Shiva and Shakti locked in a form of yogic union, a modern painting
Source: Source: http://www.exoticindiaart.com/paintings/HT17
(downloaded June 2001)
"The imagery of this painting refers to Kundalini Yoga, in which the practitioner attempts progressively to elevate energy along his own body's chakras (energy centers) to the highest one in his cranium, in order to reach a state of divinity that is identified with Parama Shiva and is understood to be the union of Shiva and Shakti (female energy). The body's energy is visualized as a snake, and the experience of inner divinity is expressed as the opening of a thousand petalled lotus. Here Shiva's body is composed of a male and female body in sexual union, seen in profile, their limbs twined with cobras. The cobras' heads emerge to flank the head of the god, which is topped by his abode, Mount Kailasha, and encircled by a lotus-flower aureole. With its brilliant coloration, quirky style, and sexualized subject matter, this painting is evocative and powerful."
Kossack, Steven. Indian Court Painting: 16th-19th Century, New York, The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
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