Lakshmi Narasimha (Ganga Jamuna ?)

This is Narasimha, one of Vishnu’s avatars and he is with one of his consorts, Lakshmi. Hence he is Lakshmi Narasimha. Vishnu took this avatar, human body (Nara) with a lion (Simha) face, to subdue Hirenyakasipu.

Narasimha is shown with four hands. The rear hands are holding Vishnu’s attributes Chakra and Shankha (Discuss and Conch). His lower right hand is in Abhaya (protection) mudra and he is holding Lakshmi with his lower left hand. He is seated in lalitasana with Lakshmi sitting on his left lap. Lakshmi’s legs are pendant.  Lakshmi is holding a lotus in her left hand and her right hand is holding Narasimha.

This site already has two other classical Lakshmi Narasimha, one from Tamil Nadu and one more from Karnataka. They are shown together, below, for comparison. This Lakshmi Narasimha, subject of this blog, does look more ferocious with his bared teeth.

Looking at the backside, this Vigraha appears to be a Ganga Jamuna type. Among other indications, see the Sirachakra the central portion is reddish and the surrounding area is yellowish. The front view does not give a clear indication that this is a Ganga Jamuna vigraha. This Vigraha gives further clues as to how Ganga Jamuna vigrahas were made.

Among the noteworthy features of this Vigraha are the vertical religious mark on his forehead, sharp features (may be a result of Ganga Jamuna fabrication techniques), the number of incised patterns and the full length lower garment of Narasimha.

This Vigraha is about 12 cm in height and is probably the ‘youngest’ of the three shown above. This may be dated to the nineteenth century. This Vigraha is from Karnataka.

Note: The temptation to buy Lakshmi Narasimha, when I come across one, is very strong. Even yesterday I was bidding for one. A delightful temptation to succumb to. The combination of Ugra (ferocious) and Shanta (peaceful) aspects, the restrained power and benevolence in the protective gesture make Lakshmi Narasimha Vigraha a sought after one.


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