Chakra-Purusha, the Personified Discus Weapon of Vishnu

India (Tamil Nadu)

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 240

Early in the evolution of Hindu iconography, a convention emerged of representing the weapons of the gods as minor deities in human form. The ayudya-purusha (weapon-man) anthropomorphic forms evolved uniquely in South India as freestanding icons, worthy of worship independent of their source deity—in this case, Vishnu. This personified weapon is thus revered as an ansa, a partial incarnation of the god himself.

Chakra-Purusha, the Personified Discus Weapon of Vishnu, Copper alloy, India (Tamil Nadu)

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