With red, angry eyes, holding,
The conch shell and wheel in your lotus hands.
Now you stand praised by the Vedas….
(Shilappadikaram, ancient Sanskrit Text)
In Tamil hadu, where this bronze originated, Goddess Durga is widely perceived as the sister of Bhagwan Vishnu, whose attributes of chakra (discus) and shankh (conch) she is seen here holding. The goddess is a youthful figure, with her one front hand raised in the abhaya mudra of protection while the other rests gracefully against her thigh in a gesture of ease (katyavalambita murti). Her long dhoti is held in place with a jeweled girdle. She stands triumphantly in tribhanga on the head of the buffalo demon (Mahisha) severed by herself. An elaborate prabha frames the goddess, and is topped by a Kirtimukha the supreme symbol of auspiciousness.
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