Dhere Center


Dr. Dhere has used the study of images and symbols in the investigation of the development of gods and goddesses. For a researcher of religion and gods, the study of iconography is an inevitable tool. While writing about the idol at Chaphal, supposedly that of Ram, Dr. Dhere uprightly points out that the iconography of the idol indicates that it represents Sun and not Ram. He further integrates the fact with the origin of Ram relates him to the Sun.
His undisputable originality in the interpretation is evident in the study of the Goddesses of fertility and maternity, the headless representation of a naked female –Lajjagauri. There were many other explanations to the representation. He has investigated the claims of the idol belonging to Yogini, Renuka and Matangi cults. He has come out with explanation of headless idol. Presence of lotus in place of head and symbolizing female organs has assigned the lotus as a unique Indian symbol of fertility goddess.
He has shown that the womblike pots represented in some of the fertility related carvings resemble that of Stupa. Such representation yields a new direction to a researcher and questions the belief related to some of the Buddhist sculptures.
In the study of Viththal, his iconographic investigation has given a new turn to the study. He has keenly pointed out a uniqueness of the idol in having mantra inscribed on the chest of the idol itself. It had lead to the conclusion that the description of the idol in the ancient text does not match with that of the presently worshipped idol.
He has also raised the doubt about the absence of staff of cowherd in the presently worshipped idol which was clearly described in the texts. His investigation related to the linga in temple, and at Samadhi has yielded a conclusion that Pundalik temple is originally a Shiva temple.
His observations of supposedly ‘Bhairav’ in the temple of Ramteertha in Anandanayaki, brings out the fact that the idol actually represents Kartikeya. He has integrated the carvings at Jejuri representing Yaksha in the Jain tradition with an attempt to accept Khandoba in the Jain fold.
Generally, iconography is used as additional information in the symbolization of divine power. Dr. Dhere has successfully used it as evidence in the transformation of gods and in reinventing the past, which was intact but hidden from the eyes of ordinary researcher.
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