Lord shiva - in Black/Blue

There are a lot of paintings (modern) that can be seen both in the printed form in many places as well as in some of the web sites, where Lord shiva is shown black or blue in color and shakti is depicted in flame like color. But in vEdas, purANas and the tradition ( refer to shrI rudram and other shlOkas, purANas, and all hymns including thirumuRais, ardanArIshvara stOtram.h) it is mentioned that the color of Lord shiva is golden (hiraNya, sindhUra, flame like, ruby like) and that of shakti is black (shyAmaLa, nIla, megha varNa). All the mAhEshavara mUrthams explain the color of the Lord. (except for kirAtar and vIrabhadrar all the forms of Lord shiva are flame like in color). Both are beautiful colors in their own respect. (refer to thiruvAchakam which says kuvaLai flower like (black)shakti and lotus flower like (red tinted) Lord shiva paiNkuvaLaik kArmalarAR cheNkaNmalarp paimpOdhAR). We believe that the colors of the deities have some significance and believe that these are the forms shown by the Almighty Itself, though there is nothing wrong in any color, the Almighty is omnifarious and it is the devotion with which the art is drawn that is most important. So it will be better if we insist as much as possible that the portrayal conform with the tradition.

Also there are subtle things like the Lord has a ring in one year and kuNdala on the other. Such things will make the picture more realisitic and nice to appreciate. The artists are doing a good job in making such nice works. Hopefully they will take more efforts to conform with the scriptural way of depicting gods as they get to know about them. It is our duty then to take these information to them. To avoid situations like people getting confused on the actual forms of the deities we can make a note on the nonconformities when we present a picture to somebody or in the web sites.

Posted on: 22.11.96

Back to Thoughts
Back to Shaiva Siddhantha Home Page
Back to Shaivam Home Page