Hindu Statues



Statues of gods, goddesses , and other mythological figures from Hinduism have always been the favorite subjects of artists. For ages, Hindu statues have been placed in temples and puja areas at home, where they have been worshipped by devotees. They have also been admired as decorative items.

Hindu statues of Gods

Though it might appear that there are innumerable gods in Hinduism, there is really only the Hindu Trinity comprising Lord Brahma, the Creator, Lord Vishnu, the Preserver, and Lord Shiva the Transformer. These are the three aspects of the Supreme Being (Brahman) .

Lord Brahma : Brahma has four heads, from which, it is believed, the four Vedas sprung.

Lord Vishnu : He is represented seated on the serpent Shesha. He has four weapons or attributes: the conch, disc, club and lotus.
In the cosmos, good and evil forces are balanced. When this balance is disrupted, Vishnu takes a human form to set it right. There are nine avatars or incarnations of Vishnu. These are

  • Matsya (fish)
  • Kurma (turtle),
  • Varaha (boar),
  • Narasingha (lion),
  • Vamana (dwarf),
  • Parasurama ,
  • Rama
  • Krishna
  • Buddha
Kalki is the future incarnation which is to come at the end of Kaliyuga.

Lord Rama : Lord Rama is Lord Vishnu's seventh incarnation. He was the Prince of Ayodhya, and the son of King Dasharatha and Queen Kausilya. He had three brothers, Bharata, Lakshmana and Shatrughna. The Hindu god Ram bent the bow of Lord Shiva at the swayamvara organized by King Janak, and accordingly, won the hand of the King's daughter, Sita.

Lord Hanuman : The Hindu deity Hanuman led the monkey army to Lanka, to help Rama rescue Sita whom Ravana had kidnapped.

Lord Krishna : Lord Krishna is the eight incarnation of Vishnu. He was the son of Devaki, sister of the demon king Kamsa. Kamsa had been informed by the sage Narada, that he would be killed by his nephew. So, he put to death, six of Devaki's children. The seventh child, Balarama , managed to escape, and the eighth, Krishna, was exchanged for a cowherd's daughter.

Krishna was brought up in the cowherd's family, by his foster-mother Yashoda. He looked after and protected the cows, and is, hence, also called Gopala. He loved to play the flute and seduce the village girls ( gopis ). Of these, his favorite was Radha.

Lord Shiva : Lord Shiva is the Hindu god who destroys for the purpose of recreation. He is represented by the lingham , which is the phallus. It symbolizes his creative force. He is also shown in the form of Shiva Nataraja, engaged in a cosmic dance.

Lord Ganesha : Lord Ganesha is Lord Shiva's son, and the Hindu God of wisdom, and the remover of obstacles. Statues of Ganesha depict him as having four arms. These usually hold four of the following: a conch shell, a discus, a sweet, an elephant goad, a lotus, a broken tusk, an axe, a noose, a necklace, the blessing pose. His brother is Lord Kartikeya .

Indra : Indra is the king of the Hindu gods and goddesses. He is the ruler of heaven, and the God of thunder and rain. He symbolizes fortitude and courage. The Hindu god Indra rides an elephant Airavata. He also has a golden chariot that is drawn by 10,000 horses. He carries a hook, sword, conch, noose, rainbow and the magic weapon Vaijra.

Hindu Statues of Goddesses

Goddess Saraswati : She is the consort of Brahma, and the Goddess of Knowledge, music and the creative arts. She is dressed in white and holds a mala and a palm-leaf scroll (symbol of knowledge). She rides a swan or peacock, while playing the veena.

Goddess Lakshmi : She is the consort of Vishnu. Lakshmi is the Goddess of light, beauty, good fortune and wealth. She was reborn as Vishnu's consort in every incarnation of his, as Sita (wife of Lord Rama), Radha (Lord Krishna's favorite gopi ) and Rukmini (Lord Krishna's first wife).

Goddess Parvati : She is the consort of Lord Shiva. She is the benign incarnation of Shakti . In her warrior avatar, Parvati is known as Durga . During the battle with the demons, Goddess Kali leapt from Durga's brow and killed the demons.

Goddess Annapurna : She is the Hindu goddess of food and cooking, and is an incarnation of Parvati.

Hindu Statues of Mythological Characters

Sculptures of characters from Hindu mythology, such as Nandi bull and Garuda – the half man, half eagle – are also very popular.

Hindu statues, sculptures and idols are made by skilled artisans in brass , bronze , marble, soapstone, wood, glass , clay, terracotta , papier mache , plaster, sandstone, among other materials.

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