The Ganas, Shiva’s followers, are dwarves. They are revered as minor deities. This sculpture is true to the description of the Shiva Gana in the Vishnudharmottara Purana. Here, we have a fat and short Gana resting on his left knee. His right leg is bent in a posture later associated with devotees like Hanuman. The Gana’s right arm is raised in a supporting stance, while the left hand is placed on the girdle at his waist. His long hair is arranged in curls and is spread around his head. The protruding teeth and bulging eyes add to his fierce demeanour. Notice the two different kinds of earrings. This feature is often seen in Shaivite sculptures.
The circular grain formation of the red sandstone enhances the smoothly carved roundness of the thighs and belly. The natural modelling of the figure, the slightly turned face and the position of the arms and legs lend a certain rhythm to the stone image.
This Shiva Gana image was excavated from the Ataria Khera mound at Khoh, in Central India.
Gift of Smt. Pupul Jayakar
5th Century CE
Khoh, Satna District Madhya Pradesh
69 x 49.5 x 25 cms