Yoga Lakshminarasimha

Here Lakshmi Narasimha is seated with Yogapatta, the thick band holding his legs.  Narasimha is sitting in Utkutika Asana.   Lakshmi is sitting on his lap. Interestingly  Lakshmi is facing Narasimha with her back to the devotees, totally ignoring the devotees.

Narasimha is protected by a seven hooded snake. One of the hoods. its rightmost, is damaged. The damaged hood is well worn. Contrary to the popular belief , damaged Vigrahas are not worshipped, this seems to have been worship for a long time after the damage.

Narasimha is sitting on the pedestal formed by the coiled body of the snake, which in turn is resting on an inverted lotus.

What makes this Vigraha a lot more interesting are its attributes, especially the placement of the attributes. In his rear right hand, he is holding discuss (chakra) and his rear left hand is holding a conch shell (shankha). His front right in Abhaya mudra and appears to be holding a lotus. His left front hand anchors the mace to the ground. The surprising part is the back view. Rear hands are holding an arrow and a bow and it is visible only in the back view. Four hands and six attributes, rather unusual. See the closeup for the arrow and the bow.

His eyes and mouth would have had some inlay of precious stones and/or precious metal.

The above iconography is mentioned in the book The Iconography of Vaishnava images in Orissa by T E Donaldson (page 131). As per that book, this iconography (Chakra, bow, Utkutika pose, Lakshmi on his lap) is prescribed in Skanda Purana.

In the book Sculptural art of Hampi, by S K Suresh, there is a photo of (Figure 51) Lakshminarasimha holding a bow and something else, possibly a conch,  in his left backhand.

This bronze is about 11 cm in height. The ritual related wear adds to the charm. This may date to the eighteenth century or earlier. This is from the North Deccan area.

This website has another Yoga Lakshmi Narasimha and it is very close to the subject of this blog both in conception and creation. Both are shown below for comparison. Differences exist but it is the similarities that bring them together.


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