Hari-Hara (A Composite Image Vishnu and Shiva)

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 Shiva and Vishnu in Hinduism are two of the most powerful deities, members of the Trinity- Tridevas, who create (Brahma), sustain (Vishnu), and annihilate (Shiva) the universe. Though there exists a division of spheres of sovereignty for Shiva and Vishnu, in Advaita(Non-Dualism) as well Shaiva and Vaishnava texts, the idea of their inseparability and oneness is often repeated. Lord Shiva and Vishnu themselves are found in several instances, describing the greatness of the other and marking that a true devotee of one will naturally become faithful to the other, and no ritual to one will be complete without due adulations being paid to the other.  To reiterate the divine oneness of Vishnu and Shiva, a composite deity- Hari (Vishnu)-Hara (Shiva) is evoked by Hindus who believe that the supreme consciousness- Parama-Brahmana is to be found in realizing that preservation and destruction are sides of the same coin that one cannot exist without the other. 

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Item Code: HI83
Artist: Kailash Raj
Specifications:
Watercolor on PaperArtist: Kailash Raj
Dimensions 7.5" X 8.5"
Handmade
Handmade
Free delivery
Free delivery
Fully insured
Fully insured
100% Made in India
100% Made in India
Fair trade
Fair trade

In this watercolor on paper painting of Hari Hara by Kailash Raj, the deity is bordered by a broad cream-yellow border, and a second maroon border with ethnic floral patterns painted in white. The background for the transcendental image of Hari Hara is of an ochre shade, a color that is associated with asceticism, knowledge, and purity in Hindu tradition. The seat for Hari-Hara in the painting is a gold throne, studded with precious gems, on which a blossomed lotus is spread like a carpet. A blossomed lotus in Hinduism is the symbol of developed consciousness, a state which is necessary for the devotee to understand the celestial potencies of Hari-Hara.


Consisting of the conjoined bodies of Vishnu and Shiva, the form of Hari-Hara is a four-armed one, with the right portion showing blue-hued Vishnu and the left, a pale-colored Shiva. The right side of the human body in Hinduism is seen as the site of all things auspicious which are connected with Vishnu, who embodies Satvika (pure, virtuous qualities) and the left half of the body is identified with Taamsika Guna (occult, destructive qualities), a belief which is employed by Kailash Raj in making this Hari-Hara painting. Sri Vishnu or Hari is adorned in regal attire- a jeweled crown, necklaces with stones, armbands, bracelets, and rings. Shiva or Hara wears his hair in a Jata which is secured with a pearl string and embellished with the crescent moon, on his forehead is the Tripunda (Shaivite mark) and the Third-eye, he too wears bejeweled ornaments and a black serpent, and a dhoti with a Baagha-Charma (tiger hide) as his waist cloth. Vishnu is draped in a fine Pitambara (pita-yellow, ambara- cloth). Hari-Hara’s divine physique is covered in auspicious marks made with sandalwood paste. Vishnu and Shiva as Hari-Hara strikingly share the garland, with Vishnu’s side made with fragrant flowers and Shiva’s side of the severed heads of dead bodies. The continuity of the garland fashioned out of two paradoxical stages of life- bloom and decay is yet another device used to highlight the mutuality of the two.


Shiva (Hara) carries a Trishul (trident) and a Kapala (skull cup) in his hand, while Vishnu (Hari) holds a Chakra (discus) and Shankha (conch) in his hand. It is interesting to note Hari’s rare manner of holding the conch which mirrors Hara’s hand gesture in carrying the Kapala. With the unified powers of Shiva and Vishnu, this watercolor Hari-Hara painting is not just a venerable image, but also a visual narration of the deepest philosophy of human existence, that life and death are never separated.

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