Vishnu as Vaikuntha Narayana
When Vishnu is portrayed seated upon the coiled snake-lord, Sesha, he is known as Vaikuntha Narayana. In this form, Vishnu is the Supreme Deity and above all other gods; a belief (Vaishnavism) currently the most popular throughout India, however, in south India Shiva remains dominant (Saivism). Sesha represents infinity and a sleeping universe, though in south India his primary role is fertility. His five heads, their hoods spread wide, serve as a canopy protecting Vishnu. It is probable serpents have been worshipped since before the Vedic times, and it is certain they have been feared even longer; India is home to some of the deadliest snakes in the world.
As Vaikuntha Narayana, Vishnu sits relaxed in the meditative lotus position (padmasana) at the centre of his magnificent world known as Vaikuntha. His crown (makuta) and adornment (alankara) are appropriate for a Great God. Vishnu is shown with arms and hands holding attributes and weapons. In the rear left hand, he holds a conch, Sankha, representing the spread of the sacred sound ‘Om.’ The rear right-hand holds the disc, vajra, representing chakra, the wheel of time; while in his forward right hand and he holds a lotus bud (padma), symbol of purity and potential creation.
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10 in / 26 cm
4.4 lb / 1.9 kg