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Indian School, Pahari style, 19th century

Hiranyakashipu performs penance in order that Brahma might grant him a wish. c. 1810

RCIN 925229

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After his brother’s death, Hiranyakashipu performs yogic penance by standing on an anthill holding his arms above his head. Impressed by his ascetic act, Brahma (the creator god) agrees to grant him powers of invincibility: that he cannot be killed by any human, animal or weapon, neither inside nor outside, neither during the day nor at night, on earth or in the sky.