The Hindu god Shiva is shown with expansive chest and alert face, his hands bearing tokens of his exploits - a battle ax, a deer, and (now broken off) a cup of deadly poison. The poison was produced by the gods and demons as they churned up the ocean; when Shiva drank it, it turned his throat blue. This is one of the many forms of the supreme god Shiva. He holds a deer, signifying that worshiping Shiva provides a better path to salvation than carrying out ritual sacrifices (the dominant form of religious practice in early India 3,000 years ago). The deer is said to be a trophy of the occasion on which Shiva elevated himself to a supreme position by destroying a horse sacrifice.