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Vishnu with Personified Attributes, c. 9th century or earlier

India: Madhya Pradesh, 775-900
Sandstone
66 x 27 in. (167.6 x 68.6 cm)
The Norton Simon Foundation
F.1975.15.5.S
© The Norton Simon Foundation

On view

In this sculpture, the Hindu god Vishnu stands upright, gripping two figures beneath him as if they were inanimate objects. They are, in fact, the animate or personified forms of two of his attributes, the club, on his right, and the wheel (chakra), on his left. Images of Vishnu typically depict him with four arms, holding his attributes: the club, wheel, conch and lotus flower. The club is a symbol of Vishnu’s divine power, and the wheel, a symbol of the sun. The conch symbolizes primordial sound, and the lotus, purity and perfection.


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