Hanuman in His Tantric Five-Headed Pancha Mukha Form

India, Rajastan or Gujarat

Not on view

This is a tantric representation of Hanuman, the great monkey warrior and an ally of Rama. Here, he strides boldly forward, trampling on demons and brandishing an array of weapons and other attributes. Above his crown are five animal heads: a goose, snake, mule, lion, and horse. As a child, Hanuman mistook the sun for a ripe fruit and tried to eat it. Various gods intervened and, in the end, he was granted immortality, immunity from fire and water, and the ability to move as fast as the wind. He was also given a divine weapon, the gada or club, which he holds in his upraised right hand. Images like this example were made for use in tantric rituals, and as a result they rarely survive. This work is especially notable for its vivid colors.

Hanuman in His Tantric Five-Headed Pancha Mukha Form, Ink and opaque watercolor on paper, India, Rajastan or Gujarat

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