Goddess Bhuvaneshvari

West Bengal, Calcutta

Not on view

The goddess Bhuvaneshvari is worshipped as the embodiment of the power of knowledge and belongs to the ten mahavidyas, the personifications of transcendent wisdom. She is represented in both spoken and visual evocations in tantric ritual. A seed-mantra (bijamantra), a sacred syllable, is her thought-form through which she can be invoked as a visualized deity. She is seen here in four-armed form, regally enthroned on a red-lotus cushion installed on a low throne, seated with one foot pendant in royal ease. Her defining attributes, held in her lower hands, are the noose (pasa) and the elephant goad (ankusa). Her raised hands gesture protection to worshippers. She wears a green bodice embroidered with white flowers, and crimson sari with gold trim. Heavy bracelets and anklets adorn her limbs and she wears a rich necklace, large elliptical earrings and a spectacular crown. Her beautiful and youthful face is framed by a radiant nimbus.

Goddess Bhuvaneshvari, Lithograph, printed in black and hand-colored with watercolor and selectively applied glaze, West Bengal, Calcutta

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