Decipher the crux of Lord Shiva Paintings


What makes your heart melt and flow like a whirl of emotions and thoughts you can never experience otherwise? For most of the people, it is an aesthetic piece of artwork. Being an art lover, I can totally resonate with the ecstasy and bliss anyone feels while observing an exquisite painting or artefact.

A lot of artists in India are able to earn their bread & butter because there is a high demand. People in India like art since the time it was made open to the public. Above the love of art, there is the loyalty of beliefs. Numerous Gods were born here, several religions started here, and countless civilisations were conducted in India. So you can understand why there is no problem for artists in terms of themes and subject matters.

Religious paintings have earned a special place in the hearts of Indian population. Artists and art aficionados both just adore paintings of Gods and Goddesses. For the common population, the religious paintings come with a spiritual charisma and an exquisite feel.

Today, however, I am going to analyse the charm of paintings of Lord Shiva, the Adi yogi, the destroyer, and the most powerful. I have seen a lot of such artworks in homes, offices, shops etc. Let’s see why his paintings are so popular:

Decoding Lord Shiva paintings

You must have seen phenomenal Lord Shiva paintings quite a few times. You know what it looks like, right? There is a common depiction of crescent moon on the head of Shiva in his physical manifestation, along with river Ganga flowing through his hair locks, and his blue neck. Let’s understand each representation one by one:

The crescent moon

The crescent moon on Lord Shiva’s head is a pure representation of humbleness, humility, and modesty. When we subdue our ego and always keep a space for continuous learning, that’s when we can think of attaining the state of the crescent moon.

Artists just wanted to exhibit humans that ego can be pulled down and being humble is a way of life and Shiva is an example of that. A full moon leaves no room for further development and growth. While a crescent moon depicts that the door to keep learning new things should always be kept open.

The blue neck

Religious epics tell us Shiva took that poison willingly so that the entire life on Earth can be saved. Since he didn’t take the poison to his stomach, it resided in his throat, leaving dark blue colour there.

This is a physical interpretation. However, the blue colour is all the negativity that surrounds us all of the time. The blue neck represents that a spiritually empowered person has to engage with the negativities and evils of the society in order to prevent their rise.

Ganga through Shiva’s hair locks

Hindu literature Puranas tell us that Shiva in order to save earth from the cataclysmic events following the swiftly flowing Ganga, directed the river to flow through his hair locks absorbing all the destruction.

However, a more spiritual and intellectual interpretation would be that Ganga is another depiction of the spiritual wisdom. It tells the highly supreme beings to bring the secrets of human lives slowly and watchfully or the information will be tough to be understood by the people who are still in their early phase of evolution and a chaotic environment could build up.

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