The Cleveland Museum of Art

Collection Online as of March 21, 2018

Brahma, late 900s-1000s

granite, Overall: 162.6 x 48 cm (64 x 18 7/8 in.). Leonard C. Hanna, Jr. Fund, this work was accepted in honor of Stanislaw Czuma in recognition of his long service to the CMA 2007.155

In the Hindu pantheon Brahma is in charge of carrying out the work of creation. In this tour-de-force of South Indian temple sculpture, he is in a special regal aspect, with the only elements of his typical priestly appearance being the prayer beads and the matted dreadlocks piled up on his head.

Four arms connote superhuman power, and four heads convey the idea that his creative activities spread in all four directions. His upper right hand enjoins freedom from fear, and the lower holds a lotus bud associated with birth and the process of creation. His lowered left hand is held in the gift-giving gesture, suggestive of the gift of creation he will bestow upon the world.

The Cleveland Museum of Art (06/24/2007); "Shiva and His Many Incarnations"

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