Thursday, August 22, 2013
What is so unusual about a Sivalingam, you ask? Well, it is not just about the lingam, though it is not often that a regularly tended-for lingam is left out in the open. Look beyond the lingam, to the figure under the canopy. That is Nandi, Siva's vehicle. It is not difficult to recognise him, even when he is shown in a rare anthropomorphic representation.
It is not usual that Nandi is housed under a roof when Siva is left to the mercy of the elements. As I said, this is not a usual Nandi. The statue is shown seated, playing the mridangam, recalling the fabled performance when Nandi played the deva vaadyam (heavenly instrument) as the accompaniment to Siva's cosmic dance. That instrument, it is believed, is what the mridangam evolved from.
At the Government College of Music, Chennai, it is entirely appropriate that the musician rates that bit higher!