Vishnu as Vaikuntha

Place Made:
India: Haryana or Uttar Pradesh
10th century
Brownish-grey schist 
28-3/8 x 16-1/2 x 7 in. (72.1 x 41.9 x 17.8 cm) 
Credit Line:
The Norton Simon Foundation 
Accession Number:
© 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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