About this artwork
This tantric Hindu female goddess is usually part of a set of seven mother goddesses (Brahmani, Vaishnavi, Maheshvari, Indrani, Kaumari, Varahi and Chamunda) called matrikas, but she is also revered as a goddess in her own right. The matrikas are the female shaktis (power, energy) of the male gods, and Brahmani is the shakti of the creator god Brahma. Like Brahma, she is typically shown with four heads (with the fourth one understood to be at the back), symbolizing omniscience, the four sacred scriptures (Vedas), the four castes, or the four time cycles (yugas). As a sage or female yogi, she often holds a rosary, and a water pot (kamandalu), and she sits in the yogic pose with a strap (yogapatta) to hold her legs in position. In Nepal, she is frequently depicted as here, with one head and two arms, instead of the multi-headed and multi-armed versions of the goddess in India.
Currently Off View
- Arts of Asia
- Mother-Goddess Brahmani Seated in Yogic Posture Holding Water Pot
- Copper alloy
- 19.5 × 11.6 × 9.8 cm (7 11/16 × 4 9/16 × 3 7/8 in.)
- Gift of Marilynn B. Alsdorf