Vishnu with Personified Weapons
Dynasty : Pala, Bengal
Period : Late Medieval 1000 CE
Material : Stone
Location : National Museum
Current Location : National Museum
Vishnu is one of the most important gods in the Hindu pantheon and, along with Brahma and Shiva, is considered a member of the holy trinity (Trimurti) of Hinduism. He is the most important god of Vaishnavism, the largest Hindu sect.Vishnu is the Preserver and guardian of people (Narayana), he protects the order of things (dharma) and, when necessary, he appears on earth in various incarnations or avatars to fight demons and fierce creatures and so maintain cosmic harmony.In the evolution of Hindu iconography, a convention emerged of representing the weapons of the gods as minor deities in human form. The ayudya-purusha (weapon-man) anthropomorphic forms evolved uniquely in South India as freestanding icons, worthy of worship independent of their source deity—in this case, Vishnu. This personified weapon is thus revered as an ansa, a partial incarnation of the god himself. Four-armed Vishnu standing on a padmapita. In his upper hands, he holds a conch and some indistinct object, while the lower hands are placed on the heads of chakrapurusha and Gadadevi. He wears a crown, kundala, hara, armlets, bracelets, vanamala, and antariya tied with a girdle. A mutilated inscription is engraved on the pedestal.