Exhibitions: Vishnu: Hinduism's Blue-Skinned Savior

Worshippers of Vishnu believe that their god created the cosmos while he reclined on a giant serpent that was floating on the primordial ocean. A lotus grew from Vishnu’s navel and from it emerged the god Brahma, who created the world. Here Brahma appears rather small and insignificant compared to Vishnu and his wife. Snakes and a sea monster along the base recall the primordial ocean, while along the top are figures of Vishnu’s ten avatars (starting with Matsya the fish and ending with the equestrian Kalki), followed by the nine planetary deities. The relief indicates that the planets, like the avatars and Brahma, have sprung from Vishnu.