This small brass statue, just 8 inch wide and 15 inch tall, represents, in a queer contrast, Lord Vishnu's Vishva-roop, a manifestation of the great lord that includes in it the entire cosmos, or a form of which the cosmos is only a magnification. The ancient thinkers discovered that diversities define the creation, but an inherent unity threads it into a single unified whole. The Indian theology hence perceived God's unanimity in His diverse manifestations, each representing this, or that aspect of cosmic existence, though primarily the three, the creation, the sustenance and the dissolution, the first manifesting in Brahma, the second in Vishnu and the third in Shiva.
While this Trio defines God's diversified manifestation, the
Vishva-roop presents the spiritual perception of His unanimity. After the
Creation has been accomplished, Brahma loses his relevance and remains no
more a part of the spiritual vision and hence does not have the Vishva-roop.
Shiva, as Sadashiva, is himself the cosmos, or the Creation is only his
extension. Hence, in his context Vishva-roop has no relevance. It is only
Vishnu who needs cosmic magnification as it is only in him that the creation
sustains and prevails. It is thus only Vishnu, or his incarnations, who has
been perceived in Vishva-roop.
The central figure in this excellent statue is a representation of Vishnu.
The towering crown, the Vaishnava tilaka on forehead, the Srivatsa mark on
his chest, the large garland of Parijata flowers, lavish ornamentation and
chakra, or the disc, gada, or the mace, lotus and conch like attributes in
hands, are characteristic features of the iconography of Lord Vishnu. The
seven-hooded mythical serpent Shesh, or Adishesh, which has its hoods
unfurling above the head of Lord Vishnu like a canopy and its tail part
coiling behind him, is his all time companion. Cast in khadagasana, the most
usual posture of his icon, Lord Vishnu has around his shoulders his usual
sash and his adhovastra, a dhoti, tied with a rich lavish girdle and
overlaid with ornaments of gold suspending from it. He has been cast with
eighteen arms, all carrying in them weapons and attributes, which the
convention assigns to him and other gods. If he is carrying the trident and
the rabbit of Shiva and the khadag, or the sword of Kali, he is also
carrying the battle-axe and the broken tusk of Ganesh. One of his hands is
held in abhaya.
He has seven heads flanking on each of his left and right. Each of them has
a distinct character and representative form of one of the gods, some
symbolising divinity and others elements of cosmos. These gods include
primarily Shiva, Brahma, Ganesh, Hanuman, Indra, Agni, Sun, Moon, Maruta,
Kubera, Varuna and Yama and Brahma's three sons. With Shiva and Brahma
Vishnu forms the Gods-Trio, the timeless existence. Ganesh and Hanuman
represent the timeless tradition of faith and the divinity which enshrines
in all created beings, whether men or animals. Agni represents life, energy
and vitality, Maruta, the wind-god, space, Indra rains and cosmic balance,
Yama, the immeasurable time, Varuna the ocean, oceanic wealth and water,
Kubera all prosperity and riches, cycle of Sun and Moon the decay, death and
dissolution as also all vegetation and life and Brahma's three sons the
entire mankind. Conjointly they constitute the cosmos and appended with Lord
Vishnu they effect his cosmic magnification. The image is contained within a
prabhavali, the fire-arch, which it fully pervades. In Indian tradition,
fire-arch symbolizes cosmos. This further strengthens deity's cosmic
extension. Minuteness of details and finess of carving is beyond words,
which one may appreciate with one's own eyes.
This description by Prof. P.C. Jain and Dr Daljeet. Prof. Jain specializes
on the aesthetics of ancient Indian literature. Dr Daljeet is the chief
curator of the Visual Arts Gallery at the National Museum of India, New
Delhi. They have both collaborated on numerous books on Indian art and
Of Related Interest:
Vishnu's Vishwa Rupa (Madhubani Painting on Hand Made Paper Treated with Cow Dung)
How to keep a Brass statue well-maintained?
Brass statues are known and appreciated for their exquisite beauty and luster. The brilliant bright gold appearance of Brass makes it appropriate for casting aesthetic statues and sculptures. Brass is a metal alloy composed mainly of copper and zinc. This chemical composition makes brass a highly durable and corrosion-resistant material. Due to these properties, Brass statues and sculptures can be kept both indoors as well as outdoors. They also last for many decades without losing all their natural shine.
Brass statues can withstand even harsh weather conditions very well due to their corrosion-resistance properties. However, maintaining the luster and natural beauty of brass statues is essential if you want to prolong their life and appearance.
In case you have a colored brass statue, you may apply mustard oil using a soft brush or clean cloth on the brass portion while for the colored portion of the statue, you may use coconut oil with a cotton cloth.
Brass idols of Hindu Gods and Goddesses are especially known for their intricate and detailed work of art. Nepalese sculptures are famous for small brass idols portraying Buddhist deities. These sculptures are beautified with gold gilding and inlay of precious or semi-precious stones. Religious brass statues can be kept at home altars. You can keep a decorative brass statue in your garden or roof to embellish the area and fill it with divinity.
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