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Nainsukh family workshop

Hiranyakashipu performs penance in order that Brahma might grant him a wish. c. 1775 - c. 1790

38.5 x 30.5 cm (folio dimensions) | RCIN 925229

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  • Illustration to Book 7 of the Bhagavata Purana, Chapter 3: Hiranyakashipu performs penance to Brahma (the creator god) in order that he may be granted a wish. Hiranyakashipu stands in the middle of an anthill covered by grass and bamboo with his arms in the air clutching prayer beads, his fingernails having grown inches long, with only his toes touching the ground. His severe penance has generated a fire, seen on the left. This has scorched the demi-gods who ask Brahma to intervene. Brahma flies towards the king on his mount Hansa. Impressed by Hiranyakashipu's ascetic act, he restores the demon king to full capacity of mind and strength and agrees to grant him a wish.

    Hiranyakashipu requests:

    "make it so that I will not die because of any living being created by you; neither inside nor outside; neither during the day nor at night; neither from any known weapon nor by any other thing; neither on the ground nor in the sky nor by any human being or animal. Neither lifeless things nor living entities; neither demigod or demon; nor the great serpents may kill me. I must have no rivals, the supremacy in battle and the rule over all embodied souls including the deities of all planets. My glory must equal yours and never may the powers I have acquired by this yogic penance be defeated."

    For this series see RCIN 925226.

  • Measurements

    38.5 x 30.5 cm (folio dimensions)

    31.5 x 23.8 cm (image)

  • Other number(s)