then knew him and begged 
pardon and the god gave him the desired weapon Pdsupata. 



FIG, 90. Tripuraatakamuru ; Chidambaram. 

SIVA 143 

This story is the subject matter of the exquisite poem Kiratar- 
junlya of the Sanskrit poet Bharavi. The Tanjore inscriptions 
refer to an image Kiratarjunadeva j 1 and from the description 
given of it in a mutilated passage, it appears as if there was a 
reference there, to a linga or to some object connected with it. 
Images of Kiratarjunamurti answering to the story described 
above are not very frequent. An illustration (fig. 91) which 
comes from Pushpagiri in the Cuddapah district represents 
evidently the last part of the drama, when Siva and ParvatI 
appeared before Arjuna and gave him the weapon. Siva 
holds in his back hands the axe and the trident. In his right 
fore-arm is the arrow Pasupata, the left fore-arm resting freely 
on the waist. To the left of Siva stands the goddess ParvatI 
with two hands, holding a lotus flower in her right. In front 
of both, is Arjuna in the modest posture of receiving with both 
hands the divine gift offered him. A pigmy figure standing 
between Siva and Arjuna in the illustration may be one of 
the attendants of Siva. The Kdrandgama gives the same 
description but makes Siva wear both the arrow and the bow 
and hold the antelope instead of the trident. An illustration 
coming from Chidambaram (fig. 92) answers to this descrip- 
tion. In it may also be seen the figure of Arjuna in a 
worshipping posture as described in the Kdrandgama. It 
may be noted that the historic "Arjuna's Penance" at 
Mahabalipuram is supposed to represent the Mahabharaia 
story related above.' 2 


Chandesanugrahamurt) is a form of Siva which was 
assumed by him in ordc k r to confer blessings on his fervent 
devotee ChanclSsa described in the sequel."* His figures are 
occasionally found depicted in some of the South-Indian 
temples. From Gangaikondasolapuram in the Trichinopoly 
district comes a beautiful illustration (fig. 93) of the story. 

i Dr. Ananda K. Coomaraswumi publishes an image of Siva from Tanjore 
m bis Art Journal l"is7>akarHia (Fart II, No 28). In this the positions of the four 
hands indicate the nature of the weapons that must have been held by them. 
Although the image is called Gangadhura by Dr. Coomaraswami, the poses of 
the fingers suggest that the image must be one of Kiratarjuna, possibly the very 
idol mentioned in the Tanjore inscriptions, since its two fore-arms are so adjusted 
as to receive into them the bow and the arrow. The upper arms in this case 
must have held the axe and the deer. Mr. R. D. Banerji describes in the 
Director-General's Archwological Survey JR&porf for 1911-12, pp. 161 ff, certain 
sculptures from Chandimau which relate to this story of Arjuna 's fight with Siva. 
These are attributed by Mr. Banerji to the Gupta period. 

a HavelFs Ideals of Ju diait Ait, pp 147 to 151. 4 Se p. 161, below. 



tio 91. Kiratarjunamurti ; Pushpagiri. 



Fro. 92 KiratarjunamSrti; Chidambaram. 



FIG. 93. Chaadesanugrahamurti ; Gangaikondasolapuram. 

SIVA 147 

Here Siva is seated in the sukhasana or the comfortable 
posture on a raised pedestal, as in the case of Somaskanda 
figures, his left leg hanging down and resting on a foot- 
stool. The goddess Parvati too is seated to the left of Siva 
on the same pedestal, her right leg being bent at the knee 
and placed on the pedestal while the left is hanging down 
to rest on another foot-stool. Siva has four arms. In his two 
back hands he holds the axe and the deer and with the two 
front arms he is seen decorating with a flower garland the 
locks of his servant, the devoted Chandesa. The latter 
sits on the ground at the foot of Siva, with bending knees 
and folded arms, and receives the divine favour with grati- 
tude. The images are well ornamented. Above the group 
are seen flying gods and demi-gods who have evidently 
gathered round to see the kindness of Siva shown towards 
his devotee. According to the Mayamata Chandesa has 
behind his folded arms the weapon parasu (axe). On the east 
gopiira of the Chidambaram temple is a figure of Chan- 
de"sanugrahamurti in which Chandesa is represented with 
the axe between his folded arms. 

The size of the image of Chandesa must, it is stated, be 
smajl so as to reach the arms of Siva and is to be bedecked 
with the ornaments of children. The Kasyapa-Silpa states 
that between the god and the goddess may be placed the 
figure of Skanda, at the sculptor's option. " Next to Dakshina- 
murti," it says, " the figure of Chandesanugraha is the most 
famous." A group of images under the name Chandes- 
varaprasadadCva was set up in the Tanjore temple by king 
Rajarajal, and consisted of (l) the god ChandSsvaraprasada- 
dCva with four arms, (2) the demon Musalagan with two arms, 
(3) the goddess Umaparame'svurT, (4) Mahadeva (the hnga 
worshipped evidently by the boy ChandSsa), (5) the devotee 
with two arms, (6) his father also with two arms represented 
as having fallen down and lying on the ground and (7) 
ChandCsa receiving with his two arms the boon of a flower- 
garland from Siva. 1 This description agrees with the story 
related in the Pcriyapnranam, a compilation of the thirteenth 
century A.D- The Kclramlgama, whose date is not known, 
was also apparently familiar with the story. 


Some particularly fierce forms of Siva may now be SARABHA- 
descnbed. First in fierceness comes the form of the fabulous MURH. 

1 South-Indian Inscriptions^ Vol. 1.1 , Introduction, p. 39, 
T n-A 







Sarabha which is supposed to have been assumed by Siva in 
order to suppress the pride of Narasimha, the Man-lion incar- 
nation of Vishnu. The Karanagama describes Sarabha as 
having eight legs, three eyes, long nails, two hands and a 
body glowing like fire. The image has a lion's face and two 
wings one of which is said to represent the fierce goddess 
Durga and the other, Death. 1 The illustration here reproduced 
(fig. 94) shows Sarabha trampling on the Man-lion 

Pasupatamurti is another fierce form of Siva. This is 
evidently the form in which he is worshipped by the sect of 
Pasupata Saivas, who, according to Dr. Bhandarkar, came into 
prominence about the second century B.C. 2 The Silpasdra 
describes Pasupatamurti as having ten arms and five faces. 
According to other Agamas the figure may have only four 
arms. It has a fierce face, knitted brows over its three eyes, 
and hair red like flames of fire, bristling erect on the head. 
The god holds in his right hand a trident pointing downwards 
and in the boon-giving palm of the left he also holds a skull 
(kap&la). Sometimes the handle of the trident is lightly held 
by both the lower arms, which do not then show the varada and 
the dbhaya postures. In the back arms are seen the tanka and 
the sword. The protruding teeth and the sacred thread 
formed of a venomous serpent add to the fierceness of his 
appearance. For purposes of meditation, however, a milder 
form is adopted, in which, like Chandrasekhara, the god is 
represented standing or seated with a smiling countenance, 
showing the trident and the abhaya in his two right arms and 
the rosary and the varada in the two left arms (fig. 95). 

Two other terrible forms of Siva are Aghoramurti and 
Rakshoghnamurti. The latter has braided hair and a body 
besmeared with ashes. In one hand he holds a triclent with 
which he is piercing the god Yama, who calls away unto him 
the victims, of all cruel diseases. In another hand is a skull 
from which issues a blazing fire. The axe and the kettle-drum 
are other weapons held by him. With his formidable pro- 
jecting teeth, knitted eyebrows and frowning face he is repre- 
sented as feasting on corpses in the company of bhutas, 
pretas and pisachas in the burning ground, which is his usual 
dwelling place. I have not, however, seen any actual re- 
presentation of this image in South-Indian temples. Aghora- 
murti has four faces and eight hands. In these he holds the 
kuthara (axe), Vedas, noose, goad, kettle-drum, rosary, trident 

1 Madras Archaeological Survey Report for 1911-12, Plate IX, Hg. 

2 Vazshanavtsm, S?v?sm t etc , p, 116 f, 



FIG. 94, SaiabhamGrtij Dharasuram. 


FlG. 95, Pabupatamurti ; Chidambaram . 

SIVA 151 

and the skull. He has terrible protruding teeth and a dark 
shining body (fig. 96). The Sivatattvaratnakara mentions a 
form of AghOramurti with thirty-two arms and the Pancha- 
ratragama, another with twelve arms. The image wears a 
garland of skulls and treads on the head of Kalamunda, the 
vile god of Death. 

Bhairavd, born of the blood of Siva, is another god of BHAIRAVA, 
this class. The Tantrasara mentions eight forms of Bhairava 
which are fit for worship. His general form shows dishevelled 
matted hair, three eyes and a red-coloured body. His sym- 
bols are the trident, sword, noose and the kettle-drum. He 
is naked and is represented as being followed by all kinds of 
demons and spirits and riding on a dog (fig. 97). Hemadri 
describes Bhairava as a pot-bellied god with round red eyes, 
terrible face, protruding teeth and wide nostrils. He wears a 
garland of skulls and ornaments of snakes, ! thus frightening 
even his consort who stands by his side. The upper half of 
his body which is dark in colour is covered with the elephant's 
hide. He has many arms and holds all destructive weapons. 
The Silpa^dra makes him seated on a jewelled throne under 
the celestial tree mandara, closely embraced by the goddess. 
The same work mentions three other forms of Bhairava, viz., 
Panchavaktra-Bhairava, Govinda-Bhairava and Samhara- GOVIM>A- 
Bhairava. The second of these has four arms and holds ^MH^R^ 
the conch, discus, drinking cup and the mace. He has three BUAIRAVA 
eyes and is young, serene and naked. On his side is the 
goddess VaishnavT-Sakli and hivS vehicle is the bird Garuda. 
The third has five faces and ten arms and among his weapons 
arc also the Vaishnavitc conch and discus. 

According to the Silpasara Kala-Bhairava wears a girdle KALA- 
of tiny bells on his waist and holds the sword, trident, BlIAIRAVA 
drum and the drinking cup in his hands. He has a fear- 
some face with protruding teeth, a garland of skulls and 
dishevelled hair. In the illustration from Durgi (fig. 98) the 
dog which is his vehicle is seen biting a human head held by 
the left lower hand of the image. The goddess with her 
companion is standing to the right, evidently frightened at 
the serpent ornaments and the terrible form of Bhairava. 

Mahakala, still another fierce form of Siva, is quite like MAHAKAI 
Bhairava, but holds a serpent in the place of the noose. In 
the work entitled Lahtopakhyana he is described as accom- 
panied by Kali, embracing her and drinking with her " from 

1 Figures of Bhairava with the dog vehicle and the five-hooded serpent over- 
head, are reported to exist in some of the ancient tcmpleb of the Bellary district, 


b. 96 A^ohrAinurti , 1'atti^varam 



KN. 97 lihojnua ; I'altTsvaram. 



FIG 98. Kala-Bhairava ; Durgi. 

SIVA 155 

the cup which is the mundane egg, the wine which is the 
essence of creation." His faces (evidently five) are terrible 
to look at, like those of death, and threaten to swallow the 

Kalagni-Ruclra " the terrible or fiery Rudra " described in KALAG 
the Kasyapa-Silpa, closely resembles Bhairava and is perhaps Ruj >^ 
only another form of him. 1 He holds the weapons sword 
and shield, the arrow and the bow and wears a red cloth. 
The illustration from Durgi (fig. 99) is very likely one of 


Virabhadra is one of the many Saiva demi-gods (ganas)- 2 VIRAB 
He is said to have sprung from a lock of Siva's hair when, as 
already stated, Siva heard of the suicide of his wife Sat! in 
her father's sacrificial fire and flew into a rage. From the 
fire of his anger came into existence this terrible form, as of 
Death manifest, who destroyed the sacrificial ceremonies of 
Daksha and slew Daksha himself. The Pdncharatragama 
describes Vlrabhadra as black m colour, having three eyes 
and holding in- his four arms a sword, arrow, bow and club. 
He wears a garland of skulls and has sandals on his feet. A 
yellow garment is tied round his loins. 3 The Silparatna 
describes him as having eight hands and riding on vetdla 
(a demon) surrounded by his ganas (followers). From the 
BnhaclTsvara temple at Tanjore comes a sculptured panel 
(fig. 100) in which a woman, perhaps the wife of Daksha, is 
seen flying in alarm with upraised hands at seeing her 
husband decapitated by VTrabhaclra before her very eyes and 
the severed head thrown into the sacrificial fire-pit. One of 
the attendant priests with a ladle in his hand is also 
represented in the act of running away from the scene. A 
fine figure of Virabhadra with the bow and arrow, sword 
and shield, comes from Mudigondam in the Counbatore district 
(fig. lOl). The god is represented standing on a padma- 
pltha in front of a prabhd-wandala, " an arch of light ". At the 
edge of the pedestal on the right side is shown Daksha 
who was, however, revived by Siva with the head of a sheep 
substituted for the one that was burnt in the sacrificial fire. 

x The jRitdra^ainctlii-TaKtra includes the name Kalagm-Rudra among the 64 
varieties of Bhairava. 

2 Kas>ikhan<iii. In the lexicon Amarako^a Siva himself is called the destroyer 
of the sacrifice (KraUulhva.msm). 

8 The Karamigcuna adds that he has Bhadiakail by las side and is fierce, 
Daksha with the sheep's head, two eyes and t\\o arms, stands on the right side of 



FIG. 99. Kalagnl-Rudra (?) , Durgi, 

he, loa-ViraUra AM ing the head of Daksha miu the fire ; Taoiore, 





ioi. Virabhadra ; Mudigondajn. 

SIVA 159 

The figure of Daksha is of comparatively small stature, meant 
evidently to indicate by contrast, the huge form of Vlrabhadra. 
The Silpasangraha mentions three varieties of Vlrabhadra 
(viz. snttvic, tamasic and rajasic) with two, four or eight arms. 1 
All are dark in colour and fierce looking. Seated figures of 
Vlrabhadra are called Y5ga-Vlra, his standing figures, BhOga- 
Vlra and those in a walking posture, Vlra-VTra. In the first, 
Vlrabhadra holds a sword and shield and is seated with one 
leg folded on the pedestal and the other hanging down. In 
the second posture he exhibits the bow and arrow, sword and 
kataka. On the leg is worn the anklet of heroes. The head is 
adorned with a crown, in the middle of which is represented a 
linga. A garland of skulls decorates the neck. On the right 
side is the image of Daksha with folded arms. In the Vira- 
Vlra figures, Vlrabhadra holds the trident, sword, arrow and 
the deer on the right side and the skull, shield, bow and the 
goad on the left. It may be noted that, while images of Vlru- 
bhadra and independent temples erected for him are very 
common in the Telugu and Canarcse districts, temples in the 
Tamil districts rarely contain his image, and shrines dedi- 
cated to him are still rarer. There is a Vlrabhadra temple at 


Images of Kshetrapala often met with in the temples of KSH* 
Southern India are divided into three classes, according to PALAi 
the predominating qualities stittva, rti/as and lamas. Those 
belonging to the first class have two or four hands ; the 
second six and the third eight. 2 All the figures, irrespective 
of the class to which they belong, are made to stand with 
level feet (bawapada). The general description of them is 
that they have three eyes which are round and protruding, 
red hair pointing upwards, serpent jewels, a girdle of bells 
round the waist and a necklace of skulls. They arc naked 
and inspire awe with their fierce fangs (fig. 102). KshCtrapflla 
occupies an important place among the subsidiary deities in 
Siva temples. He is the chief guardian of the temple just 
as ChandGsa (described below) is its superintendent and 

1 Dr. Burgess's Elitra Cart' '/\'mplt'\, Plate XX If, Fig, 2, is a representation 
of Vlrabhadra with eight hands The plate wrongly calls the figure Bhairaxa 

a One image of Kshetrap.ila with eight arms and another of Bhairava, were set 
up in the Tanjore temple at the beginning of the eleventh century A.I), in 
connexion with the group of figuies illustrating the story of the Sana amt 
SmittoncU-Nayanar ; see below, p. 259, footnote 2 In the Panchunadewara 
temple at Tiruvadi near Tanjore is an image of Kshetrapala, called AlUmdiir, 
with eight hands, to which people attach much importance. 

1 60 


FIG, 1 02. Kshetrapala ; Tiruvarangxilam. 

SIVA l6l 

manager. Kshetrapala is worshipped first in every Siva 
temple, before commencing the regular service for the 
day. The Prayogasara says : " Whoever performs any 
ceremony without first worshipping Kshe"trapala, the fruit of 
that ceremony is without doubt destroyed by Kshetrapala." 
His naked form and the name Maha-Bhairava by which he is 
addressed during the Sribah ceremony suggests that Kshetra- 
pala in his essence must be allied to Bhairava. 1 

All these awe-inspiring forms of the Saiva cult, including 
others which are mentioned in the Agamas, but not often met 
with in South-Indian temples, received special worship from 
the adherents of the early Saiva sub-sects known as Pasu- 
patas, Kalamukhas and Kapahkas, as well as from the 
Lingayatas of later origin. 2 


Among the attendant ganas of Siva who, like the gods 
just described, are identified with one or another aspect of 
Siva himself, may be mentioned Chanclesa, BhringTsa and CnAN 
Nandlsa. The first is counted as the foremost of the servants 
of Siva and is hence called in Tamil inscriptions and the 
Penyapnranam, Adidasa-Chandesa. 8 The Kdsyapa-Silpa tells 
us that he is made up of the sterner side of Siva's nature 
and appears in each millennium (ynga) with different names 
and symbols. In the Krita-yuga he receives the name Prach- 
anda, is of angry appearance, rides on an elephant and has 
the jatamakitta and sixteen arms. Tn TrSta-yuga he is seen 
smiling, has eight arms and dishevelled braids of hair, and 
goes by the name Chancla. Tn the third or Dvapara-yuga he 
has four hands, the lion vehicle, jatamandala, protruding teeth 
and a fearful face. His weapons then are the fattka, trident, 
noose and the hook. In the Kali-ytiga he has a peaceful 
appearance and the bull vehicle, has his locks made up in the 

1 Mayurabhanja,, (p. xxxiv, fig. 13), gives a description of Kshetrapala 
calling him Mahakala and Bhairava, The Silpaiara in describing Vatuka- 
Bhairava, calls him also Kshetrapala. 

3 In the famous temple on the Srisailam Hill (Kuraool district) where the 
influence ol the Lingayata sect was once very great, is a pavilion adjoining the 
Nandi-wawif/a^a. An inscription of the fourteenth century A.I), describes it as the 
place where the votaries, evidently of the Vlrabhadra form ot Siva, offered up 
their heads in order to propitiate the furious god ; Madras Epigraphical Report 
for 1914-15, p. 92, paragraph 15. 

3 Tn Epigraphic records the documentary transactions of a Siva temple are 
stated to be conducted in the name of Chandesa, the supposed manager of the 
temple. Even now, visitors to a Siva shrine have to icport themselves before 
Chandesa prior to leaving the temple premises and clap their hands as if to show 
that they are not carrying with them any portion of the temple property. 


form of either a jatamdkuta, jatdmandala or kesabandha and 
stands with level feet in the dbhanga or the sama-bhanga 
posture. He may also be found seated with the right leg 
hanging down from the seat and the left leg bent crosswise so 
as to rest upon the seat. He holds the tanka (or, axe) in the 
right hand and shows the boon-giving posture in his left 
(fig. IO3). 1 Sometimes both the hands are seen folded over 
the breast in a worshipping posture with the weapon tanka 
(or, sometimes, a flower garland) held between them. In this 
case he receives the name Adi-Chandesa. A story related in 
the Tamil Penyapurdnam about Chandesa makes him a 
fervent devotee of Siva, who in his height of devotion, cut off 
the legs of his own father, because he wantonly spilt the 
milk-pots which Chandesa had secured as loving offerings to 
Siva. Sankaracharya, who lived perhaps in the early part of 
the eighth century A.D., refers to this Saiva devotee Chandesa 
as pitridrdhin, " the sinner against (his) father," evidently with 
reference to the story related in the Penyapurdnam. The form 
of Siva known as Chandesanugrahamurti, described above, 
is entirely based on this anecdote. 

Nandi, Nandlsa or Nandikesvara, now represented by the 
recumbent bull placed in front of the chief shrine in a Siva 
temple, is described by Hemadri to be one of the attendant 
demi-gods of Siva. He is stated to have three eyes and four 
arms and to wear a tiger's skin. In two of his hands he holds 
the trident and the bhindivala " a short javelin." The third 
hand is raised up over the head and the last shows a 
stretched linger (tarjanl), his eyes being watchful and fixed 
towards people coming from a distance into the Siva temple. 
The Varaha-Pn7;j says that, though originally an a'scetic, 
Nandi by his austerities and devotion to Siva was blessed 
with a form similar to that of Siva himself and was placed at 
the head of the attendant ganas of Siva. A metallic image 
(fig. 104) from Valuvur (Tanjore district) represents him in 
this metamorphosed form. He has four arms of which the 
two back ones hold the tanka and the deer and the two front 
are joined together palm to palm in a worshipping posture. 
By the side of Nandlsvara stands also his wife with two arms 2 

1 This last is the form of Chandesa usually found in Siva temples. In the 
illustration, however, the left hand rests on the thigh and the position of the legs 
is reversed. 

2 A verse in praise of Nandi describes him as the husband of Suyasa. 
lie stands at the entrance into Siva temples with a knife or golden cane held in his 
hands so as to touch the knrpara of his right arm In one of the mandapas of 
the Ekamresvara temple at Conjeeveram, Nandi is represented in the same posture 
as Garuda, carrying in his out-stretched fore-arms the feet of Siva and Parvatl. 



FIG. 103. Chandesa j Tiruvottiyur. 

1 64 


FIG 104. Nandlsa and his consort (metal), Valuvur. 

SIVA 16$ 

It must be noted that NandTsa is a favourite deity of the 
Saiva puritans, the so-called Lingayatas or Vlra-Saivas. 

Bhringi, Bhringiriti or Bhringlsa is similarly a fervent BHRING!S* 
devotee of Siva. So exclusive was he in his devotion that 
he is said to have ignored the goddess who was part and 
parcel of Siva. His sole business in life, to which he had 
pledged himself, was ever to circumambulate the hnga of 
Siva and no one else. To test his faith the god assumed the 
hermaphrodite form of Ardhanari in which the goddess, as 
already described, is not separated from the god. Bhringi 
was not baffled ; but assuming the form of a bee (bhringa) he 
bored into the united body and continued still to go round 
and round the Siva half of the hermaphrodite. The goddess 
Parvati was enraged and cursed him to become emaciated 
day after day. Bhringi, accordingly, grew very thin and was 
unable to support himself. With the grace of Siva he 
secured a third leg which supported him. Thus Bhringi is 
represented in pictures with three legs (fig. I05). 1 An image of 
BhnngTsa with three arms and three legs is stated to have 
been set up in the temple at Tanjore by a subordinate of 
Rajaraja I in, the eleventh century A.D. 

Jvarade"va of Saiva mythology, who is supposed to have JVARADEV 
been the destroyer of the demon Bhasmasura, is described in 
the Agamas as having three legs, three heads, six arms, nine 
eyes, and a dejected appearance. An image from Bhavani in 
the Coimbatore district (fig. 106) answers to this description 
of JvaradSva. 


Ganapati, GanSsa or Vinayaka, the popular " belly god/* GANAPAH 
is, as his name indicates, the chief of the Saiva ganas. He is V 
said to be the eldest son of Siva and Parvati, to have three 
eyes, an elephant's head 2 and ears and four arms. In the 

1 The Vamana-/'//T5wrt states that Bhringi was the name conferied by Siva on 
the demon Andhaka after the latter had proved himself to be a staunch devotee of 
Siva. Bhringi is represented with an emaciated body holding the staff in one 
hand and the rosary in the other. His e>es are ever directed towards Siva. 

2 One of the popular stones explaining how Ganapati came to have the 
elephant's head is as follows : Once upon a time when Parvati went to bathe, she 
made a figure of the turmeric which had been smeared over her body, gave it life 
And limbs and appointed it to keep watch at the door. Siva came to see Parvati 
but was stopped at the door by the newly created guard. Siva in anger cut off the 
head of the figure. The goddess entreated him to rewve her child. He agreed 
and said that the head of any living body sleeping with the head placed northward 
might be severed at once and placed on the trunk of the turmeric figure. Ayi 
elephant was found sleeping in the way described. Its head was accordingly cut 

1 66 


1<IG. 105. Bhnngi ; Srlsailam 



1'IG. 106. Jvaradevaj Bhavani. 


two back hands he holds the hook and the noose and in the 
front arms an elephant's tusk and the wood-apple. Instead 
of the two last we may sometimes find the boon-conferring 
posture and the water-pot. According to tlxe Kasyapa-Silpa 
the noose may alternate with the rosary or a serpent. The 
illustration from Lepakshi (fig. TO/) shows the left lower hand 
of Ganesa resting on his thigh. His elephant trunk is curved 
out in the act of picking up the wood-apple or, sometimes, the 
pudding. His pot-belly is girded round by a serpent and the 
sacred thread, which is also a serpent, hangs across the body 
from over his left shoulder. In the seated posture Ganesa is 
represented with one leg hanging from the pedestal and placed 
on a foot-stool and the other resting on the pedestal. The 
right tusk of the god is broken and must in no case be shown 
complete. 1 He rides on a rat or bandicoot. His image may be 
made standing (fig. 108), seated (fig. 109) or dancing (fig. HO). 3 
In the first position the general bend of the body known as 
dbhanga or samdbhanga may optionally be adopted. While 
seated, the body is to be slightly bent to the left. Over his 
head Ganesa wears the jewelled crown (kiritamakuta) and 
his hands and legs are fully ornamented. 

Ganapati is a very important deity in the Hindu Pantheon.^ 
Supposed to be the lord of obstacles (Vighnesvara) he is 
worshipped by all classes of Hindus, other than Sri-Vaishna- 
vas, at the commencement of every religious ceremony, whether 
auspicious or inauspicious. A sect of Brahmanas called Gana- 
patyas, found mostly on the West Coast, worship him as the 
highest of the gods. As in the case of Vishnu and Siva he is 

off and" placed on the trunk. The figure came back to life and Siva accepting that 
as his first-born ciiild, blessed him and made him the leader (patz) of the Saiva 
hosts (ganas). People still Relieve that it i 1 * not right to sleep with one's head 
placed northward. The Brahmavarvarta-/^'^** gives a different account and 
makes Vishnu responsible foi the change in Ganapati's head. 

1 In the Stikrawitisara it is stated that his left (-ziamaj tusk is broken, that his 
vehicle may be any animal which he chooses and that his trunk holds a lotus 

2 The dancing figure of Ganesa from Gangaikondasolapuram has its upper 
left hand lifted up instead of showing the noose or the rosary. 

3 Eabu Nagendra Natha Vasu in his Mayurabhanja states that Vinayaka is 
worshipped even by the Buddhists, the Japanese calling him Bmayakia. He 
refers to a temple of Ganesa in Nepal which is supposed to have been built by a 
daughter of the Maurya king Asoka in the third century B.C. Dr. Bhandarkar 
( Vazskixavtsm, Saivzsm, etc. , p. 147 f ) gives the sixth century to be the earliest date 
when Ganapati as the elephant-headed god, came to be generally worshipped by 
the Hindus 

FIG, 107 Ganapati standing ; Lepakshi. 



FIG, 108. Ganapati standing (melai) , PaLtlsvaram. 



FIG. 109. Ganapati seated ; Siyamangalam. 



j, lc , IIO -Ganapati dancing ; GangaikondasSlapuram. 

SIVA I 73 

also called by a thousand names. Mr. Havell explains Gana- 
pati to be the manas, or worldly wisdom, personified. Gana- 
pati in Hindu mythology is recognized as an unmarried god 
a brahmacharm. But from the sequel it will appear that some 
forms of Ganapati have their accompanying goddesses, some- 
times, recognized as Ashta-Siddhis (the eight presiding deities 
of success or achievement). 

Thirty-two forms of Ganapati 1 are mentioned in the 
Mudgala-Pwra/za. The Silpasara also refers to some of these 
forms- Maha-Ganapati is stated m the Mudgala-Purana to be MAHA- 
an elephant-faced god, three-eyed, wearing the crescent of the G 
moon as his head-ornament, and red in colour. He is lovingly 
embraced by his wife who, seated on his lap, holds a lotus in 
her hand. The following weapons and symbols are mentioned : 
the bijapura, club, sugarcane-bow, a brilliant discus, conch, 
noose, lotus, ear of paddy, the broken tusk and the ruby-pot. 
This list indicates that the god must have ten hands. 2 The 
illustration ^ (fig. m) from Madura shows Maha-Ganapati 
riding on a "rat* and having on his lap the seated figure of a 
goddess. He has ten arms but the weapons held in them are 
not quite distinct. In the uppermost hand on the right side, 
however, is seen the discus. In the Visvanatha temple at 
Tenka-si (Tinnevelly district) we have a similar image seated on 
a pedestal without the usual rat vehicle, the elephant trunk 
being turned towards the left side. Here again only the discus 
and the lotus held in two of the ten arms are clear Maha- 
Ganapati with different weapons and two goddesses receives 
the name LakshmT-Ganapati. A fine bronze image of LAKSHMI 
Heramba-Ganapati, also described in the Mudgala-Pr&>z# GANAPA-I 
comes from Negapatam (fig. 112). This figure has five elephant QAWAPAT 
faces, the fifth of which, in the illustration, is represented at 
the top.* Of his ten arms the two lowest show the protecting 
and the boon-giving postures. The others hold the noose, the 
tusk, the rosary, hook, axe, pestle, pudding and the fruit. He 
rides on a lion, but no goddess is found, as in the two varieties 
just mentioned. From Tiruvanaikkaval (i.e., Jambukesvaram) 

1 The Saradatilaka speaks of fifty-one forms of Ganapati. 

2 The Silparatna says that he is seated on a lotus-pedestal under a Aalpa-tizQ j 
that he has ten arms holding the weapons mentioned m the Mudgala-/Wa<z and 
that he is surrounded by gods and gauas. No. 84 of the Tanjore inscriptions 
(5 /./., Vol. II, p 407) refers to a comfortably seated Ganapati and mentions a 
tree as one of his accompaniments The reference may be to Maha-Ganapati j 
but the inscription states that he had only four divine arms. 

8 A stone image of this form of Ganapati is found at Tiruvottiyur near 
Madras It is of recent make and ha^ the five heads al! arranged in a circle. 



KIG in Maha-Ganapati , Madura 




KIG. 112. Ileramba-Ganapati (metal) ; Negapalam. 





VlJAY/A - 

in the Trichinopoly district, comes a stone figure of Pancha- 
mukha-Vinayaka which answers to the description of 
Heramba-Ganapati jvithout the lion vehicle. There are other 
forms known as Urdhva-Ganapati, Uchchhishta-Ganapati 
and Vara-Ganapati, 1 which are perhaps the inventions of the 
followers of that mysterious and often indecent cult of Saktas, 
in which the female energy of creation always plays a very 
prominent part. Sakti-Ganapati and Uddanda-Ganapati are 
represented as embracing a goddess. Bija-Ganapati men- 
tioned in the Silparatna has four arms, is fond of the citron 
and is adorned with shining ornaments. Perhaps he is the 
same as Vijaya-Ganapati of the Mudgala-Pwr^ztf. It may 
be noted that in the Brihadlsvara temple at Tanjore, 
established by the Ch5la king Rajaraja I about the beginning 
of the eleventh century A.D., different forms of dancing and 
seated Ganapatis were installed. These bore the names 
Alayattu-Pillaiyar and Parivaralayattu-Pillaiyar. 2 

Ganapati, the Tamil Pillaiyar, is a very popular god. He 
is the god of wealth, the remover of all obstacles, the bestower 
of success, the fulfiller of desire. He is gentle, calm and 
friendly and withal possessed of a certain wise craft- A 
famous story relates how Vyasa found no one capable of 
writing down his voluminous Mahabharata to his dictation 
and was referred to Ganapati. Ganapati agreed, but on the 
understanding that Vyasa never stopped for a moment in the 
midst Vyasa on his part stipulated that Ganapati should 
take down naught of which he did not understand the mean- 
ing. So whenever Vyasa felt that he had to pause in the 
middle of his composition he gave out a more than ordinarily 
tough verse; and while the crafty god was worrying over its 
meaning managed to be ahead of the god's writing. Temples 
of Ganapati are quite common in Southern India, though there 
are none which may be considered particularly famous, except 
the one of Ucchi-Pillaiyar on the rock at Trichinopoly. In 
virtue of his being the lord of spirits (ganas) which cause 
obstacles to men, Ganapati is also considered to be the 
guardian deity of a village and is, as such, installed in one 
of the four quarters of almost every village. 

1 The Ganapatyas recognize si\ forms of Ganapati to be the most important, 
viz , Maha-Gampati, Ilaridra- Ganapati, Uchchhishta-Ganapali, Navamta-Gana- 
pati, Svarna- Ganapati and Santana- Ganapati 

2 I e , Ganapali wilhm the mam temple and Ganapati in the surrounding 
shrines Evidently the former was worshipped as a chief god and the latter as one 
of the subsidiaiy guardian denies of the temple 

SIVA 177 


Skancla or Kumara is another of Siva's sons known to SKAN 
Hindu mythology. He is represented with six faces (Sha- IvtrMy 
danana) and as riding on a peacock. Being supposed to have 
been brought up by the six mothers, the Krittikas (Pleiades), 
he is known as Shanmatura and Karttikeya. The Puranas 
state that he was born of the fiery energy of Siva in a forest 
of grass (sara-vana)i became the commander of the army of 
the gods in their battle against the giant Taraka, and that he 
rent asunder by his arrows the mountain Krauncha. The birth 
of Skanda-Kumara is described at great length by the famous 
poet Kalidasa in his well-known work Kiimdrasambhami. 
Skanda is also known by the name Subrahmanya in the 
Tantras. In some unexplained way there exists an intimate 
connexion between the worship of Subrahmanya and of the 
serpent. The common name Subba or SubbarSlya found 
among the Telugu, Canarese and Tamil people is explained 
to be both a contraction of Subrahmanya and a synonym for 
serpent. The sixth day of a lunar month (shashtln) is held as 
peculiarly sacred to Subrahmanya, as to the serpent god. 
His riding on a peacock, his marriage with the forest maul 
Valliyamman, and the fact that his most famous temples are 
on hill tops, show that he is connected with the ancient tree- 
and-serpent- worship and the sylvan deities. The Silpasara 
describes him under name SubbarSLya as having six faces, three 
eyes, the peacock vehicle and the weapons sv//tf/, thunderbolt, 
sword, etc. The Silpasaitgraha describes him as having two 
arms, the sacrecl thread, a tuft, girdle, kanplna and staff like 
the unmarried students of the Vsdas (brahmacliarin). It may 
be noted that the day shashthi^ sacrecl to serpent worship in 
Southern India, is celebrated by feeding brahmachanns and 
presenting cloths to them. 

The Kasyapa-Silpa sets down that the image of Skanda may 
be made of two, tour, six or twelve hands and may have either 
six faces or only one. The symbols generally are the $akti> 
arrow, sword, discus, noose, a bunch of peacock's feathers, 
shield, bow, plough, rosary and the postures ahhaya and 
varada. When the image has two hands, the left hand holds 
a cock (kukknta) and the right hand a sakti (the Tamil vef) [ . 
He"m2Ldri speaks of him as wearing a red cloth and riding on a 

1 The famous ima^e of Suljrahman>a on the Palm If ills, called Palam- 
An.da.var, has onl) two arms in one of which he holds the stiA/i^ the other rusting 
freely on the waist. 



peacock. The illustration from Tiruvottiyur (fig. 113) shows 
only four hands, 

The most common variety however is the six-faced 
Shadanana-Subrahmanya, showing in his twelve hands the 
symbols and weapons, sakti, arrow, sword, discus, noose and 
dbhaya on the right and a kukktuta (cock), bow, shield, conch, 
plough and varada on the left. He rides on the peacock 
vehicle and may have on either side of him the attendants 
Jaya and Vijaya (fig. 114), or perhaps the goddesses VallT and 
Devayana or Devas6na, " the army of gods." A fine stone 
figure (fig. 115) of Kumara on the peacock vehicle, with a 
single face and four arms and attended by the goddesses Vallr 
and Devayana, comes from Samayapuram in the Trichinopoly 
district. A sketch from Chidambaram (fig. Il6) shows Skanda 
with three visible faces, ten arms and the peacock vehicle 
fighting with giants evidently Taraka and his retinue. In 
four of his right hands he holds the weapons, sword, axe, arrow 
and club while the fifth is in the posture of pulling the bow 
string (missing in the illustration). The uppermost of his left 
arms shows the msmaya posture, and the four others hold the 
shield, bow, noose and bell. Subrahmanya may also be 
shown with one face and ten hands and riding on the peacock 

The worship of Skanda in India has been very ancient. 
Dr. Bhandarkar in his work Vaishnamsm, Saivism, etc., has 
put "forth literary and inscriptional evidence to prove that 
Skanda was worshipped in the time of Patanjali and in the 
early centuries of the Christian era. Suclraka, the author of 
the drama Mrtchchhakatika, introducing a thief as one of the 
characters in his drama, makes him, before starting on his 
profession, invoke the blessings of Skanda. The artisans of 
the present day also resort to Skanda as one of the chief 
deities who preside over their craft. In the south the worship 
of Skanda-KumSra under the name Velayudha, Muruga, etc., 
is most popular. All classes are equally devoted to him, the 
non-Brahmans being particularly so. It may be noted that the 
shrines sacred to Skanda are always situated on hills, as at 
Tiruttani, Palnis, Tirupparangunram, Kunnakudi or on the 
seashore as at Tiruchchendur, etc. An ancient Tamil poem 
called Tirumurugdrruppadai probably written in the early 
eighth century A.D. is devoted exclusively to describing 
the shrines of Subrahmanya in Southern India. The god has 
been included in Aryan theogony from very early ages. Like 
most Saiva gods he may be the outcome of the fusion of 
the ancient Aryan and Dravidian cults and this may 



FIG. 113. bkanda ; TiruvoUu Hr. 





Fiu. Jij Skanda. and his consults , Sama) apuram. 



1 1 JG. 116 Skancla fighimg with giants ; Chidambaram. 

SIVA 183 

account for the large number of devotees he claims among 
the non-Brahman classes of Southern India. Like the other 
Saiva attendants described above, who partake of the nature 
of Siva and are made of his substance, Skanda is also one of 
the leaders of the Saivite hosts (ganas). He is a guardian 
deity and is enshrined in almost every Siva temple of import- 
ance in Southern India. He is par excellence the god of youth, 
of energy and virility. 




With each of the chief and minor gods described above 
are intimately connected one or more goddesses who, so far as 
the usual routine of worship in temples is concerned, play the 
subordinate part of consorts, but considered in the higher 
philosophical sense represent the peculiar energy or virtue of 
the god without which he could not be in active communion 
with the world. A cursory analysis of the Hindu cosmogony 
resolves itself into groups of gods and goddesses, the former 
being considered the agents or " the lords of karnm " and 
the latter their inseparable power or source of energy. Thus 
Brahma, the lord of creation, has the goddess SarasvatT (the 
goddess of Learning or Speech) dwelling in his mouth. She 
presides over learning and is the vdch, logos, (word) which 
essentially is the first cause of creation ; so is SrT or LakshmT, 
the consort of Vishnu, the presiding goddess of Wealth and 
Happiness and. hence, also, the energy that sustains or keeps 
the world going. Siva's consort ParvatT or Lima likewise, 
especially m her manifestation as Kali, is the energy that 
destroys, that makes the world involve or draw itself into the 
quiescent state from which it started or evolved- In fact a 
sect of worshippers called Saktas, " the adherents of Sakti or 
Energy," affirm that this Sakti, the feminine element in god, is 
the sole, if not the preponderating, cause of all visible pheno- 
mena. It may be noted that the word sakti is of the feminine 
gender in the Sanskrit language. Almost every human or 
divine activity has been personified as a goddess ; even the 
letters of the alphabet being supposed to have their presiding* 
deities. This theory of goddesses has pervaded even Jamisni 
and Buddhism, the latter especially m its MahSLyana develop- 
ment. Strict Sakti-worshippers do not make any distinction 
of caste and creed. Perhaps it was thus that Sakti-faith 
became one of the compromises providing a common meeting 
ground for the different forms of religion prevailing in India. 1 

a^ Introduction, p. Kii. 


Germs of the energy-creed may indeed be traced even in the 
Upanishads the early sacred books of the Hindusthough 
its extreme development took place at a much later period. 


Saktis may be found depicted in temples in any one of 
the three aspects, the calm, the terrible or the ugly, as dis- 
tinguished by the particular positions in which they are 
placed or the circumstances under which they are worshipped. 
When merely represented as the consorts of the gods they are 
mild and pleasing in appearance and have only two hands, 
in one of which is held the lotus bud. More often, however, 
the goddesses have independent existence. The majority of 
these latter are Saivite in their nature, i.e., wild, fearful and 
destructive and. are often propitiated only by bloody sacri- 
fices. 1 Before entering upon a description of these numerous 
Saivite Saktis, a word may be said of each of the milder ones 
associated with Brahma, Vishnu and Siva. It must be noted 
that the characteristic feature in the worship of Saktis, 
whether Saivite, Vaishnavite or otherwise, is the association 
with them of mystic charms, or geometrical figures called 
chakra*, yantras or pit has, with conventional and often mystic 
incantations and solemn ceremonials which make no appeal 
to the gentler feelings of human nature. 


SarasvatI or VfigTsvarT, the consort of Brahma, may be SARA* 
represented with two or more hands- In the former case she VAGlt5 
holds the book and the rosary, and in the latter the noose and 
the hook in addition (fig. 1 1/). 3 VagisvarT, who is referred to in 
Maynrabhanja (Introduction, p. Ixxvi) as a goddess worshipped 
both by the Buddhist and Hindu Tantnkas, is described in 
the PfincharfitrtlQeiMa as having three eyes and four hands 
holding in these latter the staff, book, rosary and the water-pot, 
which as we have seen above, are the symbols of the creator 
Brahma. Two other allied forms of Vaglsvarl are DhSnu- 
VagTsvarT and Saubhagya-VagisvarT, both of which are mild 
in appearance and beautiful, but as Saktis in essence, they 
display the Saivaite attributes of three eyes, the jatamakuto 

1 A recogm/ed classification of the Saktis under the heads Yoga, Bhoga and 
Vlui has been already referred to (above, p no, note 2) The first is defined to 
be the goddess who is identical with the pedestal of Siva ; the second is the god- 
dess that stands lo the left of SIVA or the Siva-/*Ng<z as his consort and the third 
is the independent goddess geneially installed in the third outer prakara of Siva 

' 2 In certain cases where she is represented with four hands, she holds the 
vino, and the water-pot. 




FIG. H7.~SarasvaLI ; Bagali. 


base. Below this again is a floral design, also perhaps of 
lotuses, a bud in the middle and full blown flowers on either 
side. The goddess has two hands and holds in each of them 
a closed lotus flower. Two female attendants on the imme- 
diate right and left sides are seen lifting up pots of water 
which are received by two majestic elephants in their trunks 
(not fully represented) and poured over the head of the 
goddess alternately. The second female attendant to the 
left of the goddess carries a lotus bud in one of her hands, 
and the corresponding one to the right, a cup-like vessel, 
which in all probability is meant to hold the sandal paste, 
turmeric powder or some toilet requisite intended for the 
goddess. The head dress of the attendant women and the 
simple ornaments which they wear are worth noting and 
point to the modest taste of the Pallava times. The Sri-sukta 
praises LakshmTas "the goddess of Prosperity standing on the 
lotus flower, slightly bent on account of the weight of her 
breasts, having high hips, broad lotus-like eyes and deep 
navel pit, dressed in white cloth and bathed by heavenly elep- 
hants from golden pots which are bedecked with a variety of 
jewels, and holding lotuses in her hands." Havell calls the 
picture from Mahabalipuram " LakshmT arising from the sea " 
and describes it in Chapter XXI of his Ideals of Indian Art. 
Another of the eight Lakshmls, is Maha-LakshmT who has MAUA- 
four hands in which she holds a vessel, the club Kaunwdaki, ^AKSHMI 
the shield and the (sriphala). A special feature ol 
this Maha-LakshmT is that she wears a lin&a on her head. 
When standing or seated on a lotus, with lotus flowers in her VIRA- 
two upper hands and the varada and abhaya postures in the I-AKSHMI. 
lower, LakshmT receives the name Vira-LakshmT. In another 
representation she holds the noose, rosary, lotus and the hook. 
Kollapura-Mahalakshml is stated in the Silpasdra to have six KOLIAPUJ 
arms, in three of which are held the club, shield and wine-cup. MA11A - 
Another called Ashtabhuja-VTralakshmT has eight arms, in 
which are seen the noose, hook, rosary, the boon-conferring 
hand, the hand of protection, the club, lotus and the vessel. 

The Padma-/ > //7Y7wtf mentions eight Saktis (or Energies) of The eight 
the protecting god Vishnu, viz., SrT, Bha, SarasvatT, PrTti, Energies 
Klrti, Santi, Tushti and Pushti. As the names clearly indi- 
cate, these goddesses of Wealth, Earth, Learning, Love, 
Fame, Peace, Pleasure and Strength are the eight channels 
through which the protective energies of Vishnu are brought 
into play. All these goddesses have four hands, hold lotuses 
in the two upper ones and exhibit the varada and abhaya 
postures in the two lower, 



The general form of the goddess GaurT, ParvatT or Uma, 
the consort of Siva, as given in the Kasyapa-Stlpa and 
the Manasara, is that she has two hands when accom- 
panying the god Siva and four when represented independ- 
ently. In the former case she is fully decorated, is standing 
or seated on a lotus pedestal, holds a blue lily m the right 
hand, while her left hangs down loose " like the tail of a 
cow." She wears a band on the forehead called phahipatta, 
has one of her legs slightly bent (kunchita) and the other 
placed straight (lamlnta or svastika) on the pedestal ; she stands 
to the left of the image of Siva or the Siva~/z;/^ and wears 
the head-dress karandamaknta, kiritamakuta or kesabciudha 
(fig. 119). In the latter case also she is fully decorated, has 
a jatdmakuta like a male deity, and presents with her lower 
hands the varada and abliaya postures, while in the upper two 
she holds the red and the blue lotuses. Earlier authorities 
state that she may also exhibit in these hands the lily and 
the rosary. The illustration from ParamSsvaramangalam 
(fig. 120) shows in the upper hands the noose and the hook. 
Gauri is usually represented with the ornaments of an 
unmarried girl (jkanyakd), sometimes doing penance with the 
object of securing Siva for her husband (fig. I2l), and in this 
form she is worshipped by the MahSsvaras. 


The Saivite goddesses, who are either the independent 
manifestations ot ParvatT or the dependent groups ot her 
following, are too many to mention. 1 Most of the village 
goddesses mentioned in Chapter VI, below, will be counted by 
the orthodox Brahmana among these classes. 

We may begin the description of the Saivite Sakti deities 
with the group of goddesses known as SaptamZltrikas, ' 2 or the 
" Seven Mothers." They are: -BrahmT, MahSsvarl, Kaumarl 
VaishnavT, VarahT, MahendrT and Chamunda. 3 These with 
Maha-LakshmT, described below, are sometimes counted as 
" Eight Mothers." They have generally two hands, are red in 

1 Hemaclri, foi instance, has included names such as Varna, Jyeshtha, Kaudrl, 
Kali, Kalavikaram, BalavikaranI, Balapramathani, Sar\ahhuladamanl and Manon- 
manl \shich are merely different synonyms of Siva, with the feminine terminations 
added on to them. 

2 See Burgess's Elnra Cave Temples, Pluto XXXIV 

1 Narasimhi with the face of the man-lion god Narasimha is sometimes 
mentioned in place of Chamunda. It is also sometimes stated that the Seven 
Mothers are but different forms of Chandi (i.e Chamunda). 


FIG. 119. Parvati ; Boiumampatti, 



120 Parvatl ; ParamesvarawangaLxuu 



FIG. 12 L Par vat I in penance ; PaUIsvaram. 


colour and hold a skull and a lotus. Some authorities like the 
Stlpasangraha state that as representing the active energy of 
Brahma, Mahgsvara, Kumara, Vishnu, etc., they have the same 
vehicles as their lords and hold the same weapons. Brahml 
(also called Brahmani) consequently has four faces, six arms 3 
and the swan vehicle, and she is of yellow hue. Mahesvarl 
(Bhairavl) rides on a bull, has five faces, three eyes and ten 
arms, and is decorated with the crescent- KaumarT has six 
faces and twelve arms and rides on a peacock. VaishnavT 
is of blue colour and rides on Garuda, has six arms and the 
garland of flowers called vanamala (peculiar to Vishnu). 
Varahi has the face of a sow, 2 is black in colour, has a big- 
protruding belly and rides on a buffalo. 3 MahendrT (In dram) 
has a thousand eyes, like her consort Indra, is of pleasing 
appearance and of golden hue, and rides on an elephant. She 
has apparently also six arms and displays the symbols varada, 
noose and thunderbolt in her right arms and the abliaya, 
vessel and lotus in her left. Chamunda 4 is black and fearful 
with protruding teeth, long tongue, erect hair, emaciated body, 
sunken red eyes and a withered belly. It is stated that she 
can change her appearance at will. She rides on a corpse, 
wears a garland of skulls and has jewels of serpents. In her 
ten arms she holds tbe shield, noose, bow, staff and spear on 
the left side, and the pestle, disc, fly-whisk, goacl and sword 
on the right. The JWayamata adds that she wears a tiger's 
skin, has red hair glowing like fire, and the banner of a 
kite. She may have four, eight or ten hands. According to 
the same authority these Seven Mothers are to be flanked by 
Vfrabhadra and.Vm3.yaka on either side (fig. 122). In front 
of the Saptamatrikas the god Siva may be seated on a lotus 
flower under the banyan tree Some of these goddesses are 

1 The illustration m the JEl-ura Cave 7'tfmflei shows only four hands. 

2 In the panel of Saptamatrikas (ibid. Plate XXXIV, No l) Vaiahl is repre- 
sented with a fine human face and the usual ornaments hut has the sow-vehicle. 
Fn No 3 on the same plate, however, the goddess has the face of a sow 

3 The Silpasangtaha says that Varahi %\as born of Varna, the God of Death. 
According to Heruadri the goddess Yaunuya, evidently identical \\ith Varahi, rides 
on the buffalo, holds a staff and drinks blood from a skull Three other goddesses 
with sow-face are mentioned in the Lalttopakhyana and the Vaiahikalpu. 
Dandanatha-Varahi is one, seated on the golden lotus. She has eight arms and 
a statf by her side. Svapna- Varahi has the gleaming Uisks of a sow and four arms. 
She rides on a horse. Suddha-Varah3 has also tusks and four arms. It may be 
noted that Bartall (Battali) is a Buddhist goddess of similar description, some- 
times also referred torn the liindu Tantras (May&ral>hanja % Introduction, p. xcv). 

4 This image has perhaps to be distinguished from Mahishasuramardml- 
Chamunda described below. 


said to have each a tree specially sacred to them, e.g., Kaumari 
has the fig-tree (udumbara), VaishnavT, the piped, Varahi, the 
karanja, Indranl, the celestial tree kalpadruma, and Chamunda, 
the banyan. 

The Saptamatrikas thus described are generally found 
figured together in a group on the same panel and are quite a 
common sight in South-Indian villages and Siva temples. 
When installed within the enclosure of a temple, they are 
seen often without a shrine built over them, and may receive 
such attention as the other minor deities of that temple. In 
villages and in Pidari temples built exclusively for goddesses, 
they are worshipped regularly. The Selliyamma temple at 
Alambakkam in the Tanjore district possesses an important 
shrine for the Saptamatrikas. The order in which the 
Saptamatrika images are cut on the stone differs according 
to circumstances. For the destruction of enemies and safety 
to villages Brahml or BrahmanI must be made to occupy the 
centre. If Chamunda be placed there instead, the village 
will grow in population. 

At the entrances to the shrines of Saptamatrikas are 
placed two guardian deities. Evil spirits, demons and demi- 
gods, holding tridents in their hands, may also be installed 
in the same place. It is enjoined that the daily worship and 
festivities in the Saptamatrika shrines are to be performed 
according to rules prescribed by the Yamala-mantrasastra. 


Sakti- The following three goddesses, viz., Durga, Chamunda 

vith Vaish- anc ^ Mahishasuramardinl, though they partake mainly of the 

lavitesym- nature of ParvatI, 1 are however seen holding the Vaishnavite 

>os * symbols of the discus and the conch. The Purdnas say 

that Durga was born of YasOda, in order to save the life of 

Krishna who was just then born to Devakl. The children 

were exchanged under divine intervention. Kamsa, the 

cruel brother of Devakl, who had vowed to kill all the 

children of his sister, thought this female child was Devakl's 

and dashed it against a stone ; but, then, the child flew into 

the air and assuming the form of Durga mocked him and 

went away. On account of this incident she is known as 

the sister of Vasudeva-Krishna. The Silpasara mentions a 

Chandika (Chamunda) of eighteen arms to whom the god Siva 

presented the trident, Krishna (Vishnu), the conch and Agni, 

J It is stated that the active energy of Siva, \\hich is Vishnu himself, receives 
the name Kali while it assumes an angry mood, that in battles it is recognized as 
Durga and that in peace and pleasure it takes the form Bhavani (i.e. ParvatI). 


the weapon called sakti. According to the Markandeya- 
Purdna the goddess that killed the buffalo-demon (Mahisha- 
suramardinl) was made up of the fierce radiance of Siva, 
Vishnu and Brahma while all the other gods contributed the 
powers peculiarly characteristic of them for the formation of 
her limbs and ornaments. 

Chamunda 1 may be represented with eight, ten (fig. 123), CHAMUI 
twelve or sixteen arms and made either of wood or of mortar. 
When in the dancing posture she must have eight, six or four 
hands. Chamunda is known by the name KaralT or Bhadra- 
kalT when she has eight arms, KalabhadrS, when she has six 
arms, and Kali, when she has four. BhadrakaJi has a tern- BHADKA 
ble face, fat breasts, protruding teeth and a long tongue and 
wears a garland of skulls. She rides on a lion and stamps 
under her foot the head of the buffalo-demon. Hemadri 
quoting the Vishnudharmottara says that BhadrakalT has 
eighteen arms and is seated in the alidlia posture m a car 
drawn by four lions. When worshipped by Brahmanas she 
has ten arms, the jatamaknta and all ornaments. The second, 
Kalabhadra, has a beautiful white form but is fierce, being KALA- 
worshippecl in burial-grounds under the name of Kara] a- BHADRA - 
bhadra, seated in the vlrdsana posture with the foot placed over 
the head of the buffalo-demon. The same goddess, when wor- 
shipped by the Kshatriyas, is called Kali or MahakalL 3 In KALI or 
this form she ordinarily holds a trident or sword in one hand 
and a skull or a cup of wine (fire?) in the other, rides on 
a corpse and has a lean stomach. The owl is her vehicle. 
She wears the tiger's skin, a scarf of elephant's hide and a 
garland of heads ; has three eyes and ear-ornaments shaped 
like conches; and is fond of flesh, blood and life. She is 
followed by evil spirits who fill the four quarters with their roar 
and she roams about the earth riding on their shoulders. 
Hemadri, calling her also by the name Sivaratrl, describes 
her as having four hands, being black like collyrium, terrible 
with protruding teeth and tongue (but at the same time 
beautiful with broad eyes and slender waist), wearing a 
garland of trunks (of human bodies) and a wreath of serpents. 

1 Chamunda is supposed to be the form of Parvatf when she killed the giant 
called Chanda-Muncla 

2 Mahakali is described in. the Chaud'ikalpa as having ten faces, ten legs and 
ten aims in which aie held all weapons of war. In this form she is stated to have 
been invoked by Brahma to kill the demons Madhu and Kaitabha who were 
attempting to smash Vishnu in his sleep (see above, p, 52). The JKaranagama 
mentions an eight-armed Ivali or Mahakali among the Durgas. Kahka is a goddess 
supposed to be the wife of Naimta (below, p. 243). 


FIG. 123. Chamimda (Mahakah) ; Taruchchengodu. 


Kali represented sometimes also with twelve or sixteen arms 
is worshipped by the Vaisyas and Sudras under the names 
Charchara and BhairavT respectively. 

Durga is a very popular deity. The name is indifferently DURG 
applied to all goddesses with a terrible appearance and in a 
fighting attitude. The general description of Durga given in 
the Kasyapa-Silpa represents her as having four arms, two 
eyes, high hips, high breasts, and all ornaments. She holds 
the conch and the discus in her upper hands, 1 while her right 
lower hand presents the abhaya posture and the left lower 
rests on the waist. She stands on a lotus-pedestal and has a 
breast-band of serpents and a red petticoat. According to 
the Silparatna, Mula-Durga holds in her lower hands the bow MULA 
and the arrow. From Mahabalipurani comes the figure of a DURG 
Durga (fig. 124) who stands on the buffalo's head. She has 
eight arms, in the uppermost of which are found the discus 
and the conch. The other weapons held are the sword and 
the bell on the right side and the bow and shield on the 
left. The lowest of the right hands holds evidently a srlphala 
or the bel-fruit and the corresponding left has a parrot 
perching on it and rests freely on the waist of the goddess. 
The necklace, breast-band and the garment hanging in 
folds down to her feet deserve to be noticed. The absence 
of finger rings on the eight hands of the goddess is pecu- 
liar. The .illustration shows also other figures surrounding 
the goddess, viz., two male devotees with peculiar head 
dress kneeling at her feet, two female attendants on either 
side holding the sword and the bow, two demi-gods one 
of whom Js carrying a chauri, and a lion and a deer. In 
another mandapa&t Mahabalipuram is a sculpture evidently of 
the same goddess with the lion and the deer, pairs of demi- 
gods on the sides and devotees at the feet, one of whom 
is in the act of either cutting off his hair or his neck. The 
goddess has only four arms and stands on an ordinary 
pedestal but not on the buffalo's head (fig. 125). At Sri- 
mushnam in the South Arcot district is an image of Durga 
with eight arms showing almost the same symbols as those 
of the figure at Mahabalipuram described above, the only 
exception being that instead of the bell in one of the right 

1 Roi Bahadur \ enkayya says in Sottth-Ind. I users , Vol If. Introd., p 
41, note I: " Durga is represented with a sheep's head standing on the giant 
Simhamukhasura whom she killed. Her head is fiery and adorned with different 
jewels. On her forehead she wears a crescent made with sacred ashes of burnt 
cow-dung. In five of her six hands she holds, respectively, a ring, a sword, a 
trident, a goad, and a skull." 



PIG. 124.- Durga; Seven Pagodas 






hands she is holding, perhaps more correctly, the arrow. The 
figure stands on the head of a buffalo without any othei 
accompanying attendants and has an umbrella overhead (fig, 
126). Images of Durga with four or more arms standing on 
the head of a buffalo are generally found placed in a niche 
on the north wall of the central shrine of Siva temples in 
Southern India (fig. 127 ). Occasionally, however, they may 
stand on ordinary pedestals without the buffalo's head, as at 
Tiruvottiyur near Madras. In the Vishnu temple at Tiru- 
malisai, Chingleput district, is a similar image (fig. 128) placed 
in a niche on the north wall of the central shrine. It is said 
to be LakshmT but perhaps represents Durga without the 
buffalo's head. The Mayamata, describing the figure oi 
KatyayanI with four arms, says that she holds the conch and 
the discus in fhe upper hands and exhibits the abhaya and the 
varada postures with the lower. With eight arms and a parrot, 
this same figure is stated to receive the name of Durga. The 
description of the sculptures from Mahabalipuram and Srl- 
mushnam agrees with what has been said of KatyayanI in 
the May am at a. 

The Saivdgama specifically describes nine varieties oi 
Durga, all of which have two arms but different weapons 
SAILAPU-IRI, and vehicles. The first, known as Sailaputri, rides on a bull, 
wears the crescent on her head and holds a trident in her 
hand; the second BrahmacharinI holds the rosary and the 
water-pot ; the third Chandakhanda rides on the kite and 
has an angry look ; the fourth Skandamata rides on a lion and 
holds lotus buds in her hands ; the fifth Kushmanda-Durga is 
distinguished by a pot full of wine (or blood) which she holds 
in both of her hands ; the sixth KatyayanI riding on a tiger, 
holds a drawn sword in her hands and is killing a giant ; the 
seventh Kalaratri is of fearful appearance and has a grim 
smile on her face ; the eighth Maha-Gaurl rides on a white 
elephant ; and the ninth SiddhidayinI is attended by demi- 
gods. The Karanagama quoting the Skanda-Yamala describes 
these nine Durgas under different names and. says that one of 
them has eighteen arms while the rest have sixteen each. 
They are generally shown standing naked with one leg 
placed on the head of the bufTalo-rlemon and hold in their fist 
a tuft of the giant's hair. One of the Durgas with sixteen 
arms called Sh5dasabhuja-Durga has three eyes and serpent- 
jewellery and holds tridents in all her sixteen arms. 

Mahishasuramardini (also called Chamunda, Chandi) is 
represented in the Nnsimhaprasdda as the youthful but angry 
form of Parvatl with three broad eyes, a slender waist, 
heaving breasts, one face and twenty hands. Below her is the 




FIG. 126. Durga ; Srtmuslinam. 



FIG. 127. Durga ; Dharasuram. 



KIQ, 12:8. Uurga-Lakshmi , Tirunaalisal. 


buffalo-demon with his head cut off and rolling on the ground. 
A man emerging from the buffalo's neck is seen holding a 
weapon in his hand, abject with fear. Pierced by the trident 
of the goddess, he is vomiting blood. The lion too on which 
Chandika is riding attacks the giant with its mouth while the 
noose held by the goddess is tightly fastened round his neck. 
The goddess's right leg is placed on the lion while the other 
steps on the body of the demon. 1 This form of Chandl is 
propitiated by those who wish to destroy their enemies. The 
ruling family of Mysore has Chamunda-Chandi for its tutelary 

A goddess with sixteen arms killing the buffalo-demon 
and as such to be classed among the Saivite Saktis, is also 
called Maha-Lakshml. The Maha-Lakshmi, described in the 
Chandikalpa, has twenty arms, holds all the destructive 
weapons and is seen in the act of killing the buffalo-clemon. 2 
It will be observed that this Maha-Lakshml is only another 
form of Durga. 

Various postures of MahishasuramardinI in the act of 
killing the buffalo-clemon are depicted in South-Indian Saiva 
temples, some of them being of excellent workmanship. It is 
not always easy to distinguish the images which are thus 
engaged in the act of killing the buffalo- demon, and to 
say whether they be representations of Chamunda, Durga, 
MahishasuramardinI or Maha-Lakshml. It may, however, be 
suggested that figures with a breast-band standing upright 
on the severed head of the buffalo are generally those of 
Durga-Lakshml, while those in the actual fighting attitude 
are either Chamunda, MahishasuramardinI or Maha-Lakshml. 
They generally have eight arms and hold weapons, the 
conch, discus, bow, shield, sword, bell, noose and trident. 
The demon may be shown with a human body, or a human 
body with a buffalo's head, 8 or a buffalo from whose severed 
trunk proceeds a human figure. The illustrations given 
show some of the fighting postures of MahishasuramardinI 
(figs. 129, 130, 131). In the Mahishasura->>m??<^<2 at Mahabali- 
puram is seen a relief on the proper left wall, which repre- 
sents the fight between Durga-MahishasuramardinI and the 

1 Hemadri speaking of Katyayani with ten arms, gives almost the same 

2 Maha-Sarasvatl mentioned in the same work, is said to be an emanation of 
Gauu. She has eight arms and is engaged in destroying the demon Sumbha 
and his retinue. 

Burgess's Elura Cave Temples, Plate IV, fig. 7, shows the giant as a man 
\vith buffalo's horns. 



FIG. 129 Mahishasuramardmi , Gangaikondasolapuram. 



FIG. 130. Mahishasuramarclinl , Dharasuram. 



FIG. iji, Mahishaburamardim, Durgi. 




buffalo-demon (fig. 132). Dr. Vogel gives the following- de- 
scription of the relief: "The goddess astride on her vehicle, 
the lion, is eight-armed. "With two hands she shoots arrows 
at the demon king. The emblems held in her remaining six 
arms are a disc (chakra), a bell (ghantft) and a sword (khadga) 
to the right and a conch (siuibhti), a nooso (pasa) and an 
indistinct object, to the left. A quiver is visible over her 
left shoulder. 

" She is surrounded by a host of dwarfs, evidently the 
ganas of Siva, her spouse. One, behind her, holds a parasol 
over her head, another at her side waves a fly-whisk (chamara). 
The remainder carry weapons, usually a round buckler and a 
curved sword, in shape like the kukri of the Gurkhas. One in 
the foreground is in the act of shooting an arrow from a bow. 

" Distinct from these ganas is a female figure fallen on her 
knees in front of the lion and raising a sword with her right 
hand. Possibly this figure represents Ka.ll, an emanation of 
Durga, though she does not present the terrific appearance 
peculiar to the black goddess. 

"Right opposite Durga stands the colossal figure of the 
buffalo-headed demon-king. His royal rank also is indicated 
by a parasol held' over his head- He carries a heavy mace in 
his two hands and has, moreover, a sword fastened to his left 
hip. His attitude is Jthat of yielding to the onslaught of the 
warlike goddess. *, 

" His army is represented by seven demons. Two of these 
are prostrated in the foreground one slain and another 
wounded. The latter raises his right hand with two fingers 
raised. What is the meaning of this gesture ? Is it that of a 
vanquished warrior imploring his victorious enemy to spare 
his life? Of the remaining asnras one is retreating, whereas 
the others seem to offer a feeble resistance. It is worthy of 
notice that with the exception of Mahishfisura himself , the 
demons are shown in a purely human shape/' 


Many other Saivite goddesses of fearful appearance, 
worshipped by people who wish to destroy their enemies or to 
receive some desired object of life, are described in the Tffnlnk 
works. Some of these which are mentioned below may pos- 
sibly be, as some suggest, the Aryaniyecl forms of aboriginal 
deities still worshipped in the Pidan temples of the South. 

KalaratrT already referred to as one of the nine Burgas, 
has a single braicl of hair and japa-Rowers for her ear- 
ornaments ; she is naked, rides on an ass, has hanging 












and is bathed in oil. In her left hand she holds a human head 
severed from the body and on the left leg is worn an anklet 
of metallic wire- 

Tvarita is stated to be a goddess of the Kira"tas or a ' hun- 
ers.' She has two hands, is decorated with peacock's feathers 
on the head, and wears a cloth of leaves (as some of the 
wild tribes of to-day), a garland of gunja-seeds and a (head) 
jewel of eight serpents. Nagendra NathaVasu finds in this 
goddess a close resemblance to Nagamata " the mother of 
serpents/' Skandashashthi or Manasa, and to the goddess 
Tavita of the Scythians. 1 

Tripura-Bhairavi has four arms, wears a garland of heads 
and has her breasts bathed in blood. 

VajraprastarinI 2 is stated to be seated on a lotus, in a boat 
of blood floating in an ocean of blood. The limbs of her body 
as well as her head are also bathed in blood. 

Sura, wine personified, is represented as a terrible 
unmarried goddess of eighteen arms and of three eyes. She 
is tall of form and is as dangerous as destructive fire. She is 
a terror to the demons and a blessing to angels. In plain 
language Uma herself is described to be the goddess of wine 
and Siva (her consort) to be the power of intoxication thereof. 

Surapriya is a goddess seated in a meditative posture 
cross-legged and attended by a group of Saktis called Ash- 
tangayoginls. On either side of her are the deities Purnasva 
and Pushkala. Madhukara, a fat man with hanging belly, 
two hands and a smiling face, stands on the left side of the 
goddess. A pot of wine and a staff are also placed near 
her. The goddess is installed in the houses of prostitutes 
and small villages or towns, under different names such as 
Devabhavi, Jnanabhavi and Gltabhavi. 3 

Srlvidyadgvl has fierce fangs protruding from her mouth, 
sits on a serpent couch and wears necklaces of human bones. 

Pranasakti, like VajraprastarinI, is seated on a lotus 
springing from a boat of blood, in an ocean of blood, and 
holds among other weapons a human skull filled with blood. 

: Mayurafikatija, Introduction, p. xxvix f. The 3tlparatfta adds that Tvarita 
rides on a crow and is considered to be a widow. 

2 According to the Silparatua this goddess is A form of Parvatl, has six hands, 
is seated on a red lotus, exhibits in her hands a sugarcane-bow, a flower-arrow, the 
varada and abhaya postures, a noose and a skull, and is engaged in vanquishing 
Mara the god of Love. 

* In the names Purnasva, Pushkala and Madhukara we may see an apparent 
analogy to Puranai, Pudgalai and Madural-Vlran mentioned under v]Jlage deities 
(be! cms p. 230), 


This is, as it should be, in the case of a goddess who presides 
over the centres of physical life (prdna)} 

SvasthavesinI is of scarlet colour, inspires dread in those SVASIHA- 
who see her, dwells amidst corpses, has three faces and two v ^ SINi ' 
arms holding the kettle-drum and the trident, dark eyes, 
lean body and three braids of thick black hair. She is of the 
nature of forest fire. 

Satruvidhvamsini, "the destroyer of enemies," has like- SATRUVIDI 
wise three faces, is as cruel as the flames of fire, has red eyes, VAMSINI> 
fearful fangs, red hair, and a capacious belly. She is naked. 

Ugra-Tara, the goddess presiding over various diseases, UGRA-TAR 
stands in the al'idha posture, carries a corpse over her 
head and roars terribly. Short of stature, she has braids of 
black colour mixed with yellow and is surrounded by dreadful 
serpents. In a skull she holds the diseases of the three worlds 
together, with the object of killing them. 

DhumravatI or Dhumra-Kall has a red body and wears a red DHUMRA- 
cloth. Her ear-rings are like the trunks of an elephant ancl VAli> 
her fangs, terrible. She wears a necklace of skulls, is 
surrounded by devils, and holds in her hands a drawn sword 
and a skull. 

Sulini with her eight arms, is likewise a goddess who SULINI 
inspires fear. She holds a trident, rides on a lion and is 
accompanied by four unmarried girls with swords and shields 
in their hands. 

Pratyangira has four arms and a face as terrible as that of PRA-IYAN- 
a lion. Her hair stands erect on her head. In her hands she GIRA - 
holds a skull, trident, kettle-clrum and the noose (nagapasa). 
She is seated on a lion and by her power destroys all enemies 
(figs. 133 and I34)- 3 

SltalaclevI (or Mariyamma), the goddess of small-pox, is sirALADhv 
represented as riding naked on an ass with a winnow on her 
head and a broom and water-pot in her hands. 1 

TrikantakTdevT has a body which is black below the navel, TRIKAN'JA* 
red between the navel and the neck and white above it. DEV *- 
The terrible fangs protruding from her four faces are so long 
and crooked that they pierce out through her belly. In her 
four hands she holds two lamps, a conch and a discus. 

1 The goddess Pranasaku is invoked by lirahmanas, in ceremonies vv here the 
pranapratishtha, " infusing (an imay;e) with life," has to be observed. 

2 The hon vehicle is missing in the Tiruppalatturai broiue. The Tiruchchen- 
godu figure has the sword and shield in place of skull and noose and a breast-band 
like Durga. Both are called Bhaclrakali by the people. 

* The illustration of this image given by Nagendra Natha V&$u.(Mayurabhanja, 
Plate, facing p. xcvi, fig. 51) and classed by him as one of the Buddhist and 
Tantri'k goddesses, is not naked. Neither does she carry a winnow on her 

2I 4 


FIG, 133.- -Pratyangira; Tiruchchengodu 



FIG. 134. Pralyangira (?) (metal) ; Tiruppalatturai. 


MATA Bhutamata, " the mother of goblins " has her seat under a 
ptpal-tree and is followed by numerous demons, goblins and 
demi-gods. She has two hands in which are held a linga (or, 
sometimes a sword) and the shield. She rides on the lion and 
has dishevelled hair. 

rTi SivadutI has a dejected appearance, emaciated body and 

the face of a jackal. She wears a garland of skulls, is 
fearful and is surrounded by serpents. She may have four 
or more arms, 1 holding in the former case, a vessel of blood, 
the sword, the trident and a flesh-pot. 


Jyeshtha or Jyeshtha-Lakshml, so called on account of her 
being supposed to be the elder sister of LakshmT, 2 is a black 
goddess with hanging lips, stunted nose, pendant breasts and 
a big belly. She revels in blood. In one hand she holds 
a lotus made of iron while the other hand rests on her seat. 
But sometimes she is seen holding lotuses in both her hands. 
The legs of the goddess are stretched and hang clown from the 
seat, in the so-called European fashion. Her parting curly 
hair is made up in the form vdsikabandha. A pair of crows 
represents her banner. On her right side is seated a bull-faced 
figure said to be her son, holding a staff in the right hand and 
exhibiting a pointing finger (suchi) in the left. On the corre- 
sponding left side of Jyeshtha, is seated her daughter, said to 
be a fair lady (fig. 135). Sometimes the goddess is represented 
as red in colour and then receives the name Rakta-Jyeshtha. 
The goddess Jyeshtha with the hanging belly, attended by 
women on either side and wearing a red cloth, is generally 
installed outside villages. Her following consists of goblins, 
demons and spirits. She is the goddess of ill-luck .* 

The worship of Jyeshtha appears to have been once quite 
familiar in the Tamil country. Like the shrines of Pidan, her 
shrines were also exempted from taxation, as stated in early 
Chola records. From an inscription on a pillar in the rock- 
cut temple of Subrahmanyasvamin at Tirupparangunram near 
Madura, we learn that about the eighth century A.D. a shrine 

1 A SivadutI of eight arms is mentioned among the Nujaklinnatlevalas of the 

- Nirriti is the name by which this goddess of ill-luck, Alakshrm, the elder 
sister of Lakshmi, is mentioned in the FadmottaraLkanda She is said to reside 
in the pifial-tiee Consequently also ihis tree is not to be touched except on 
Saturdays when, Lakshmi coming to see her sister, makes the tree auspic.ous 

^ South-Indian Inscriptions^ Vol. II, p. 60 




for the goddess Durga and one for Jyeshtha were caused to 
be made in that temple. l At Kukkanur in the Nizam's 
Dominions, there is a celebrated Brahmanical temple dedi- 
cated to Jyeshtha. In Southern India her worship nowadays 
is much neglected, if not altogether avoided, she being 
supposed to be the goddess of misfortune and poverty. 


In contrast to the ugly and fearsome goddesses mentioned 
above, there exist in the Hindu Pantheon other Saivite 
goddesses who are described as mild and extremely beautiful. 
Among these may be mentioned Bala-TripurasundarT of 
dazzling brilliance, "like a thousand suns bursting forth at 
the same time"; SaubhagyabhuvanesvarT, of red hue, a 
jewelled crown, a smiling face and heaving breasts, who 
holds a pot of gems in one hand and a red lotus in the other 
(fig. 136) and who places her right foot on a treasure of gems ; 
Annapurna. ~ of two or four arms who, in the former case, 
holds gracefully in one hand a jewelled vessel containing 
food and in the other a spoon to distribute the same (among 
her devotees), or in the latter, holds the noose and the hook 
in two hands and shows the protecting- and the boon-giving 
postures in the others; the goddesses GayatrT,* Savitrl and 

1 2nd. AKt. y Vol XXII, p. 68. it mav be noted that Mr T. A. Gopmatha 
Rao in his Elements of Hindu Iconography (p. 391 f) considers the figmes of 
Subrahmanja and his consorts worshipped in one of the chief lock-cut shrines of 
the temple to be Jyeshtha -with her bull-faced son on one side and her fair 
daughter on the other The figures are, indeed, much worn out and their 
features are indistinct; nor are the crow-banners characteristic of fyeshtha, 
clearly visible Two cocks, however, the banner of Subrahmanya, engraved on 
the rocky side walls of the same shrine and contemporaneous -with the images, 
prove beyond doubt that the group is one of Subrahmanya and his tw o consorts and 
not of Jyeshtha. The shrine of the latter goddess, referred to in the inscription, 
is in a different compartment, in the lower storey of the same rock-cut temple. At 
Anamalai, not far from Madura, is a similar rock-cut shrine of Subrahmanja but 
with only one goddess. The cock-banner of the god is, again, very clearly sho\\n 
on the side walls, as in the Tirupparangunram shrine People calJ it Sramanan- 
koyil l the temple of Sramana (i.e., a Buddhist or a Jama) " though the actual 
name must have been Sara vanan-koyil, " the temple of Saiavanan " which lattei 
name is connected with Saravanodbhava, a synonjm of Skanda-Subrahmanya. 
f * Literally, one who is full of food (to give to her devotees). Tins is the name 

of the famous goddess in Benares, who is also sometimes called VisaUkshl. te the 
broad -eyed.*' ' 

3 Gayatii is of the nature of fire (or Brahma), has four or ten arms and four 
faces and rides on a swau ; Savitrl is of the substance of Rudra, has four arms, 
four faces, twelve eyes and the bull vehicle ; Sarasvati partakes of the nature of 
Vishnu, rides on Gartida, has four arms and one face and holds in. her hands the 
Vaishnavite symbols, the discus, conch and the club as also the palm of protection. 



FIG 136 Saubhat$>abhu\anesvarl ; Dharasuram. 


SarasvatI who preside over the morning, mid-day and evening 
prayers of the twice-born classes and represent the Vedas, 
Rik, Yajus, and Samara or the three sacred fires, Garliapatya, 
Dakshinagm and the Ahavaniya, respectively ; Tulaja-Bhavani, 
who like Annapurna holds in one hand a vessel of delicious 
food and in another a spoon for distributing the same ; 
Rajamatangl who is absorbed in listening to the talk of a 
parrot and stands with one of her feet placed on a lotus, 
while her hands are fondly playing upon the vind ; Laghusya- 
mala, a damsel who has just attained her youth and who plays 
upon the vind, with a vessel of wine near her and with eyes 
betraying signs of intoxication ; Varuni, Sudhamalml or 
Amntesvari, "the goddess of boats," who is seated on a boat 
bedecked with gems and surrounded by an army of Saktis, 
bright as the growing sun, maddens the three worlds by her 
glance, decorates her tresses with the flowers of the panjata- 
tree and holds a vessel of wine, a lotus and a cooked piece 
of flesh in her hands ; and Kurukulla, 1 also a goddess of 
boats, fully drunk with wme, riding on a boat of gems and 
holding in her hands a paddle of gems. VindhyavasmT, 3 
classed as one of the Durgas, is called Mukambika in the 
Silpasara. She is said to be seated on a golden lotus, to have 
four arms and to be dazzling as lightning. By her side stands 
the lion, her vehicle. 

The most famous of these milder deities, however, are 
Lalita, Tripura-SundarT and Rajarajesvarl (fig. 137) All are 
highly beautiful and of dazzling brilliance. They have four 
hands each and hold the symbols : noose (or, fruit), goad (or, 
conch), sugarcane-bow (or, mirror) and five arrows (or, a 
lotus or a cup of collyriurn). Their worship is directly 
connected with the mystic geometrical drawings known as 
chakras and pltlias. Images of these goddesses are not 
honoured so much as the chakras or pith as over which they 
are supposed to preside. The worship offered consists in 
throwing over the chakras a profusion of red turmeric powder 
called knnknmam, which is generally worn on the forehead by 
all Hindu ladies whose husbands are alive. The throwing 
of kunkumam is accompanied by the repetition of long strings 
of the names of Lalita consisting of synonyms a thousand, 
three hundred, or one hundred and eight in number. Each 
name is prefaced with the sacred syllable Om. The goddesses 

1 This is a goddess common to both the Hindu and the Buddhist Tantrum ; 
jWayurabhaHjUi p Ixxxix 

2 In the Ankalamrna temple at Karempudi (Guntur district) is aa inscription 
of A D 1164, which refers to that village goddess, as Vmdhyavasmi 



FIG, 137. Rajarajebvan , Ramesvaraoi. 


are always presumed to be standing on a chakra imbedded in 
the earth and hence the worship is offered at the feet of the 
goddesses In exceptional cases, however, as in the Kamak- 
shi-amman temple at Conjeeveram, the chakra is placed in 
front of the goddess. Bala-Sakti, holding a book, rosary, 
goad and noose, is the presiding goddess of the six chakras 
as stated in the Silpasara. The particular yantra sacred 
to her is known as Bala-ynntra which is described as a geo- 
metrical drawing having in its centre a dot (bindit) closed in 
by a triangle, a hexagon, a circle, a lotus of eight petals, 
a square and another square with openings at the cardinal 
points, consecutively. The Sri -chakra consisting of a larger 
number of intersecting triangles surrounded by circles and 
squares is another such mystic figure considered to be highly 
sacred to the goddess Lalita. The latter is stated to have 
under her control innumerable fairy goddesses, some of whom 
are so delicate that they can enter, by the order of their 
mistress, into every atom of creation. Some with braided 
hair and beautiful tilakas of bunkum am on their foreheads 
are as sharp as fire and hold bows, arrows, swords and 
shields of flames They are the personifications of almost 
every beneficent activity in the universe and are engaged in 
putting down the Evil Principle. Lalita is said to have 
fought and killed, with the aid of these deities, several 
demons named Bhandasura, Sumbha, Nisumbha, Chanda- 
Munda and Mahishasura. All these, apparently, represent 
the powerfully persistent evil desires of men. 



Most of the Saivite goddesses described above have been Village 
found to be of fearsome appearance, fond of flesh, blood and de j| 1 ^ eir 
wine ] and intimately connected with goblins, spirits, demons relation u 
and diseases. One of them Tvanta", it was seen, was the Ti |? trik , c 
goddess of the Kiratas, and Vindhyavasim was evidently g 
another living on the Vindhya Mountain. Apya (Durga) is 
described in the Hanvamsa as the goddess of the Sabaras, 
Pulindas, Barbaras and other wild tribes and as fond of wine 
and flesh. It will not now be difficult to trace a connexion 
between these and the village goddesses whose shrmes are 
generally the haunts of malevolent demons and who are often 
appeased only by the slaughter of fowls, sheep, goats and 
buffaloes. Almost every village in South India, however 
insignificant it may be, has a shrine for one or more goddesses 
of this nature. Generally they are situated outside the village 
in groves of trees much dreaded by the people and are consi- 
dered to be the grama-devatas, the guardian deities of the 
village. Often there are no temples properly so called, and 
where there are structures, thev are crude and simple 
enshrining within them rough unhewn stones representing the 
am ma or "mother" sacred to that village. Sometimes there 
is only a spear or a trident fixed up straight in the ground in 
place of the goddess-stones. The goddesses bear different 
names. Some are called after the villages where their primary 
shrines exist, such as Kollapuri-amma, Huskur-amma, Pung- 
(i.e., Punganur-)amma, Hosur-amma, Uchchangi-amma, etc. 
Other popular names among village deities are the " Seven 
Kanniyamar," BhadrakalT, Kaliyamma, Manyamma, Mutyal- 
amma, Ponnamma, Ellamma, 2 Ankalamma, Kolumamma, 

1 In the Silpasara^ where the Chaushashti-Yogmis are described, tome are 
stated to feed on dead bodies, some to wander at nights like devils and some to 
be quarrelsome demons with ugly eyes and erect haii on head. Eighteen well- 
known shrmes of these goddesses in India and Ceylon (Lanka) are enumeiated 

- Nagendra Natha Vasu in hib Mayurabhait.ja^t&b of a Greek goddess called 
Ella and connects her with Ajatkapad, one of the form-* of RuUra, already 


Selliyamma, Pattalamma, Vandi-Kaliyamma, Alagiyanach- 
chiyamma, Ulagattal, Pidari, Pechi, Katteri, Poleramma, 
Gangamma, 1 Chaudamma, Durgamma, Nukalamma, Paid- 
amma, Asiramma, Padalamma, Gontyalamma, Paradesamma, 
Neralamma, Mallamma, Peddintamma, Somalamma, Matan- 
girala, Talupulamma, Sellandiyamma, etc. Some of these 
names like Bhadrakali, Kollapurir-amma (Kollapura-Maha- 
lakshml), Kaliyamma or Kala-Pidari (Kali), Gangamma 
(Ganga), Chaudamma (Chandl ?), Durgamma (Durga) and 
Matangirala (MatangT, a recognized synonym of Parvatl) 
are clearly mentioned in the Tdntnk works ; and others 
can easily be traced to the same source. Mariyamma, 
for instance, under the name Manka occurs in the Pur anas 
as the goddess presiding over small-pox and other infectious 
diseases. Kolumamma or Kulumayamma, Selliyamma (Tsal- 
lamma of the Telugus) and Sellandiyamma are evidently 
synonymous with Sitala. Poleramma, the village goddess 
commonly worshipped in the Telugu country, is also supposed 
to correspond to Sitala. 2 Peddintamma is perhaps Jygshtha. 
It is, however, difficult to explain similarly the origin of 
names like Ankalamma, Pattalamma, etc. Of these again, a 
few are of a flattering nature such as Mutyalamma, " the pearl- 
like mother " (fig. 138), Ponnamma or Bangaramrna, " the 
golden mother," Alagiyanachchiyamma, " the beautiful queen 
mother," etc. Ellamma probably means the goddess of 

boundaries (Telugu, ella). 

Kala-Pidari and Durga-Paramesvariof four arms are names 

of village goddesses which occur in early Chola inscriptions. 

The shrines of these are generally termed tirumurram. * 

But sometimes, when they are structures, well endowed and 

1 In parts of the Guntur district Gangamma is seen with the crocodile vehicle, 
e.g., at Pullagunta in the Palnad taluk Evidently she represents the presiding 
deity of the river Ganges. In the epic poen? Ramayana, where the heroine 
Sita is to worship the goddess Ganga (Ganges), she promises to otfer, on 
her safe return from exile, fowls, buffaloes and wme to that goddess. 

3 Sitala or Sitaladevi is recognized as the goddess presiding over bmall-pox 
both in the Canarese and the Telugu districts. 

s Rai Bahadur Venkayya describes Pidari as a seated goddess with " fire 
issuing from her whole body to indicate her great wrath On her head she wears a 
crown, various ornaments in her locks, on her forehead the mark of Siva, bulky 
jewels in the large holes of her ears and two flowers behind them. She has four 
hands holding in them, respectively, a kettle-drum with a snake, a trident, the skull 
of Brahma and a goad Her throne is an altar Pidari temples contain also an. image 
of Vighnesvara and the entrance is guarded by two horrible door-keepers called 
Mannadiyar She has eighteen generals. Pidari is said to be the chastizer of all 
evil spirits because those who hang or poison themselves, or die any violent death , 
are turned into malignant demons \\ho would destroy the whole human race if not 
kept in check by Pidari ; " SI I , Vol II. Introduction, p, 41, note I 



FIG. I3&. Mutyalamma ; Avani. 


patronized like the other orthodox Hindu temples, they are 
called srikoyil. Four varieties of the goddess Pidari are 
known from the records of Rajaraja I of the first quarter of 
the eleventh century A.D., viz., Punnaitturainangai, "the 
goddess (living on a river bank), in a grove of punnai trees," 
Poduvagai~ur-udaiyal, " the village deity' common to all 
(classes)," Kuduraivattam-udaiyal " the deity surrounded by 
(clay) horses," and Tiruval-udaiyal, " the deity of the sacred 
banyan tree." 


ip of The worship in the shrines of village goddesses is generally 

leities. performed by non-Brahmans. In the Chingleput and North 
Arcot districts are a class of priests known as Ochchans 1 who 
are exclusively devoted to service in Pidari temples. They 
say that they are Brahmanas of the Sakta creed and perform 
the worship according to the Tantrtk ritual. Sometimes, but 
very rarely, Brahmanas also worship these fearful goddesses 
installed even within the sacred precincts of orthodox temples. 2 
For example, Vattapirai-amman, " the mother who wears the 
circular crescent (on her head) " at Tiruvottiyur near Madras, 
is a goddess of this kind to whom animal sacrifices are offered 
on fixed days in the year. On such occasions it is stated that 
the Sudra priest takes the place of the usual Brahmana and 
an entrance opening directly into the outer courtyard of the 
temple kept closed on other days of the year is now thrown 
open for the goddess to receive animal sacrifices and worship 
from her Sudra or other devotees. After the annual festival 
is over, the goddess is purified. The buffalo sacrifices, which 
these village deities are generally fond of, indicate their 
connexion with Mahishasuramardinl, the slayer of the 
buffalo-demon and with other similar Tantnk goddesses 
mentioned above. 

ar Some of the ceremonies peculiar to the temples of the 

anies. village goddesses, besides animal sacrifices, are (l) fire- 
walking, (2) swinging on the sidi with a hook passed through 
the skin during what is otherwise known as the chakra-piija, 
(3) lashing oneself with a whip, (4) piercing a metallic wire 
right through the tongue or through the sides of the mouth, (5) 
slashing at the breast and forehead with swords until the blood 

1 Thurston's " Castes and Tribes," Vol V, p 4195 

2 In many important Siva temples of the South, I have observed processional 
images of village goddesses kept in a separate room and worshipped. It is 
gathered from the priests of the temples that before commencing any important 
festivals in the Siva temple, these images are earned in procession and the village 
deities are first appeased, the expense being met from the Siva temple. 


spurts out, (6) thrusting a spear through the abdomen l and 
(7) carrying on head the karagam, lamps of ghee, or earthen 
pots with blazing fire in them- Annual festivals called jatras 
are generally held in honour of the village deities. But when 
infectious diseases among men and cattle prevail, special 
worship is arranged for, to appease the deities by sacrificing 
animals, offering heaps of cooked rice mixed with blood, or 
by carrying the karagam. This last is celebrated by dressing 
the selected person who has taken a vow to perform the 
ceremony, in the yellow cloths of a woman, putting on him 
the ornaments of women and making him carry on his head 
a pot or pots profusely decorated with flowers and margosa 
leaves and supposed to contain in them the spirit of the 
particular goddess for whose propitiation the ceremony is 
gone through. A class of Tamil-speaking gardeners, called 
Tigalas in Mysore and allied to the Pallib or Vanniyans of 
other districts, are particularly devoted to the five Pandavas 
of the Mahtibharata story, and to their common wife, Draupadl. DHAU 
The illustration from the courtyard of the DraupadT temple \ emp * r 
at KumbakOnam (fig. 139) shows a group, in which the ' f<s 
figure of BhadrakalT with eight arms and a flaming crown, 
crushing the head of a giant under her left foot, is dis- 
tinctly seen. The original goddess of the temple is, however, 
DraupadT whose metallic figure with that of Arjuna, one 
of her five husbands, is preserved in the central shrine. 
The two huge heads seen in the illustration, next to Bhadra- 
kali, are those of the hero, Aravan said to be a son of 
Arjuna by a Naga princess. He is believed to have been 
offered as a sacrifice on the great battle-field of KurukshStra, 
especially with the object of securing success to the Pandava 
brothers. Substantial big temples are built for DraupadT and 
the Pandavas under the name Dharmaraja in the country 
round Kolar and Bangalore. The karagaM-currying ceremony 
is performed every year and attracts immense crowds of 
excited sightseers. The central figure of the ceremony is 
the priest who, as he madly trips along with the sacred weight 
over his head, like a high tiara decorated with flowers, is 
closely followed by a select number of men the supposed 
attendant deities with drawn sworcls in their hands. This 
scene very strongly reminds one of the goddess SulinT, who 
has been described above to be one of the Tantnk goddesses, 

1 Some of these inhuman practices seem to be but remnants of the older 
human sacrifices which were once quite a common feature of Sakti worship. 
Epigraphical evidence has been adduced to show that voluntary human sacrifices 
were offered even to the male deity Virabhaclra (above, p 161, footnote 2). 



followed by four unmarried girls with swords and shields in 
their hands or of a form of the goddess Durga surrounded by 
maids with drawn swords. The Saptamatrikas of the Tdntras 
are also counted among village deities and are, perhaps, the 
same as " the Seven Kanniyamar (unmarried girls) " or the 
" Seven Sisters." They are frequently appeased by special 
worship when any unforeseen and sudden illness takes hold 
of a man. The local fortune-teller, often a woman of the 
Korava caste, being consulted, says that the patient is pos- 
sessed by the " sisters " while walking alone in untimely hours 
of the day near tanks, gardens or groves. At once the god- 
desses are propitiated. A temporary shrine is constructed. 
Seven small stones are planted in a row, near a tank, almost 
touching the edge of the waters, and a small shed erected over 
them with leaves and flowers. Coconuts, plantains, fried rice 
and pulse are then offered to the stones and not unfrequently 
also a fowl. Even Brahma nas worship the " Seven Sisters" in 
this way, but when a fowl is to be sacrificed they get a Sudra 
to do it. The worship is enjoined to be performed in wet cloth 
after bathing. 

The practice of honouring and even worshipping women Sau-w< 
who committed sati appears to have been very old in Southern g l wa ] 
India. Kannagi, the heroine of the Tamil poem Silappadi- ccremo 
AfiraiNj died on hearing of the unjust death inflicted upon her 
husband by the Pandya king of Madura. She was thence- 
forth worshipped in shrines built for her throughout Southern 
India and Ceylon. In the latter island she is known as PattinT 
and is very popular. The mother of Rajaraja I is stated to 
have committed sati and in consequence of this act, evidently, 
an image of her was set up in the temple at Tanjore. Pe"ran- / 
talamma, a woman who committed sati, is equally reputed in 
the Telugu districts. Kanyaka-ParamSsvarl who is the tutelar 
deity of the Vaisya (KOmatO caste is also connected with the 
story of a woman entering the sacred fire. The fire-walking 
ceremony peculiar to the temples of village goddesses may 
have some connexion with sati. 


The village gods are not so many in number as the god- AIYAN 
desses. Aiyanar, Hanharaputra orMaha-Sasta is supposed to 
be, as his name implies, a son of Siva and Vishnu. 1 When the 
celestial nectar was obtained by f the devas and asuras after 
churning the ocean (see p. I39f, above) they quarrelled about 

1 For a fuller description of Aiyanar and his position among village deities, see 
S././. t Vol. ]I, Introduction, p. 40, note. 


the distribution of it. Vishnu assumed the form of a beautiful 
young woman, called Mohini, and by her attractions enticed 
the asuras and made them agree to depute her to distribute 
the precious liquid equally to all. She of course deceived them 
and gave the nectar to the gods alone. Siva saw Mohini at 
the time and was enamoured of her. He wedded her, and the 
result of their union was Hariharaputra. This deity is largely 
worshipped in Malabar and parts of Tinnevelly and Tanjore. 
In these districts he is not assigned the subordinate position 
of a village deity as in others. In the latter, however, he is 
one of the guardian deities of the village and, as such, is 
attended by bhutas and pisachas. He has long curly hair, a 
crown and ear-rings of gold-leaves. In his two arms he holds 
the bow and the arrow. He is dark of colour and is seated 
on a throne below a banyan tree. In the illustration given 
(fig. 140) the position of the hands of what is believed to be 
a figure of Aiyanar does not appear to suit the weapons, bow 
and arrow, which he is stated to hold. 1 In the figure from 
Valuvur he is seen riding on an elephant in the very same 
posture, holding in his right hand what looks like a whip or 
an elephant goad (fig. 141). In front of his temple are placed 
figures of horses, elephants and otner animals, made of wood 
or of painted brick and chunam, which are supposed to serve 
him as vehicles in his nightly perambulations. A third figure 
from Ramesvaram(fig. 142) represents him as riding on a horse. 
Puranai and Pudgalai are stated to be his two wives, and 
Madurai-Vlran and PSvadairayan, his generals. Madurai- 
Vlran is a historical person whose adventures are noticed in 
the South Arcot District Gazetteer? Kuttisattan, Sattan, 
Karuppan, Mundan and Gulikan are the names of some of 
the malignant demons that attend upon Aiyanar. 
PAN- Karuppannasami is a similar god worshipped by the 

r * Kallars of Madura. Chains, clubs, spears and bill-hooks are 
his symbols ; and these are presented by devotees at his 
shrines as votive offerings. They are generally found either 
hung on the trees or stuck into the ground. A similar god 
much dreaded by the people is Munisvara whose name is 
quite popular. He is represented by a block of stone, a bush 
or sometimes a tree. Men and women called Muniyappa, 
Munisami, Muniyamma, etc., are so named because they were 
evidently born as the result of propitiating Munisvara. It 

1 We have a similar figure of stone within the Nataraja temple at Chidam- 
baram, which people call Ardhajama-Alagar. 

2 Vol. I, p 101 

FIG. 140. -Aiyanar (metal) ; Tiruppalattuiai. 



D 5/9 

FIG. 141. Aiyanar (metal) ; ValuvHr. 



FIG. 142. Ai}anar (metal) , Raniesvaram. 


might be noted that Buddha is called Muni in the lexicon 
Amarakdsa and that the forms of Siva known as Dakshmamurti, 
Bhikshatana, Vlrabhadra, etc., are often those of wandering 

Heroes (virulu) who have given up their lives under 
romantic circumstancesi in the cause of their native village or 
province, are also honoured as village deities and festivals 
are celebrated to propitiate them. Madurai-Vlran mentioned 
above was one of this kind. In the Palnad taluk of the 
Guntur district, temples for heroes are quite a common 

Devil-dances in connexion with the annual festivals of 
village deities are common in Malabar and South Canara. 
The figures of the devils as represented by the Tuluva devil- 
dancers are described in detail with illustrative plates by 
Dr. Burnell in his article entitled "Devil Worship of the 
Tuluvas," in Indian Antiquary, Volumes XXIII and XXIV. 


Of the miscellaneous gods found in South-Indian temples, 
mention may be made of the Navagrahas or " the nine N AVA 
Planets " headed by the Sun. They are installed within the 
enclosed verandah round the central shrine of a temple with 
or without a special structure erected over them. The Sun 
stands in the centre and the others are fixed round him, each 
in a specified direction. The Planets are highly respected 
and scrupulously worshipped by the people, as they are 
believed to influence the destinies of human beings. 


The worship of the Sun in India has been as old as the SUN * 
Vedas. Dr. Bhanclarkar refers to a special class of sun- 
worshippers in the North called Magas whom he identifies 
with the Magi of ancient Persia. 1 In the South, there does not 
appear to be any such class exclusively devoted to the Sun. 
The worship is common to all. Aciitya-grihas (Sun-shrines) 
are mentioned in inscriptions of the eighth and ninth centuries 
of the Christian era, in the northern districts of the Presi- 
dency ; in later times temples of TraipurushadSva are found 
dedicated to Sun, Siva and Vishnu, with much prominence 
given to the first as indicated by the sculptures. Evidence of 
tbe building of separate Sun-temples in Southern India, earlier 
than the twelfth century A.D., has not yet been found. The 
only temple thus far known to be dedicated to the Sun and his 
attendant Planets exclusively, is the one at SuriyanarkOyilin 
the Tanjore district. 3 

The image of the Sun-god, according to the Agamas, is 
always to be placed in the centre of the Planets, looking 
eastward. Round, red, and decorated with red flowers, he 
must be clothed in garments of variegated colours with flags 
on his car. The car must have one wheel, drawn by seven 

Vais Jinavis 

avism 9 Saivzsm, etc., pp. 151 to 155. 
Epigraphical Report for 1908, Part 11, paragraph 60. 


horses and be driven by the charioteer Aruna who is repre- 
sented without legs. The Sun is supposed to be a Kshatriya 
(sometimes, a Brahmana) born of the sage Kasyapa. He is 
the lord of the Kalinga country, 3 wears a mail armour (kavacha) 
and robes in the northern fashion. 2 According to the Matsya- 
Purana, he is represented seated (or standing) on a lotus seat, 
holding lotus flowers in his hands and is ever engaged in 
going round and round the mountain Meru (fig. 143). His 
banner is the lion. This is the description of the Sun as the 
chief of Planets. But within the flaming Orb is recognized 
the god Narayana (Vishnu) whose body is golden, who assumes 
the forms of Brahma in the morning, Mahesvara (Siva) s in the 
midday and Vishnu in the evening. In this composite form 
he is seated on a lotus pedestal with crocodile ear-rings 
( makara-kundala) and a crown and exhibits in his hands the 
conch and discus and all the characteristic weapons of the 
Tnmurti. An illustration from Chidambaram (fig. 144) evi- 
dently represents Surya as composed of Brahma, Mahesvara 
and Vishnu, though the symbols held in the hands do not 
clearly indicate the same On the pedestal are shown seven 
horses driven by Aruna, who, though believed to be without 
legs, is here represented with them. 

Surya is also supposed to be the manifest form of the three 
Vedas, 4 the sole supporter of universal space, resplendent 
in his car, surrounded by his consorts. Planets and the celestial 
damsels. Twelve different forms of the Sun (and sometimes 
thirty-two) are described, one having red light, another white 
light and so on. Hemadri says that on the right and left sides 
of the Sun respectively, are represented the attendant gods 
Danda-Pingala and Ati-Pmgala worshipping him, with pen 
and paper in their hands. His sons Revanta, 5 Yama and the 
two Manus and his foiir wives Rajnl, Svarna, Chhaya and 
Suvarchasa" also stand on either side of him- It may be noted 

1 It may be notticl that a famous temple of the Sun is at Konaru- m tht. 
Kalinga country. ' 5. 1 l f ' ^ 

2 Varabaruihira's description of the images of the Sun is given by Dr. Bhan- 
daikar on page 54 of his treatise on Vaishnavism, Saz-vism, etc. It is inferred 
from this that the dress v,orn by him must be non-Indian in its origin The 
Axyanga which is also stated to encircle the Sun round his waist is identified \vith 
the Aiv>aonghen of the Avesta language and is taken to signify the kutti worn b> 
the Parsees of the present da\ 

3 Jn the P-)ayogaratf,ct the Sun is invoked along with the gods Agni and 
Rudra The former is described as the presiding deity of the Sun-god while the 
latter is the chief source of his energy. 

4 The seven horses of the Sun are accoidmgl> interpreted to be the seven 
metres (chhandas) of the Vedas. 

5 In inscriptions Revanta is quoted as the model of a superior horseman 



FIG, 143. Sur)a ; KumbakSnam. 

2 3 8 


FIG 14.4 Siirya Chidambaraai 


that a mystic diagram called the Surya-yantra is intimately 
connected with his worship as in the case of the Sakti 
goddesses. It as stated to be a circle bounded one after 
another, by a triangle, a circle, a square and two circles of 
eight and sixteen radii respectively. 


The Moon is regarded as one of the Planets surrounding Other 
the Sun and going round and round the mountain Meru. He 
is born of the Sea and of sage Atri and is supposed to be ot 
the Vaisya caste. He is said to have only face and hands 
but no body. He turns towards the Sun, holds white lotuses 
in his two hands (or sometimes a club and the boon-confer- 
ring hand) and rides on a two-wheeled 1 chariot drawn by ten 
horses. Kuja (Mars) is a Kshatnya of AvantI, the son of the 
Earth and of sage Bharadvaja, wears red garments and a 
crown and has four arms in which are seen the weapons, 
club and sakti and the postures varada and abhaya. He faces 
the Sun and rides on a ram. Budha (Mercury), the son of the 
Moon, is a Vaisya of the Magadha country born in the lineage 
of Atri. He has four arms, a yellow body, and the lion vehicle. 
He shows in his hands the shield, club, varada and the sword 
and faces the Stm. Bnhaspati (Jupiter) is a Brahmana, born 
of Angiras. He comes from the Sindhu country and has either 
four or two arms, holding, in the latter case, the book and the 
rosary. He also faces the Sun. Sukra (Venus), likewise, is a 
Brahmana born of Bhrigu and a native of BhOjakata. Accord- 
ing to Hemadri he is seated in a golden chariot drawn by 
eight horses or in a silver chariot yoked to ten horses. He 
has two hands in one of which he holds a nidhi "treasure " and, 
in the other, a book According to other authorities he has 
four arms in which are seen the staff, rosary, water-pot and 
the varada. Sani or Sanaischara (Saturn) is a Sudra of the 
Saurashtra country, and a descendant of Kasyapa, also facing 
the Sun. He is supposed to be born of the Sun, to have blue 
garments and to ride on a vulture or in an iron chariot drawn 
by eight horses. He is represented with two or four hands 
and stands on a lotus pedestal, but is more often found seated 
with four hands, his weapons being the arrow, trident and 
the bow. Rahu and Ke"tu, the ascending and the descending 
nodes, are also represented as images (fig. 145). The former 
is described as a Sudra of Paithan with a fearful face, black 
clothes and four arms, holding the sword, trident and the 
shield. He rides on a black lion and faces the Sun. Ketu is 

1 Some authorities say that the chariot is to be three-wheeled. 



FIG. 145 Rahu and Ketu ; Chidambaram. 


also a Sudra? comes from KusadvTpa and is born in the 
lineage of Jaimini. He has an ugly face, rides on a vulture 
and exhibits in his two arms the club and the varada posture. 


The next group of gods, frequently depicted though not as DIKI>, 
frequently worshipped as the Planets, are the Dikpalakas, 
"the eight lords of the quarters." These are mostly found 
represented on the central panel of the ceiling in the Malia- 
mandapa of a temple. 

Indra, the lord of the east, is the chief of them. He is a INDR, 
Vedic god; the lord of all the minor gods. But he has long 
ago lo*=t the high position assigned to him in Vedic times. 
The story runs that he seduced Ahalya, 1 the wife of sage 
Gautama, who cursed him for his lewdness to wear about 
his body marks of his lascivious conduct, but subsequently 
changed those marks into a thousand eyes clotted all over his 
body. Accordingly he is still known as " the thousancl-eyed " 
(Sahtisr-aksha). Indra is represented with four arms riding on 
the celestial elephant AirSvata of four tusks (fig. 146) 
According to the Silpasfira the symbols which he presents are 
the bow, the protecting hand, the conch and the discus 2 
Hemadri adds that his wife SachT with two arms must be 
seated on his left thigh. In three of his hands he holds a 
lotus, goad and a thunderbolt, while the fourth passes round 
the back of SachT. One of the arms of SachT, likewise, is 
passed round the back of Indra, the other holding a bunch of 
flowers of the wish-giving tree (knlpa-vnksha). 

Agni, the lord of the south-east quarter, is also one ot tne A( ' NI - 
Vedic gods and perhaps the most prominent of them. As 
the carrier of offerings to the various other gods in heaven, 
he plays an important part in the Srauta sacrifices and in 
the Smdrta ceremonials, where fire oblations are essential. 
Every Brahman a house-holder, strictly so called, is required to 
maintain the sacred fire in his house without quenching it and 
to offer oblations regularly three times a day, along with his 
usual prayers to GayatrT. Agni, as an image, is represented 
to be an old man ; he is the oldest of the gods and a counter- 
part of the Sun on earth. He has a red body, two heads, six 
eyes, seven arms, seven tongues, four horns and three legs. 

1 See also \.\\z Journal of Indian A?t and Imht\try, No. 106, Plate 143, fig. 


2 The Bhattabha^katiy^ mentions al'Jntyti, var^da y swoid and the elephant 


JIG. 146. Jndra; Chidambaram. 


He is surrounded by a circle of light, is seated on a lotus 
pedestal 1 and is supposed to reside in a quadrangle 
evidently the quadrangular sacrificial fire-pit. In his seven 
arms he holds the vessels prokshanl (sprinkler), srik (ladle), 
srnva (spoon), purna-patra (vessel full of water), toward (pestle), 
fan and the ghee-pot, required in performing a sacrifice. He 
has braided hair, reel garments and a big belly and wears the 
bacred thread yajnopavlta. His vehicle is the ram and his 
banner, the smoke issuing from the sacrificial fire-pit (fig. 146). 
He is attended on either side by his two wives SvahS. and 
Svaclha. Hemaclri describes him as having a single face, 
three eyes, moustaches and four arms. He rides in a chariot 
drawn by four parrots and driven by the god of winds, Vayu. 
His wife Savitri is seated on his left thigh, with a vessel of 
gems in her hand. In three of his cirms Agm holds two 
flaming tridents and a rosary. 

Yama, the lord of the south and the god of Death, has been YAMA 
already referred to in the description of the Siva image 
called Kalaha or Kalaharamurti. He is dark of colour, 
exhibits the club, noose, abhaya and varada in his four arms 
and rides on a buffalo. The illustration from Chidambaram 
(fig. 148) shows only two hands in which are held the club 
and the noose. Hemadri mentions as his symbols the staff, 
sword, a flaming trident and the rosary His wife called 
Dhumrorna is seated on his left thigh and holds a lime fruit 
in her left hand. To the right of Yama stand Chitragupta, 
UdTchya and others who keep a record of the actions of men. 
To his left stands the fierce Kala with the death-noose in his 
hand. Two women called Dharma "virtue" and AclharmO. 
" vice " are seen on either side of Yama with chtinris in their 

Nairrita, the lord of the south-west region, is supposed to NAIR 
be the chief of the Rakshasas. He rides on a man, wields the 
mace and the javelin and has Kalika for his wife. In the 
Kalika--P/*r<3;/<rz he is described as having two hands, holding 
a sword and shield and riding on an ass. He causes terror to 
demons, devils and spirits (fig. 149). 

Varuna the regent of the west is also the lord of the ocean VART 
and of all aquatic animals. He has the crocodile vehicle 
and four arms. In the two upper hands he holds the serpent 
and the noose (fig. 150). According to Hemadri he is seated 
in a chariot drawn by seven swans. In his four hands he 
holds the lotus, noose, conch and a vessel of gems and has 

1 Or the half-moon seat ((trdhachandr-a^ana) according to the Mayama.tit^ 



FIG. 147. Agni; Chidambaram. 



FIG, 148. -Yama j Chidambaram. 



FIG. 149, Nairnta Ahobalaui. 



FIG. i^o, Varuna ; Lepakshi, 


an umbrella held over his head. The goddesses Ganga 
and Yamuna, holding chaurls in their hands, stand on either 
side of him, the former riding on the crocodile and the latter 
on the tortoise. 

Vayu, the lord of the north-west, is blue in colour. In his 
hands are seen a fan, flag, varada and abhaya. He rides on a 
-deer (fig. 151). An image of Vayu at Chidambaram shows 
him only with two hands of which the right holds the flag 
and the left rests on the waist 

Kubera, the lord of the north and the god of treasures, is a 
fat, ugly person as his name implies, but serene or self-satisfied 
and rides on a horse (fig. 152). Hemadn describes him as 
riding on a man with his wife Ricldhi 1 seated on his left thigh. 
He is the chief of the demi-gods called Yakshas and Kinnaras. 
Two treasures personified, viz , Sankhanidhi and Padmamdhi, 
are supposed to attend upon him on either side. He is the 
friend of Siva the lord of the adjoining north-east quarter. 


The worship of the "serpents" (Nagas)- is prevalent all 
over India and particularly so in the west coast of the Madras 
Presidency, where a corner of a house or of a field is exclu- 
sively dedicated to the living cobra so that it may dwell there 
with its family group. In other parts of the Presidency on a 
particular day of the year sacred to the Nagas, milk, fruit and 
coconut are placed near a snake-hole with the object of 
feeding the cobra. Naga-images cut on stones as plain 
serpents with one, three, five, seven or nine hoods, are also 
worshipped. Sometimes these have a human body above the 
navel and a serpent's coils below Female snakes are said to 
have one hood only. 

Snake-stones are installed in temples and other places, 
on specially prepared platforms under the shade of the pipnl 
and the margosa trees. A ceremony called " the marriage 
of the pipal-tteQ " is performed both by Brahmans and non- 
Brahmans, when Naga stones are also fixed under these trees 
amidst great rejoicing. The connexion of the Nagas with the 
pipal and the margosa trees is evidently a relic of the ancient 
tree and serpent worship. Serpents have been worshipped in 
India from very early times, earlier even, perhaps, than the 

1 The Bhaitabhaskariya calls her Chitrml. 

3 It is mentioned m the Buddhist Niddtsa among the various systems of 
belief and superstition that prevailed in the fourth century B C (Dr. R G 
Bhanclarkar's Vaishnavisw^ Saivtsw, etc.,p 3). 



151. Va>u ; Lepakshi. 



FIG. 152 Kubera,, Lepabhi. 


Vedic Sun, Moon and Brahma. It is believed that a pro- 
pitiation of the Nagas conduces towards the production of 
children. This belief may be traced in other countries also, 
where there are signs of the once widely prevalent serpent 
worship. Eight lords of Nagas are mentioned in the Agamas. 
The chief of these is Ananta, Sesha or Adisesha, on whose 
folds Vishnu is supposed to sleep. Fig. 153 represents him in 
a semi-human form. In an inscription of the twelfth century 
A D the eight Nagas, Sesha, Vasuki, Takshaka, KarkOtaka, 
Abja (Padma), Mahambuja (Maha-Padma), Sankhadhara and 
Kulika are invoked to decide about the auspicious or inaus- 
picious nature of the grant. 1 

Besides the Nagas mentioned in the previous paragraph, 
there are other groups of clemi-gocls and demons largely 
depicted in Hindu temples, such as the Yakshas, Viclyadharas, YaKsi 
Gandharvas, Apsarasas, Kinnaras and Rakshasas. 2 These are \ ld >'* 
made to serve, generally, as r////rz~bearers to the gods and are e !c. 
represented with a light body flying in the air. They have 
generally two hands, two eyes and the karandamakuta crown. 
The Mdnasdra describes the Kinnaras as having the legs of 
a cock the middle part of their body being human and the 
face beaked like Garuda with spreading wings. They wear 
a crown on their heads and hold a vina in their arms. A 
sketch from Ramesvaram illustrates a female Kmnarl (fig. 
154). The origin and description of these groups of demi- 
gods are given by W. J. Wilkins in Chapter XI of his Hindu 
Mythology. Also, the figures of these in their various postures 
are beautifully illustrated in the rock sculptures known ns 
" Arjuna's Penance" at Mahabalipuram. 

The DvSrapalas seen at the entrance into almost every p\ar, 
Hindu shrine are also derm-gods and bear different names 
being sometimes called Chancla and Prachancla, sometimes 
Jaya and Vijaya, or Harabhadra and Subhadra according as 
they occupy the second, third or fifth door-way opening into 
the shrine. In the standing figures of Dvarapalas the right 
leg is placed straight on the pedestal (svastika) and the left 
is slightly bent (kiimhita). The posture of their body may be : 
(i) with legs and back partly turned to front ; (2} hands 
resting on the thigh which then is bent in the shape of a 
plough ; or (3) with both hands supporting the gdpura. The 
Silpasaiigraha states that in form the Dvarapalas are like bhiitas 
with two big hands -in one of which they hold a club- They 

Madras tepigraphical Report foi 1910, p 117, paia. oo. 
See I r 2sv<ikaruia, Part V, plate 66. 



KlG. 153, Ad.sesha ) Cmrlatnbaram 



FIG . r 54 , K i nnar J ; Ram esvaram . 


have protruding canine teeth, when Saiva, and narrow waists; 
are beautiful in form, but disfigured in the face (fig. I55)- 1 
Figures of Dvarapalas are sometimes also found to have four 
arms and to hold the Saiva or the Vaishnava symbols 
according as they are placed in Siva or Vishnu temples. 
The fine image (fig. 156) of a Dvarapala from Dharasuram, 
Tanjore district, which has four arms and is probably Saiva, 
is stated to have been brought as a trophy from Kalyanapura 
(i.e., Kalyana in the Nizam's Dominions), by the Chola king 
Rajadhiraja I, in the middle of the eleventh century A.D. 
Entrances into the shrines of goddesses are attended by 
Dvarapalikas just as those of the gods are guarded by 


Samts and Saints and Sages are also not infrequently figured in 

Saq^es temples. The latter include the Vedic rtshis and the authors 

of the early sacred literature of the Hindus, represented as 
old men, serene and unmindful of mundane affairs. The 
sacred thread, braided hair, flowing beards and moustaches 
form the special features of rishi images. They are seated 
in a meditative posture with the rosary or book and the water- 
pot or staff in their hands. The seven famous sages Gautama, 
Bharadvaja, Visvamitra, Kasyapa, Jamadagni, Vasishtha and 
Atri are occasionally also represented with their wives, while 
NARADA. Narada, Agastya, Bhrigu, Angiras, etc., are surrounded by 
A.GASTVA their disciples Narada (fig. 157) is distinguished from other 
sages by the vind which he holds in his hands, being always 
engaged in singing the praises of Vishnu. In Purauas he is 
described as fond of setting up one against the other and 
creating quarrels Hence in common parlance Narada 
represents a tale-bearer. Agastya (fig. 158) is dwarfish in 
stature and pot-bellied. 3 He is supposed to have migrated 
from north to south and to have dwelt there permanently and 
developed the Tamil language of which he is said to be the 
KAPILA. first grammarian. Kapila, the founder of the Sankhya system 
of Hindu philosophy, holds a water-pot on his lap and has 
DHANVAN- in his two hands the conch and the discus. 3 Dhanvantan, 


1 In the Silpasard the Dvarapala^ of ftiva temples are stated to be Nandi 
and Mahakala at the eastern entrance , Bhrmgi and Vma>aka at the southern 
entrance , the sacred Bull and Skanda at the \\estern entrance and Chandi at the 

9 A bron/e illustration from Nallur is given m the Madras Archaeological 
Survey Report for 19$ 1-12, Plate A, fig 2 

1 In Visyakarma^ Pait I, Plate 52, a totally different form of Kapila, from 
Ceylon, is given Perhaps he is not identical with the sage described here. 



FIG. 155 Dvarapala ; Tiruvottiyur. 



FIG. 156. Dvaiapala ; Dharasuram. 



Fie. 157 --Naiada; Chidambaram. 


FIG, 158, Agastya ; Chidambaram, 


the presiding sage of the Indian Medical Science, is 
supposed to be a form of Vishnu and is found generally 
figured in company of the Asvins, 1 who are the physicians 
of the gods. He holds a pot of nectar in his hands. 

Among the human beings who have attained sainthood 
may be included the great religious reformers such as 
Sankaracharya, Ramanujacharya, Madhvacharya and others. SANPARA 
The first is represented as a sannydsin (mendicant) with a CII * RVA - 
bald head and a body besmeared with ashes. He holds a 
book in his left hand and shows the clnnmiidra, the teaching 
pose of fingers, in the other. The staff and the water-pot 
(kundika) which are the symbols of the sannyasms, are found 
placed by his side. Seated on the tiger's skin in the 
padmdsana posture he is surrounded by attendant pupils. 
Sankaracharya may also be found decorated with a necklace 
of rudraksha-beads which are sacred to Siva. The illus- 
tration from Tiruvottiyur (fig. 159) shows Gaulisvara (Gaucla- 
pada ?), the teacher's teacher of Sankaracharya, with four 
arms, occupying the highest seat. Below him to the right is 
Sankaracliarya and below him on the pedestal are depicted 
the latter's four pupils. Ramanujacharya has the sanjali- RAMANUJA 
mudra, i.e., hands folded together over the breast in a CHARYA an 
worshipping posture, the triple staff (tridanda) and a head- DE^IRA. 
dress. He wears the Vaishnava caste marks iirdhvapundra 
(or namam) made of white clay and reel pigment (fig. 160 (d)). 
Vedanta-Desika (fig. 1 60 fb)) is also a Sri- Vaishnava teacher 
of great fame. Madhvacharya, like Sankara, is a bald-headed MAIWVA- 
sannyasin with the chinmudra, the book, the staff and the CHARYA 
kundika. He wears the caste mark iirdhvapundra and the 
Vaishnava symbols of conch, discus, etc., made on his body 
either of sandal-paste or of the yellow clay called gdplchandana. 

Saiva and Vaishnava saints (called Nayanars and Alvars), Saiva aml 
the former of whom are sixty-three in number and the latter Vaishnava 
twelve are also occasionally installed in temples, their images Saintb 
being made either of metal or of stone. The most famous of 
the former are Appar, Sundarar and Tirujnanasambandar, 2 

1 These are the two gods Nasatya and Basra mentioned in the Vedas. They 
are of the form of a horse -except in their faces and are found together, seated 
on the same lion-pedestal In two of their arms they exhibit the abhaya and 
the book. On their light are represented the medical herbs Mrttasamjlvam 
and Tfisalyakarani and on their left, the sages Dhanvantari and Atreya (?). 

- In the Madias Archaeological Survey Report for 1911-12, Plate n, figs. 
1-4, are given, illustrations of four bronze images which repiesent Appar, Manik- 
kavasagar, Jnanasanibandar and Sundarar (?). Vtsvakarma, Part IV, Plates 62 and 
63, illustrate figures of Mamkkavasagar and Sundaramurti (Sundarar) from Ceylon. 
Ha veil gives a picture of Appar (Ideals o/ Indian Art, Plate XIV), In the 



1 59 - - Gaulfs\ ara ( Gaudapada >) and Sankarachai> a Tiruvottiyur. 




whose devotional hymns in praise of the many Saiva shrines 
of the South are collected together under the name Devaram 
and are regarded as scriptures by the devout section of the 
Saivas. Stories relating to the pious lives of the sixty-three 
Saiva devotees are recorded in the book called Periyapuranam, 
which was written about the end of the thirteenth century of 
the Christian era. Mamkkavasagar, the author of the Tiru- 
vasagam, is also a saint of great reputation. A beautiful 
image of his (fig. 161) comes from Tiruvarangulam in the 
Pudukkottai State. An illustration from Madura (fig. 162) of 
Karaikkal-Ammai, one of the female Saiva saints counted 
among the sixty-three, gives a true picture of how devotion 
and severe penance are expected to reduce the physical body 
to a skeleton. Likejthe Saiva scriptures, the hymns of the 
Vaishnava saints ( Alvars) (see Tirumangai-Alvar, fig. 160 (e) 
above), are also collected under the name Nalayiraprabandham 
and form the accredited scriptures of_the Tengalai section of 
Sri-Vaishnavas. The lives of the Alvars are given in the 
book entitled Guruparamparaprabhdva __ 

Numerous other images are mentioned in the Agamas, 
Pur anas and similar other works. These are rarely, if at all, 
depicted in temples. The nine Prajapatis, the eight Vasus, 
the seven (or sometimes forty-nine) Maruts, the ten Visveclevas, 
the fourteen Manus, the nine Chiranjivins, are all personified 
and described with their weapons and vehicles. Even the 
sixty-four sciences, the sixty years of the cycle, the months, 
fortnights, days, constellations, signs of the zodiac, seasons, 
solstices, oceans, quarters, mountains, rivers, etc., are similarly 
personified and described. It is not necessary to consider 
them in any detail. 


A brief description may now be given of the Digambara 

J a ^ na linages, of which we have a good number in the districts 

* of Chingleput, South Arcot, South Canara and other parts of 

the Madras Presidency. It is not possible to enter here into a 

detailed enquiry of Jaina ritual, symbolism, idology, etc. We 

Tanjore temple built by Rajaraja I at the beginning of the eleventh century A.D., 
were installed images of Nambi-Aruranar (i.e., Sundaramurti), Tirujnanasam- 
bandar, Nangai-Paravaiyar (wife of Sundaramurti), Tirunavukkaraiyar, Penya- 
Perumal and his queen Lokamahadeviyar, Meypporul-Nayanar and Siruttonda- 
Nayanar. The set of images illustrating the story of the last-mentioned, included 
Ksheliapala, Bhairava, Sirultonda-Nambi, Tiruvcnkallu-Nangai (his wife) and 
Siraladevar (his son); see .97.7, Vol II Introduction, p 39 f. In the 
temple at Dharlsuram neai Kumbakdnam are pictured scenes from the lives of 
most of these siUy-three Saiva devotees \vith labels cut on their pedestals These 
belong to the thirteenth century A.D. 



FIG. 1 6 1 Manikkavasagar (metal) j TiruvaranguUm. 



FIG. 162. Karaikkll-Ammai ; Madura. 


may simply note what the Hindu Silpa-Sastras say about them. 
The general description of Jaina images, as supplied by these 
works, is that they must have long arms so as to reach the 
knees, the mark of Srivatsa on the breast (which was found to 
be peculiar to Vishnu), a calm countenance, broad forehead, 
head covered with starry rings of hair, hanging earlobes, high 
nose, delicate limbs and a naked body which looks young and 
beautiful. Figures of Arhantadeva (i.e., a Jama Saint) may 
be made movable or immovable, standing or seated. The 
material used must be the white, red, yellow, or black stone, 
crystal or metal Whether standing or seated the images 
must have a straight back and in the latter case, the 
padmasana or the siddhdsana posture with the hands crossed 
over the lap palm in palm, the right being below and the left 
above. The pedestal of Jama Saints is always a simhdsana, 
" lion-seat," surmounted by a " crocodile-aureola " (mdkara- 
torana) fixed at the back of the image. Over the aureola are 
depicted the kalpa-tree, the Indras and Devas, the demi-gods of 
Jaina mythology. Sometimes there may also be sages (like 
Narada) attending upon the Jina and Yakshas, Yakshis, 
Vidyadharas, Chakravartins, Nagendras and Dikpalakas 
holding chauris, on either side of him. Images used by the 
Jainas in daily worship at home or in Mathas include the 
Panchaparameshthins who wear neither clothes nor jewels. 
At the entrance into the shrines of Jina are placed the gate- 
keepers Chanda and Maha-Chanda, as in Hindu temples, 
Jainas are divided into two main divisions, the Svetambaras 
and the Digambaras. The former are not found in the south 
while the latter have their important seats at Sravana-Belgola 
in the Mysore State, Mudbidri, Karkal and Yenur in South 
Canara, Tirumalai near Polur in North Arcot, Sittamur in 
South Arcot and various other places. A descriptive account 
of the images of Digambara Jainas with illustrative plates has 
been given by Dr. Burgess in his article entitled "Digambara 
Jaina Iconography " in Indian Antiquary, Vol. XXXII, pp. 45 ff. 
It shows that the gods and goddesses of the Jainas are as 
numerous and as richly conceived as those of the Hindu 
Pantheon, and have their prescribed weapons, jewellery, 
vehicles and symbols. 


In concluding this small treatise on South Indian gods and 
goddesses, it will not be out of place to dwell briefly upon 
the pedestals, postures, symbols, weapons and jewellery of 
images, although most of these have been noticed where they 
occur incidentally, in the above pages. 


als. The Mayamata, speaking of pedestals in general, says that 

they are triangular, half-moon-shaped, square or circular (P). 1 
Nine pedestals (plthas) are mentioned by name, viz., bhadra- 
pitha, vajrapitha, padmapitha, mdhdmbuja (the big lotus), 
srlkara, pithapadma, mahdvajra, saumyaka, and srlkamya. Of 
these, the first and the third are pictured on the accompany- 
ing Plate I, as Nos. 13 and 12. No. 16 on the same Plate, 
perhaps, represents mahambuja. 

es. The postures, symbols and weapons of images differ 

according as the image is conceived to be either in a fighting 
attitude or as bestowing bliss and knowledge on its worship- 
pers. Sometimes, even though the weapons of war are 
exhibited in the hands of an image, it may yet be considered 
peaceful if it only shows the positions of the hands known as 
abhaya and varada. The posture, sukhasana, in a seated image 
(Plate I, No. 14) and the posture samapddasthdnaka in a 
standing image (Plate II, No. 4) are generally adopted in 
conferring bliss, just as the position of the hands abhaya 
(Plate IV, No. 7) and varada (Plate III, No. 23) indicate the 
same. The alidha * (Plate II, Nos. 5 and 6) and the utkatzka 3 
postures (Plate I, No. 15) denote respectively the heroic 
attitude in actual fighting and the angry mood that imme- 
diately follows it. The padmdsana (Plate I, No. 16) and 
the yogdsana (Plate II, No. l) postures show either the medi- 
tative or the teaching attitude. The position of the legs 
(Plate II, Nos. 2 and 3) adopted in the case of the standing 
images of Gopala and Nataraja show not only a graceful and 
artistic attitude but, evidently, also indicate the ecstasy of 
joy. It may be noted that in all figures of gods and. god- 
desses standing in any position, the ideal beauty is recog- 
nized to consist in the three bhangas (bends) which according 
to the Silpasangraha are dbhanga (slight bend), samabhanga 
(medium bend) and atibhanga (great bend). Each of these 
three bends may be found separately or together in one and 
the same image. 4 

1 According to the Prayogaratna the nine Planets are to be seated on 
circular, quadrilateral, triangular, arrow-shaped, rectangular, pentagonal, bow- 
shaped, winnow-shaped and flag-shaped pedestals. 

~ The alidha posture is assumed generally in drawing the bow and dis- 
charging the arrow. 

'* There is reason to suppose that the posture known as z/zrasatit wherein one 
leg has to be placed on the other so as to lest on that thigh, is sometimes substi- 
tuted for iitkatilM Perhaps they are synonymous. 

4 See South Indian Bronzes by O C Gangoly, p 401 f. The Silpasangraha 
descnbing a particular form of Rama states that it consists of three bhangas or 
bends, the face slightly leaning to the right, the middle of the body to the left and 
the portion below the waist, again, to the right. 


The symbols of the gods and goddesses apart from the Symb 
weapons which they wield, such as the goad (Plate IV, No. 8), ^ ea l j< 
noose (No. 9), disc (Nos. 10 and IO#), shield (No. 12), sword 
(No. 13), pestle (No. 14), axe (No. 15), trident (Nos. 1 6 and l6a), 
thunderbolt (Nos. 20 and 2Oa), club (Plate III, No. l), saktt or 
vel (No 2), tanka (No. 3), arrow (No. 4), bow (No. 5), fire (No. 6) 
and khatvcinga (No. Il), are very few. Goddesses, perhaps 
as a sign of beauty, hold in their hands a lotus-bud (Plate 
IV, No. 1 8 and Plate I, No. 3), a mirror (Plate III, No. 8) or a 
parrot perching on the back of the palm (Plate IV, No. 19). 
The rosary (Plate IV, Nos. I and 2), the water-pot (Nos. 3 and 
4), the book (No. 5), the position of the fingers known as 
chinmndra (Plate III, No. 16) and jnanctmudra (No. 14) denote 
meditation, purity and knowledge. The conch of Vishnu 
(Plate IV, No. II and Plate I, No. 4*2), the kettle-drum dhdkka 
of Siva (Plate III, No. 12 and Plate IV, No. 24) and the bell 
in the hands of some gods and goddesses (Plate III, No. /) 
may be taken as equipments for fight, though not as actual 
weapons, offensive or defensive. The deer held by Siva as 
a trophy on the occasion when he destroyed the sacrifice of 
his father-in-law Daksha (Plate IV, No. 17), the serpent (Plate 
I, No. 46) and the kapala (Plate III, No. 21 and Plate IV, 
No. 23*7) may be considered only as symbols specially dis- 
tinguishing him from the other gods. The same has to be 
said of the kukkuta "cock" (Plate III, No. $a) of Skanda, of 
the broken tusk 1 (Plate IV, No. 21) of Vmayaka and of the 
flag (No. 22) of Vayu, " the god of winds." 

Some of the purely artistic positions of the hand are : the Posit 
simhakarna (Plate I, No. l), the kataka (Plate IV, No. 40), the the b 
kati^a "hand resting on the waist" (Plate IV, No. 6), the 
position in which the hand hangs down freely "like the tail 
of a cow " (Plate I, No. 2), the placing of the kurpara by Siva 
on the head of the bull (Plate III, No. 9), the gajahctsta of 
Nataraja (No. 19) and the position in which Siva as Bhiksha- 
tana touches the mouth of the antelope (Plate III, No. I7). 2 
Some other significant positions of the hand are those known 
as sitclil " the pointing finger " (Plate III, No. 13 and Plate IV, 
No. 23), tarjanl "the threatening finger" (Plate III, Nos. 18 
and 26) and the Dismay a "wonder" (Plate III, Nos. 15 and 
22 and Plate I, No. 4). The three latter are generally found 
in the figures of Siva and of guardian deities. 

1 1- or the story of the broken tusk with which Vinayafca (Ganapati) is stated 
to have written the Makabharata, see above, p 176. 

- This last position is called wrihakarrta. In images of Tripurantakamurti, 
the arrow is held b> one of the right hands which is, again, stated to be in the 
sjmhakarna pose. 


The jewellery of images corresponds in most cases to the 
jewels of the present day worn by men as well as by women. 
Most of these have been mentioned in the above pages in the 
general descriptions of gods and goddesses. It has only to be 
noted that a very large number of them, such as necklaces, 
breast-plates, girdles, armlets, bracelets, wristlets, anklets, 
arm-rings, finger-rings, and toe-rings, made of gold and set 
with various gems, 1 are mentioned in the Tanjore inscriptions 
as having been presented to the images in the Bnhadlsvara 
temple, by the great ChOla king Rajaraja I, in the first quarter 
of the eleventh century A.D. The different fashions of 
making up the hair seem to have also occupied the attention 
of Indian artists. The jatas (matted hair) of Siva, arranged 
generally in the form known &$>jatamakuta (Plate I, No. 8), show 
other varieties such as jatdmandala fPlate II, No. 6J, jatabhara 
(No. 9) and jatdbandha (No. /). The terrible form of Siva, 
known as Pasupatamurti, has the jatdmakuta with flames of 
fire surrounding it (Plate I, No. ll). Nataraja's jatas, whether 
flying in the air or tied up in a knot have a bunch of pea- 
cock's feathers decorating them 'Plate I, No. 5). Vishnu Jias 
generally a kiritamakuta, i.e., a crown (Plate I, No. /). The 
goddesses either wear the crown called karandamakuta (Plate 
II, No. 8) 2 or have their hair parted in the middle like the 
Indian women of to-day. In figures of Jyeshtha, is seen a 
peculiar fashion of dressing the hair known as vasikdlmndha 
(Plate I, No. 10). Other peculiar head-dresses, whose names 
are not known, also occur occasionally (see, e.g., Plate I, No. 9). 

1 See above p 8, fig. 4. One of the peculiar jewels worn by images of Siva 
such as Nataraja, Dakshinamurti, Bhikshatana, Kankala, etc., is the bhringipada 
(Plate II, Nos 3 and 4). It may be noted that the priestly class among Lmga- 
yatas, called Jangams, wear such a jewel when they go out for receiving doles. 

2 When represented independently and in a fighting or otherwise terrible 
attitude, they-may wear 'C&zjatama'kuta like male deities. 




PILATE 1 pedestals, postures, etc 






PLATE III. Pedestals, postures, etc. 

PLATE IV. Pedestals, postures, etc . 


[Note. Figures aitei articles refei to pages ; the following abbreviations are used.-* 
n =s footnote; j a same as , do = ditto , q.v (quod vide) == which see.] 

abhanga, slight bend of body in images, 
162, 1 68, 266 

abhaya, protecting pose of hand in images 
(// ?;.)> *o, 4* 43> 6 4> 66, 76, 77, 79, 84, 
88, 89;*, 93, 97, no, 114., 148, 177, 178, 
189, 190, 194, 199, 202,, 2I2, 239, 243, 
2^8, 259//, 266 

Abja, serpent-chief, 251. 

Adavallan, Tamil name for Nataraja, 82-7, 

Adharma (vice), rhauri-bearcr of Yama, 


Adi- Chanel esa, or Adiclasa-Chandesa, epi- 
thet of Chanel esa, 161, 162. 
Adimurti, s a Vaikuntha-Nara}ana, 52^ 
Adisesha, s a. Sesha, 251 
Adit} T a-gnha, a Sun-shrine, 235 
Aditya-Piuana, 103. 
Adivaiaha, *.a Varaha, 22. 
Agamas, class of literature, I, 84, 88, 89, 

now, 114, 129, 132, 137, 148, 161, 165, 

235, 251, 262 
Agastya, sage, <?o, 254 
Aghoia, one of the five images constituting 

Panchadehamurti, 77 
Aghoramurti, form of Siva, 148, 151. 
Agm, fire, regent of the south-cast cjuaiter, 

196, 236/ 1 /, 241, 243 
Ahalya, wife of Gautama, 241 
Ahavaniya, one of the (three) sacuficial 

fiies, represented by the goddess 

vall, 220. 
Ahobalani, village in the Kurnool district, 


Aira\ata, the elephant of Jndra, 24! 
Aivyaonghen, identified with Av\an^a, 

236;;. " 

Aiyanar, village god, 229, 230. 
Ajaikapad, one of the Eleven Rudras, 97, 


Alagi}anachch]}amma, \illage deity, 224. 
Alakshml, s a. Jjeshtha, 216^ 
Alambakkam, village in the Tanjuie dis- 
_ trier, 196. 

Alayattu-Pillaiyar, Ganapati image men- 
- tionecl in the Tanjore inscriptions, 176 
alidha, postuie in standing, 26, 213, 266 ; - 

in sitlmg, 197. 
Alinganamurti, form of Chandiasekhara, 



Alkondar, epithet of Kshetrapala at Tint- 

vadi, 159^. 

Alvar, epithet of Vaishnava saints, 259, 262. 
Amaiakosa, Sanskrit lexicon, 62, i$$ti t 234. 
Amaravati, village in the Guntui district, 


AmntesvarT, s.a. Varuni, 220, 

Amsvtmat-Tantra, 79, 103, 107, 114. 

Anamalai, village in the Madura district, 


Ananda-tandava, variety of Nalaraja's 
dance, 79, 84. 

Ananta, set, Sesha, 50, 251. 

Anantasaun or AnanUisayana, foim o( 
lechning Vishnu, 50, 

Andhaka, demon, devotee of Siva, 165^ 

Angiras, sage, lather <jf Jjiihaspali (Jupi- 
ter), 239, 254 

Amiuddha, form ol standing Vishnu, 52;;. 

AnkaUmma, \illagc deit>, 220;^, 223, 224 
Anna puma, gculdess, 218, 220. 
Apasmaia, demon, 79, 84, 90, 141, 
Appar, Sana saint, 250 
Appa\a-I)ikshit.i, Saiva i^lnlosophei, 89. 
Apsarasas, class nunphs, 251. 
ApyA, goddess, 223 
Ara\an, ton of Arjuna, 227. 
Arcluvological Suivoj Repott 

of Fndia, t/Ho< d t 43, I43// ; 

of Madias, tptoteii t viH> TOO^, 125, 148*, 

254i 5 l )w 

ardhachandrasana, pedestal of Agm, 2^3. 
Aidhajama-Alagar, \.a. Aivinftr, 230^, 
Ardha-niandapa, vestibule 1 in iioiit of the 

central shrine of u temple, 2. 
Aulhaiuln, form of Si\a, 74, /6w, 120, 

. I 6 5 

Aulra, abteiism s.icred to Nataiiija, 82. 

Arhanudeva, a Jama saint, 265. 

Ariyambakkain, \illage in tb.e Chingleput 
district, 22, 

Aijuna, one of the li\e IMntlavas, 47, 141, 
1(3, 227 

Arjima's Poivance, bas-ielu-f of rock-cut 
sculptures at Muhubahpmaui, 143, 251 

aika-pu&hpa, jeuel decorating the fdtama- 
kuta of Siva, 76. 

nrrow, weapon, m the hind of Aiynnilr, 
230 , of Duigfi, icj9, 202 ;~ of Kalagm- 
Rudra, 155 , -of Kiuui, 62 ; - of Kiialar- 
juna, 143 ; - of Laltui, Tripurasun- 
dari and Uajivr"ijesvarl, 22 ; of Kama 



andLakshmana, 35 ; oi Sam, 239 ; of 

Skanda, 177, 178 ; of Sudarsana, 66;- 

of Tnpurantaka, 140, 267/7 of Vira- 

bhadra, 155, 159; of Vishnu, ijn, 55. 

Aruna, charioteer of Sur>a, 235, 236. 

Ashtabhuja-Viralakshmi, form of Lakshml, 

Ashta-Mahalakshml, the eight (forms of) 

Lakshml, 187. 

Ashtamurtis, class of Siva-images, 77 
Abhtanga-Yogmis, group ot goddesses 

attending on Surapn>a, 212. 
Ashta-Siddhis, group of goddesses recog- 
nized as consoits of Ganapati, 173 
Asiramma, vil'age deity, 224. 
Asoka, Maurya emueror, l6Sw. 
as5u a -flower, one of the five arrows of 

Kama, 62. 
ass, vehicle of Kalaratri, 21 1 ; of Nairnta, 

243 . __ O f Sicaladevi, 213. 
asuras, s a danavas, 50, 2 1 1, 229, 230. 
Asvms, the twin physicians of the gods, 

2 59 
atibhanga, great bend of body in images, 


Ati-Pmgala, attendant of Surya, 236. 
Atiranachanda-Pallavesvaia, lock-cut tem- 
ple at Salnvankuppam, 107. 
Atreya, sage <?), 259^. 
Atn, sage, ri//, 239, 254 
At}antakama-Pallaves\ara, surname of 

Dharmaraja-ratha, 107 
avaclaiyar, Tamil name for the pedestal of 

a Siva-hnga, 73 
Avanti, country, 70, 239. 
avatar, an incarnation (especially of 
Vishnu), 22, 26, 30, 32, 35, 37, 47, 50, 64. 
Avesta, scripture of the Parsees, 236^. 
Avyanga, name of the thread seen round 

the waist of Surya-images, 2367* 
Ayodhya (Oudh), ck>, 35. 
axe or hatchet ( txtrasuj, weapon, m the 
hand of Saiva images, 77, 93, 97;?, 103, 
Iio, 114, I2O, 125, 137, 140, 141, 143, 
147,148, 162, 173, 1785 of Sudarsana, 


Badami, Chalukyan rock-cut temple at, 24. 
Badankasiama, the modern Badrl-Narayan, 

Bagali, village in the Bellaiy district, 114, 

&7. f 

Bala-Krishna, form of Krishna, 38, 41 
BalapramathanI, the Sakti (goddess) of 

Ealapramathana (Siva), igo 
Balarama (Baladeva), brother of Krishna, 

considered as an incarnatioa of Vishnu, 

37. 43 
Bala -Sakti, goddess presiding over the si\ 

chakras, 222 
Bala-Tripurasundari, goddess, 218. 

Balavikarani, the Sakti (goddess) of Bala- 
\ikarana (Siva), 190/2 

Bala-yantra, mystic chairn connected with 
the worship of Bala-Sakti, 222. 

Bali, demon, 30, 52. 

Bana, demon, devotee of Sna, 113. 
variety of Siva-lmga, 73^. 

Bangalore district, 217. 

Bangaramma, s.a Ponnamma, 224. 

banyan (vzta), tree, abode of Tiruvaludai- 
ya.1, 226 connected with Aiyanai, 
230 ; - with Dakshinamurn,9O ; with 
Naiai.lja's dance^ b'4 . sabred to the 
goddess Chanumda, 196 

Barbaias, an aboiiginal tribe, 223 

Barta.ll (BattaH), Buddhist goddess, 194;?. 

bell (ghtuifa)i symbol, in the hand of 
Durga, Mahishasuramardml and Maha- 
Lakshml, 199, 206, 211 ; of Gajaha- 
murti, 125; of Nataraja (in Kalika- 
tandava), 84 ; of Skanda, 178. 

Benares, 2i8. 

Bhaclrakall, consort of Virabhadra, 155^ : 
form of Chamunda, 197, 213^ village 
deity, 223, 224, 227 

bhadiapitha, form of pedestal, 266. 

bhadro bhadraya, etc , Mantra of the Rig- 
Veda, 3/. 

Bhaga\ad-Gita, ' the Divine Song,' 37, 47. 

Bhagivata-Puiana, 37, 47. 

Bhaglratha, mythical king of the Solai 
race, I2Q, 132. 

Bhanava, fierce emanation of Siva, 74, n 3, 
151, 155, I59, 161, 262^. 

Bhairavi, epithet of Mahesvari, 194 form 
of Kali, 199 

Bhandasura, demon, 222. 

bhingas, the (thice) artistic flexions of 
body in images, 266. 

Bhaia<ha]a, sage, go, 239, 254 

Bharata, brother of Rama, 37. 

BharatI, .s a. Sarasvair, 82//. 

Bharatlya-Nai>asastia, name of a Sanskut 
work, 88//. 

Bharavi, Sanskrit poet, 143 

Bhargava, sage, 90. 

Bhasmasura, demon, 165. 

Bhatta-Bhaskarlya, work quoted in the 
Tattvanidhi, 24! n, 248^. 

Bhaxam, village in the Coimbatore dis- 
trict, 165. 

BhavanI, i a. Parvati, 19677. 

Bhcda-Sakli (jealousy), consort of Kama, 

Bhiksh5ndarko>il, village in the Trichmo- 
poly district, 76 

Bhikshatana or Bhiksh.itiinamurli, form of 
Siva, 74, 76^, 97, 100, 103, 2^4, 267, 


bhmdivala, weapon, m the hand of Nandi, 

Bhoga-Sakti, goddess, connected with 
Somaskanda, no ; I 'arvati standing on 
the left side of Siva or the Siva-linga, 



Bhoga-Vlra, the standing form of Vira- 
bhaclra, 159. 

Bhojakata, country, 239, 

Bhiigu, sage, 90, 239, 254. 

Bhrmgi, Bhrmginti or Bhrmglsa, devotee 
and^ attendant of Siva, 113, I2O/?, 161, 
165 name of the Dvarapala at the 
southern entrance into Siva temples, 

bhrmgipada, ornament seen on the right 
leg of Saiva images, 100, 268// 

Bhu (Earth), conbort of Vishnu, 22, 189. 

Ehujangalahta, variety of Nataraja's dance, 


Bhujangatrasita, do.^ 82^. 
bhiita, a demon, 148, 230, 251. 
Bhutaniata, goddess, 216 
Bhuvaiaha, s.a Varaha, 22 
Blja-Ganapati, form of Ganapati, 176. 
bijapura, fruit, symbol in the hand of 

Maha-Ganapati, 173. 
bill-hook, symbol in the hand of Kaiup- 

pannasami, 230 
bilva, fruit, symbol in the hand of Gaja- 

Lakshmi, 187. 
Binayakia, Japanese name for Vinayaka, 

bmdu (dot), connected with mystic charms 

called yantra* and chakras, 222 
boar, crest of the Western Chalukya, 

Kakatiya, JReddi and Vijayanagara ki)igs, 

Boar or Man-Boar (Varaha), incai nation of 

Vishnu, 22, 24, 93. 
bones, garland of, found on Saiva images, 

125, 212. 

book, symbol, in the hand of the Asvins, 
259;* ; of Bala-Sakti, 222; of 
Brahma, 107 j of Brihaspati, 239; of 
Dakshinamurti, 90, 93 ; of Hayagriva, 
55 ; of Madhvacharya, 259 ; of ribhi- 
images, 254 ; of Sanka.rach.arya, 259 , 

ot SarasvatI, 185 ; of Sukra, 239. 
boon-giving pose of hand in images, 52;*, 

77, 100, 129*, 162, 168, 173, 187, 218, 
See varada 
bow, weapon, in the hand of Aiyanar, 230 j 

of Chamunda, 194, 206 ; -- of Durga, 
Mahishasuramardini and Maha-Lakshmi, 
199, 206 ; ot Indra, 241 of Kalagni- 
Rudra, 155 ; of Kama, 62 , of 
Kiralarjnna, 143 ; of Rama and 
Lakshmana, 35 ; of Sam, 239 , of 
Skanda, 177, 178 ; of Sudarsana, 66 ; 
of Tripurantaka, 140 ; of Vfrabhadra, 
155, 159; of Vishnu, Ijn, 30, 55. 

Brahma, god, the Creator, 10, ir, 24, 32, 
50, 52, 73*, 74, 82, 93, 97, TOO, 103, 
113, 141, 184, 185, 194, 197, 2i3>/, 224^., 
236, 251. 

brahmacharm, an unmarried student of the 
Vedas, 30, 173, 177 

Brahmachannl, form of Durga, 202. 

Brahma-kapalam, place of pilgrimage on 
the Himalayas, loo. 

Brahman, the all-pervading Eteinal Spirit, 

10, 30, 70, 74 
Brahmana, caste, 7, 38, 41, 55, 70, 71, 100, 

168, 197, 2I3, 226, 229, 236, 239, 241. 
Brahmavaivarta-Purana, ion, i68. 
Brahmi or Brahmam, one ot the Sapta- 

matnkas, 190, 194, 196 
Brahmiya-Silpa, work on Arts, 22//, 38^, 

47'* > 5 2 ^ 

breast-band, found on images of Durga, 
199, 206; of Pratyangira, 213^ 

Bnhadisvara, temple, at Tanjore, 77, 88w, 
155, 176, 268 

Bnhaspati (Jupiter), planet, 239. 

Brmdavana (Brmdaban), village, 37, 38, 
41, 43, 47 

broom, symbol of SitaU, 213 

Buddha, saint, 73 incarnation of Vishnu, 
22, 47 ; called Mum, 234. 

Buddhism, 73, 184 

Buddhist, 2, 77*2, 168/5?, 185, I94, 213^, 
2i8w, 22O, 248;;. 

Budha (Meicury), planet, 239 

buffalo, demon, 197, 199, 202, 206,211 . 
sacrifice, 226 \ chicle of Kala (Yama), 
137, 243 , of Varahl, 194 

bull, guardian deity at the western 
entrance of Siva temples, 254^ . --vehicle 
and banner of Siva, 76//, 90, 97, no, 113, 
114, 120, 125, 132, 141, 162,267: 
vehicle of Chandesa in the Kah-yuga, 
161 ; of Mahesvarl, 194; of Saila- 
putrl, 202 ; of Savitii, 2l8w 

cane, symbol in the hand of Nanch, i62. 
Castes and Tribes (Thurston), quoted^ 


ca\eriib and rock-cut beds, 2//. 

Ceylon, island, 64^, 114^, 223;;, 229, 254^, 

25 9. 

chain, symbol of Karuppannasami, 230 
chaitya, a temple, 2. 
chakia (disc;/ v ), symbol of Vishnu, 26, 

38 52, 55 70. 

Chakrapani, temple, at Kumbakonam, 70. 
Chakra-Perumal, s a. Sudarsana, 66 
chakra-puja, cexemony observed in 

temples of village deities, 226. 
chakras, mystic diagrams connected with 

Sakti worship, 185, 220, 222. 
Chakra-tirtha, tank, source of the rivei 

Gandakr, 70. 
Chakravartms, group of demi-gods of Jama 

mythology, 265 

Chalukya, Western, dynasty, 24 
Chalukyan Architecture (Rea), quoted, 

Chamunda (Chandi), one of the Sapta- 

matnkas, 190, 194, 196 epithet of 

Mahishasuramardini, 194*, 196, 197, 202, 

Chanda, name of Chandesa in the Treta- 

yuga, 161 ; of a Dvarapala image, 251 j 

2 7 6 


of the guardian deity in shrines of 
Jma, 265. 

Chandakhanda, fomi of Durga, 202, 

Chanda-Munda, demon, IQ///, 222 

Chandesa, devotee and attendant of Siva, 
143, 147, 159, 161, 162 

Chandesanugraha or Chandesanugraha- 
murti, form of Siva, 76??, 143, 147, 162. 

Chandesvara, s>a Chandesanugraha, 76??. 

Chaudesvaraprasadadeva, do , 147* 

Chandi, s.a. Chandesa, 254^ 

Chandi or Chaudika, s a Mahishasura- 
mardml, igow, 196, 202, 206, 224 

Chancllkalpa, -\vork quoted in the Tattva- 
nidbi, 197/2, 206. 

Chandimau, village, 143^ 

Chandragiri, village in the Chittoor 
district, 35, 137 

Chandrasekhara or Chandrasekharamuiti, 
form of Siva, 76^, 93, 114, 148 

Charchara, form of kail, 199. 

Chaturmukha or CbaamukhJ, form of 
Jama images, 77"- 

Chaturvarga-Chmtarnam, name of a 
Sanskrit work, 24 

chatushshashtikala, the sixty-four sciences, 

Chaudamma, -village deity, 224. 

chaurl (chamara}, a fly -whisk, 3, II, 52^, 
194, 139, 211, 248, 251, 265 

Chaushashti-Yoginis, group of goddesses, 

Cheia, country, 2. 

Chetthakarl, title ofMahendravarman I. ,2, 

Chhaya, consort of Surya, 236. 

Chidambaram, village in the South Arcot 
district, ii, 55, 74, 82, 847? , 93^, 107, 
125, 141, 143, 147, 178, 236, 243, 248 
its history, 88 : the Nataraja temple at, 

Chingleput distnct, [aina temples in, 262. 

chmmudra, pose of fingeis, 259, 267. 

Chuanjlvins, the nine, 262. 

Chitragupta, attendant of Varna, 243. 

Chitrmi, consort of Kubera, 248/4. 

Chola, dynasty, 2, 77, 88, 89, 93, 107, 114*-, 
176, 216, 224, 254, 268 

club, symbol, 35 , in the hand of Budha, 
239 ; of Dvarapala images, 251 , of 
Garuda, 64^ ; of Kala (Yarna), 137, 
243 ; of Karuppannasarm, 230 ; of 
Ketu, 241 ; of Kollapura-Mahalakshml 
and Ashtabhuja-Vlralakshml, 189 , of 
Kuja (Mars), 239; - of Maha-Ganapati, 
173 ; of Moon, 239 ; of SarasvatI, 
2l8w ; of Siva, 77/^ ; of Skanda, 
178 : of Sudar&ana, 66 ; of Vfra- 
bhadra, 155 ; of Vishnu, 17, 26, 30 ; 
of Vishvaksena, 64. See gada. 

cock banner of Skanda, 218^ See kitlc- 


conch, symbol, 3, 35 ; m the hand of 
Durga (Katvayam), Chamunda, Mahi- 
shasuramardim and Maha-Laksnml, 196, 
199, 202, 206, 211 , of Gaja-Lakshmf, 

187 ; of Garuda, 64^ ; of Govinda- 
Bhairava and of Samhara-Bhanava, 
151 ; oflndra,24i ; of Kama, 62, 
of Kapila, 254, of Lahta, Tiipura- 
snndari and Rajarajesvail, 220 ; of 
Maha-Ganapali, 173 , of Saras\atl, 
2i8w , of Skanda, 178 , of Suclarsana, 
66 ; of Siirya, 35, 236 , - of Trikanta- 
kldevJ, 213 ; of Varuna, 243 ; of 
Vishnu, 17, 22, 26, 30, 43, 107, 113, 125, 
267 , -- of Vishvaksena, 62 . mark 
made of sandal or gdyulianJaua, 259. 
See sankha 

Conjee\eram, village m the Chingleput 
district, 2, 22, J^9, 162;*?, 222 

corpse, vehicle, of Chamunda, 194 , of 
Mahakali, 197 earned by Ugui-Tara 
on her head, 213. 

ciescent, ornament on the head of Siva, 76, 
77, 82, 103, 114; ofGanapati, 173, 
of Sakti goddesses, 185, 194, 202 

ciocodile, vehicle of Clangamma Ganga), 
224, 248 , of Varuna, 243. 

crow, bannei of Tyeshthci., 216, 2i8-v 
vehicle of Tvanta,, 212?;. 

cup, *>3mbol, in the hand of Govmda. 
Bhairava and Ivala-Bhaira\a, 151 ; of 
Kollapnja-Mahalakshmi, 189 ; o f 

Mahakala, 15=; ; of Ma-hakaH, 197 ; 
of Lahta, Tripurasnndarl and Raja- 
rcijesvari, 220 See pot and vessel. 


dahim, attribute of Kama's arrow, 62 
Daksha, sage, 89, 155, 159, 267. 
Dakshinagm, one of the (three) saonficial 

fires, represented by the goddess Savitn, 

DakshmamuiU, form of Si\a, 74, 76//, 89, 

90, 93, 147, 234, 268w. 
danavas, demons, 30, r 4.0. 
Dandanatha-Varahi, foxm of V.irahl, 194^. 
Danda-Pmgala, attendant of Surva, 236. 
Damkavana, forest, scene of Siva's sport <is 

IJhikshatana, 79w, IOO. 
Dasara, festival, 187. 
Dasaratha, king of A}otlh}ti and falht'i of 

Kama, 35 

Dasra, one of the Asvms, 259;^. 
Dattatieya, god, nxr. 
Death, the god of, -ua. Kdila, 132, 157, 148, 

deer (antelope, black-buck), S}mbol, in the 

hand of Saiva images, 77, 89;v, 90, 93, 

97, 103, no, 114, 129, 132, 137;*, 140, 

141, 14^, 147, 159, 162, 267 . - vehicle 

of Vayu, 248 accompaniment of 

tthikshatana, roo ; of Kankala, 103 ; 

of Natai aja, 82 
Devabhavi, epithet of Sur.ipnya, 212 
Devaki, mother of Krishna, 41, 196 
Devaram, collection of Saiva Tamil lumns, 

72, 89, 262, 



devas, demi-gods, 24, 79, 82^, 132, 140, 
229 ; of Jama ni}thology, 265 

Devayana (Devasena), consort of Skanda, 

devil-dances, 234. 

dhakka (kettle-drum ?.'.), symbol m the 
hand of Siva, 76, 77, 267. 

Dhanvantari, sage, the presiding deity of 
Indian Medical Science, 254, 259^. 

Dharanlvaraha, s a. Vaiaha, 22. 

Dhaiasuram, village in the Tanjore district 
120, 125, 129, 254, 262^ 

Dharma, form of Brahma., II Dharma, 
chaurl-bearer of Yama, 243 

Dharmaraja-T'tf^tf, monolithic monument 
at Mahabahpuram, 107, 

Dharmaraja, one of the five Pandavas, 227. 

Dharmavyakhyanamurti, epithet of Dak- 
shin amurti, 89 

Dhenu-Vagisvari, form of Vaglsvaii, 185 

Dhumravati o? Dhumia-Kali, goddess, 213. 

Dhumrorna, consoit of Yama, 243. 

dhvajastambha, the flag-staff of a temple, 3 

Digambara, sect of Jamas, 262, 265 

Dikpalakas, the eight lords of the quarters, 
241 : demi-gods of Jama mytholog} , 

Dipavali-Ama\asya, festival, 32 

disc or discus, symbol, 3, 35 , in the hand 
of Durga (Ka.ta.yyan!), Chamunda, 
Mahishasuramaidm! and Maha-Lakshmi, 
194,196, 199, 202, 206, an ; of Gaiuda, 
64;;; of Govinda-Bhairava and of Sam- 
hara-Bhairava, 151 ; of Indra, 241; 
of Ivapila, 254 ; of Maha-Ganapati, 
173 ; of Saras\ati, 2i8 , of Skanda, 
177, 178 ; of Sudarsana, 66, of Surya, 
2 36 ; of Trikantakldevi, 213 ; of 
Vishnu, 17, 22, 24, 26, 30, 43, 64, 107, 
113; of Vishvaksena, 64. mark made 
of sandal or goplchandana, 259 See 

clog, vehicle of Bhairava, 151 

DraupadI, queen of the Pandavas, 227 : 
temple at Knmbakonam, 227. 

dukula, muslin, 120. 

Durga or Durga- Lakshmi, goddess, 74, 148, 
196, i97, 199, 202, 206, 211, 213^, 218, 
220, 223, 224, 229 energy of Siva in 
his fighting mood, 19611: her images 
represented naked, 202, 211. 

Durgarnma, village deity, s.a Durga, 224. 

Durga- Paramesvari, do , 224, 

Durgi, village in the Guntur district, 151, 

Dvapaia-yuga, name of the third Hindu 

seon, 161. 
Dvaraka (Dwarka), legendary capital of 

Krishna, 37, 47, 70. 
Dvarapala, the guardian deity of a temple, 

251, 254. 
Dvarapalika, female guaidian deity in 

temples of goddesses, 254 
Dwarf (Vamana), incarnation of Vishnu, 


ear of paddy, symbol in the hand of 

Maha-Ganapati, 173 
Eaith, goddess, s.a. Bhu, 22, 24, 32, 55, 

187 : used by Tripurantaka as his 
_ chariot, 140 , moihei of Mars, 239. 
Ekadasa-Rudras, class of Si\a images, 77, 

- 97 ' 

Ekamrejvara, temple, at Conje< \eram, 09^, 

Ekapadamurti or Ekapada-Trimurti, form 
of Siva, 97 

Elements of Hindu iconogiaphy (Gopi- 
natha Rao), quoted, 21 8w 

elephant, demon, 125 -vehicle of Aiyanai, 
2 3 ; f Maha-Gauri, 202 of 
Mahendri, 194; of Prachanda, 161 ; 
of Visvakarma, n its hide, worn 
by Sana images, 1:51, 197 . its tusk, 
symbol inihe hand of Gajahamuiti, 125 ; 
of Ganesa 168 (Maha-Ganapati), 173. 

Elephanta, caves at, 107. 

Ella, Greek goddess, 2:23^. 

Ellamma, xillage deity, 223, 224. 

Elura Cave Temples (Buigess), qitott'd-> 

Epigraphical Report (Madras), quoted , 

2.612, 32;^, 52^;, 88^, i6iw, 235;;, 25I//. 
Epigraphia Jndica, quoted^ jyi, y^n 
epilepsy, personified as Apasmaia, 79. 

fan, symbol, in the hand of Agm, 243 ; of 
Vayu, 248. 

Fire (Agm q w.), one of the three eyes of 
Siva, 76 

fire-walking, ceremony observed in tem- 
ples of village deities, 226, 229 

Fish, incarnation of Vishnu, 22. 

flag, symbol, in the hand of Vayu, 248, 267 

flesh, symbol, in the hand of Varuni, 220. 

flower, garland, connected with the story 
of Chandesanugrahamuiti and with 
S-va>amvara, 107, 147 . symbol, m the 
hand of Chandesa, 162 arrow held by 
Vajrapiastarini, 2I2//. 

fruit, (of pomegranate), symbol, in the 
handofSriand Pnthvl, 187; of Lalita, 
Tnpuiasundari and Rajarajesvan, 220: 
(of wood-apple), s>mbol, in the hand 
of Skanda, no; of Ganesa, 168. 

gada (club q &.), symbol, in the hand o 

Vishnu, 52, 55 

Gajahamurti, form of Siva, 125. 
gajahasta, pose of hand, 79, 84, 88, 267. 
Gaja- Lakshmi, form of Lakshmi, 187. 

2/8 INDEX 

Gajendranioksha, (?toi\ of Vishnu) lescu- 

ing the elephant, 55 
Ganapati 07 Ganesa, god, son of Sua, 62, 

70, 74, 82, 113, 165, 1 08, 173, 176, 267 //. 

Ganapatja, sea of Brahmanas, i6S, 176^. 

ga- las, group of demi-gods attending on 

biva, 155, 161, 162, 165, 168/7, 173/0, 

176, 183, 211 

Gandabheiunda, (fabulous) bird \ehiclfc 

used in processions of images, 7 
Gandakl, river, 70 

Gandharvas, class of denii-gods, 251. 
Gandiva, the bow of Arjuna, 141. 
Ganga or Ganga-Bhattarakl, goddess, s a. 

Ganges, 76, 82, 125, 129, 132, 224 . 

the chauri-bearerof Varuna, 248 
Gangadhara, foim of Sna, 74, 129, 132, 

Gangnikondasolapuram, village m the 

Tnchmopoly district, 132, 143, i68. 
Gangamnia, \illage dcit\ , s a Ganga, 224, 
Gangavisaijana o> Gangavisarjanamurti, 

foim of Sna 129 

Ganges, river, 70, 76, 82, 129, 224^. 
garbha-griha, the central shrine of a 

temple, 2 
Garhapat\a, one ot the (thiee) siciificial 

fires, represented b} the goddess Gayatii, 


Gaiuda, bird, vehicle of Vishnu, 2, 3, 32 
52, 55, 64, 97, 125, 162?;, 251; of 
Govinda-Bhaira\a, -151 ; of Vaiahna\i, 
194 ; of SarasvatI, 2i8w 

Garuda-cha}ana, Vedic sacrifice, 64^ 

Garuda-Na.ra\ana, form of Vishnu, 55. 

Gaudapada, the teacher's teacher ot San- 
karacharya, 259 

Gaulisvara, shnnc in the Tiruvotti} ur 
temple, 2^9 

Gauri, sa Pan all, 82;*, 84, 88, 113, 114, 
129, 132, 141, 190, 3o6. 

Gauri-tandava, vanet)' of Nalaiaia's dance, 

Gautama, sage, 241, 254. 

Ga\atrl, goddess, 73^, 97?;, 241 piesidmg 
deit} of morning prajeis, 218. 

Gitabhavi, ep thet of Surapnya, 212. 

goad or hook (ankitta), symbol in th<_ 
hand of Aghoramuiti, 148 ; of Anna- 
puma, 218; of Bala-fiakti, 222 ; - of 
Chamnnda, 194 , of Chandesa in 
Dvapaia-^ uga, 161; of Durga, 195^; 
of Ganapati, 168, 173 (Iletamba-Gana- 
pati) ; of India, 24 I ; of Lakshml, 
l8q j~ of Laiita, Tripurasundarl and 
Rajarajesvail, 220 ; of Pidan, 224,7, 
of Saiasvaii, 185; of Sudarsana, 
66 i of Vlrabhadra, 159 

Gontyalamma, village deity, 224 

Gopala, i 1 a Krishna, 4^,266. 

gopchandana, a kind of yellow eaith used 
in making caste marks, 259 

Gopls, the cowherd women of Bnndavana, 
3 8 , 4', 4^ 47 

Goplvastrapaharaka, form of Krishna, 47 

gopnia, the entiance gate of a temple 

\\ith a tower, 8477, i>8, 93^, 147, 251. 
Govardhana, hill (near Bnndavana), 43 
Govinda-I5haira\a, foim of tshaiiava, 151 
I giama-devata, a village deiiv , 223. 
, Guhkan, demon, attendant o'f A lyanar, 230 
I ujunja-seedb, gailand of, \\orn by Tvanta, 

I , 212 ' 

! Gupta, dynasty, 143^ 

! Guruparamparapiabhava, name of a San 
I skrit \\ork, 262 


Ilaladhara, epithet of Balaiama, }7w. 
Hampi, village in the Bellar> district, J5//, 

Ilanuman, devotee and sei\ant of Kama, 

35, 37, 64, 66. 

Harabhadra, name of a Dvaiapala, 251. 
Han, s a \ibhnu, 82/7. 

Haridra-Ganapati, form of Ganapati, 176^. 
Hauhara, foim of Srva, 76/7, 125, 
Hanhaiaputra, epithet of Aiyanar, 229, 


Har'-parvata, hill, 70. 
Ilauvamsa, supplement to the Maha- 

bhaiata, 223. 

Hajagil\a, form of Vishnu, 55 
Ila/aia-Ranias\amin, temple, at Hampi 
! 35 

heads Chuman), gailand of, worn by Maha- 

KalT, 197 ; b} Tiipura-Jih.uiavi, 212 ; 

s> mbol, in the hand of Kalaratn, 212 , 

offered to propitiate Virabhadia, i6i. 
1-Iemadn, author, n, 24, 20, 32, 43^, 52, 

55, 76^, 77> T-lj, 151, 162, 1777;, igow, 

194, 197, 2o6, 236, 239, 241, 243, 248 
Ileramba-Ganapati, foim of Ganapati, 173 

heroes (viy i/lu), woishipped as \illage 

deities, 230 their tempk-s in the 

Palnad taluk, 234 
Himalaya, mountain, 66, 90, loo 
IJimavat, r.f? Himalaya, 90, 107. 
Hindu Mythology (Wilkms), tjitotcd, 251. 
Hiianyagarbha, variety of Sahgiama, 70 * 
IJiranjakasipu, demon, 24, 26, 30 
Unanjaksha, do t 24. 
Iliranyavarman, sunuime of Simha\ar- 

man, 88, vehicle, of Aiyandr, 230;- of 

Knbeia, 248 ; of Sxapna-Varahr, 

194 . (seven), >oked to the chatiot ol 

Surya, 236 : (ten), to tne chariot of the 

Moon, 239 - ioiming the bod> of the 

Asvins, 259;^ 

Hosur-amma, village deitj, 223. 
human sacrifice, 227^ 
hunched-pillared hall, in the Varadaraja- 

svamin temple at Conjeeveram, 43 
rfuskur-amma, village deity, 223. 
Ilusinahadagalh, Milage in the Bellary 

district, 55. 



J deals of Jndian Art (JJavell), quoted, 

73", 79> 90", i43> *&9 3 59 
Indian Antiquary, qtioted> 24, 2i8//, 234, 

Indra, chief of gods and legent oi the 

east, 30, 43, 64/1, 113, 194, 241. i 

India- Lakshml, s.a. banian\ a- Lakshml, ! 

187. I 

IndranI, s a Mahendri, 194, 196 
Indras, group of de mi-gods of Jama 

mythology, 265. 

Jaimmi, sage, 241. 

Jama, 2, 77;;, 218*, 265 . images 

(represented naked), 262. 
Jainism, 184. 

Jalasayana, form of leclmmg Vishnu, 52. 
Jamadagm, sage, 90, 254. 
Jamba^at, demi-god, 32^. 
Jambukes\aiain, suburb of, 


Janardana, s.a. Vishnu, 73^; 
Jangams, priestly class of the Lmgayata 

sect, 268w. 
japa-flowers, used as ear-ornaments by the 

goddess Kalaratri, 211 
Japanese, i68w 
jasmine-flower, one of the five arrows of 

Kama, 62. 
jatas, locks of matted hah, 79, 82^, ro3-, 

jatabandha, arrangement of matted hair 


jata.-bha.ra, do. 268. 

jata-makuta, matted hair ananged m the 

fashion of a crown, n, 76, 77, 79, 90, 

103, no, 114, 137, 141, 161, 162, 185' 

190, 197, 268. 
]ata-manda!a-, arrangement of matlctl hair, , 

103^, 161, 162, 268. 
jatras, annual iestuals held in honour of 

local deities, 227 
javelin, weapon, in the hand oi Nairrita, 


Jaya, attendant of Skamla, 178; of Vish- 
nu, 50 : name of a DvarapaJa, 251. 
Jayaclexa, Sanskrit poet, 50. | 

Jma, god, 47/,>, 265 i 

Jnanabhavi, epithet of Surapnya, 212. j 

jnanamiidra, pose of fingers, 55, 90, 93, ( 

267. ' i 

Jnanamurti, form oi Dakshmamurli, 90 ; 
Journal of Jndian Art and Industiy, ' 

quoted, 141, 24t;/. j 

Jumna, river, 41, 47 

Jvala-Nrisimha, form of Naiasimha, 70. 

Jvaradeva, form of Sua, 165 

Jyeshtha, the Sakti (goddess) of fyeshtha 

(Siva), I9ow 
fyeshtha or Jyeshtha-Lakshrni, goddess, 

216, 218, 224, 268 . her temple at Kuk- ' 

kanur, 218, 


Kachchhapesvara, temple, at Conjeeveram, 


Kadalmal'ai, i.a. Mahalalipmam, J2u 
Kadru, mother of seipents, 64;?. 
Kail A^a, mountain, 82;;, 90 
Kaila.sana.tha, temple, at Conjeeveram, 2, 


Kaitabha, demon, 52, 197^ 
Kakatl)a, djnasU, 24 
Kala, s a. Varna, 137 sen ant ol \avna, 

Kalabhadia, foim of Chamunda, 197. 

kala-Ijhairava, form of Bhairava, 151. 

Kalagni-KudiA, form of Siva, 155* 

Kalaha, s.a Kalahara, 132, 243 

KalahaiM or KalahaiaaiuiU, foim of Siva, 
132, 137, 243- 

Kalakuta, [toison, produced at the rh inn- 
ing ol the ocean, 76, 137 

Kalanuikhu, sect ol Saivas, lOi 

Kalamunda, s.a Kala, 151 

Kalanasa, s a. Kalahaia, 76^ 

KaLI-ridari, * a. Kali, 224. 

Kalaratil, foim of Duiga, 202, 211 

kalavikaraiii, the Sakti (goddess) oi Kala- 
\ikarana (Siva), igo;/ 

Kali, goddess, consort of Mahakala, 151. 
encig) of Si\a in his anry mood, 
196/7.- form of C hamun<la,ri.)7, 199,- oi 
Duiga, 197^, 211 ; -of Paivati, 82, 184, 
224 the Sakti (goddess) of Kala- 
(Sivn), IQO?/. 

Kahdasa, Sanskiit poet, 1:77. 

K.ilika, consoit of Nairrita, iy7//, 243. 

Kalika-l'urana, IT;;, 243. 

Kalika-lantla\a, \aiiety of Natara)i"'s 
dant e, 84. 

Kalmga, counti) , 2^6. 

Is.lhngamardana, r./?, k.iliya-Knslma, 41. 

Kilh}ji, .serpent, 38, 41, 

Kali} ji- Krishna, lorni ol Krishna, 38, 41 

Kaliyamma, ?.a., 223, 224. 

K.ili-Mija, name of the fourth Hindu ,1'on, 

Kalki, incarnation of Vishnu, 22, 47. 

Kallar, class <>f people m th<- JVIadtira 
district, 230. 

kalpa-vriksha to? -drutn.i), the wish-^niag 
celestial tiee, 37 : used as vehicle 
in processions, 7 . found on pedestals 
of linages as aureola, 76, 17 $//, 265 : 
sacred to the goddc-ss Indr.ini, I9*> . - 
bunch of its lloweis, ssmbol ol Sachj, 

Kahana or Ka! \ilnapura, village m the 
"Ni/am's Dominions, 254. 

Kalyanasundara, form of Siva, 74 ; 103, 

Kama or Kamadevn, god of Love, 62, 89 

Kamadhenn, the \Msh-gi\ingcelestiai c<Jw , 
used as vehicle in pincessions, 7. 

Kamakshi-animan, temple, at Conjee- 
veram, 222, 



Kaman or Kamadahanamurti, form of 

Siva, 76w, 89/7. 

Kamsa, uncle of Krishna, 196. 
Kanarese districts, low, 159, 177) 22 4" 
Kanchl, s a. Conjeeverarn, 30, 107 
kankala, a skeleton, symbol of Kankala- 

murn, 103, or Kankalamurti, form of Siva, 

103, 268^. 
Kannagi, herome of the Tamil poem 

Silappadigaram, 229 
Kanmyamar (virgins), the seven, s.a. 

Saptamatrikas, 223, 229 
kanyaka (unmarried girl) form, of Gauri, 

Kanyaka-Paramesvarl, tutelary deity of rhe 

Vaisja caste, 229. 
kapala" (skull q v }, S}mbol, in the hand of 

Saiva images, 100, 267. 
Kapalamochanatirtha, tank, ioo//. 
Kapahka, sect of Saivas, 161. 
Kapila, sage, 254 
karagam-carrying, ceremony obser\ed in 

temples of Milage deities, 227. 
Karaikkal-ammai, female Sana saint, 


Karalabhadra, s. a Kalabhadra, 197 
Karall, s a. Bhadrakall, 197. 
Karanagama or Saiva-Karanagama, work 

quoted in the Tattvamdhi, 76;;, 82;/, 

89, 97, no, 113, 129, 137, 140, i43i 

147, 148, X55M, i97, 202 
karandarnakuta, form of crown, no, 190, 

251, 268. 
karanja, tree, sacred to the goddess 

Varahi, 196 
Karempudi, village m the Guntur district, 


Karkal, village in the South Canara 

district, 265. 

Karkotaka, serpent-chief, 82/z, 251 
karma, lords of, 184 
Karnapravntas, class of Saiva (?) devotees, 


Karttikeya, epithet of Skanda, 177, 178 
Karuppan, demon, attendant of Ai^anar, 


Karuppannasami, village deity, 230. 
Kasikhanda, quoted, IS5. 
Kasyapa, sage, 236, 239, 254. 
Kasyapa-Silpa, work on Art^ (chapter of 

Amsumat-Tantra), 17, 79, 103, 107, 113^, 

114, 120, 14072, 147, 155, 1 6 1, 168, 177, 

190, 199* 

kataka, pose of fingers, no, 159, 267. 
katlga, position of hand, 267 
Katten, village deity, 224. 
Kattu-Edayaru, village in the South Arcot 

district, 41. 
Katyayani, form of Durga, 202 ; of Mahi- 

shasuramardinl, ao6. 
Kaumari, one of the Saptamatrikas, 190, 

194, 196 
Kaumodaki, the club of Vishnu, symbol 

IQ the hand of Maha- Lakshnn, 189 

kauplna, piece of cloth, v\oin by Skanda, 

Kauiavas, one of the contending parties 

in the war of the IMahabharata, 47 
kavacha, mail aim our, 236. 
kesabandha, arrangement of hair, 162, 190. 
Kesavasvamm, temple, at Pushpagm, 47. 
ketaki, flower, 93, 97. 
kettle-drum, symbol, in the hand of Sana 

images, 84, 88, 90, 100, 103, 114, 125, 

137^, I4O;/, 148, 151 , of Pratyangira 
1 and Svasthavesml, 213 . (\vilh snake), 
| in the hand of Pidan, 224^. See 
I dhakka. 

\ Ketu (the descending node"), planet, 239. 
| khatvanga, weapon, 267 

Kinnaias, class of demi-gods, 9O;/, 248, 251. 
Kmnarl, a Kinnara female, 90;;, 251. 
Kiratarjuna ot Kiratarjunamurti, form of 

Siva, 140, 141, 143. 

Kiratarjunadeva, s a. Kiratarjunamurti,i43. 
Kiratarjunl}a, Sanskut poem, 143 
Kiratas (hunters), an abonginal tribe, 212, 

kiritamakuta, ciown on the head of 

images, 168, 190, 268. 
Kirti (fame), one of the Sakti goddesses 

of Vishnu, 189. 
kite, banner of Charnunda, 194: 'Vehicle 

of Chandakhanda, 202. 
knife, stuck in the girdle of Kankala, 103 : 

symbol, m the hand of Nandi, 162^ 
kodanda, a bow, 35. 
Kodaada-Rama, epithet of Rama, 35. 
Kodumbalur, village in the Padukkottai 

State, 132. 
Kolar, district, 227 
Kollapura-Mahalakshmi, form of I-akshmi, 

189, 224. 
Kollapurl-amma, s.a. Kollapura-Maha- 

lakshml, 223, 224 

Kolumamma, village deity, 223, 224. 
Komati, caste, ^ a Vaisya, 229 
Konark, village in the JCahnga country, 

Kondavidu, village and hill fortress in the 

Guntur district, 24 
Kongu, country, zu. 
Kora\a, caste, 229 

Kraludhvamsm, epithet of Siva, 155^. 
Krauncha, mountain, 177. 
Krishna, incarnation of Vishnu, 22, 37, 38, 

41, 43, 47, 62, 120, 196: epithet of 

Vishnu, 55 
krishnajina, skin of a black-buck, symbol 

of Vamana, 32. 
Krishna-man dapa, lock-cut pavilion at 

Mahabahpuram, 43. 
Knshnaraya oy Krishnadevaraya, Vija}a- 

nagara king, 26, 38/4-, 88. 
Krishnasvamin, temple near Ilampi, 38^. 
Krita-yuga, name of the fiist Hindu neon, 


Knttikas (Pleiades), the six, 177. 
Kshatriya, caste, 197, 235, 239. 



Kshetrapala, form of Siva, 159, 161, 262^ 

epithet of Vatuka-Bhauava, l6i// 
Kubera, god of \\ealth and regent of the 

north, 38, 248. 
Kuduraivattam-udaiyal, village deit) , 

mentioned in Chola mscuptions, 226. 
Kuja (Mais), planet, 239 
Kukkanur, village in the Nizam's Domi- 
nions, 218. 
kukkuta (cock q v ), symbol, in the hand of 

Skanda, 177, 178, 267. 
Kunka, serpent-chief, 251 
Kulumayamma, s.a Kolumamma, 224. 
Kumara, s.a. Skanda, 74, Saw, 177, 178, 
r 194. 

Kumaiasambhava, Sanskrit poem, 177. 
Kumbakonam, village in the Tanjoie 

district, n, 32, 35;/ s 55, 70, 120, 227, 

kunchita, position of the leg in standing 

images, 100, 150, 251. 
kundika or kamandalu (watei-pot q.v ), 

symbol of a sannyasm, 259 
Ivundodara, demon, 100. 
kunkurnanij red turmeric powdei, 220, 222. 
Kunnakudj, village in the Madura district, 


kurpara, elbow, 114, i62, 267. 
Kurukshetxa, battle-field of the Maha- 

bharata war, 227. 
Kurukulla, goddess, 220 
Kusadvipa, island, 241. 
Kushnianda-Durga, form of Durga, 202. 
kusti, sacred thiead \\orn. lound the vvaist 

by Paisees, 236^ 
kutnara, weapon, in the hand of Aghora- 

murli, 148. 
Kuttisattan, demon, attendant of Aiyanar, 


Laghusyamala, goddess, 220. 
Lakshmana, brother of Rama, 35, 37, 64, 

Lakshml, s a Sri, 17, 22, 50, 52, 107, 

184, 187, 189, 202, 216. 
Lakshmi-Ganapati, form of GanapatI, 173. 
Lakshmt-Narasimha, foim of Narasimha, 

Lakshml-Narayana, form ot sealed Vishnu, 

5 2 - 

LaJita, goddess, 220, 222 
Lalitopakhyana, work quoted in the 

Tattvamdhi, 151, I94, 2i6//. 
lamba-patra, oinament, on the left ear of 

Siva, 76. 
lambita, position of the leg in standing 

images, 190. 
lamp, symbol, in the hand of Trikantaki- 

devl, 213 

Lanka {Ceylon qv) t island, 64*, 66, 223^ 
Lepakshi, village in the Anautapur district, 

lila-murti, a sportive form (of Siva), 89 

Lilasuka, Sanskrit poet, 41. 

Ill} (blue), flower, one of the five arrows of 

Kama, 62 . s>nibol, in the hand of 

Parvati, no, 190. 
lime-fruit, symbol, in the hand of DrrSrn- 

loina, 243 
hnga, s a. Siva-linga, 70, 72, 73, 74, 76* 

77, 93 97, 107, 137, HI, 143. H7, 159, 
165 -worn on the head by Maha- 
Lakshmi, 189: held in the hand by 
Bhutamata, 216 

Linga-Purana, 93. 

Lmgapuranadeva, s.a. Lmgodbhava, 93. 

linga-woiship, 73. 

Lingayata, sect of Saivas, 161, 165, 268;; 

Lingodbhava, form, of Siva, 24, 74, 76;;, 

93> 97 

lion, vehicle of LJudha, 239 ; of Bhuta- 
mata, 216; of Chamunda, 197, 206 ; 
of Chandesa in the Dvapara-yuga, 
161, - of Chandl, 206; of Ueramba- 
Cianapati, 173, 176 ; of Mahishastira- 
mardinl, 206, 211 ; oi Prat) angira, 
21 3; of Rahu, 239; of Skandamata, 
202 , of Sulini, 213 ; of Vmdhya- 
vasinl, 220 banner of Sur>a,236 : 
pedestal (s mhasana (/.^.) 47//', no, 259;^. 

Little Conjeeveram, subuib of Conjee- 
verani, 43. 

Lokamahadevi or Lokamahadeviyar, queen 
of Rajaraja I., 100, 262^. 

Lokapala, form of Brahma, 11 

lotus, the navel of Vishnu, 50/7, 52 : 
one of the five arrows of Kama, 62 : 
sjmbol, 35 ; in the hand of Brahma, 
ii ;- of Garuda, 64?^; ~- of Indra, 241 ; 

of Jyeshtha, 216 ; -- of Kama, 62 ; 
of Maha-Ganapati, 173; -- of Moon, 239; 

of Sudarsana, 66 ; of Sun, 236 , 
of Varuna, 243; of Vishnu, 17, 52 : 
symbol of beauty m the hand of goddess- 
es, 17,*, 143, 173, ibs, 187, ib 9 , 194, 
202, 218, 220, 267 . seat or pedestal, 
" 3 5S 5 76, 79> 89*, 107, 129, 173;;, 

-187, 189, 190, 194, 199, 212, 220, 236, 

2 39> 2 43- Stvpaetwa 

mace, weapon, in the hand of Govinda- 

Bhairava, 151 ; of Nairnta, 243 
Madana-Gopala, foim of Knshna, 43. 
Madhava, i.. Knshna, 41 
Maclhu, demon, 52, 197^. 
Madhukaia, attendant of Surapnya, 212. 
Madhva, sect of Brahmanas, 71. 
Madhvacharya, teacher of the Dvaita 

school of philosophy, 259. 
Madras Museum, 38. 
Madura, country, 229, 230 : Sundaresvara 

temple at, 140^, 262 : town, 173 : 

Virabhaclra temple at, 159 
Madurai-Vlran, attendant of Aiyanar, 212/1?, 

230, 234. 
Magadha, country, 239 



Magas, class of Sun-worshippers, 235. 
Magha, lunai month. (Januaiy-February), 


Magi, Sun-worshippeis of Persia, 235 
Mahabalipuratn ^Mavahvaram), village in. 

the Chmglepul district, 2, 22, 04, 30, 

32, 50, 107, no, 143, 187, 189, 199, 

202, 206, 251 

Maha-Shana\a, epithet of Kshetrapala,i6i 
Mahabhaiata, epic, 22, 37, 47, loo;/, 141, 

14.3, 176, 227, 267". 
]\J aha- Chan da, name of the guardian deity 

in bhunes of Jina, 265. 
Mahadeva, s a. fcava, 147 
Maha-Ganapati, foim of Ganapati, 173, 


Maha-Gauri, form of Durga, 202. 
Mahakailasa, form of Siva, 77. 
Mahakala, form of Siva, 151 epithet of 

Kshetiapala, i6l/' : ~~ Dvarapala at the 

eastern entrance of Si\a temples, 254*1 
Mahakali, s a Ka'I, 197. 
Maha-Lakshmi, foim oi Duiga, 190, 206 , 

oi Lakshml, 189. 
Maha-mandapa, pavilion in a temple, 2, 


niahambuja, form of pedestal, 266 
Mahambuja, serpent chief, 251. 
Maha-Padma, s.<7, Mahambuja, 251 
maha-pftha, foim of pedestal, 76 
Maha-Sadasiva, s.a. Mahakailasa, 77 
Maha-barasvati, an emanation of Gauri, 


Maha-Sabta, s a Ahanar, 229. 
mahavajra, form oi pedestal, 266 
Mahayana, forin of Buddhism, 184. 
Mahendravarman f, Fallava king, 2. 
Mahendrl, one of the Saptamalnkas, 190, 


Mahebv r aia, s a Siva, iin y 194, 236 
Mahesvaras, sect of Saiva devotees, 190. 
Mahesvarl, one of the Saptamatnkas, 190, 


Mahl, s a. Pnthvi, 17, 187. 
Mahishasura, the butialo-demon, 211, 222. 
Mahishasura-mandapa, rock-cut pavilion at 

Mahabahpuiam, 50, 206 
Mahishasuramaidini, goddess, I94, 196, 

197, 202, 206, 226. 
Mahodara, Jagt 1 , ioow. 
makara (crocodile), banner ut Kami, 62. 
makara-kundala, oiaanient, on the n<;ht oar 

of Si\ci, 76 - on the ears of Sun a, 236 
makara- torana, a crocodile aureola, 265 
Malabar, countrv , 2, 22/1?, 32, 230, 234. 
Mallamina, village deity, 224. 
man, \t-hicle ofKubera, 248 of Nainita, 

243-, nieasnrmg icd, symbol of 

\ ib \akar in a, lit! 
raanas (woildly wisdom), peisumhed as 

Ganapati, 173, 
Wanasa, goddess, 212, 
Manasara, work on Arts, 10, 17, 47 , 187, 

190, 251. 

I mandapa, an open hall 01 pavilion of a 
j temple, 3, 22, 8g, 162^, 19;, 
i Mandaia, mountain, 140 

mandaia, one of the five celestial trees, 151. 
! mango, flower, one of the five arrows of 
| Kama, 62 fruit, symbol in the hand of 

SkancU, no 

1 Mamkkavasagar (Mamkyavachaka), Sana 
j saint, 89, 259^, 262. 

Manmatha, s a Kama, 62 
I Mannadiyat, Dvarapala images in Pulan 

temples, 224,*. 

1 ManoiimanI, the Sakti (goddess) ofManon- 
! mana (Siva\ igo*z. 
I Mantra, portion of the Rig-Veda te\t, 

Manus, the two, sons uf Surya, 236 : the 
fuuiteen, 262 

Mara, s a Kama, 2I2//. 

maranl, attribute ot Kama's arrow, 62 

Alargali, solar month (Desembei-Januaiy), 

maigosa, tiee, its leaves used in deco- 
rating the AayaijaM-pul, 227 . - Naga- 
btones set up under it, 248. 

Marika, f a. SitaUdevi, 224. 

Mamamma, do , 213, 223, 224 

Maikandev a, sage, devotee of Siva, 132, 


Markandcva-Purana, 197 
M iruts, the seven (or foity-mne), 262 
Matangirala (Matangi), epithet of Parvatl, 


maLha, the seat of a pontiil, 265 
Matsva-Purana, 236. 
Manna, dynasty, i68w. 
Mavamata, work on A.rt^, 26, 5O//, 62, /3//, 

76, b2;/, 84w, lOCw, 103, 107, 114, 

147, 194, 202, 243;;, 266 
Mayiiiabhanja, Survey of (Nagendu Nalh.i 

Vasu), quoted^ lov/, 52^, 77, 97w, i6i, 

168/1?, 184^, 185, 187^, 194*, 2I2, 

213^, 22O//, 223. 

Menaka, mother of PaivatJ, 707. 

Meru, mountain, 236, 239 : used as bov\ 

by Triptirantaka, 140. 
Meypporul-Na>anar, Saiva saint, 262^. 
minor, symbol of beauty m the hand of 

goddesses, 220, 267. 
Mlechchhas, foreigners, 47 
\tohmi, female form of Vishnu, IO;/, roo, 

Moon, planet, 32, 73, 82, 239, 251 . re- 

piesented by a crescent, 113 : - used as 

wheel to his chariot by Tripurantaka, 

140 : one ot the three eyes of Siva, 76., Ransknt drama, 178. 
MritasanjUnni, medical herb, 259^. 
Mudbidn, village m the South Caimr.i 

distiict, 265. 
Mudgtda'Purana, work quoted m the 

Tattvamdhi, 173, 176. 
Mudigondam, village in the Coimbatore 

district, 155 



Muhammaclan comerts (of the Ceded 

districts), devoted to Ilanuuian, 66. 
Mukambika, epithet of Vmdhyavasml, 220 
Mukhahnga, form, ot Siva, y6w 
Mukha-mandapa, pa\ihon in a temple, 2 
Mula-Dinga, form ot Durga, 199 
mulani, linear measure, 82-7. 
Mulasthana, shrme, in the JSTataraja temple 

at Chidamlmam, 76 
Mundan, demon, attendant of Aryanar, 

Mumsvara, 230 

Mmalidhaia, s.a* Venu-Gopala, 41. 
Muruga, Tam.l name of Subrahmanya, 178. 
Musalagan, Tamil name of Apasmata, 79, 

90^, 132, 147. 

Mutyalamma, village deity, 223, 224. 
Mysoie, countiy, 32, 187, 206, 227. 


Nagemata (mother of serpents), goddess, 


Nagas (serpents), class of demi-gods, 64^, 

227, 248, 251 
Nagemhas, gioup of demi-gods of Jama 

m}thology, 265. 

Nagesvara, temple, at Kumbakonam, 120. 
Nairula, god, legent of the south-west, 

197^, 243.^ 

naivedxam, food otfered to a god, 7. 
Nalayiraprabandham, collection of Vaish- 

nava Tamil hymns, 72, 262 
Nallur, \ilfage m the Tanjore distnct, 254//. 
Namakkal, lock-cut temples at, 20//, 30^, 

32^, 125. 
namam, \einacular term for urdhva- 

pundra (q V ), 3, 259 

Nambi-Amranai, s.a. Sundaiamuiti, 2.62/j. 
Nandanar, Paiiah saint, 89 
Nandi, Nandisa or Nandikes\ara bull, 2, 3. 

devotee and attendant of Sna, $2K, 

84, 88, 161, 162, 165 Dvarapalaat the 

eastern entiance of Siva temples, 254//. 
Nandi-mandapa, pavilion, in the Srisaiiam 

temple, i6i. 
Nangai-Paiavaiyar, wife of Sundarauiurti, 


Nara, epithet of Arjuna, 47 
Naiada, sage, 38, S^n, 90, 97, 113, 254, 265 
Narasa, contiacted form of Narasimha, 

Narasimha, the Man-Lion incarnation oi 

Vishnu, 22, 24, 26, 30, 148, 190;? -- 

epuhetl of Vishnu, 55 variety of 

Sahgiaina, 70 

Naiasimh, one of the Sapt.inicitrikas, lyo// 
Narayana, sa Vishnu, 47,12^; iccog- 

ni/ed in the orb of Surya, 236 
Nasatya, one of the Asvins, 259^ 
Nataraja, the dancing Jorui of Si\a, 74, 

76^, 77, 79, 82, t$4w, 88, 89, 137, 230;^, 

266, 267, 268 

Na\agrahas, the nine Planets, 74, 235. 
Navanlta-Ganapati, form of Ganapati, 

navanlta-mitta, the buttei-dauce of 

Krishna, 3871 

Xa\anar, epithet ol ban a saints, 259 
Negapa',am, \illage in the Tanjore disliict, 


Nepal, (Janesa temple ia, 168/2 

Neialamma, village deity, 224 

Nuldesa, Buddhist work. 248 w 

nidhi (treasure), s\ inbol, in the hand of 
Sukia, 239 

Niladexi, goddess, consort of Vishnu, ijn 

Nilaguuda, village iulieli?ry distnct, 52;? 

Mlakautha, fuim of Siva, 137 

Nirtiti, epithet of Jjestha, 2i6//. 

Nnukta, commentan on the Mantia por- 
tionofthe Rig-Veda, 37// 

Nisumbha, demon, 222 

Nn>aUuinaclevatas, gioup oL goddesses 
attending on Lalit.1, 2I5/; 

noese d>d\i7 01 ?tagapa\a}, weapon, in the 
hand ol A^horaniurli, 148; of Anna- 
puma, 218 ; - of liala-Sakli, 222 , of 
Lhaiiavj, 151 , of Chainimda, Dnrgcl, 
Mahishasiuamardim .uul M aha- Lai slmil- 
H)4, 206, 211 , of Chandcsa in the 
Dvapara yuga, 161 , of (iaj.ihamliti, 
125, ut Ganapah, 168 , --of kala 
O ama\ 137, 243 ; ol Ivala (seivant 
of ^ ama>, 243; of Lakshnu, 189 . 
of Lalna, Tnpurasundari and Kajaiajes- 
varj, 220 , - ot Maha-Ganapati, 173 , 
of ^Iahal^a^a, 151 ; -of Mahendri, 104. 
of Nalaraja, (in Kahka-latula\a\ 84, 
(in bamliaia-tandava), 88 , -of Panatl, 
190 ; - of I'i.itjani>ira, 213 , of Saras- 
vatl, 185 , ol Skanda, 177, 178 ; of 
Sudaisana, 66 ; - of Siihm, 213 , - of 
Vajiapiast.Irim, 2 1 an ; ol Varuna, 243 

Nnsimhii, *.<r Narasimha, 24, 66, 70. 

Nnsimh.ipifisada, work ([uotc'd in the Tatt- 
vanidlu, 10, 2cz 

Nukalanima, village deit} , 224 

Ochchans, class uf Sakta piiesls, 226. 
Gin, the sacred mystic syllable of the 

Hindus, 220. 

Onam, harvest fi-stual in Malabai, 35. 
owl, vehicle ol jMaluikali, 107. 

< Padalammn, village deity, 224. 

paddle of ^enis, symbol, 111 the hand of 

KiuukulUl, 220. 

1 |>adma (lotus t / 7>, ), symbol of Vishnu, 55 
Padma, v a Abja, serpent-chief, 25 r. 
Padmauabha, form of recluung Vishnu, 50 

-epithet of Vihnu, "55. 
Padnwniclhi (treasuie)j attendant cf 

Jkubeia, 248. 

1 paclma-puha, the lotus pedastal, 155, 266. 
i Padipa-Puiana, 51, 189. 
. padmasaua, posture in sitting, 259, 21*5, 
1 266. 



Padmottarakhanda, quoted, 2.1611 \ 
Paidamma, village deity, 224, 
Paithan, country of, 239. 
Palam-Andavar, name of Skanda on the 

Palm Hill, 177^ 

Pallava, dynasty, I, 2, 43, 73, 88, 107 
Pall is, class of Sudias, 227 
Palligondan, Tamil name for the lee lining 

form of Vishnu, 50 
Palni (Palms), hill and village m the 

Madura district, 177/7, 178. 
Panchadehamurti, image of Siva with 

five bodies, 77. 
Panchanuikhalmga, the Siva-linga \vith 

five fences, 77 
Panchamukha-Vmayaka, s.a. (?) Heramba- 

Ganapati, 176. 

Panchanadesvara,temple,at Tnuvadi, 159^ 
Panchaparameshthms, group of images 

worshipped by the Jamas, 265, 
Pancharatragama, woik quoted in the 

Tattvanidhi, 17^, 26, 32;;, 43, 55, 151, 

*55> 185 
Panchavaktia-Bhairava, form of Bhaira"va, 

Panda vas, one of the contending parties 

in the war of the Mahabharata, 47, 227 
Panduranga, foirn of standing Vishnu at 

Panclharpur, 55 
Pcindurangashtaka, Sanskrit poem by San- 

karacharya, 55. 
Pandya, counti>, 2;;, 229. 
pamvattam, vernacular name for the 

pedestal of a Siva-linga, 73. 
Paradesamma, village deity, 224. 
Paramesvararnangalam, village in the 

Chmgleput district, 190 
Parantaka I, Chola king, 88 
Parasurama, incarnation of Vishnu, 22 
Parasuramesvara, temples of Siva called 

after Parasurama, 22^. 
parijata flower, 220. 
Panvaralayattu-Pillaiyar, Ganapati linage 

mentioned in the Tanjore inscriptions, 

parrot, \ehicle of Kama, 62 symbol of 

beauty in the hand of Durga, 199, 202, 

267 . (foui), yoked to the chariot of 

Agm, 243. 
Paisees, 236^ 

Partha, epithet of Arjuna, 47 
Paithasarathi, epithet of Krishna, 47. 
Parvati, consort of Siva, 74, 76, 79, 82//, 84, 

90, 103, 107, no, 113, 120, 141, 143, 147, 

i62//, 165, 184, 190, 196, 197^, 202, 

212/1, 224. 

Pasupata, sect of Saivas, 148, 161. 
Pasupata, weapon, presented by Sha to 

Arjuna, 141, 143 

Pasupatamurti, form of Siva, 148, 268. 
pataha, kind of drum, 82//. 
Patanjali, sage (with serpent boniy), 82, 84^, 

88 author of the Mahabhashya, 178. 
Pattalammaj village deity, 224. 
Pattmi, name of Kannagi m Ceylon, 229 

Pava.daiia\an, general of Aiyanar, 236. 

peacock, vehicle of Kaumarl, 194 f o f 
Skanda, 177, 178 : its featheis, orna- 
ment on the head of Krishna,^, 43 // ; 
of Nataraja, 79, 268 ; of Tvanta, 212 
- s> mbol, in the hand of Bhikshatana and 
Kankala, Too, 103 , of Nataiaja, 84; 
of Skanda, 177 . ~ accompaniment of 
Dakshmamurti, 90;^. 

Pechi, \illage; deit} , 224 

Peddintamma, do , 224 

Perantalamma, do. 229, 

Periya-Peiuniat, epithet of .Rajaraja I, 


Periyaj^uranam, Tamil work, 147, r6i, 162, 


Persia, 235. 

Pernnjmgadeva, Pallava king, 88. 
Periar, village in the Coimbatore chstuci, 

100, 125. 
pestle (mittala), weapon, in the hand of 

Chamimda,l94; - of Ileramba-Ganapati, 

173 ; -- of Sudaisana, 66. 
phalapatta, ornament on the forehead of 

Parvati, 190. 
phallic cult, 72 
Pichchanclar, Tamil name for Bhikshatana , 


Pida.ii, Tamil name foi a \illage goddess, 
196, 211, 216, 224, 226 

piercing (with metallic wire), ceiemony 
observed in temples of village deities, 

Pillaiyar, Tamil name for Ganapati, 176 

pipal, tree, 4772 . abode ol Bhutaniata, 
216 ; of Jyeshtha, 21611 : sacred to the 
goddess Va'bhnavi, 196 : Naga stones 
set up under it, 248 : its marnage 
with vtargosa, 248. 

Pisachas( devils), class of goblins, 148, 230. 

plthapadma, form of pedestal, 266. 

pithas, pedestals, 266 : mystic gcometu- 
cal figures connected with Sakti worship, 
185, 220. 

Pitudrohm, epithet of Chanclesa, 162. 

Planets, the nine, 70, 235, 236, 239, 241, 

plough, symbol, m the hand of Ealarama, 
37// ; of Skanda, 177, 178 ; of Sudar- 
sana, 66. _ 

Poduvagai-Urudaiyal, village deity, men- 
tioned in Chdla insci iptions, 220. 

Poieramma, village deity, j a. Sitala, 224, 

Ponnamma, village deity, 223, 224. 

pot, -of lire, symbol, in the hand of Nata- 
raja, 77, 84, 88; -of Dakshmamurti, 90 
of flesh, in the hand of Sivaduti, 216 - of 
gems, in the hand of Saubhagyabhu vanes - 
varl, 218 . - of ghee, in the hand of Agm, 
243; of Brahma, n: - of nectar, in the 
hand of Dhanvantan, 259 , of Ciaja- 
LakbhmJ, 187, of Garuda, 64*1 . 
of rubies, in the hand of Maha-Gana- 
pati, 173. of treasures, seen below 



the feet of Pnthvi, 187 : of wine, in the | 
hand of Kushmanda-Duiga, 202; of 
Surapnya, 212 See cup and vessel. 
piabha or prabhi-niandala, arch of light, 

79, 155- 
Prachanda, name of Chandesa in Ivrita- 

yuga, 161 , of a Dvarapala image, 251. 
Pradeshamurti, s. a. Chandiasekhara, 114. 
Pradyumna, epithet of Kamadeva, 62 

form of standing Vishnu, 52//, 55, 62 . 

variety of Saligiama, 70 
Prahlada, demon, devotee of Vishnu, 26 
Piajapati or Prajapati-Brahma, form of 

Biahma, ir 

Prajapatis, the nine, 262. 
prakara, the wall surrounding a temple, 3, 

35, 185^. 

prana, vital breath, 213. 
pranapratishtha, ceremony of infusing 

prana into an image, 213^. 
J ranasakti, goddess, 212, 213,7. 
Piatyangira, do 213. 
Prayogaratna, work quoted in the Tattva- 

nidhi, 236^, 266//. 
Pra>ogasara, name of a work, 161. 
preta, a ghost, 148 
Pnthvi, s.a Bhu, 17, 52, 187 
Priti (pleasure), consort of Kama, 62 : 

one of the Sakti goddesses of Vishnu, 

prokshanl (sprinkler), symbol, in the hand 

of Agm, 243. 
protecting pose of hand in images, 17, 5 2// > 

'120, 173, 187, 218, 241 See abhaya 
Pudding, symbol, in the hand of Ganapati, 

168, 173- 

Pudgalai, wife of Aiyanar, 2I2;/, 230. 
puja, worship, 226, 229. 
Pulmdas, an aboriginal tribe, 223. 
Pullagunta, village in the Guntur distiict, 

Pung (,i,e , l j unganur)-amma, village deity, 

punnai-tree, piocessional vehicle used in 
Vishnu temples, 47 : grove of, 226 

Punnaitturamangai, village deity, mentioned 
in Chola inscriptions, 226. 

Puranai, wife of Aiyanar, 212, 23O;/. 

Puranas, the eighteen, 7, 79, 177, 196, 224, 
254, 262. 

Puranic, It, 55, 129, 132, 137, 140 

Purari, s.a. Tnpurantaka, 76*?. 

Pun-Jagannath, temple at, 37/7 

purnapatra (vessel full of water), symbol of 
Agni, 243 

PGrnasva, female deity attending on Sura- 
pnya, 212. 

Pushkala, do. 212. 

Pushpagin, village m the Cuddapah 
district, 47, 143 

Pushpaka, the serial car of Kubera, 37. 

Pushti (strength), one of the Sakti god- 
desses of Vishnu, 189. 

quadrangle (i e., quadiangular fire-pit), the 
residence of Agm, 243 

Radha, cowheid girl of Bnndavana, a 

favourite of Krishna, 41. 
Radha-Kushna, form of Krishna, 41. 
Rahu (the ascending node), planet, 239. 
RaiUiur, Siva temple at, 77//. 
Rajadhiraja 1 , Chola king, 254. 
Rajamatangi, goddess, 220 
Rajaraja I.,, Chola king, 77, S8//, loo, 114.11, 

147, 165, 176, 226, 229, 262^, 268. 
Rajarajesvara, s.a Bnhadisvara, 77, 88;^. 
Rajarajesxari, goddess, 220 
rajas 07-rajasic form, of Viiaphadra, 159 , 

of Kshetrapala, 159. 
Rajni, consort of Surya, 236 
rajopachara, form of ritual, 3 
Rakshasas, class of demi-gods, 243, 251 

subdued by Rama, 37. 
Raksh5ghnamurti, form of Siva, 148 
Rakta-Jyeshtha, form of Jyeshtha, 216 
ram, vehicle, of Mars, 239 of Agm, 243 
Rama, incarnation of Vishnu, 22, 35, 37//, 
04, 266;^ king of Ayodhya^ 35, 37, 
66 - the axe-beaier (Parasuxama), 22//. 
Ramachandra or Ramabhadra, s.a. Rania, 

RamcUiujacharya, teacher of the Visishtad- 

vaita school of philosophy, 259 
Ramasvamm, temple, at Kumbakonam, 32, 

35", 55 

Ramayana, ei>ic, 22, 35, 37//, gou, 129, 224^ 
Raniesvaram, island, 35, 64^, 230, 251. 
ranga, an assembly-hall, 50^. 
Ranganatha, form of reclining Vishnu, 50. 
tat, vehicle of Ganapati, 168, 173. 
rathas, monolithic monuments at Maha- 

balipuram, 2. 

Rati (love), consort of Kama, 62 
Ratnasabhapati, the pebble Siva-JzV/^ 

worshipped in the temple of Nataiaja at 

Chidambaram, 76. 
Raudri, theSakti-(goddess) of Rudra(Siva), 

lavi-mandala, aureola behind the images 

of Nataraja, 79/7 
Reddi, dynasty, 24. 
Rcvanta, son of Surya, 236. 
Riddhi, consort of Kubera, 248. 
Rik or Rig- Veda, ^7^, 97, 220. 
Rishabhavahana, s.a. Viishavabana, 113 
rishi, a sage, 52/2, 79//, 90;;, TOO;/, 132, 

i rock-cut temples, 2//, 30;^. 

j rosary {dkshamala)^ symbol, in the hand, 

of Agh5ramurti, 148 ; of Bala-Sakti, 

222; of Brahma, 10, ] I, 103, 113 ; 

j of Brahmacharm!,2O2; of Bnhaspati, 

I 2 39 J of Bhrmgi, i65; of Dakshma- 

I mvirti, 90, 93; of Ganapati, 168, 



(Heramba-Ganapati) 173 ; of Ganga- 
dhara, 132 ; --of Hayagilva, 55 ; of 
Lakshnii, 189 ; of JL J ar\ati, 190 ; of 
Pasupatamurii, 148 ; of nshi images, 
254.; of Sarasvatl, 185, ot Skanda, 
177 ; of Sukra, 239 ; of Agm and 
Yaxna, 243. 

JRudra or Rudramurti, geneiai form of 
Sua images, 76, 77, 114, 155, 2i8//, 223^, 

rudiaksha-beads, 259 

Rudra}ama]a Tantra, \\uik quoted in the 
Tatt\anidhi, I55//. 

Rukmmi, consort of Krishna, 43. 

Sabaias, an aboiigmal tribe, 223. 
Sabda-Biahma, the loge*, 187. 
Sabha-mandapa, pavilion in Siva temples, 

Sabhapati, epithet of Nataraja, 74, 77, 79, 


Sachi, consort of India, 241. 
sacrifices of animals, connected with teir- 

pie-, of village deities, 226, 227 
Sadasr/a, form of Sra, j6?t 
Sa>aia, mythical king of the Solar iace, 

Sahasiaksha (the thuusantl-e) ed), epithet 

of India, 241 

Sahasra hnga, loim of Siva-hnga, 74. 
Sailapatrl, lorm of Durga, 202, 
Sana, sect, 3, 62, 89, no, 155, 159^, 161, 

162, 165, 178, 183, 206, 2^4, 259, 262 . 

sanies, 74, 262 : Puianas 73 , 
Uvarapalas, 254. 

Sarsagama, \voik quoted m the Taltvamdhi, 


Saivism, 73. 

Saivite, 183, 185, 190, 206, 211, 218, 223. 
Sakta, cieed, 120, 176, 184, 226. 
Sakti (power), consoit of Kama, 62. 
Sakti, pumeval energy deified, 70, no;/, 

120, 184, 185, 189, 190, 206, 212, 22O, 
227//, 239. 

sakti, weapon, in the hand of Chancbka, 197; 

of Mais 23 g; -of Skanda, 177, 178 
Sakti-Ganapati, lorm ot Ganapati, 176 
Sakja, iace, 73, 

Saligrama siones, 70, 71, 72. 
Saluvaukupipam, \illage in the ChmG;lepul 

disrrict, 107. 
sama-bhanga, medium bend of body m 

images, 103, 129, 162, 168, 266 
Saman or Savna-Veda, 220. 
Samanya-Lakshml, iorm of Lakshmi, 187. 
samapada or samapadasthanaka, standing 

pos>tiue in images, 114, 159, -z(>6 
Samayapmam, village in the Triohiuopoty 

district, 178. 
Sambhu, i a. Siva, 107. 
Samhara-Bhairava, form of Bhairava, 151. 
Samhara-tandava, variety of Nataiaja's 

dance-, 84 

j Sanaischara, s a. Sam, 239 

i Sanaka, sage, 107 

, ^anandana, do , 107 

' Saudh\ a-tanda\a, \anet\ ol Natdraid's 

dance, 84 
Sandhyavandana, the clail> pra\ ei of the 

Bi aluminas, 55 

i Sam (Saturn), planet, son of Surya, 230 
i sanjali-mudra 3 the \\ orshipping posture of 

hands, 259. 

Sankara, s a Siva, 125, 

Sankaia or Saiikji ^haiNa, teacher of the 
j Ad\aita st hool of philosophy, 1^5, 162, 

! ^ 259. 

| Sankaram, \illage m the \- i/agapatain 

! distnct, zn 

| Sank aranarJA ana, .a Ilanhara, 12^. 

! Sankarana}anaiko>il, village in the'Tmne- 

i vell> district, 125 

j Sankaishana, form of standing Vishnu, 5 2//, 

sankha (cunch t/ ?> ), ssmbol of Vishnu, 26, 

3S//, 55, 21 1. 

Sankhadhaia, serpent-cluef, 251 
irankhanulhi (treasure), attendant of 

Ixvtbeia 248 

Sankh}a, s} stem of philosophy, 254 
sannjasin, an ascetic, 259. 
Saniana-Gannpati, foim of Gauapati, ij6>t 
Santana-Gopala, form of Krishna, 37, 38^ 
vSanti (peace), one of the Sakti goddesses 

of Vishnu, 189. 
SaptamatHkas, gioup of goddesses, 190, 

194, 196, 229 
Sarabh i a? SaiabhamuiLi, form of Su a, 

147, MS. 
S.Ira da, form of Sarasv.iti, the presiding 

deitx of ihc 64 sciences, 187 
Saiadaulaka, \voik < (noted in the TatUa- 

mdhi, 173^. 
Saiasvati, goddess ot Learning or Speech, 

consort of Brahma, n, 82//, 184, 185, 

187 . - one of the Sakti goddesses of 

Vishnu, 189 : piesiding deity of evening 

pra>ers, 220 

saia-\ana, lorcst of i^^-giass, 177. 
Saravauan, Tamil name lor Saravanod- 

bha\a, 2i8//. 
Saia\anan ko\il, the correct form of Sra- 

nianan-ko\il at Anamalai, 2i8// 
j Saravanodbhava, epitlnct of Skanda, #i/t. 
' Sata\u, river, 35. 
' Sanabhutadamanl, the JSakti (goddess) of 

Saivabhutadaaiana (Siva), Too// 
sarvamohini, attribute' ol Kama's ariow, 62. 
Satii, v a Uma, I55 % 

sati (suttee), worship of, 229, 230 
I Satrnghn i, brother ol Rama, 37 
Satravidluamsml, goddess (represented 

naked), 213, 

Sattan, demon, attendant of Aivanar, 230. 
satt\a or satUio form, of Vliabhadra, 159 ; 
i of K&hetrapala, 150. 
I Saturday, auspicious for touching he 

pj pal-tree, 216/2, 


Satya (Satyabhama), consort of Krishna, 43, 
Saubhagyabhuvanesvari, goddess, 218. 
Saubhlgya-Vaglsvail, form of Vaglsvari, 


saumyaka, form of pedestal, 266. 
Saunaka, sage, 90 
Saura-Samhita, name of a Sanskrit work, 


Saurashtra, countiy, 239 | 

Savitrl, goddess, consort of Brahma, II ' 

presiding deity of mid-da} prayers, 

218. wife of Agni, 243. j 

scar, symbol, on the neck of Siva, 76, 77. i 

sciences, the sixty-four (chatushshashti- 

kala q.v ), 262. 
Scythian, 212. 

Sellandiyamma, village deity, 224. 
Sellijamma, village deity, s a Sitala 

224 : temple at Alambakkani, 196 
^eipent, identified with Subrahmanya 
(Skanda), 177 . symbol or ornament, of 
Saiva images, 79, 84, 90, 103, no, 125, 
132, 148, 151, 168, 194, 192, 202, 212, 
267 : in the hand of Piclaii, 224;; , 
of Varuna, 243. 

Sesha, serpent, 22, 24, 62", 251 
Seshasaila, ^ a. Tirupati Hill, 62?;. 
Seshasaym, 5 a Anantasaym, 50. 
Seven Mothers (Saptamatnkas </.?'.), 82", 

190, 194. 
Seven Pagodas, i a. Mahabahpuram, 2, 

Ii 43 

Seven Sisters, s.a. Saptamatukas, 229 
Shadanana, epithet of Skanda, 177, 178 
Shanmatura, fifo., 177. 
shabhthi, the si^th day of a lunai month, 

sacred to Subrahmanya and the serpent, 

shalkona, a hexagon, connected with 

images ot Sudaisana, 66. 
shield (kh&id}) weapon, in the hand of 

Bhutamata, 216 of Budha, 239 ; of 

Chamunda, Dnrga, Mahishasuramar- 

dini and Maha-Lakshmi, 194, 199, 206; 

of Gajahamurti, 125 ; of Kala- 
gni-Rudra, 155- - of Maha-Lakshmi and 
Kollapnra-Mahalakshmi, 189 ; of 
NairriU, 243 ; of Pratyangira, 213" ; 
of Raha, 239, of Skanda, 177,178 ; 
of Sudarsana, 66 of Vishnu, I7//, 30 j 

of Virabhadra, 159. 
Shodasabhuja- Durga, form of Durga, 2-^2. 
Shoie Temple, Pal lava structuie at Maha- 

balipuram, 2, 107, 

siddhasana, Bitting posture m 
images, 265 

Siddhi, female deity, connected with ima- 
ges of Lakshmi-Narayana, 52 

Sicklhidaymi, foim of Duigi, 202 

sidi-swinging, ceremony observed in tem- 
ples of village deities, 226. 

Silappadisjaram, Tamil poem, 229. 

Silpa or Silpa-Sastra, science of Arts and 
Professions, i } 103??, 265 

Silparatna, work on Arts, 37^, 64^, 73 n 


74"j 79" 4"> 10/5 H3"j 129^, 155, 
173", 1 76> X 99) 2I2JB 

Silpasangraha, work on Arts, 35? 4>"> 5 2f *> 
64^?, 84", 90", 107, 129", I 37 j ' / > J 59> 
!77> r 94> 251, 266. 

Silpasaia, dos, n//, 41, 43, 55, 66, 
76;/, 148, 151, l6i", 173, 177, 187, 
189, 196, 220, 222, 223", 24!, 254// 
Snuhachalam, hill and village in the 

Vuagapatam district, 26 
simhakarna, pose of fingers, 103, iro//, 

140, 267 

Simhamukhasma, demon, 199^ 
simhasana (lion-seat), pedestal, of Jama 

saints, 265 
Simhavarman, king, connected \Mth the 

history of Chidambaiani, 88. 
Smdhu, country, 239 
Singa or Sm^a-Perumal, Tamil name foi 

Narasmiha, 24, 
Sualadexai, Saiva saint, son of Snuttonda- 

Nayanar, 262^ 
sirovartana, the top pait of n Si\a-linua, 

Sirutlonda-Najanar 09 Siruttonda-Nambi, 

Saiva saint, 159^, 262" 
Sita, consort of Rama, 35, 37, 64, 224" 
Sitala or Sitaladevi, village deity, god- 
dess ofsmall-po\, 213, 224. 
Sitlarnui, village in the South Arcot 

distnct, 265. 

Siva, god, the Destroyer, 2, 3, 10, 22", 24, 
26, 32, 50, 52, 62, 70, 72, 73, 74, 
76, 77, 79. 82, 84, 88, 89, 90, 93, 97, 
100, 103, 107. no, 113, 114, 120, 125, 
129, 132, 137, 140, 141, 143, 147, 148, 
I 5i 155* I59> 161, 1^2, 165, 168, 177, 
183, 184, 185, 190, 194, 196, 197, 

2Q2i 211, 212, 224, 226, 227/7, 229, 230, 

235, 236, 243", 2 54> 259, 267, 268 ; 
regent of the north-east quarter, 248 
, SivadutI, goddess, 216. 
I Siva-linga, phallic symbol of Siva, 22^, 
1 64", 72, 93, 107, 137, 185", 190. 

Sivapadasekhara, title of Rajaraja, T , 88^. 
Sivarahasya, chapter of Siuia-Samhita, 

Sivaratn, festival, Q7 

Sivaratri, s.a jVIab.ak.ali, 197. 
I SivataLUaratnakara, \vork quoted in the 
! Tattva.nidhi, 151. 

I Skanda, god, son of Si\a, 74, 82?*, 84, 107, 
! 1 10, 113, 1 29, 147, 177, 178, 218" 
i 267 . name of the Dvarapala at the 
I \\estern entrance of Siva temples, 254^ 
\ Skandamaia, form of Durga , 202 
j Skanda. Purana, 72, 77. 
j Skandashashthi, < a Manasa, 212. 
1 Skanda-Yamala, woik quoted in the 
Karanagama, 202 

skull, garland of, found on Saiva images^ 

76;*, 77, 151, 155, I59> 213, 216: 

I symbol, in the hand of Saiva images 

1 84, 88, 125, 137, 148, 151, 159, 194, 

I I97> 199^ > of Pranasakti, 212 , of 



Vajiaprastarmi, 212.11 ; -- of Ugra-Taia, 
Dhumravati, and Pratyangira, 213 
(of Brahma), symbol, in. the hand 
of SIVA, 97, 100 j of Pidari, 224* 

slashing at the breast \vith s\\ords, cere- 
mony observed in temples of village 
deities, 226 

Srnarta, peitaimng to the Smutis, 241 

smoke, banner of Agni, 243. 

Somalamma, village deity, 224. 

Somaskaada, form of Siva, 74, 76, 107, no, 

South Arcot, district, Gazetteer, quoted,, 
230 Jama temples in, 262. 

South Canara, district, 234 Jama tem- 
ples in, 262 

South-Indian Bronzes (Gangoly), quoted, 

South-Indian Inscriptions (S /./.)) quoted, 
tow, 79^, 82;^, gox, H3, 147 //, 173^, 
199^, 2i5, 224;*, 229^, 262;/. 

sow, vehicle of Varahl, 194^. 

spear, fKed in ground to lepresent a 
village goddess, 223 . weapon, in the 
hand of Chamunda, 194 , of Sudar- 
sana, 66 : sjmbol of Karuppannasami, 
230 . thrust into the body in observance 
of avow, 227. 

spoon, symbol, in the han.l of Annapmna, 
218 , of Tulaja-BhavanI, 220. 

Srarnaiia, a Jama or a Buddhist, 2i8. 

Sramanan-koyil, rock-cut shrine at Ana- 
malai, 2i8. 

Srauta, pertaining to the Srutit,, 241. 

Sravana-Belgola, village in the Mysoie 
State, 265. 

Sri, goddess of Wealth, consent of Vishnu, 

17, 22, 22, 184, 187, 189. 

Sribah, sacrificial food offered m temples to 

appease minoi deities, 3, 100, 161 
SrI-chakra, mystic diagram connected with 

the worship of the goddess Lalita, 222 
srik, the sacrificial ladle, symbol of Agni, 

2 43 5 of Brahma, 10, 107. 
srikamya, form of pedestal, 266. 
Srikantha, s.a Niiakantha, 76;;, 137, 140^. 
siikara, foim of pedestal, 266. 
srlkSyil, Tamil name (in inscriptions) for 

orthodox temples as distinguished from 

shrines of village deities, 226. 
Srimushnam, village in the South Arcot 

distuct, 24, 199, 202. 
Srl-Narayana, variety of Saligrama, 70 
Sringen-matha (m Mysore State), pontifical 

seat of Sankaracharya, 187 
Srlmvasa, s a. Venkatesa, 62. 

sriphala (d5/-fniit), symbol, in the hand of 
Maha-Lakshml, 189 ; of Durga, 199. 

Sri-Rajaraja, title of Rajaraja I., 8S 

Srirangam, island, 50. 

Srlsailam HilF, in the Kurnool district, i6in. 

Srlsukta, Vedic piayer devoted to Sri, 189. 

Sri-Vaishnava, sect of Brahmanas, 62, 66, 
71, 168, 259, 262. 

Silvatsa, auspicious mark on the breast of 

Vishnu, 17, 125 ; -- of Jama images, 265 
Srlv i dyadevl, goddess, 212. 
sun a, the sacrificial spoon, symbol of 

Agni, 243 ; - of Brahma,, 10, 107. 

start, symbol, m the hand of Ardhanan (at 

Tiruchchengddu), 120 ; of Bhrmgi, 

165^ ; of Chamunda, 194 j of rishi- 

images, 254 , -- of Skanda, 177 , of 

Sukra, 239 ; of the son of h eshtha, 

216; of Vagi&vdil, 185 , -- of Vamana, 

32 , of Varahl, 194* , of Varna, 

2 43 J of Madhvacharya, 259 , of 

JSankaracharya, 259 , of Surapnya, 212. 

stupa, a Buddhist relic monument, 2v, 7.5. 

stupi, crest, iin. 

Subba or Subbaw>a, s a. Subrahmanya, 


Subhadra, name of a Dvarapala image, 251. 
i Subhadra, sister of Krishna, 37;; 
J Subrahmanya, epithet of Skanda, 177, 178, 
I 218/7. 

! SubiahmanyAwamm, (roch-cut) temple, at 
I Tiruppaiangunram, 216 

suchi, pose of fingers, 129, 137/2, 216, 267. 
Sndarsana, the disc of Vishnu, peisom- 

fied, 66, 70. 

Sucklha-Varahi, form of Varahi, 19477. 
sudha, part of a chariot, 141 
Sudhamalmi, epithet of Varuni, 220. 
Sudra, caste, 199, 226, 229, 239, 241. 
Sudiaka, king, authoi of MnchchhakatiUa 


sugar-cane, bow of Kama, 62 , of Lalita, 

Tripurasundarl and Rajarajesvarl, 220 ; 

of Maha-Ganapau, 173 ; of Vajra- 

j^rastarml, 212;^. 

Sukhasana, foim of Siva, 76^, no . 

posture in sitting, 107, 147, 266. 
Sukra (Venus), planet, 239. 
Sukranltisara, Sanskrit work, tjttoted> i, 

Sulinl, goddess, 213, 227. 

Suinbha, demon, enemy o( Maha-Sarasvati, 
2.06/1 ; --of Lalita, 222. 

Sun (Surya, qv.}, chief of planets, ion, 
1 1", 32. 73>S2, 235,236,239, 241, 251 
represented by a circulai disc, 113 : 
used as wheel to his chariot by Tnpuran- 
taka, 140 father of Saturn, 239 . 
one of the three tyei* of Siva, 76. 

Sundaramurti, Saiva saint, 259^, 262-v 

Sundarar, s.a. Sundaramurti, 259 

Sura (wine), goddess, 212 

Surapnya, goddess, 212 

Suriyanarkoyil, village m the Tanjore dis- 
trict, 235. 

Surya, the Sun-god, io;/, 70, 236. 

Suiya-yantra, mystic diagram connected 
with the worship of Surya, 236. 

Suvarchasa, consort of Surya, 236. 

Suyasa, wife of Nandi, i62//. 

Svadha, consort of Agni, 243. 

Svaha, do., 243. 

Svapna-Vafahi, form of Varahl, 19477,. 

Svarna, consort of Surya, 236. 



Svarna-Ganapah, foim of Ganapati, 176;;. 

Svasthavesmi, goddess, 213. 

svastika, s a. lambita, 190, 251. 

svajambhu, variety of Siva-hnga, 73. 

Svayamvara, name of Parvati as bride, 107. 

Svetamhara, sect of Jamas, 265 

swan (hams a) > bird, form assumed by 
Brahma, 93 --vehicle of Brahmi, 194; 
of Gayatrl, 2iS (seven) >oked to 
the chariot of Brahma,, u, 97 ; of 
Varan a, 243. 

swoid (khadga), weapon, in the hand of 
Btuira\a, 151 ; of Bhutamata, 216 ; 
of Budha, 239 ; of Chamunda, Mahi- 
shasuramardmi and Maha-Lakshmi, 
194, 206, 211 ; - of Dhumravatl, 213 ; 
of Durga (Katy5yanl), 199, 202 , of 
Gajahamurti, 125 ; of Indra, 241 n 
of Kala-Bhaira\a, 151 ; - of Katagm- 
Rudia, 155 ; of Mahakall, 197 ; of 
Narnta, 243 ; of Pasupatamurti, 
148 ; of Pratyangira, 213/7 ; of 
Rahu, 239 j of Skanda, 177, 178 ; 
of Sivaduti, 216 ; of Sudarsana, 66 ; 
of Virabhadra, 155, 159; of Vishnu, 
*7 3 ; f Varna, 243, 

Takshaka, serpent-chief, 251 

Talupulamma, \illage deitv, 224 

tamas ot tamasic form, of Kshetrapala, 
I 59 } of Virabhadra, 159 

Tamil, districts, 159, 177,216 litera- 
ture, developed by Agastva, 254 

Tanjai-Alagar, image in the Bnhadis'vaia 
temple at Tanjore, 82. 

Tanjoie, district, 230 inscriptions of, 
I0//, 77, 82/2,90/7, 03, 114^,143,173^, 
268 temple at, 88;?, 100, 120, 147, 
155, 1597,5, 165, 229, 262^ tovin, I43//. 

tanka, \\eapon, in the hand of Saiva 
images, 77, 8977, 97, 103, no, 113, 129, 
140,^148, 161, 162, 267 

Tantias, class of literature, 177, 194/7, 22077, 

Tantrasara, woik quoted in the Tattva- 
mdhi, 151 

Tantnk, pertaining to Tantra hteiature, 
211, 213/7, 223, 224, 226, 227. 

Tantukas, followers of Tantrik rituals, 185. 

tapani, attribute of Kama's arrow, 62 

Taraka, demon, 177, 178 

tarjanl, pose of lingers, 64, 162, 267 ; 

\ the second ringer of hand, 129/7 

Tattvanidhi, name of a SanskiiL work, ro^. 

Tavita, Scythian goddess, 212 

Telugu, distiicts, re//, 159, 177, 224, 229 

Tengalai, sect of SrS-Vaishtiavas, 262 

Tenkasi, village in the Tinnevelly district, 

Tennapuram, temple, at Chandragiri, 35^ 
thousand-pillared hall, of the Sundaresvaia 

temple at Madura, 140/2. 
thunder-bolt (vajra), weapon, m the hand, 

of Indra, 241 ; of Mahendrl, 194 ; - 

i of Skanda, 177 ; of Siva who cut off 
1 the head of Brahma, 97/7- ; of Sudar- 
sana, 66. 
Tigalas, class of Tamil -speaking gardeners 

in Mysore, 227. 

tiger, vehicle of Katyayam, 202 its 
skin, worn by Saiva images, 77, 120, 162, 
194, 197 ; used as seat by sattnyasias., 
259 its claws, used as an ornament, 

tilaka of 'kunkuma'n, rnark of beauty on 

the forehead of women, 222 
Tiilai, Tamil name for Chidambaram, 89 
Tinnevelly, district, 230. 
Tiruchchendur, village in the Tznnevelly 

district, 178 

Tiruchchengodu, village in the Salem dis- 
trict, 76, 120, 213/7. 
Tirujnanasambandar or Jnanasambandar, 

Saiva saint, 259, 262/7. 
Tirukkoyilur, village in the South Arcot 

district, 30. 

Tirumala, s.a Tirupati Hill, 72/7. 
Tirumalai (near Poiur), village in the 

North Arcot district, 265. 
Tirumahsai, village in the Chingleput dis- 
trict, 202. _ 

Tirumangai-Alvar, Vaishnava saint, 262 
tirumurram, Tamil name (in Chola 
inscriptions^ fot the shrines of village 
deities, 224. 

Tirumurugarruppaclai, Tamil poem, 178. 
j Tirunavukkaraivar, Sana saint, 262^. 
' Tnupati, hill and \illage in the Chittoor 

district, 62, 66. 

Tiruppalatturai, village m the Tnchmo- 
i poly district, 213/7 

i Tirupparangunram, village in the Madura 
I district, 178, 216, 218/7 
I Tiruttani, hill and village in the Chittoor 
\ district, 178 

Tirutturaippundi, village m the Tanjore 
i district, 100, 125, 129. 
1 Tiru\adandai, village in the Chingleput 
j district, 24 
j Tiruvadi, village in the Tanjoie district, 

! n, 125, 159/7,. 

, Tiruvalangadu, village in the Chittoor 
! district, 82 

Tirtival-udaiyal, village deity, mentioned 
' in Chola inscriptions, 226 

Tiruvanaikkava], s.a. Jambukesvaram, 77, 

97, 173- 
Tiruvarangulam, village in the Pudukkottai 

State, 262 
Tiiuvarur, village m the Tanjore distuct, 

Tiruvasagam, collection of the hymns of 

Mamkkavasagar, 262 
Tiruvenga vasal, village in the Pudukkottai 

State, 93 
Tiruvenkattu-Nangai, wife of Siruttonda- 

Najanar, 262/7. 
Thuvotti) Or, Milage in the Chingleput 

district, 97, 173^, 178, 202, 226, 259. 



tomara (pestle), symbol of Agm, 243. 

Tortoise, incamation of Vishnu, 22, 
ij]O ; - vehicle of Yamuna, 248 

Traipurusha 01 Traipurushadeva, temples 
of, lev/, 235 

tree -and serpent wot ship, 177, 248 

Treta yuga, name of the second Hindu 
teon, 1 01 

triangle, equilateral, connected \\ith 
images of Sudaisana, 66 

tnbhanga, the three-fold bend of body in 
images, 107. 

Tiichmopoly, rock-cut cave at, 132 . the 
Uchchi-Pillaiyar temple on the rock at, 

tudanda (triple staff), symbol, in the hand 
of Sri-Vaishnava S'lHttyasinS) 259 

tn lent (trisFila), \\eapon, in the hand of 
Sana images, 77/7, 84, So, 97/7, 100, 
114, 125, 137, 140/7, 143, 148, 151, 159, 
161, 162, 196, 197, 199/7, 202, 206 , of 
Pidan, 224/7 , of Rahu, 230 , of 
Sam, 239 ; of SivadutI, 216, -of 
Sudarsana, 66 , of Pratyanoira and 
Sulini, 213 . fixed in the ground to 
represpnt a Milage deity, 223 (flam- 
ing), s>mbol, in the hand o f Agni and 
Yam a, 243 

TukantaUclevi, goddess, 213 

Tnmniti, the three gods of the Hindu 
Triad, 236. 

Tnplicane, suburb of Madias, 47. 

Ttipura, demon of the three magic cities, 
140, 141. 

Tupuia-BhairavI, goddess, 212 

Tripuianlaka or Triparantakamurti, form 
of Siva, 76/7, 140, 141, 267/7 

Tnpura-Sundan, goddess, 220. 

Tnpura-tandava, variety of Nataraja's 
dance, 84. 

Trivandrutn, capital of Travancore, 50 

Tuvikiama, form of Vamana, 22, 30, 
32 : epithet of Vishnu, 55. 

trunks (human), garland of, \\orn b\ Siva- 
ralrl, 197 

Tsallamma, ? a Selliyamma, 224 

Tulaja Bhavanl, goddess, 220. 

Tuluvas, class of people, 234. 

Tumbmu, demi-god (with hoise-face), 32, 


Turaiym, village in the Trichmopol) dis- 
tuct, 43/7 

Tushti (pleasure), one of tlieSakti goddess- 
es, of Vishnu, 189 

Tvanta, goddess, 212, 223 : considered 
to be a widow, 212/7. 

TvagarPia, name of Somaskanda at Tiru- 
varQr, 76. 


Uchchangi-amma, village deity, 223 
Uchchhuhta-Gauapati, form ofGanapati, 

Uchchi-Pillaiyar, temple (of Ganapati) on 

the rock at Tnchiriopoly, 176. 
udaiabandhana,, girdle round the belly, 10, 

Uda^agin, village and hill fortiess in the 

Nellore district, 38/7 
Uddanda-Ganapati, form of Ganapati, 


Udlchya, attendant of Yama, 243 
Udipi, village in the South Canara district, 


udukkai, Tamil form of dhakka t 77. 
udumbaia fig-tree, sacred to the goddess, 

Kauman, 196 

Ugra-Naiasimha, form of Narasmiha, 26. 
Ugia-Taia, goddess, 213 
Ulagalanda-Perumal, Tamil name for 

Tri \ikrama, 30 : temple at Ivanchi 

(Conjeeveiam), 30. 
Ulagattal, Milage deit} , 224. 
Uma or Uma-paramesvari, s a. Parvau,82, 

84, 89, 90, 107, 129, 147, 184, n;o, 212 
Uma-Manesvaia, foim of Siva, 113 
Umasahita, do , 76//, no. 
Uniaskaada, s a, Somaskanda, 76/7. 
Umi-tandava, \anety of Nataiaja's dance, 

umbrella, sjmbol, in the hand of Vamana, 

32 , on the top of Jama figiues, 77/<r, 
Upamshads, the philosophic expositions of 

the VeJas, 184 used as terns to his 

hcise a> by Tripurantaka, 140 
Urdhva-Ganapati, form of Ganapati, 176 
Urdhva-tandava, vanetv uf Nataiaja's 

dance, 82, 88 
uulhva-pundia, caste maik of the Vaish- 

navas, 259 

ushnlsha, crown, 47/7, 88. 
utkatika, posture in. sitting, 266 


\ach (logo<>), word, 184. 
Vagisvarl, s.a. SarasvatJ, 185 
Vaikuntha-Nanvsana, foim of Vishnu, 

5 2 -, temple, at Conjee- 

veiam, 2 

Vainateya, foim. of Garuda, 64/7. 
\aishnava, 3, 17, 26, 38??, 41, 62, 66, 71, 

254, 259/262. 
\aishnavr, one of the Saptamatrikas, 190, 

194, 196. 
Vaishnavl-Sakti, consoit of Ciovinda-Bhai- 

rava, 151. 
Vaishnavism, 38. 
Vaishnavism, Saivism, etc (Bhandaikar), 

t/MOftlei, 148/7, 168/7, 178, 235/7, 236/7, 

Vaishna\ite, 35, 55, 62, 64, 72, 151, 185, 

196, 218/7 

Vaisya, caste, 190, 229, 239. 
Vaivahika, s a. Kalyanasanclaia, 76/7, 103 
vajiakita, insect, form assumed by Vishnu 

for boring holes in the Sahgiama stones, 




vajrapltha, form of pedestal, 266 

Vajraprastarmr, goddess, 212. 

Valli or /alliyamman, cohort of bkanda, 

177, 17& 

Valmiki, sage and author, 37/2 
ValuAur, village in the Tanjore district, 

100, 125, 162, 230. 
Varna, the Sakti ( goddess,) of Varna or Va- 

madeva (Siva), 190^ 
Vamana, the Dwarf-incarnation of Vishnu, 

22 -> 3j 3 2 ~ epithet of Vishnu, 55 

variety of Sahgraina, 70. 
Vamana-Purana, 165??. 
vanamala, garland of flovteis, worn by 

Vishnu, 17, 50 ; - by Vaishnavi, 194 
Vandi-Kalnamnia, village deit} , 224 
Vanmyan, s.a. Palli, 227 
varada, boon giving pose of hand in 

images (^ v ), 10, 17, '34;?, 66, 76, 89^, 

90, 93>Q7, no, i*4 137, *4S> 177, I7*>, 

189, 190, 194, 202, 2I2, 233, 24I//, 
243, 248, 266 

Varadaiajasvamm, temple, at Little Conjee- 

veram, 43 

Vara-Ganapali, form of Ganapati, 176 
Varaha, the Boar-incarnation of Vishnu, 

22, 26, 30. 

Vatah i-mandapa, rock-cut pavilion at 

Mahabalipurarn, 30 
Vaiahamihira, astronomer, 236,7. 
Varaha- Perumal, rock-cut temple at Maha- i 

baiipuiam, 22 
Varaha Parana, 162 
Varahl, one of the Saptamatnkas, 190, 

IQ4, 196 
Varahikalpa, \\ork quoted in the Tattxa- 

mdhi, I94// 
Vaiuna, regent of the nest and loul of the 

ocean, 243 

Vaumi, goddess, 220 
Vasanla ^Spring), fuend of Kama, 62. 
vasikabandha, fashion of making up the 

hair, 216, 268 

Vasishtha, sage, 37^, 90, 254 
Vasishtharamayana, name of a Sanskrit 

\voik, 37// 

Vasudeva, loim of standing Vishnu, 52//, 
55 variety of Sahgrania 70 . - i a. 
Ivushna, 19*1 

Vasuki, sei pent- chief, 140, 251 
\asu&, the eight, 262 
V.itapatrasayin, form of knshna (Vishnu), 

Vatupirai-amman., godck-,s, in the temple 

at Tiiuvotti>ur, 226 

Vatuka-Bha ra\a, form of Ehairava, i6nt 
Va}u, \vind, Lnd oi the noilh-wesL ijiiaitcr, 

248, 267 . charioteer of Agin, 243 
Vedanta-Desika, SrI-Vaishna\a teacher, 

Veclas, the foui, 30, 32, 177, .235, i^ 

symbol, in front of Brahma images, iin 

in the hand of AghoramQrti, 148 ; 

following Dattatreya in the foim of 

dogs, nu : carried (as personified 
images) by IJayagrna, 55 : forming the 
body of Garuda, 64^ used as horses, to 
his chariot, by TripurantaKa, 140; - repre- 
sented, by the goddesses Gayatn, Savitrl 
and Saras.vati, 220; t.y the Sun, 236: 
their se~\en meties (chhattdas), repie- 
sented as se\en horses of the Sun, 

Vedic, 7, 64^, 241, 251, 254- 
vel, Tamil name for salh, 177, 
Velayxidha, Tamil name for Subiahmanya, 

Yenkatesa or Venkalaiamana, form oi 
standing Vishnu on the Tirupati Hill, 

Venu-Gopala, form of Krishna, 43 

\essel, symbol, in the hand of Lakshml, 
187, 189 ; of Mahendri, 194 . 
(of blood), in the hand of SivaJutl, 
216 . (of food), in the hand of 
Annapurna, 218 ; of Tulaja-Bha\ ani, 
220 : (of gems), in the hand of Savitrl, 
243 ; ofVaruna243 (, in the 
hand of Laghus\ aniala and Varunl, 220. 
See /' and pot. 

Vetala, demon, vehicle oi Yhabhadia, 155. 

Vibhishana, Raksha^a chief, 37. 

Yidyadhaias, class of demi-gods, 251 ; of 
Jama mythology, 265 

Vighnesa 01 Vighnes\aia, s>a. Ganapati, 

82//, l6S, 224//. 

Vijaya, attendant of Vishnu, 50 ; of 
Skanla, 178: name of a Dvaiapala 
image, 251. 

Vijaya Ganapati, form of Ganapati, 176. 
Vii-iyanagara (Ilampi), village in the 

Bell.try district, 24, 26, 38/7, bS. 
vina, the Indian lute, 90, 220, 251 sym- 
bol in the hand of Narada, 254; ~ of 
Saias\ati, i85//. 
Vlnadhaia-DakshinamiiiH, form of 

Dak&hmamurti, 90 

Vina)al<a, s a Ganapati, 82;/, 165, i6S;/, 
187, i~)4, 267 . name of the Dvaiapala 
at the southern entrance of -Mva teni]iles, 

VinJlua, mountain, 223. 
Vmdhya'sasini, form of Dtiiga, 220, 223 
Virabhridrn, fierce emanation of Six a*, 74, 

89, iS5> 1 S9, l&i", 194, 227*, 234. 
Vlra-Chola, surname of Pn.ra.nt.ika 1 , SS 
VIia-T akshml, foun of Lakshml, 189. 
Vira-Narajana, suinainc of Parantaka I 


Vlra-'ai\a, s,a. Lingavata, 165, 
Vira-Sakti, goddess," connected with 
F-omaskanda, no . - Panati m hci 
independent form, 185^. 
vtia.san.-i, posture in sitting, 37, 197, 266//. 
Vira-Viia, walking foi m of Virabhadia, 


Viresvara, s.a. Virabhadra, 113. 
VisSJakshl, njme of the godcUss Parvatial 
Benares, 218?;, 



Visalyakaiam, medical herh, 2597 

Vishakantha, epithet of Nilakantha, 137. 

Vishapahaiamurti, form of Siva, 140. 

Vishnu, god, the Protector, 2, 3, 1077, n 
62, 64, 70, 72, 73, 74, 82/7, 84*, 93 97> 
100, 103, 107, 113, 125, 140, 148, 168, 
184, 185, 187, 189, 194, 196, 197, 202, 
218/1, 229, 230, 235, 236, 251, 254, 259, 
265, 267, 268 : variety of Sdiigrama, 
70 used as arrow by Tnpurantaka, 

Vishnudharmottara, work quoted b) 
Ilemadri, 197, 

Vishnu-Parana, 73 

Vishvaksena, epithet of Vishnu, 62 - 
Vaishnavite god, 62. 

vismaya, pose of fingers, 84, 88, 125, 137, 
178, 267, 

Visva karma, Art Journal (Coomaraswani) ) 
'juotedy 24;*, 64;;, 11477, 14377, 2517/5 
254;;, 2597*. 

Visvakarma, form of Brahma, n. 

visvamardml, attribute of Kama's airo\v, 

Visvamitra, sage, 254 

Visvanatha, temple, at Teakasi, 173 

Visvedevas, the ten, 262. 

Vithoba,,? a. Panduranga, 55. 

Vribharudha, form of Siva, 74, 76.7, 113, 

Vnshavahana, do 113, 114 

Vnsha saila, surname of Tirupati Hill, 


vulture, vehicle of Sam (Saturn) 259, 

of Ketu, 241 
Vyaghrapada, sage (with tiger's feet ), 8277, 

84, 88, 

vyala-mudra, pose of fingers, 79 
Vyasa, sa^e, 1 76, 


water-pot, symbol, in the hand of Brahma, 
10, li, 103, 113, of Brahmachannl, 
202, of Dakshinamurti, 93, of Gana- 

pati, 168 , of nshi images, 254 ; of 
Sankaracharya, 259; of Sitala, 213; 
of Sukra, 239 ; of Vagisvarl, 185 , of 
Vamana, 32 he-d on the lap by 
Kapila 254 See kyndika 

weapons, personified, 5277, 62, 66. 

whip-lashing, ceremony observed in 
temples of village deities, 226 

winnow, symbol of Sitala, 213 

! Yajna-purusha, epithet of Vishnu, 6477, 

\ yajnasutrao; jajnopaviia, the Brahmamcal 

! sacred thiead, 10, 113, 243 

, Yajus 01 Vajur Veda, 220 

' Vakshas, class of demi-sjods, 248, 251 , of 

Jama mjtholog}, 265 
I Vakshi, a Vaksha female, 265. 
I Yama, the god of Death and lord of the 
couth, 137, 148 19471, 243 son Q[ 
Surya, 236, 

Yamala-manlrasdsira, 196. 
Yamuna s.a Jumna, 38 - the thaitn- 

bearei of Vartina, 248, 
Yam) a, s.a. Varahl, 19477. 
yantras, mystic charms connected with 

Sakti- worship, 185, 222 
Yaska, authoi of the Nirukta, 3777 
Yasoda, mother of Durgd and fostoi-mothci 

of Ivnshna, 37, 196 
Yenui, village in the South Canaia district, 


yoga, philosophic contemplation, 89 
Yogamurti or Yoga DAkshmamurti, form 

of Dakshmamurti, 90 
Yoga-Naiasimha, form of Narasimha, 26 
yogapatta, belt used in meditation, 90 
Yoga-Sakti, goddess, identified with the 

pedestal of Siva-lmga, 11077, 18577, 
yogasana, posture in sitting, 60, 266. 
Yoga-Vira, the seated form of Viiabhadia, 


Yogesvara- Vishnu, form of Vishnu, 55 

yogm, an ascetic, 6477, 

of a Siva-hnga, 72, 73 

, 161.