Deepmallika: Bronze – 13th century CE
When PP Swami Parijnanashram III decided to revive the Rathotsava in Shirali after a gap of 34 years, a happy atmosphere prevailed in the whole village. The youngsters were working with great enthusiasm and joy to make the Rathotsava a success. Infected by their enthusiasm, Param Poojya Swami Parijnanashram III too became eager to bring out the various paraphernalia of the Rathotsava from the back room where it had remained all these years. Behind the Math was the “Ugran”(store room) which had a loft. They set foot in the Ugran for the first time to bring out the articles needed for the Rathotsava like the “Rath Kalash”, “Deepa Vadya”, “Dhwaja Pati”, etc. Their idea to set up the Museum was born here. While taking out various articles needed for the festival, an attractive bronze Deepa Mallika came into their hands. They were instantly drawn by its aura of Satvic qualities. The Deepa Mallika seemed to whisper the message: “From Darkness to Light”(Tamasoma Jyotirgamaya). Thus the Deepa Mallika became the inspiration for starting their collection.
Dhwaja: Late 14th Century CE.
A Dhwaja as part of Indian traditions is what is placed at the top, after construction work of any kind is completed. The demolition activities of the Math were started two years ago and the debris was carried to Kembre farm. About a month ago this Dhwaja was discoved lying in one of the fields. The person who found it however did not report his finding immediately. A few days before the opening of the Museum, this person handed it over to the Math. This Dhwaja thus came as an auspicious symbol to mark the completion of the museum.
Vishnu with consorts:11th – 12th century AD
Vishnu, as part of the Hindu Triad, takes on the role of the Protector God. He is portrayed as seated on His vahana Garuda. Garuda represents the mind as there is nothing stronger and quicker. In His hands He holds, the Shankha, Chakra, Gada and Padma. These represent the sky, the air, light and the waters respectively. Vishnu’s supreme task is that of preservation. His avataras(incarnations)are forms He assumed for the attainment of certain objectives mainly the destruction of evil.
Saptamatrikas: Stone - 12th -13th century CE
The legend of the Sapatamatrikas (seven Divine Mothers ) is an interesting one. Knowledge and Ignorance are constantly at a struggle to attain dominance. In this story Andhakasura is the symbol of Ignorance and Shiva the symbol of Wisdom. Wisdom ultimately triumphs over Ignorance. Andhakasura, grandson of Hiranyakashipu becomes very powerful on the attainment of certain boons from Brahma. He begins to harass the gods who appeal to Shiva to protect them. A fight ensues but every time Andhakasura is injured, replicas of him emerge from every drop of his blood that touches the ground. Thus Vishnu begins to ill the asuras with his discus and Shiva creates from himself Yogeswari to drink every drop of his blood. Brahma, Vishnu and the other gods follow suit and the Saptamatrikas are given form. They are a form of the kinetic energy of their male counterparts and carry the same weapons and ride the same mounts as them. The Varaha Purana mentions eight Matrikas and says that they represent eight mental qualities which are morally bad.
Yogeshwari-Kama or desire
Maheshwari-Krodha or anger
Vaishnavi-Lobha or covetousness
Kaumari-Moha or illusion
Brahmani-Mada or pride
Indrani-Matsarya or fault finding
Chamunda-Paisunya or tale bearing
Varahi-Asuya or envy
With the assistance of the
Saptamatrikas the battle was won and Knowledge reigned supreme.s
Ashtabhuja Mahishasurmardini:11th – 12th century CE
A form of Shakti, the Markandeya Purana says Mahishasuramardini is made up of the essence of all gods. The death of several asuras such as Mahisha, Chanda, Munda, Shumbha and Nishumbha are attributed to Her. The texts refer to Her as durga, Chandi and Katyayani. Her eight handed form holds a javelin, sword, arrow, wheel, noose, shield, bow and conch.
Vinayaki: Copper 9th-10th century CE
The earliest evidence of a female Ganesh or Vinayaki is a weathered terracotta plaque from Rairh in Rajasthan, which is said to date back to the first century. It is a figure of a corpulent human female body with an elephant head. References to Vinayakis also abound in the Puranas. The Matsya Purana mentions Vinayaki as one of the two hundred “celestial mothers” created by Mahadeva, or Shiva to consume the blood of the fiery demon Andhaka. Linga Purana also mentions the deity. Malini, a she-demon, who has an elephant head, drinks Parvati’s bath water and is honoured by Shiva. Malini, with her elephant head and a human female’s body as often said to be the first Vinayaki. Vinayaki is further seen depicted amidst the sculpture of Causath- Yogini temple in Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh. She stands regally, while Ganapati is shown supporting her right foot. Shri Kumara, a text dating back to the sixth century, invokes Vinayaki in the following words: Prostrations to the Goddess Vinayaki, who is an elephant above the neck and below is a youthful female. Salutations to Shakti_Ganapati who is vermilion, the colour of the horizon when the sun is about to set, her corpulent belly hangs out enticingly, her breasts bend her waist with their weight and she sports ten splendid arms holding weapons.