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This looks like an interesting article. I'm looking forward to learning more about the topic as I go through the review process.
I notice that most of the sources don't appear to be available online. If I have questions concerning some of them, are they readily available? Since I won't be able to consult them myself, I might have to ask the nominator to quote passages supporting statements in the article.
I'll probably go through this and make any minor changes that need to be made, then work on the review in userspace. It'll probably be a few days before I get it posted. Could I ask that the nominator follow up on any minor changes that I make, to make sure that I don't accidentally introduce error or American spelling? Thanks. Ammodramus (talk) 21:01, 22 February 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for improving the article by your edits. I have most of the sources available with me. Please do let me know if you have any concerns. --RedtigerxyzTalk 05:59, 24 February 2014 (UTC)
Thanks—it's an interesting article, and it's definitely a potential GA. I've been working on the review in userspace, and hope to have it up soon. (Unfortunately, real-world complications will probably keep me from getting any work done on it tomorrow, but I'll try to post it soon after.) Ammodramus (talk) 03:22, 25 February 2014 (UTC)
My real-world complications proved more complicated than I'd expected, but I've finally found time to finish the review.
All of these points are open to discussion; if you disagree with anything I've suggested here, please feel free to say so.
Y Would it be good to include parenthetical Devanagari forms of "Kalyanasundara" and its synonyms such as "Vaivahika-murti" and "Panigrahana-murti"? This is done in a number of articles on Hindu topics, e.g. Mantra, Bhagavad Gita, Narada. If "Kalyanasundara", "Vaivahika-murti", and "Panigrahana-murti" have literal translations into English, it might be good to include them as well.
I think the "Background story" section needs to be fleshed out a little more. First, is it chronologically accurate? The account in the story makes it sound as though: (1) Tarakasura obtains pledge that he can only be killed by Shiva's son; (2) Sati dies; (3) Shiva goes into deep meditation. Other accounts that I've found have (2) and (3) taking place before (1): Tarakasura asks for immortality, save at the hands of Shiva's son, precisely because he thinks it unlikely that Shiva will give up his asceticism and procreate. If this is the correct order, the passage should be rewritten to reflect it. Second, we need a little more detail: how did Tarakasura obtain this blessing, and from whom? How did Shiva test Parvati's devotion? Did Shiva and Parvati in fact produce a son, and did this son kill Tarakasura?
There are different versions of the tale in various scriptures, with various chronologies of events. Let me check a couple of references to add a little more to the legend. However, the article is about the iconographical depiction of the divine marriage (and not the divine marriage per se), so IMO the background story should be short. RedtigerxyzTalk 14:18, 1 March 2014 (UTC)
I agree that the background story shouldn't be too detailed. However, since Tarakasura was the reason why the gods were so anxious for this marriage to take place, we should tell the reader what happened to him. A single sentence should take care of that.
In the first sentence, "Tarakasura... was blessed such that he could be killed only by the son of Shiva". Reading it, I was left wondering who conferred the blessing, and how did Tarakasura obtain it.
If it looks like this section is getting too long, might we consider dropping Shiva's testing of Parvati's devotion, since we don't describe it in any detail?
If there's a lot of variation in the important points of the story, we should probably say so at the beginning of this section, so that readers will know there's not a single canonical version. Ammodramus (talk) 13:24, 3 March 2014 (UTC)
I have added more details. Please check. --RedtigerxyzTalk 08:59, 5 March 2014 (UTC)
Y The passage on worship by husband-seekers might be expanded from its current single sentence to describe the manner of worship, for the benefit of readers who (like me) know all too little about Hinduism: reading the current sentence, I would have assumed that this worship could take the form of simply kneeling and addressing a prayer to the icon, whereas Fuller describes a more elaborate (and expensive) procedure. We might also want to add the location of the temple (Madurai, Tamil Nadu).
Fuller does not describe a full procedure in this context. He uses "worship" which can be an elaborate puja or a simple prayer. --RedtigerxyzTalk 14:18, 1 March 2014 (UTC)
OK. I was only able to read p. 38 of Fuller in Google Books, and got the impression that the worship took the form of the wedding re-enactment. You've probably read the whole chapter, and certainly have more background knowledge. Ammodramus (talk) 17:59, 1 March 2014 (UTC)
Y "He wears serpents around his neck, waist and as a necklace". Using both "around his neck" and "as a necklace" seems redundant.
Y In "Textual descriptions", we've got "The Agamic texts... describe the iconography..." First, "Agamic" appears to be derived from a work of scripture, so I don't think it should be italicized (see MOS:TITLE; cf. "Vedic"). Second, it appears both from your use of "should" and from the WP article on the Agamas that they don't just describe a typical icon: they lay down rules for how the icon should be constructed. If that's the case, I'd use "prescribe" rather than "describe" in the sentence.
Y In the second paragraph of "Textual descriptions", I don't understand the passage "...shying with her head bent slightly...". "Shying" doesn't seem like the right verb, but I can't think of what was intended.
Y In the fourth paragraph of "Textual descriptions", "The four-headed god Brahma is seated..." Should this be "...should be seated..." or "may be depicted seated", in keeping with the prescriptive tone of the other paragraphs? Ditto for the last paragraph: should "are depicted" be changed to "should be depicted" or "may be depicted"?
Y The use of "may" in the "Depictions" section is ambiguous after the "should" constructions in the previous section: it could be prescriptive or descriptive. I assume that it's the latter, in which case it might be better to eliminate the ambiguity with "be" or "can" constructions; e.g. "Sometimes, only the principal participants are depicted". Also, can we do something about the frequent repetition of "depicted"? This is grammatically OK, but it doesn't read well. Could we try synonyms like "represented" or "shown"?
Y In the last paragraph of "Depictions", are both examples of the anachronism now in the LA County Museum of Art, or just the 9th-century Uttar Pradesh sculpture? The present phrasing is ambiguous. If they're both now in LA, "both now housed..." If only the UP sculpture is there, put a comma after "Ellora" and eliminate the comma after "Uttar Pradesh".
The following aren't critical for the article's GA status, but I think they might improve the article.
Should we have redirects to this article from some of the boldfaced synonyms in the lead section? I don't find any at "What links here".
Y Italicization of non-English terms (Sanskrit?) isn't consistent. Many are italicized, e.g. "panigrahana", "shankha", "homa"; but many others are not, e.g. "asura", "damaru", "vahana". Per MOS:ITAL, it seems like they should all be italicized, except for proper nouns.
YAre "Tribhanga", "Varadamudra", and "Trishula" typically capitalized? Google searches suggest that these are commonly lower-cased; if not proper nouns, they should be italicized.
YAny reason why the photo of the Chola bronze is on the left? I think it'd look better on the right: in its current placement, Vishnu's back is to the text.
The section "Depictions" seems to be about representations that differ from the strict form prescribed by the Agamic text. Would "Variations" be a better title for the section?
Variations may be interpreted as variation in textual description.--RedtigerxyzTalk 11:26, 5 March 2014 (UTC)
YIs Parvati's lion her vahana? If so, the third paragraph in "Depictions" should indicate this, e.g. "The vahanas (vehicles) of the couple, Shiva's bull Nandi and Parvati's lion, are sometimes pictured..."
Y Might it be better to split the single paragraph in "Worship" into three short paragraphs, with one paragraph consisting of the first two sentences, a second one on the ceremonial-wedding celebrations, and a third about worship by husband-seeking women?
Y In the third paragraph of the lead section, "does not enjoy" is personifying the icon. Could we replace it with a construction like "is not the object of popular worship"; maybe even "extensive popular worship", since the last sentence in the article describes some very limited popular worship (by husband-seeking women).