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February 3, 2006

Religious Art

indian gods contrast.JPG

The demon with a water-buffalo head, on the right in this frieze cut out of rock at Mahishasuramardini Cave in southern India, is Mahisha -- a fellow with a bent for disturbing the balance of life. Durga, the mother of the universe, is fending him off -- riding a lion, wielding a bow and arrow.

This sort of thing certainly has its attractions, especially on rainy days sitting under a laptop, when the balance of life can seem a touch off. Metaphor. Analogy. Poetry. Beauty. With these religion has certainly been well endowed. And let us not forget meaning -- some way of getting a handle on the balances and imbalances of life.

We can gape. We can smile. But to believe? In Durga?

Posted by Mitchell Stephens at February 3, 2006 11:45 AM


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