Lakshmi Narasimha

 

Lakshminarasimha

This, Lakshmi Narasimha,  is one of the avatars of Vishnu and is with one of his consorts Lakshmi.Vishnu took this avatar, lion-faced with a human body, to subdue Hirenyakasipu.

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

Narasimha’s face is beautifully cast, with bulging eyes, prominent jaws/high cheekbones, mane around the face, open mouth with tongue sticking out. Fierce enough to strike fear into people’s heart. This is in contrast to the serenity of Lakshmi’s posture.

Though back is not visible when the idol is in worship, as is typical in South Indian bronzes back is worked with the same diligence as the front. Notice working in his crown, Sirachakra, necklace, waist belt, the pattern in his dhoti and lotus petals.

Lakshmi and Narasimha are sitting on an inverted lotus pedestal.

This icon is meant for a home shrine. It is solid cast and is quite heavy.

It is about 11.5 cm in height and is possibly from Karnataka. This may date to the 18th century or a bit earlier.

 

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