THOUGH in the early period Kaumari appears as an individual goddess, she is assimilated with the Saptamatrika group– the group of seven goddeses– when it is standardised in the 3rd century CE. However, till the 6th century CE she continues to enjoy her position as an individual goddess as is evident from outstanding 6th century sculptures of Kaumari from Shamalaji and Parel. These mother goddesses were believed to be malevolent spirits who would inflict the children with diseases if they were annoyed. According to a legend narrated in the Vanaparvan of the Mahabharata, Skanda-Kartikeya converted these malevolent female spirits into benign mother goddesses.
Goddess Kaumari, in this image, is seated in a variation of Lalitasana holding a fruit in her right hand. One end of the long spear held in her left hand is supported on the ground. She wears a kuchabandha around her full breasts, while her lower garment is indicated by incised folds on the legs. Moderately bedecked, her ornaments consist of a beaded necklace, armlets and Chakrakundala. Her stylised coiffure shows her hair arranged in schematic locks tied with a chain ornament with a medallion fixed in the centre. Gupta characteristics are evident in her wide open eyes, thin upper lip and thick lower lip.
41.5 x 30 x 16 cms.