Sculptures in temples in Kumbakonam: photo 11
Photo 11 of 640 in Gallery: Sculptures in temples in Kumbakonam
Image title: Figure 11. Stambha Narasimhar
Sthambha Narasimhar is the figure depicting Lord Visnu’s incarnation as Narasimha–half lion and half man in order to kill Hiranyakasipu the evil Asura king and his devotee Prahalad’s father. Here Lord Narasimha is shown inside the pillar or Sthambha. When Hiranyakasipu hits the pillar with his mace to prove Prahalda wrong, Lord Visnu as Narasimha emeges from the pillar to kill Hiranyakasipu.We can see Lord Narasimha as lion faced but with the body of humans having claws as a lion to tear Hiranyakasipu.
Narasimha is one of the 10 incarnations of Lord Visnu. Hiranyakasipu had a boon from Lord Brahma that he cannot be killed either by man or animal, during day or night, inside or outside a place, neither on earth nor sky and by no weapons. Hence the Lord incarnated as Narasimha–half man and half lion, he put him on his lap in the twilight hours and tore him with his nails. In this sculpture we can see the Lord fighting with Hiranyakasipu.
“As Ugra Narasimhar we can see the Lord in anger at the atrocities of Hiranyakasipu. He has put him on his lap and is tearing him apart with his nails. As Stambha Narasimhar, he is blessing all and as Yoga Narasimha, the Lord is in a meditative pose, peaceful, having freed the world from the atrocities of Hiranyakasipu.”
Kumbakonam is considered as one of the holiest places in Tamil Nadu and is known for its temples and Mathas (monasteries which were centres of Brahmanical learning). These photographs depict the connection between the sculptures in the temples and Natya Shastra and related texts dealing with iconography.