Saturday, December 17, 2011



  Old-world Charm 1 - December 2007

Old-world charm 1 - now in real bad shape!

We were standing in front of this compound wall of the old - perhaps 150+ years - ' Puja Dalan' of a once-wealthy family of this area  after a lapse of 4 years and a few days .

 Old-world Charm 2 - December 2007
Reportedly, Cinema & TV Serial Directors found this 'Puja dalan' interesting !

When we were here in December,2007, we found this building locked .On enquiry,  Ruby found the keys were available with a local shop - taking photograph was no problem ! Ruby did take a few photos  of  the interiorand these shots exude  old-world charm.

My friend (LH) with the present day Care-taker (RH).December,2011

This year, we found a care-taker staying inside who allowed us to go inside but, stopped us from taking  photos of the inside structure. Not that much could be captured as he  hung tarpaulins in the court-yard and reportedly use the space for tuition !!

Old 'Puja dalan' in plight - December 2011

Just imagine - tutorial classes in a heritage (?)  building !!
We found this care-taker somewhat strange - he is so much averse to photography that he did not allow anyone to take his photograph too ! He spoke big things about the ancestors of the owners of this building - they are descendents of  the 'Pal' dynasty.

Old-world charm 3. Pillars photographed in December,2007. 
The photos here are a mixed lot - a few are from what was shot in 2007 and others in 2011. If any reader knows the present owners, please convey our anxiety regarding the maintenance, the present use of the premises and the attitude of the care-taker to them.

Old-world Charm 3. A glimpse of the pillars inside, 
as viewed though an opening of the compound wall.

The arches are so graceful, the 'Puja dalan' compact yet decent, getting ravaged by time and made UGLY because of greed of a private tutor.

Friday, October 21, 2011


 Two Pujas which must  be chronicled in history  of  
 Bengal's   installation art  
                               & a few others                                 

I have noted one phenomenon in blogspot - I get regular hits on my very 1st blog on DURGA PUJA, which was published years ago while the latest blog on the same subject , incorporating 2011 Puja photos attract far less nos of hits !
Aisa kiun ? Aisa kiun ?? Aisa kiun ???

Behala Aikya Sammilani

Nevertheless, I continue my work of sharing photos from my HDD  with my friends . My wife and I enjoy visiting Puja pandals selectively - had we been younger, we could have moved around in the night. Here we have been around locally - only at Parnasree and around. Clicking photos of decorated pandals in the evenings is a pleasure - more so for us, because, we have fewer choices as we do not venture outside our area in the throbbing crowd of pandal-hoppers.

Earlier - during 1980s - my wife and I used to out with my mother and my sons during the evening of 'Sasthi' and never placed any problem in parking our car or accessing a pandal.This year, I found no place to park my car near the College Street pandal @ 7am on the morning of Dashami !

While sociologists will work on evaluating how 'Sarbajanin Puja' in Calcutta - and in districts too - changed over the decades promoting 'art of installation', specially with advent of participation of sponsors/advertisers, the revelers are never short of discovering wonders in every 'par' - locality. The very famous Puja at Naktala this year has taken the art of installation to a new height!

The pandal has been planned to look like a bird. The curvatures are inspired by a sickle . Tons of high quality timber has been used to build this 'bird' !

Lot of thinking, imagination has gone in creating the idol of the goddess. She is in  battle-mode - her being reminded me of Jiten Pal's creation of 1960s for 23Palli Sarbajanin. Several photos are required to convey the impression which has been built with metal and mehagani timber.

Durga rides the  'Mahishasura' - his posture shows he is about to be defeated. Durga holds his  left horn with her left hand and raises the sword which is also the trident  in her right. 

Durga in her fiercest mood.Her large eyes are angry. Her hair flying.
Are her two shoulders  at slightly different levels like a famous creation of a famous artist ?

The other Puja that requires mention was at FD-Block.THe idol is 52' tall - would not go for immersion.Reportedly, an urchin used to weep every year when Durga's idol sed to be taken for immersion. This year, the Puja Committee decided to go for a kind of near-permanent idol. Very proportionate is the creation - but Mintoo Pal has to explain my son's query - Why Laksmi & Saraswati are taller than Kartik & Ganesh ??

 This is the tallest Durga in 2011. There must be very interesting stories on how the concept was born & subsequently brought into reality ! If chronicles of these installations were written,
they would have interesting readings for us !

Demons, Lion and the Trident!

Pandal  created as 'Cave temple'. Idol  is a fusion of traditional & modern styles.
Kashi Bose Lane ( North Calcutta)

Tuesday, October 11, 2011



 Thousand eyes behold her as Devi Durga vanquishes Mahishasura , descends on the Earth with her left foot resting on the head of the Buffalo and  right foot  touching the soul of  mankind - floating horizontal in the cosmic void  . Hymns in Sanskrit add to the solemnity of this 'presentation' by Sanatan Dinda.
Nalin Sarkar Street,2011

Entrance to NSS pandal from Grey street.'Maner Manush' on a boat - coloured blue. Blue colour has been used on the nets which stretch upto the rooves of the neighbouring buildings - 
when lit up in the night, the boat-like structure  and the bluish glow of the nets 
create an impression of walking within a water-body.
Abstract designs and a large eye stare down  on the boat-like walk-way to the pandal.

Tara - the most revered among the Bouddha goddesses - has reportedly sprung from the tear of 'Avlokiteswar' - the most important among the Bouddha gods. She is the goddess of compassion  - and - also consort of 'Avlokiteswar'. Lotus blossom  and eyes are symbols of Tara. 
Sanatan Dinda has used the both in his NSS and Chakraberia idols this year ( 2011).

Since we returned to Calcutta from our decade long stay in Pune and Durgapur, Ruby and I made a practice of  visiting  Puja pandals selected , based on reports in Newspapers & TV. Our 1st Puja in Calcutta was in 2004. We were at Hatibagan to attend a 'barir' Puja  - a domestic Puja - when we reached the pandal @ Nalin Sarkar St while strolling around and clicking. Sanatan Dinda, seven years younger and much more accessible , was standing outside the pandal. That puja - the pandal and the idol - struck a chord in my heart. We had a chat  with Dinda , clicked a photo of him and left.I  decided to keep a track of Santan Dinda's work in coming years. Next time I saw his Durga idol - again @ Nalin Sarkar Street - was in 2007.
 Dinda made this idol for NSS in 2004. The pandal, shaped like a temple was designed and executed by him. Durga's idol has a bronze-like finish and very prominent & big eyes. Miniaturisation of  her 'children', lion and Mahisasura  - which later became his trademark - can be noticed in this 2004 installation too.

This is Dinda's Durga for NSS puja in 2007. Her face is nearly conventional, slightly heavy in the chin. Like in 2004, her skin colour is golden. Not 'ataseebarnabhyang' !

We returned to Nalin Sarkar Street this year ( 2011)  just to enjoy the presentation of Dinda. We were very much impressed by Chakraberia Sarbajanin  - the idol by Sanatan Dinda and the pandal by Shibshankar Das. From photos in the newspapers, it was obvious that NSS idol  and the pandal - both executed by Dinda will be worth a visit. And... it was.

At NSS, Dinda's 'theme' was 'Maner Manush' - a coinage from the title of a successful Bengali movie.
'Maner Manush' , which translated literally, means 'The Person in our Heart'. But, mysticism wraps these two simple words -   the meaning is 'understood' only by a 'sadhak' - someone who knows the specified process of meditation.In this installation at NSS , Dinda has succeeded in creating a mystique environment,  used various symbols and an idol which is the result of seamless , but, complex fusion of Hindu and Bouddha Tantrk iconography !

Dinda has borrowed from Bouddha Tantrk iconography in Chakraberia Sarbajanin too. But,  Dinda's  Durga idol here is 'brushed' with less complexity.   Shibshankar has built a pandal in a restrained manner . He did not attempt to dazzle the viewer with lots and lots of artwork and details.

 Devi Durga rises from 'pralay jaladhi'- cataclysmic ocean, standing on the 'jiban taranee' - boat or ark of life . She defeats 'Madhu-Kaitava'-like demons . ''Maner Manush' - soul of mankind - lies stretched in  front of Devi with a lotus in his folded hands. 
Lotus adorns Durga's being, her crown .
Chakraberia Sarbajanin, 2011.

'Maner manush' - The person residing in our heart - lies prostrate on a contraption protruding at right angles to the boat while offering lotus as 'anjali' to Durga.

Pandal of Chakraberia Sarbajanin. Shibaprasad created a wonderful environment using 'shephsl/shiuli' flowers and lotus. He used exhaust fans to create the 'shephsl/shiuli' flowers !
( Photo : courtesy - Ruby Chatterji)

I have no intention of  comparing  CS with NSS -2011. Such a comparison will no way increase the enjoyment & appreciation of these two very fine Puja pandals and idols. I have posted several photographs of 2011 Puja  - please do enjoy ! I have also tried to write a few words on evolution of Dinda's style  - what I termed as 'fusion' earlier in this blog with photos from my HDD and internet.

 Sanatan Dinda, visibly younger, in  2004 ,was photographed interacting with viewers  (Ruby ) in front of NSS pandal . It was noon of Saptami puja.

Friday, September 30, 2011



When I went back to  HDD of my computer, I  discovered that I have not clicked many photographs of the crowd and events around Devi Durga. As far as possible, I have pointed the lens high above to shoot the deity's images  as we covered one 'pavilion' after the other. Therefore, a selection was easy. Not as good shots as I would have taken , if done consciously for writing a blog.

The first shot that I have selected is that of a priest who looks so small in front of the huge image of Devi. He was performing 'Arati' - adoration of  Devi and then the devotees jostle for seeking her blessing.

   As 'arati' gets over, devotees circle round the priest seeking the warmth of the lamp - 
blessing of the Goddess.

Have you ever tried to move around festive Calcutta in the mornings of the celebration days ? It is much easier to navigate as the crowd has gone home. One misses the lighting, but, there is no push and jostle.
Two of my early morning shots are here.

Dozing Drummer

Intense watching !
I could never discover what is funny in this Vodafone banner !

When 'bhog'  - food specially prepared for Devi - is offered, it is customary to have a stretched saree across so that devotees cannot 'see' Devi accepting the offering.

Buying a balloon ?? 

Who is the best dressed 'Devi' ??

Thursday, September 29, 2011


               A CRITIQUE of  WALL RELIEFS on  'VAMANA AVATAR'  - 

A view of the access to 'MahaVishnu' Cave.
It is I  climbing up the steps. 'Trivikrama' in the far end.

At Badami, we find four Cave temples - 1st one dedicated to Siva and Shakti, 2nd and 3rd ones to Vishnu  and the 4th  - the topmost one - to Jain Iconography.For the purpose of distinguishing one from the other,the two caves are called 'Vishnu Guha' - 2nd one from bottom - and 'MahaVishnu Guha'-  3rd one from bottom by the local guides .

A discussion on  'VAMANA AVATAR'  need be done  in  three parts, before we move into the two wall-reliefs of Trivikrama, that we find at the Cave temple of Badami.

The 1st is the mythological tale - which might have started during rule of  the Gupta  dynasty. Gods' reign over the Heaven was threatened by growing influence of  King Bali. He was invincible in battles - yet a generous and kind person.  To protect gods' interest, Vishnu agreed  to their entreaty of neutralising Bali. On a particular day, when during  the ritual of 'Ashwamedh Yagna' - a big ceremony taking place around a sacrificial horse - Bali had organised a big event of granting donation to whoever came to his court seeking the same. Vishnu appeared incognito as a dwarf brahmin in this congregation.  Bali received the dwarf brahmin with adoration, ignoring his mentor Shukracharya's warning that the brahmin was  no ordinary person. Vishnu  asked for land just enough for his  three strides . When the king granted the same, Vishnu stood in front of the king in his full cosmic form  filling  the world . Vishnu's right foot covered the earth , his body filled the sky in all directions and  the left foot reached the heaven .  Vishnu then he asked the king: where the third step can be taken. King offered his head. Bali was then tied up and ready to be banished . Brahma pleaded for a benign treatment for Bali reminding Vishnu of his noble nature. Bali's wife Vindhyabali and grandfather Prahlada - great devotee of Vishnu - pleaded for Bali. Each in her/his way.Vishnu sent Bali to his own hermitage first and later to 'Sutal' - definitely a territory away from the heaven , Indra's kingdom . Vishnu also assured Bali  of  sovereignty of 'Sutal' after a while. ( based on 19th - 23rd chapters of 8th Canto, 'Srimadbhagabat Gita').

'Trivikrama' in the 'Vishnu' cave temple.Compared to the more well-known depiction of 'Trivikrama' in the next level, it appears to be a 'Draft' work.
This 'Trivikrama's'  stance is somewhat static. The celestial portion is incomplete.

Next is a discussion on the appeal of  the myth of Trivikrama - Vamana Avatar.  This myth combines in it both the 'vibhava' or 'avatar' - incarnatory - and 'vibhuti' - manifestational aspects of Vishnu. To prevent  Bali from getting control of the heaven, the domain of Indra, Vishnu incarnates himself as Dwarf  in the womb of Aditi. the mother of gods.  To generate awe in the heart of Bali, he manifested his cosmic form - 'Viratrupa' . Thus, in one myth, devotees of Vishnu find both the 'vibhava' and   'vibhuti' aspects of their Lord amalgamated.( based on 'Vaishnava Iconology of Nepal' by Prataditya Pal).

3rd point in this discussion - was Vishnu fare to Bali ?  His army, as expected, reacted adversely . They felt, Vishnu came incognito and usurped all that Bali acquired in his life , though he was a religious person, a ruler of high moral standing.  Their resistance was neutralised by Vishnu's companions - 'parshadas'. Bali's son Banasura caught hold of Vishnu's right foot and pleaded Vishnu not to banish his father . However, all these efforts made no impact on Vishnu. Only later, Brahma's pleading in favour of Bali and very carefully worded statements made by Vindhyabali and Prahlad brought a somewhat positive conclusion of this episode . Well, according to many, Vishnu was not fare to Bali!

 'Trivikrama' wall-relief is divided into sections, depicting the major events. 
Here we find 'Adoration of 'Vamana Avatar' by King Bali . Queen Vindhyabali, 
Shukracharya ( not separately distinguishable ) and  his courtiers look on.

Among all the major wall-reliefs on this manifestation of Vishnu,  two at Badami, one each at Mallapuram and Ellora are very well-known. So are the several ones found in Nepal. The characters in these wall-reliefs, placed around the huge figure of Trivikrama, tell the story of King Bali and adoration of Vishnu. Not all the characters are identical.  In the wall-relief at 'MahaVishnu' cave temple at Badami ,we find Namuchi  clasping left foot of  Trivikrama , same way as at Changu Narayana of Nepal , while in  the other wall-relief at Badami, this person   is  obese and cannot be young Banasura.

'Trivikrama' in MahaVishnu Cave temple is artistically much improved compared to the previous one. Trivikrama's face is  turned slightly towards his left - a stance very much unlike that at floor below and also at Mallapuram or at Changu Narayana,Nepal.Only at Cave 15 of Ellora, Trivikrama's face is turned towards his left , but that wall-relief carries much less details than this one.

We  find here the sacrificial  horse in the right-hand corner top, gods,the Moon , Rahu  , Namuchi kicked up and away in the other half at the top. In the lower half, we find adoration of Vamana Avatar below the left foot of  Trivikrama and persuasion of Trivikrama   by Banasura and hostility of Namuci around his right-foot. In the portion 'Adoration of  Vamana Avatar' we find eroded 'Vamana with his umbrella', thus robbing this portion of its beauty.

I have given copious notes under the pictures I have posted here . Hope my friends will enjoy the same.

Sacrificial horse - 'Ashwamedh Yagna'
'MahaVishnu' Cave temple, Badami

Upper half of Trivikrama in his full cosmic grandeur.  
As his head touches the sky where Ganesha and gods , 
the Sun, the Moon and Rahu adore him.
We can see some of Vishnu's divine weapons here -
discuss 'Sudarsana', bow 'Sharnga' and sword 'Vidyadhara''.
'MahaVishnu' Cave temple, Badami.

 One of the artistically finest depiction of 'Trivikrama'  .
 It is sad the 'Vamana Avatar' has been eroded.
The wall-relief has been so crafted that 
a section of the same hides under the drooping pavilion.
The details are astounding.
'MahaVishnu' Cave temple, Badami.

Sunday, September 18, 2011



I  so far  used my e-address @ - - to post photographs which I click during my trip to Munger.

The reason I have to visit Munger a few times a year is associated with PANIIT's 'IITians For ITIs' project. I have been invited by ITC, Munger to be a part of their team @ Institute Management Committee of ITI,Munger, which has received Rs 2.5 Crores from World Bank for introducing a course on 'Electrical maintenance'.

These trips have taken to the hillock on the outskirt of Munger from where one can view the famous horse-shoe of the course of the Ganges, a famous Yoga Centre which is the crown jewel of Munger and the Fort-side shore of the Ganges.Unfortunately for me, the management have decided that short personal travelogues - kind of  photo-features - will not be published by any more. My latest 'hub' - 'Visit to Munger III' ( - has been 'unpublished'. I have here a part of the text  and some of the photos from that blog as well as photos I have clicked during my recent train journey to Munger ( 15/09/11) .

FROM dtd.02/08/11 :

'First a few words about the Yoga Institute. From a very small set-up, the Institute has flourished to a big Institute with residential facility. I was shown around with a lot of care - understand my host ITC, Munger is quite friendly with the Management of this Institute. I would suggest that any visitor of Munger must find an hour to visit this place and absorb the tranquility of the enormous prayer hall !

- Setting  sun has turned the Ganges golden.Two boys - one ready for a plunge into water.


A visit to western flank of the town where the Ganges flow , specially at the time of sunset, is very enjoyable. One finds ripples of the river shining ,boats plying with sails up , young people enjoying a dip and far out - a bridge under construction. The photos with boys in silhouette was disallowed in many 'flickr' groups - including the one on river administered by me - because their internal checking system perceived that the boys were naked. Well they were not ! I found the glowing ripples of the Ganges and silhouettes made excellent composition !'

Coming back to the train journey undertaken last week, I found good sunlight , a time span of an hour in the morning before I reach my destination - Jamalpur station and flooded country-side - quite interesting for trying out a few clicks. I was inside an A/C  compartment - as expected, with a 'point& shoot' camera, I could hardly get the desired result.A few of them are here, which may be liked by my friends from Bihar, especially from that region, as the scenery remind them of their homeland.

- I found nos of persons walking past our train while we were waiting @ Sultangaunj for a 'crossing' of a train from the other side.


- As viewed from the train passing through countryside.

Friday, August 5, 2011



NOTE : Those, who worship Siva as an ascetic Yogi, or are below 18 years age, are requested to stay away from this blog. 

Kartick joins Devi Durga while she is busy slaying Mahisasura.
His peacock is on his right side. 

Kartik the Lord of war arrives in Bengal twice every year - during the days of Autumn festival. He accompanies Devi Durgaa  and again return alone on the last day of the month of 'Kartik' for one day/night. We know him as  the youngest among Hindu gods - a very handsome god who rides an equally handsome bird - a peacock.

When one delves deeper into the mythology of Kartikeya , one learns about his  valour - his defeating Tarakasura who struck terror among gods for years together and  the  complex story of his birth where Siva and Parvati - the most powerful celestial couple in Hindu mythology, Agni, Ganga and the gods played crucial roles. When we follow this tale , we need remember that Hindu mythology is built with layers of allegory and story-tellers from various  sects  colour these tales  with their very own beliefs .

Our story - as told by Bhishma from his bed of arrows to Yudhistir in eighty third chapter of 'Anushasana Parva' in Mahabharata - begins when we find Siva and Parvati , having  traversed a long path filled with death, destruction, long and harsh years of  very severe Yogic meditation,  reached the point where they could enjoy  their conjugal life.

 Siva embraces Parvati while they relax and enjoy in company of Siva's followers - 'Ganas'.
Virupaksha temple, Pattadakal.

As we all know,the beginning of their conjugal life was fraught with distabilisation  by Ravana, whom Siva punished severely through prolonged imprisonment and then, a prolonged battle with Andhakasura. Andhaka was born in Kailasha .Parvati had so severe disliking for the new-born that Siva gave the infant away to Hiranyaksha for adoption. The adopted Asura , when grown up , became an invincible warrior. He blundered by coveting Parvati .Siva got engaged in a fierce and long  battle with Andhakasura and his companion Gajasura. The later was killed and Andhakasura was subjugated - converted to an ardent devotee of Siva , known as 'Bhringee'.*1

 RavanaDamanaMurti of Siva.Parvati clings to Siva as Ravana upsets her and inhabitants of Mountain Kailasha .
Siva punishes Ravana  holding him a prisoner under this hill for years.
Virupaksha temple, Pattadakal.

When all these  were matter of the past, Siva - who is called 'Hiranyaretah' and 'Mahabeeja' *2, the god with golden  and powerful seeds - and Parvati - the Mother of the Universe and embodiment of  'Shakti',i.e. Power -   were engaged  in Divine union, secluded in their heavenly abode. This was when  they heard the wail of the gods from outside :

' Oh Lord of the Gods!
Withhold - oh please do withhold
Shedding your seeds so Powerful !
You are the Super Yogi ! So is Parvati !
We  are so very afraid
You two together  will give birth
To such Power and Strength 
That  would vanquish us - the gods,
Oh ! His * power would not be contained in the Universe -
Alas! All will be singed !'

 Gods outside the abode of Siva -Parvati.
Virupaksha temple, Pattadakal.

Siva was moved by this appeal . He withheld his ejaculation through his power of  Yoga . When he withdrew, his semen spilled  outside Parvati's womb . His Yogic power has been hailed by his devotees when they address him as 'Urddhalinga' - Ithyphallic' - and 'Urddharetah' *2- in control of ejaculation.

Ithyphallic Siva.
SriMukhalingam temple.A.P.

Thus interrupted ,Parvati was furious with the gods assembled outside . Deprived of motherhood of Siva's child, she cursed them that they would not give birth to children in future*3. Agni was not present this gathering of gods - so he was not affected by this curse. Siva's spilled semen was collected by Agni which grew within  him *4 .

 Kartikeya on his peacock - he is placed in the gallery of Durga in 5th Century AD.
Siva Gallery, Cave temple at Badami.

Gods were faced with a great dilemma - they needed Siva's progeny to defeat Tarakasura. Very much scared of Parvati, Agni was then in hiding - first within water and then atop an 'Ashwaththa' tree. Gods chased and  hounded out Agni and coaxed him, who had Siva's seeds within him, to father a son in union with Ganga. Agni and Ganga complied  and the gods started waiting eagerly for the birth of the child growing within Ganga.

Ganga  found after a while that she would not be able bear the growing child within her for long . She gave birth to the future Lord of the war - prematurely - on mountain Sumeru . She described the child  to Agni as an infant  with  countenance as bright as that of the Sun, the Moon and Agni, with fragrance of Neolamarckia Cadamba flower and cool like water of a lotus-filled  pond ! With the flow of the river, the infant reached a water-body filled with weeds where he was nursed by six 'Kritikas'. Thus, he developed six heads.

 Siva blesses Kartikeya as he proceeds with his army to fight Tarakasura. 
Kartikeya clutches 'Shakti' in his right hand which has striking similarity with Siva's trident.
SriMukhalingam temple.A.P.

Soon, he grew to be a great warrior god and led an army to kill Tarakasura by an infallible weapon called  'Shakti'. He restored rule of the Heaven to the gods and Indra got back his throne after long years.

 Felicitation of Kartikeya .He sits relaxed and smiling, sans his weapons, in 'lalitasana' as celestial dancers celebrate his victory over Asuras. On top of the alcove, we find Siva-Parvati, 
together with Ganesha,Kartikeya, Ganas and Bhringee.
Someshwara temple,SriMukhalingam,A.P.

The name "Kartikeya' connects him to the 'Kritikas' who nursed him when he was an in infant.His other name "Skanda' connects him to Siva as 'Skanda' means spilling ( in this case ,that of  Siva's seeds ). He is also known as 'Devasenapati', meaning the leader of celestial army as well as husband of Devasena.He is widely worshiped as Lord Murugan in South India and as Katragama Deviyo in Ceylone. The word 'Katragama' comes from 'Karthikamam' . He is worshiped in a few other South Asian countries too.

 Kartikeya on a 'Torana' - a gate - among ruins
among ruins @ Vadnagar,Gujarat.

  • One of the meanings of the word 'Skanda' is 'spilling'. If we refer to : , we shall find '
    skanda = a name of Kartikeya, god of war
    skanda = m. anything which jumps or hops (in {tRNa-skanda4}, `" grasshopper "'N. of a man) RV.; spurting, effusing, effusion, spilling, shedding (cf. {a4} and {ghraNa-sk-}); perishing, destruction Gît.; quick-silver L.; `" Attacker "'N. of Kârttikeya (q.v., son of S'iva or of Agni; he is called god of war as leader of S'iva's hosts against the enemies of the gods [1256,2]; 
  •  *1 :Please read about the battle between Siva and Andhaksura in
  • *2 - Both the ascetic and erotic imagery of Siva is explicitly stated in  'Thousand Salutation to Siva' by Upamanyu, in presence of Vasudeva Krsna. Please refer to thirteenth chapter of   'Anushasana Parva' in Mahabharata.
  • *3 - Gods had many sons - I do not understand if our scripture writers had any gender bias - among non-celestial. Pandavas and Hanumana are the most famous among them.
  • *4 - If Agni was not among the group of gods outside the abode of Siva-Parvati, how did he collect the spilled seeds of Siva ?