Thursday, March 17, 2011



'Sharhabhuja Marichie'. We can see her benign left face and the beautiful lotus 
at the top left corner.Many of the features detailed below are clearly visible in this view.

We met her at the Museum of  Sailahundam Hill. This is a small museum, about 200' from the foot of the famous BouddhaStupa of Sailahundam, near SriKakulam,A.P., high on the western shore of Bansadhara river. The museum houses many sculptures  - mostly Bouddha - kept in a semicircle , in a rather dark ambiance. The most attractive sculpture is that of 'Sharhabhuja Marichi' - her imposing figure faces the visitor as s/he enters the gallery.

The caretaker of the museum told us that Marichi is the consort of Surya. Not exactly - with help of of e-friends, Satyasri Ukil and Gregory Fegel, I realised that I noted the name in my notebook incorrectly.She is not 'Harichee' - the correct spelling is 'Marichi' ! Well, nothing was written about her in the museum. A fresh internet search indicated she is the Buddhist Goddess of Dawn  .Her Iconography in Tibet and Japan are, however, different from what we found in this museum.

Marichi is 6' tall, made of sandstone ,stands on a base which has seven horses and two wheels .She has three faces - the front face is almost without any features - eyes,nose and lips gone through erosion.The other two faces have two very different expressions - like that of Siva's Trimurti - one is ferocious,fangs out, the other calm and smiling benignly.Only two of her hands are intact.The middle right hand holds a sword and the lower left hand holds a half-coiled whip.She is adorned with ornaments from head to her feet.Though she is standing on a base which is being drawn by galloping horses, her posture is not that of a woman standing still on a carriage - the right leg and angabastra near her hip depict movement.

According to Tibetan Iconography, Marichi is drawn by a cart of sow.Here, we find horses, just as in Hindu Iconography of Surya.
 Refernce -

Lots of motifs around her.
Above her left shoulder, we see a blooming lotus. A wonderful flower is that - one has to look at a close-up on a large screen ! There are two sitting and mediating Bodhisattwa on her left and right sides.The chariot is being driven by she-charioteer ,sitting in the centre of the base  in a posture which can be called Lalita Asana.She carries a fully coiled whip in her left hand, raised to the level of her shoulder. The base has , as I have mentioned earlier, seven horses and one wheel each on two sides of the base.
 A blow-up of the lower part of the sculpture.Clear view of two meditating Bodhisattwas, she-charioteer and the two whips, one each in the hands of the goddess and her charioteer  
can be viewed clearly.

I end with a photo of a MahisasuraMardini like sculpture and the nameplate of  'Sharhabhuja Marichee'. The English letters cannot be read, Telugu letters are clearer. If someone can decipher and advise me if I got the name correct or not.

        MahisasuraMardini like statue.Six-handed goddess, sitting in Lalita Asana on a lotus.      Her top right hand has a sword raised above her head.She is crushing a demon-like figure under her right foot.

If someone can read the Telugu words, please write back to me.

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