Aug 18, 2011
Aug 18, 2011
Aug 18, 2011
Aug 18, 2011
Aug 18, 2011
Aug 18, 2011

Varaha, Boar Incarnation of Vishnu

Varaha, Boar Incarnation of Vishnu

वराह

700–800s

Sandstone

Overall: 82 x 68.5 x 33.5 cm (32 5/16 x 26 15/16 x 13 3/16 in.)

Gift of Maxeen and John Flower in honor of Dr. Stanislaw Czuma 2011.148

Location

Description

In the myth of Vishnu's boar incarnation, or avatar, a demon hid the earth at the bottom of the primordial ocean. The god took the form of a boar (varaha) and rescued her. Even with his legs missing, this sculpture conveys the powerful lunge of his body as he raises the earth to safety. Personified as the goddess Bhu, one of Vishnu's two wives, she does not appear helpless; perched on his raised elbow, she returns his adoring gaze. This image was popular among kings of India, who appear to have appropriated it as a metaphor for their own conquest over new territories, as though the king, like Vishnu, rescued the land and raised it to safety and prosperity.

See also

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