Unique Interpretation of The Sculpture of Lion Over Elephant
Everytime I pay a visit to the Sun temple at Konark, I find something new….where every piece of rock speaks a story of its own / past glory. There are two sculptures found in front of the Natyamandira ( Dancing hall), where you will see a model of Lion on an Elephant which has secured a man on its trunk .. I looked for its possible interpretations…One source of interpretation speaks something like this.
Elephant connotes abundance and Lion means pride in addition to control ….. Assuming that if a man doesn’t have command over his pride and abundance then he gets squashed under their massive weight. So while getting into the Konark Sun Temple , a person should leave behind his/her pride, influence and abundance in order to be the receiver of divine bliss and peace.
Another source of interpretation speaks something like this.
An elephant is always considered as a sacred symbol in Buddhism ( The mother of Lord Buddha had dreamt of an elephant coming out of her womb just in the penultimate night of giving birth to Lord Buddha) . But Lion is considered as equally sacred in Hinduism ( lion being the Bahan or carrier or vehicle of Goddess Durga). Eastern Ganga dynasty rulers were followers of Hinduism and to portray the dominance of Hinduism over Buddhism , the said sculpture has been made so…..
Anyway the image of the said sculpture is submitted here for discussion.
Dr. Manoj Mishra