fraught with examples of divinities taking perplexing forms in order to protect
their worshippers. One such avatar is Vishnu’s Narasimha incarnation, a
ferocious half-human, half-lion, born to kill the demon-king Hiranyakashyap.
While in most of his depictions Narasimha is shown in the process of killing
Hiranyakashyap or with his consort Lakshmi, there are a few, rare images of him
standing calmly. These images are known as kevala-Narasimha (literally, only
Narasimha). A prime example of this form of Narasimha can be seen in the Chalukyan
capital city of Badami.
This brass kevala-Narasimha is in the samabhanga posture, with no bends in his body. Standing on a padmapeetha (lotus platform) lord Narasimha holds his classic attributes- conch shell and Sudarshan chakra (discuss) in his rear hands. His main left hand is resting on the handle of the mace, while his main right hand is in the Abhaya mudra (gesture of fearlessness). Bhagavan Narsimha’s face appears calm and meditative, with a slightly open jaw and half-closed eyelids. This metal Narasimha murti is the embodiment of the tranquility that is a part of this seemingly ravening persona.
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