Vishnu as Varaha, the Boar Avatar, Slays Banasur, A Demon General: Page from an Unknown Manuscript

Vishnu has many incarnations in which he descends to earth to restore cosmic order. In his third, he appears as Varaha, a boar-headed creature who saves the earth from a demon who has dragged it beneath the ocean. In this page, Varaha rides on Garuda, the avian mount of Vishnu, and has just used his thrown discus to behead a general riding in a chariot. Although an inscription on the back refers to the demon Banasur, he had one thousand arms and is not the likely victim of Varaha’s wrath. It is not clear what scene is being illustrated.

Ink and opaque watercolor on paper


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Metropolitan Museum of Art

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