Gatekeeper gods; Skanda in Buddhism

Vidyasankar Sundaresan vsundaresan at HOTMAIL.COM
Sun Jul 18 01:47:56 UTC 1999

>1.  I read in W. Doniger O'Flaherty, "The Myths Depicted at Elephanta", in
>_Elephanta. The Cave of Shiva_, Photographs by Carmel Berkson, Essays by W.
>Doniger O'Flaherty, G. Michell and Carmel Berkson, Princeton Univ. Press,
>Princeton, 1983, p. 30, that"sa and Karttikeya are door-keepers at
>east wing shrine of Elephanta.

Ganesha and Karttikeya in the said Elephanta cave are found flanking the
seven mothers, and are on the same wall. It is not a shrine to the mothers
with the two sons as door-keepers. The entire sculpture seems to have been
conceived as one whole. In many other sculptures of the seven mothers, the
two sons are also depicted, the reason being to highlight the benign nature
of the mothers instead of the ferocious. This is a different function than
that of gatekeepers.


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