A Master Carver in India Meticulously Carves a Ganesh Statue out one Solid Stone. -
A Murti literally means any form, embodiment or solid object, and typically refers to an image, statue or idol of a deity or person in Indian culture. By the Prana Pratishtha ceremony, the idol becomes identical with the deity. Murtis are also found in some nontheistic Jainism traditions, where they serve as symbols of revered persons inside Jain temples, and are worshipped in Murtipujaka rituals.
A Murti is typically made by carving stone, wood working, metal casting or through pottery. Medieval era texts describing their proper proportions, positions and gestures include the Puranas, Agamas and Samhitas. The expressions in a Murti vary in diverse Hindu traditions, ranging from Ugra symbolism to express destruction, fear and violence (Durga, Kali), as well as Saumya symbolism to express joy, knowledge and harmony (Saraswati, Lakshmi). Saumya images are most common in Hindu temples. Other Murti forms found in Hinduism include the Linga.
A Murti is an embodiment of the divine, the Ultimate Reality or Brahman to some Hindus. In religious context, they are found in Hindu temples or homes, where they may be treated as a beloved guest and serve as a participant of Puja rituals in Hinduism. In other occasions, it serves as the center of attention in annual festive processions and these are called Utsava Murti.
Pictured is a photo of Perumal Sthapati carving a large Ganesha Murti. He has been carving murtis for the last 40 years. To date he has sculpted over 80 murtis of Vinayaka, 50 of Venkateswara and many other Deities as well.
Talking about his process, Perumal explains, “When I am asked to carve a Ganesha murti, I get totally merged into the carving of Ganesha and become Ganesha Himself. I normally do not work with a limited time frame but rather carve the Ganesha until I am fully satisfied with it. Internal visualization is important. Only then can you bring out the mental impressions in you and carve them physically on the stone.” ...