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Vishnu Interpreting Hindu Iconography Lakshmi

Noelle Buitron
Vishnu is a member of the
Lakshmi is the wife and
Hindu trinity, or Trimurti, who is female counterpart of lord
the preserver or protector. He Vishnu, the goddess of wealth
is said to protect the world and prosperity in both the
when it is threatened with material and spiritual sense.
chaos. He is most often She parallels her counterpart
depicted with four hands, each with four hands as well, which
containing a different represent the four goals of a
“weapon”. Padma (lotus rich and successful life, which
flower) in his lower left arm, a it is said she has the power to
gada (mace) in his lower right grant: dharma (righteous
hand, sankha (conch) in his living), kama (worldly
upper left hand, and the pleasure), artha (prosperity),
chakra (discus) in his upper and moksha (spiritual
right hand. The conch in his liberation). She is depicted
upper left hand shows Vishnu’s holding a lotus in the back
Hand gestures in Hinduism are essential to the depictions of gods and right hand which conveys
ability to communicate with his
goddesses. They help to distinguish each of them from each other and each person’s duty to achieve
followers by blowing into it.
develop their characteristics and unique traits or attributes. A mudra, or hand moksha, symbolized by the
The chakra conveys the idea
gesture, can have deep symbolism in yoga or traditional Indian dances and can other lotus in the back left
that Vishnu protects his
convey a wide range of messages or meanings. Some of the most common hand. The gold coins in her
devotees. The mace in his
mudras are: chin or vitarka mudra (consciousness or deliberation), abhaya front left hand symbolize the
lower right hand symbolizes his
mudra (no fear), namaskara mudra (giving honor), bhumisparsha mudra prosperity she brings to her
energy and power which he
(earth-touching), dhyana mudra (meditation), tarjani mudra (index finger), devotees and her front right
uses to bestow upon the world.
and varada mudra (giving). Mudras are said to help channel and guide energy hand shows her granting
Finally, the lotus flower in his those blessings to them.
through the brain and other parts of the body.
lower left hand represents
Vishnu granting blessings to his Sources: "What is Vishnu? - Definition from Yogapedia." N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Mar.
devotees. 2017.
"Who is Lakshmi? - Definition from Yogapedia." N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Mar. 2017.
"Hindu Deities: Lord Vishnu." Hindu Deities: Lord Vishnu. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Mar. 2017.
"Hindu Deities: Goddess Lakshmi." Hindu Deities: Goddess Lakshmi. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Mar. 2017.
"The Secret Language of Hands in Indian Iconography." Smithsonian Institution, 17
Feb. 2016. Web. 21 Mar. 2017.