Narasimha, the fourth of Vishnu's eight ihlokiya (of this realm) incarnations, has an interesting story. The demon-brother of Hiranyaksha, King Hiranyakashipu, was supremely arrogant. Having been granted a boon by Brahma that renders him seemingly invincible, He declares Himself god and unleashes terror on His subjects. Thanks to the boon, no man or animal could kill Him in the day or at night, neither inside nor outside His home; and this induced the people around Him to submit to His whims. Prince Prahalada, the son of the demon-king who fancied Himself god, was the only one unfazed by the same. His unflinching devotion to Vishnu ired the egotistical father to no ends. One day Hiranyakashipu challenged Prahalada and asked Him whether Vishnu exists in some random pillar He is pointing at. Upon Prahalada's affirmation, He proceeds to cut the pillar into two with His sword. From the broken pillar emerges Narasimha, a confluence of man (nara) and lion (simha), in whose hands Hiranyakashipu meets His doom - upon the hour of twilight, at the threshold of His palace.
This awe-inspiring roopa of Vishnu has been captured in great detail in this piece of brass. The leonine face and mane is complemented by the form of a powerful human male with the gorgeous Devi Lakshmi, His wife, balanced on His limbs. Their tall, slender crowns tower at realistic angles over their heads, and their hands are raised in blessing to the devotees. The extent of shringar on each of the figures befits their divine status. The lotus pedestal is highly characteristic of Indian iconography - on a three-tiered platform, the bottom-most one of which is engraved with lotus petals, is placed an inverted lotus in full bloom. Narasimha is balanced on the pistil, crushing beneath His holy feet a vicious snake that had dared to raise its hood.
11.5 inch Height x 6 inch Width X 4 inch Depth
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