Vishnu Nava-Gunjara (Pattachitra Style)

Pen and Ink, circa 2017

Vishnu Nava-Gunjara (Pattachitra Style)
(Size A4, Black Ink and Water based colours)
Description: In a rendition of the Mahabharata by the fifteenth century Oriya poet Sarala Das, several episodes are added beyond those found elsewhere in India.
In this telling of the tale, Vishnu himself proceeds to a hill where Arjuna is doing penance in a forest. Here, Vishnu reveals himself to Arjuna in the nava-gunjara form, a vigorous animal standing on three legs, those of the elephant, tiger, and horse. The fourth limb is not an animal leg, but an upraised human arm, the hand of which is holding a lotus flower. Besides these four creatures, Vishnu-nava-gunjara also has the head of a rooster, the neck of a peacock, the hump of a bull, and the waist of a lion. A snake comprises the tail. When Arjuna saw this creature, he immediately recognized it as the virat-rupa (omnipresent or vast form) of Lord Vishnu. He threw aside the bow and arrows he had been carrying, folded his hands, and invoked the Lord's blessing.