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The Doctrine of Indian Sculpture

Part 2

It was the precept of the scripture to make a figure of a little boy or girl; sculptors have to divide that figure into five or six parts since the head of those figures is always comparatively more significant than the overall body. Nevertheless, in making a sculpture of a child figure, sculptors have to divide the figure into four and a half by granting the heads a unit. The first half is for the head, the second half for the chin to the knee (two times bigger than the head), and the rest must complete the overall figure by considering two and a half times bigger than the head. 

Mother and child. 12th Century, Khajuraho

Although it was precepted that the Das-Tal (divided into ten parts) figure is definitely for ordinary people, in some cases, the formation of God and Goddess is also made with this measurement. In ancient Hindu scriptures, we experienced God being born into this world as an ordinary person. His nobility would only be noticeable depending on the situation. 

To make a teenage boy or girl, the proportional structure settled in Six-Tal. There were no further rules to measuring the sculpture; however, the author precepted that when composing the couple figure, the female figure should be one step shorter than the male figure. There are also sculptures made in the ninth Tal among the Indian sculptures; however, I have not found sufficient information about such measurements. I have researched extensively on Indian statues, and while there are examples of sculptures made in the ninth Tal, I have yet to come across sufficient information regarding their measurements. Regardless of the human figure, that anonymous author also directed about a justified format of eye, nose, ear, Muddra, and the gesture of the fingers and palm. Indian sculpture utilizes gestures and poses to convey its traditional philosophical and spiritual thoughts.

What was the reason behind producing this system of measurement? According to the statement of that scripture, to establish the integrity and consistency that will represent the divinity and spiritual dedication of the human soul, it is necessary to have an effective form of art and sculpture. 

It is important to note that according to scripture, worshiping a sculpture is only allowed if proper measurement rules are maintained. But it didn't mean artists had to follow those rules; instead, I noticed that the author was inspired to experiment in several ways to open the door of Poss Bilism. The mentors utilized their artistic intuition to create forms honed through experiences of mortification, abandonment, and discipline. Such wisdom later encouraged Indian artists to be innovative. I shall discuss it later; however, he only restricted the usability of those sculptures to keep their dignity. In fact, in India, the rules are still followed in the same manner to make a model of God or Goddess for worship purposes. It is only natural to harbor doubts about the proficiency of ancient Indian artists in creating lifelike paintings and sculptures. However, I have an illuminating historical account to share that not only dispels these reservations but also highlights the exceptional skill of these artists in painting realistically. The realistic portrayal was often used typically if there is a particular reason. 

Statue of Jaksha. 1st Century BC. Govt.of India.

Once upon a time, Princess Usha fell in love with an unknown boy she saw in the Himalayan valley. Usha was the daughter of the King of the community of Jaksha. ( The Jakshas were a group of semi-divine beings who lived in the Himalayas during the Mahabhara period. They were tall and handsome, with golden skin and ng hai. They were also said to be wealthy and powerful and to possess magic power. They are often portrayed as powerful and dangerous, but they can also be wise and virtuous.) Her father asked her about that guy; however, she had nothing to say except a short description of that prince-like boy. Following her narration, some community artists made several paintings of the prince. After rejecting a lot, ultimately, she identified her beloved in a portrait of that boy. That prince-like boy was Aniruddha, the grandson of Lor Krishna. I visited the palace of Jaksha. It is in the deep interior of Ukhimath, district Chamoli of Uttarakhand, covered with hilly forest greeneries of the Himalayas. Pradyumna was the son of Lord Krishna and the father of Aniruddha. I even observed the particular place of their marriage in the palace. Such evidence proves that those ancient artists were well aware of realistic style painting, which helped to recognize the beloved of Usha.  

Getting settled on the measurement rules, the author also directed the standard form of the several parts of the human body. He significantly hashed out the emotional sides of a human figure that rev up several parts of the body. The third aphorism in the ancient grammar of painting was 'Vhava.' In that aphorism, the author described," "In the case of expressing the human mind, we have to study the body language and articulation that intended to impress others."

The same vision followed in the scripture of the Indian culture. The author of both books are unknown, but the intention is the same. There was a metaphorical description of each body part that came from nature. It's a beautiful discovery of that unknown sage, indicating his Innovative mind. I'll discuss in this blog later what will amaze you. 

Image Resource - Mother and Child- Hindu Cosmos.

Jaksha - Deccanview

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