The image does not conform to any of the so-far known iconographic forms either in literature or in sculpture. Scholars have earlier identified it as Vrishabharudha Shiva because of the presence of the Nandi.
However, the mudras and the emblems displayed by Shiva identify him as Dakshinamurti. He holds a lotus and a bowl in his upper hands, while the lower left is in vitarka mudra and the lower right rests on his knee positioned in the varada mudra. Vitarka mudra is particularly associated with Dakshinamurti, who is the embodiment of Knowledge. The thumb and the pointing finger brought together as in the vitarka mudra suggest the ultimate oneness of the jivatman with the Paramatma as explained by Sayana in his commentary on the Dakshinamurti stotra.
Shiva is seated in Lalitasana, his body gracefully bent in dvibhanga. Dakshinamurti on Nandi seems to be a local iconographic development of eastern India which may have emerged following the popular Buddhist form of Simhanada Lokesvara or Yamari. A much later image of Dakshinamurti on Nandi is also found in Orissa. The images of Nataraja dancing on the Nandi preserved in the Karachi Museum and the Dacca Museum are also from the eastern India.
11th century CE
15.5 x 7.7 x 4.5 cms.