When the resonance of ‘Om’ spreads through the air the Nirguna Brahmand (universe) became Sanguna. This essence of Lord Shiva throbs in Indian soil, its philosophy illustrates him as the destroyer of evil, passionate lover, ferocious warrior, protector, lord of cosmic dance, incorruptible yet powerful force and equally ornamented with a fearsome temper. But this is what philosophy says about him, what about the commoners! How did they saw Mahakala (Lord Shiva) himself? Let’s learn about their perception of the God of the Gods through coinage by turning the pages of Indian numismatic to study Lord Shiva on coins.
As seen in the previous blog, the early coinage of Kushan had a great Greek iconographic influence and were struck depicting the Greek deities. However as the Kushans created a vast Empire under Kanishka I the iconographic imagery, as well as the deities on Kushan coins, became more and more Indian. The religious pantheon under Kanishka I and Huvishka drew heavily from the pre-Zoroastrian Iran and the Hindu and Buddhist pantheon. The coins of Later Kushan rulers mostly depicted Oesho (Indian) and Ardochsho (Iranian). Scholars are of the opinion that the iconography introduced by the Kushan in their coins was continued by many dynasties that followed the Kushans.