Yoga Lakshminarasimha

Unusual Lakshminarasimha, with Lakshmi (his consort) on his left lap and Prahalad on his right lap. Prahalad, whose hands are in Anjali mudra, is the unusual aspect. The yogapatta can be seen between Prahalad and Lakshmi’s feet.

Narasimha is protected by the five-hooded Cobra. In this case. Narasimha is sitting on a mound and the cobra’s body coils around the mound. Narasimha’s rear hands are holding Shankha and Chakra. The ornamentation is simple.

The artist has made sure the bared teeth are visible, to emphasize the Simha (lion) aspect of him. Despite the bared teeth, the overall impression the Vigraha generates is one of benevolence and protection. See Narasimha’s lower hand holding Prahalad and Lakshmi in place.

Prahalad, a son of Hiranyakasipu, is a strong devotee of Vishnu. Vishnu took Narasimha’s avatar to protect Prahalad and to vanquish Hiranyakasipu.

One of the distinct features of folk bronzes is the absence of ‘filters’ between the artist’s imagination and expression. Here is one great example where the expression is true.

This Vigraha is, most likely, from the Central Deccan area and possibly from the Telugu-speaking part of it. This may be dated to the nineteenth century or a bit earlier. It measures about 12.5 cm in height.

20 Dec 2022: Often one wonders why a certain form of iconography. This is one such case with Prahalad and Lakshmi sitting on Narasimha’s lap. The quote below is by Aravind Cennaiite through Facebook pages.

” Vishnu Purana states Lord Narayana did not take any form as He wasn’t sure what form will his Prahalad will say, but soon as he heard Hiranykashipu that he will kill his son, like a lion that will kill an elephant and drink its blood, No sooner the Lord heard this, He decided to take the form of Man Lion to kill Hiranyakashipu likewise and to save Prahalad.

However, He took the Ugra Roopa post the slaying of Hiranyakashipu, which even the Devas including Brahma or Lakshmi couldn’t pacify and were scared to even get closer to Narasimha. They realised that this avatar was for Prahalada and turned towards Prahalad, and sought his help to pacify the Lord as the world was not able to bear His Ugra Roopa. This is where bhakta Prahalad prays to Lord Narasimha for saving him like a Father would do so and also for the world, to shed his Ugra Roopa and would be happy to see a Shantha Swaroopam along with his consort as Lakshmi Narasimha. This says Vishnu Purana in the story of Narasimha Avatar.”


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