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Title

The subtle body and cosmic man


Artists

Unknown Artist


About

This preparatory drawing is a splendid example of the full cosmic man who represents the planes of existence from the three realms of the netherworld (or unconscious), through this world of the body-cosmos represented by the subtle body, to the realm of the heavens which comprises successive stages of higher consciousness shown as secret celestial upper ‘chakras’, accessed beyond the seventh Sahasrara Chakra. Reading from the bottom: there is a multi-armed, multi-headed figure of Shiva seated on a lotus held aloft by a monkey balancing on two discs, similar to the red sun and white moon orbs in cat. 111 opposite. Above this grouping is Vishnu lying in the Endless Ocean prior to Creation; he is accompanied by his consort Lakshmi and an attendant. Above them appears the boar incarnation of Vishnu, Varaha, holding aloft the Earth Goddess, Prithivi, whom he has just rescued from the nether regions. Above them, standing on a snake, is the subtle body of a ‘yogin’, each of whose ‘chakras’ contains either a single figure or a couple within a multi-petalled circle.

The script at different points on the drawing indicates the name of the ‘chakra’, and the colours to be used.

Jackie Menzies, ‘Goddess: divine energy’. pg.178
© 2006 Art Gallery of New South Wales


Details


Other Title

Illustration of the esoteric body of Hindu tantrism


Place where the work was made

Nepal


Date

19th century


Media category

Drawing


Materials used

ink and slight colour on paper


Dimensions

240.0 x 50.0 cm (irreg.)


Credit

Purchased 2003


Location

Not on display


Accession number

433.2003



Place

Where the work was made
Nepal

Shown in 1 exhibition

Exhibition history


Referenced in 1 publication

Bibliography


Madhu Khanna, Goddess: Divine Energy, 'Devi Kundalini: the narrative of the subtle body', pg. 173-176, Sydney, 2006, 178 (2 colour illus.). cat.no.110. The image on the right is a detail of this work.