Himalayan Art Resources

Item: Vishnu (Indian God)

ཁྱབ་འཇུག། ཧིན་དྷུ་ལྷ། 遍如天(毗湿奴)
(item no. 65545)
Origin Location India
Date Range 1300 - 1399
Lineages Hindu
Material Stone
Collection Rubin Museum of Art
Notes about the Central Figure

Classification: Deity

Interpretation / Description

Vishnu, Narasimha (English: Man-lion): the fourth incarnation (avatar) of the great Hindu god Vishnu. (See the story of Narasaimha).

Narasimha has a lion face with flaming hair and a human body, four hands and two legs. The upper right hand holds a mace and the raised left a discus (chakra). The main pair of arms hold the evil asura (demi-god) Hiranyakashipu as the two hands rip the entrails from the body.

At the lower right side Hiranyakashipu is attempting to kill his son Prahlada, a devotee of Vishnu. At the left side Narasimha appears rising from a pillar with the evil asura depicted below. Between the legs of Narasimha two heavenly gods try and calm him from his divine rage.

The top of the stone is adorned with a kirtimukha face (Pdf link) and two flying gods are depicted below. Four figures adorn the base of the lotus throne.

Jeff Watt 10-2006

Related Items
Thematic Sets
Collection of Rubin Museum of Art: Sculpture (Gallery 1)
Hindu Deity: Vishnu Main Page
Medium: Sculpture - Stone
Hindu Deity: Vishnu, Narasimha Avatar
Collection of RMA: Best of Collection 2
Region: India, Pala Period (Stone Sculpture)