Growing up as a Hindu I’ve always admired Vishnu for his kindness, charisma, beauty, mysteriousness, and fluidity of gender and expression. I’ve never properly sat down and drawn him, so here he is today, with somewhat of a modern aesthetic twist I suppose.
Vishnu Sleeping on Sheshnag, Budanilkantha Nepal
The statue stands 5 meters tall (around 16.4 feet) and is positioned in the middle of a recessed pool of water, which is 13 meters (42.65 feet) long. The largest stone carving in Nepal.
Mariage of Meenakshi and Sundereshwar
Beautiful sculpture at Madurai temple showing Vishnu performing Kanya daan of his sister Meenakshi (Parvati) with Sundereshwar/ Shiva.
(via Twitter: Adivaraha)
Holi is a two-day spring festival, also known as the festival of colours, which starts on Purnima (Full Moon day) falling in the Hindu Calendar month of Phalgun (somewhere between the end of February and Mid-March, in the Gregorian Calendar).
This ancient festival is mentioned in the Puranas, and by the poet Kalidasa during the 4th century reign of Chandragupta II; the celebration of Holi is also mentioned in the 7th-century Sanskrit drama Ratnavali and in Dashakumaracharita, as well. It is also believed that Krishna played Holi with the gopis (milkmaids)
Celebrations vary from region to region, but, in general, on the evening of the first day (Holika Dahan), people gather around a bonfire.
Holika was the evil sister of the demon king Hiranyakashipu. According to legends, he was the King of Multan and had earned a boon that made him indestructible. He grew arrogant, thought he was God, and demanded that everyone worship only him.
Hiranyakashipu’s own son, Prahlada disagreed. He was and remained devoted to Lord Vishnu, which infuriated Hiranyakashipu. He subjected Prahlada to cruel punishments, none of which affected the boy. Finally, Holika - Prahlada’s aunt - tricked him into sitting on a pyre with her. Holika was wearing a cloak that made her immune to injury from fire, while Prahlada was not. As the fire roared, the cloak flew from Holika and encased Prahlada. Holika burned, Prahlada survived. Seeing this, Hiranyakashipu, unable to control his anger, smashed a pillar with his mace. There was a tumultuous sound, and Lord Vishnu appeared as Lord Narasimha and killed Hiranyakashipu. The next day, when the fire cooled down, people applied ash to their foreheads, a practice still observed by some people. Eventually, coloured powder came to be used to celebrate Holi.
The bonfire is a reminder of the symbolic victory of good over evil, of Prahlada over Hiranyakashipu, and of the fire that burned Holika.
The second day of Holi represents a festive ocassion when people celebrate, play with colors, sing and dance. Everybody is welcomed to participate, irrespective of age, status or caste; it is a joyful opportunity to have fun, celebrate spring, celebrate the good that prevails over evil, a moment to forgive and forget, to repair broken relationships.
Siva is supreme consciousness, the Supreme Being and only Absolute Reality. He
is Pati, our Lord, immanent and transcendent. To create, preserve, destroy,
conceal and reveal constitute His five powers.
Siva is a one being, yet we perceive Him as three perfections: Absolute
Reality, Pure Consciousness and Primal Soul.
Absolute Reality, Shiva is in an un-manifested form, unchanging and
transcendent, the Self God, timeless, form less and spaceless.
Pure Consciousness, Shiva manifests as a primal substance, pure love and light
flowing through all form, existing everywhere in time and space as infinite
intelligence and power.
Primal Soul, Shiva is the five-fold manifestation: Brahma, the creator; Vishnu,
the preserver; Rudra, the destroyer; Maheshvara, the veiling Lord, and
Sadasiva, the revealer. He is our personal Lord, source of all three worlds.
Our divine Father-Mother protects, nurtures and guides us, veiling the truth as
we evolve, revealing it when we are mature enough to receive God’s bountiful
Shiva is beyond our conception, a sacred mystery that can be known in direct
communion. Yea, when Siva is known, all is known.
Vedas state: “That part of Him which is characterized by tamas is called Rudra.
That part of Him which belongs to rajas is Brahma. That part of Him which
belongs to sattva is Vishnu.”