Varahi

Varahi

This is Varahi,  one of the Saptamatrikas and the female counterpart of Varaha (An avatar of  Vishnu).  Some literature view Varahi as one of the Navsakthis.

The identification is based on the boar face and the female body. Varahi is worshiped as a ‘main-stream’ Hindu deity, a tantric deity and as a Buddhist deity.Varahi side

Here Varahi is holding a Kapala, Noose and a fish.. Clockwise starting from her lower right hand. Varahi’s lower left hand is in exposition mudra (This needs more research). 

Sitting gracefully, in Laliasana, Varahi’s form is molded with elegance. Varahi’s ornamentation includes a tiara, stylized earrings, armbands, wrist bands, a single necklace and a waist belt. She is wearing a full length lower garment.  Beautifully decorated hair locks running down her shoulders add to the grace.  See the back view for the delightful arrangement of her hair locks.

The Vigraha is about 19 cm in height. The find-spot of this Vigraha is Kalimantan (Borneo), Indonesia.  I bought it through a dealer in the US and he sourced it from his friend in Kalimantan. Not all that surprising. Kutai, East Kalimantan has archaeological monuments, dating to the fourth century, with Indian influence.  

The other interesting aspect is when I bought the Vigraha was covered with encrustations. It took hours  to clean it. See the photos below.  For those interested, there is a bit of physics involved in that cleaning. Encrustation and bronze have different coefficients of expansion. Few cycles of heating/cooling ‘de-bonded’ the encrustation, allowing it to be removed with a pocket-knife and light force. 

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