India Crafters | Artistic - Unique - Carved

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Indian Gods Statues

Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa, one of the principal teachers of Swami Vivekananda once said, “Many are the names of God and infinite the forms through which He may be approached.” In Hinduism one of the most dominant forms of praise and worship is idolism. Indian gods’ statues can be found in most homes, offices, even cars. Indians living in a number of different countries have embraced this approach to in a way preserve their belief and faith in the higher power. With oriental religions like Hinduism, Taoism and Buddhism gaining popularity throughout the world, various statues of gods and goddesses are not only being procured for worship, but also as a means to add a special touch to the décor.

There are a wide variety of sculptures available in the market today. If you are not a resident of India, you may want to search for dealers and statue makers listed on the Internet for your procurement needs. With a large number of online dealers that are committed to supplying products that are made using top grade materials and are high in quality, buying such religious statues online is a great idea. Not only does this save you time and effort of looking for a shop or company in close proximity to your city, but it also gives you the flexibility to take your time in making the right choices in terms of what you want, and provides ample convenience as most items are delivered to your doorstep if need be.

All you have to do is choose the figure you most desire. You can choose from a variety of different statues of Lord Shiva, Lord Ganesha, Lord Krishna, Goddess Parvati, Goddess Saraswati, Goddess Lakshmi, etc. You can also find statues of Shreenathji, Jain saint Parshvanath, Shakuntala, Saibaba, Ram Sita, Ram Darbar, Jalaram, and the like. Most of these statues come in small or medium sizes and in a wide range of materials like brass, fiberglass, silver, wood, ceramic, glass, etc. These statues are durable in addition to being finely carved and amazingly beautiful. Since Indian artisans are known for their delicate and intricate carvings, for the most part this beauty is what you will be paying for. The minute details on the many statues are what bring the mere piece to life.

So, the next time you are out shopping for Indian gods’ statues keep a few things in mind. Remember that you are paying the premium for its beauty not material used, so look for a detailed piece that exudes exquisiteness. Also, buy a statue with its purpose in mind. If you are going to use it as a decorative piece, the size and style should go with your home’s décor. Lastly, acquire the statue from a reputed source as this ensures a good quality product.

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Statues of Ganesh

The God of wisdom, attainment and prosperity, Ganpati or Ganesha is in all probability one of the most loved and worshipped deities in Hinduism. In fact, there is a ten-day festival celebrated in India, Nepal, and by Hindus living in the United States, Canada, Fiji, Singapore, etc., starting on Ganesh Chaturthi and ending on Anant Chaturdashi. This festival marks the birth of Lord Ganesh as one of the superior gods. The beloved elephant-headed God is believed to bestow his presence on all who worship him during these ten days of celebrations. The festival begins with setting up of statues of Ganesha at homes and podiums especially built and exquisitely decorated for the festival.

On the last day of the festival, Anant Chaturdashi these statues are immersed in water. Traditionally the statues were made out of mud, but through the years they transitioned into materials like Plaster of Paris, which is not environmentally friendly. People have now become aware of the environmental danger and damage this enormous amount of Plaster of Paris does to the rivers, lakes and hence the eco-system, and started considering alternatives like using a permanent idol made out of stone, fiberglass, fiber reinforced plastic (FRP), or metals.

There are a number of options available in the market nowadays. You can find the simplest idols if that is how you interpret the power of Lord Ganesh or the most intricately carved figure that holds every minute detail about the idol right from having his Modak (sweet offerings) and mouse by his feet, to his Parashu (axe), Pasha (lasso) and Ankusha (hook) in his hands. These idols come in a variety of sizes, styles and details that you can choose from, according to your preferences and purpose of acquiring the statue. While many might see the statues as an idol for worship, there are a large number of people who like buying statues of this deity for decorative purposes, as a gift for special occasions, and some even collect different Ganesh statues as almost each is distinct and unique in its own way.

Statues of Ganesha may be portrayed dancing or standing, but most popularly sitting on a throne with a protruding belly, his weapons in hand, mouse and sweets called modaka or laddus by his side. The sheer skill of the artisans and their craftsmanship can be witnessed through some of the more intricately worked on elaborate idols of this deity. Owning such piece of art, a statue of Ganesha, regardless of its size or purpose is something you can take pride in for years to come.

Friday, 2 September 2011

Statues of Parshvanath Bhagavan

An ancient religion from the Indian sub-continent, Jainism shows the way to supreme bliss and liberation through ways of harmlessness and renunciation. There was a time when it was believed that most of the Jain population dwelled in India, but today followers of this beautiful religion are situated all over the world. As two of the prominent figures in Jainism are Bhagavan Mahavira and Bhagavan Parshvanath, small and big statues of these Gods are a part of a majority of Jain households.

While the profound religion has not been founded by a single great soul, prophets called tirthankaras or ford-makers have revealed the different facets of Jainism and shown the way for achieving supreme spirituality and liberation to the followers. In what jains call the present age, there have been twenty-four tirthankaras namely Adinatha (Rushabhnath), Ajitnatha, Sambhavanatha, Abhinandana Swami, Sumatinatha, Padmaprabhu, Suparshvanath, Chandraprabhu, Suvidhinath (Pushpadanta), Shitalnatha, Shreyansanatha, Vasupujya Swami, Vimalanatha, Anantanatha, Dharmanatha, Shantinatha, Kunthunatha, Aranatha, Mallinatha, Muni Suvrata Swami, Naminatha, Neminatha, Parshvanatha, and Mahavira (Vardhamana).

Bhagavan Mahavira and Bhagavan Parshvanatha are the two most loved tirthankaras. While stories and teachings of Mahavira are popular and carry all five principles of Jainism, namely no lying (satya), no stealing (asteya), no possessions (aparigraha), no violence (ahimsa), and chastity (brahmacharya), the 23rd tirthankara, Parshvanatha is closely associated with amnesty and compassion and preached the first four principles excluding chastity. Statues of Mahavira and Parshvanatha represent the three jewels of Jainism; Right Faith – Samyak Darshana, Right Knowledge – Samyak Jnana, and Right conduct – Samyak Charitra.
The two main festivals for Jains are Paryushana and Diwali. While Diwali is a festival celebrated by Hindus as well, Paryushana or Dasa Laksana, also known as Parvadhiraj is typical of Jainism and is believed of having the power of showing the path of salvation. During the eight days of Paryushana, followers pray, worship, meditate, and fast. With a purpose to purify the soul by looking inward, this festival is widely practiced by followers of Jainism, teachings of Parshvanatha and Mahavira.

Principles like not eating after sunset, not consuming food items like garlic, onions, potatoes, etc. are still followed throughout the year by some staunch jain families.

Idols of the 24 tirthankaras of the Jain religion are identical as they represent the same qualities and virtues. However, there is one unique symbol placed at the bottom or top of each idol to help differentiate between them. Statues of Parshvanatha are distinct, always represented with a hood of a three, seven or eleven headed snake (naga), while lord Mahavir’s idols can be easily recognized by the presence of the symbol of a lion at the bottom. The statues of the 23rd and 24th tirthankaras are not only popular among the Jains, but also among Hindus and art-lovers for what they represent.