The Maharishi(Great Sage) Agastya|India,Bihar,Lakhi Sarai, 12th century.Agastya was a great sage and religious ascetic. He and his descendants are credited with being responsible for the introduction of Hinduism and the worship of the important god Shiva. Agastya is also believed to have taught south Indians medicine and grammar, invented the eloquent Tamil language of south India, and even written a treatise on making religious images for temples.
Arhat Taming the Dragon | Kimbell Art Museum.China.Yuan dynasty (1279–1368).Early 14th century.Arhats (in Chinese, lohans) were the original disciples of the Buddha, enlightened beings of exceptional wisdom, endowed with supernatural powers. One of their primary roles is to serve as guardians and advocates of the Buddhist Law (dharma). Worship of a group of sixteen arhats was set forth in an Indian sutra that was translated into Chinese in the mid-seventh century. By the end of the tenth…
Ravana Shaking Mount Kailasa, 700s. Central India, Madhya Pradesh, Chandela Dynasty, 8th century,sandstone. In one episode of Shiva's mythology, he presses down his big toe to quell the ten-armed demon Ravana, who tried to steal Mount Kailasa and take it away to his island. As Ravana was trying to shake the mountain loose, Parvati turned and clung to Shiva in fear-the moment depicted in this magnificent sculpture, which once formed part of a temple exterior.
Head of Surya, c. 6th century,India, Mathura, Post-Gupta period.Surya is the chief solar deity in Hinduism and generally refers to the Sun. He usually has a lotus in each hand and is usually shown in a chariot drawn across the heavens by seven horses or one horse with seven heads. He is also shown with four hands, three carrying a wheel, a conch-shell and a lotus and the fourth in a protective mode.
Koya Myojin (Mandala of the Four Deities of Mt. Koya),16th century. Japan, Muromachi period (1392-1573).Upon his arrival in Japan, the 9th-century Chinese Buddhist priest Kukai began searching for a mountain location that would be suitable for a meditation hall. Along the way he met a Japanese hunter with two dogs who helped him find a site on Mount Koya. This building became the home of the influential Esoteric sect of Japanese Buddhism, and still flourishes today.
Vishnu and Ananta.Place of origin:Calcutta, India (made). Date:ca. 1850-1870 (made). Painting, in opaque watercolour on paper, the god Vishnu is shown recling on the coils of the serpent Ananta (or Shesha) during an intervals between periods of creation. The god Brahma springs from his navel.