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Sri Maha Shodashi is a Hindu goddess and is an aspect of Mahadevi mainly worshipped in Shaktism, a goddess-oriented sect of Hinduism. She is also revered as one of the prominent Mahavidyas. She is glorified in many Shakta texts, with Lalita Sahasranama being the most popular one. Sri Maha Shodashi is also known as Tripura Sundari, Rajarajeshwari, and Lalita.
She is a personification of Supreme Energy. According to Tripura Upanishad, Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva also derive their power from her. The Shodashi Tantra mentions Sri Maha Shodashi as the 'Beauty of the Three Realms or the Lokas’ or Tripura Sundari. Shodashi Tripura Sundari’s divine beauty transcends the three worlds.
In this handmade heavy statue weighing around 175 kgs, Sri Maha Shodashi is seated on the supine body of Lord Sadashiva, who lies on a throne whose four legs are the gods: Brahma, Vishnu, Ishvara, and Rudra. She is depicted as a sixteen-year-old girl (Shodashi means one who is sixteen) and is believed to embody sixteen types of desires. She is worshiped by goddess Laxmi and Saraswathi and the spread hood of Sheshnag forms a protective parasol over her head. She is shown with 12 hands equipped with all weapons, conch, lotus flower, and veena. Sri Maha Shodashi is skillful and considered complete in the divine arts of war, music, craft, and administration.
This sculpture is made from Panchaloha Bronze from Swamimalai, Tamil Nadu. The artisans of this region follow an ancient tradition of manufacturing bronze idols by a unique method called Madhuchista Vidhana or Lost wax method, which is described in the Silpasastra. The sculpture has been handcrafted with great precision to achieve fine details with perfection. Panchaloha also called Panchdhatu is a term for traditional five-metal alloys of sacred significance and used for making Hindu temple idols and jewelry.
Sri Maha Shodashi-Panchloha Bronze Statue: