The Lord Of All Living Forms

Can you believe that the very earliest representation of Lord Shiva (as we know him today) dates back to the very first civilization of the world? Yes, the Indus Valley Civilization stuns us in its depiction of divinity. It offers proof, in the form of coins, carvings and motifs, that the earliest human settlers understood the forces of nature and attributed power to them.

In modern literature, Pashupati is understood to mean Lord of the cattle. Indeed, cattle and domestic animals formed the basis of all civilizations with their ability to provide meat, milk and hard labour. However, in its earliest interpretation, Pashupatinath means lord of all living things. ‘Pashu’ or animals can be wild or domesticated, can fly or crawl, and there is one Lord to rule them all. Perhaps, associating one concrete representation with the vagaries of nature helped our ancestors attain a sense of settlement in their everyday life.

Pashupati is considered to be the male consort of Shakti, or nature. Even today, it is believed that no worship of the Mother Goddess is complete without the worship of Shiva- Viswanath, Somnath, Mallikarjun, Kedarnath- the names are endless, as are his forms and mysteries.

Another mind-boggling aspect of Shiva comes to fore in his name. Sanskrit etymology tells us that ‘Shva’ in its root form also refers to ‘Shava’- a dead body. It serves as a reminder that without Shiva or the life force, our body is a Shava, or dead.

Our metal artisans bring to life the many aspects of Shiva, capturing his mystery in half-closed eyes and a pleasant smile. Read more about the metal sculpture here: