Venugopala (Flute to the left)

Venugopala Flute direction

This is Venugopala, Krishan playing the flute. Venugopala back flute directionUnlike most, in this idol, the flute (the missing one!) is pointing to the left. Not sure whether there is a significance to it. But such examples are uncommon enough to merit this blog. For an example of ‘normal’ direction see another Venugopala, also from Orissa.

Even the sacred thread is worn ‘the wrong way’, as it is normally worn over the left shoulder, across the chest, and under the right arm.

Venugopala is wearing a full set of ornaments. In addition to the ornaments cast in place, devotees have added anklets. The long central flap of his lower garment is worth noting.

This idol is about 12cm in height and it is most likely to have come from Orissa. The earrings, five-peaked tiara, and peaked crown are the reasons for the Orissa attribution. This may date to the nineteenth century.

15 April 2019: Explanation for the peculiarity of the idol by https://twitter.com/MadhvaHistory. 

“Sometimes vigrahas are custom-made to suit the needs of a worshipper. This type of peculiar vigrahas are meant to remove aabhichaara effects. I have seen a Srirama vigraha with yagnopavIta in apasavya. The possessor of it has told me the above reasons!”

“aabhichaara” loosely translates to irreverent acts against cultural, social or religious practices/beliefs.

 

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