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Art of Asia: Hinduism and Hindu Art - Essay Example


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Art of Asia: Hinduism and Hindu Art

Vishnu is one of the later deities to whom was ascribed a personality, that of the Supreme Reality which preserves and sustains the universe. He is depicted in human form with a blue body with four arms. He is dressed in yellow, wears a gem around the neck, and carries in his hands a conch, a mace, and a discus. He is typically shown mounted on Shesha Nag, the thousand-headed snake. Bhagwan Vishnu, the Protector (Pandit, 2012). The shankha (conch) is used to call his faithful, and indicates that Vishnu communicates with them. The chakra (discus) is a weapon used to protect his people from evil, and the gada (mace) symbolizes the energy with which he sustains the world. The image of Vishnu signifies multiplicity; the two front arms represent his presence in the physical world and the two back arms the spiritual world. His blue color represents the eternal world where he dwells, and the yellow clothing represents the earthly or temporal world in which Vishnu is said to reincarnate himself, in order to destroy evil and uphold righteousness. (Vishnu is known to have ten incarnations, some in animal form, through which he was thought to have assisted his followers during the different stages of human evolution.) The right side of his body symbolize creativity of the mind and intellect, the left side the emotions: love, compassion and kindness.

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It was a surprise that the deities of Hindu mythology date millennia back, to 7200 BC. when the hymns of the Rig Veda came into existence. The Vedic gods are described as “abstractions” and not actual personages; they stand for the elements of nature such as air, water, and fire (Indian Divinity, 2012)…
Art of Asia: Hinduism and Hindu Art
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