Krishna in Cosmic Form. Nathdwara, India. 1700s. 

Krishna is depicted here in his cosmic form as Vishnu, centering the Universe with his serpent Sheshnaga beneath. The Pandava and Kaurava armies gather on each side of his feet. The seven oceans of the earth encircle his body and at their center is Krishna dancing in his rasalila or cosmic cycle of ecstacy. Brahma sits within the crown on his head while Shiva pays obeisance from his abode in Mount Kailasa on the upper right. Above, Krishna is seen dancing the divine rasalila in his heavenly abode as the four Vedas, the fountain of all knowledge stand respectfuly on either side. Opaque watercolor heightened with gold on paper. 

This shell from the 11th century, which was probably used to hold and pour sacred water during religious ceremonies, depicts the god Vishnu who is known for using a conch shell as a war trumpet.

Ritual Water Vessel, c. 11th century or earlier, Artist/maker unknown, Bengali or Orissan



I can’t let everyone else have all the fun now, can I? Here’s some of my favorite demons whom I also thought were in need of higher-quality representation. In the future, my picks will also include demons I’ve randomly scanned before (like Odin) or those scanned for Kaneko’s Crib Notes (like Gogmagog). Enjoy!

  1. Amaterasu (No. 027): Japanese sun goddess.
  2. Vishnu (No. 055): The transcendent preserver deity of Hinduism.
  3. Odin (No. 073): All-Runes, All-Father, All-Right. (alt)
  4. Gogmagog (No. 157): Giant of Cornwall.
  5. Shiva (No. 177): Hinduism’s eminent destroyer and dancer.
  6. Mara (No. 380): A penis.
  7. Mahamayuri (No. 386): The “Peacock King” in Buddhism sometimes included among the five Wisdom Kings.
  8. Mithras (No. 396): Deity of the Roman cult that bears his name.
  9. Lham Dearg (No. 432): Bloodthirsty Scottish ghost.
  10. Lugh (No. 442): Celtic warrior god and father of Cu Chulainn.