Virabhadra, or Veerabhadra, is a fierce aspect of Shiva, who manifested following an unforgiveable insult made to Shiva’s wife, Sati, by her father, Prajapati Daksh. In response to the insult which was the culmination of a series made over time, Sati self-immolated. In a tremendous fury and rage, Shiva caused this emanation of himself, Virabhadra, to manifest to deal with the situation. Virabhadra caused much destruction including cutting off the head of Daksh. The missing head was later replaced by a goat’s head, and Daskh, realizing the extent of his insults and remorse for losing his beloved daughter, converted to being one of the most faithful and ardent worshippers of Lord Shiva.
In this shield, the central figure is Virabhadra, a hero-warrior. He is flanked by Prajapati Daksh with his goat’s head, and Shiva’s beloved Sati. Virabhadra is standing on platformed sandals (padukas) and carries a lethal arsenal of weapons and a shield in his left hand. Virabhadra wears several necklaces, including one of skulls, displaying his fierceness.
Deccan region of India
19th century. Visible wear from puja.
8.25" H x 6" W x 1" D