Apparition of a Tree Spirit during Worship
Artist/maker unknown, Indian
Two women perform puja, the act of ritual worship, to the god Shiva in his nonhuman form as a linga. They pour water, offer garlands, and touch the sacred stone. Monkeys participate by bending flowers toward the holy form, while a wish-granting spirit in the guise of a beautiful woman emerges from the branches of a tree. This painting opens a window into the world of popular faith and traditional beliefs, where nature and its vital energy play a central role.