Reclining Gaurī with child (Sadyojāta) Śiva.
Pāla period, 11th century, Northeast India or Bangladesh (Probably Northwest Bengal)
Length: 58 cm, 22.8 inches
Height: 29 cm, 11.4 inches
The image of the mother goddess in Indian art is an archetypal one. From Ambikā- the Jain mother goddess - to Māyā, mother of the Buddha, Indian religious mythology is rich in divine, maternal, Madonna like figures.¹ Whilst this horizontal stele ostensibly characterizes this tradition, it actually represents a specific passage within the Hindu Purānic text, the Brahmapurāna, whereby the goddess Gaurī ('fair complexioned Parvati’), encounters her consort to be, Śiva, albeit in neonate form (sadyojāta).² This subject matter was extremely popular within Bengal sculpture of the mid Pala period, with several similar depictions found in northern Bangladesh and the adjacent districts of West Bengal.³