The image of the Sheshashayi Vishnu induces great calm and stability in the mind of the devotee. Shesha is the name of the naga (snake) on whose coils the Lord lies in sleep, which is the Sanskrit word for 'end'; 'shayi' in Sanskrit stands for one who is lain down. It is the volatile moment between destruction and re-projection, the transitional state between two cycles of time and existence as we know it. It is a powerful image and as one looks upon it, one visualises the chaotic but amniotic ocean that surrounds Him as He dreams the world into being. He is a superbly handsome deity as captured in the select medium of bronze, this composition having been handpicked from South India for its high-precision finish.
It is inimitable, owing to the degree of labour and skill poured into this work. India's bronze sculptural tradition remains unmatched in traditional art across the world, paintings having dominated most of the art of the western world. The South is the home of this tradition, which began with the patronage of the Pallava rulers and flourished under that of the Cholas. Note the lifelike coils of Sheshanaga, and the lotus that springs forth from His navel as expounded in the Mahabharata. Thus was the Lord Brahma born, who went on to project the subsequent cycle of time and existence of which we are a part. A quiet rishi of the South is seated in ardha-padmasana at the tail of Shesha. He is steeped in dhyana.