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Vishnu as Vaikuntha, 10th century

India: Haryana or Uttar Pradesh, 900-999
Brownish-grey schist
28-3/8 x 16-1/2 x 7 in. (72.1 x 41.9 x 17.8 cm)
The Norton Simon Foundation
F.1975.16.09.S
© 2012 The Norton Simon Foundation

On view

This impressive three-headed image depicts Vishnu in a cosmic manifestation known as Vaikuntha, which is also the name of his heavenly abode. The head projecting on his right is Narasimha, the man-lion avatar, while the head projecting on his left is Varaha, the boar avatar; these are two of Vishnu’s ten principal avatars. His two upper hands hold his lotus flower and conch shell attributes, while his lower hands rest on the heads of his personified attributes, Club-woman and Wheel-man, who bend sharply to gaze up at their master.

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