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Hindu statue from India

This metal statue is a shrine from India. It was donated to the Museum by Alderman Saunders, a member of the town council. The role of Alderman was officially abolished in the late twentieth century, though it has sometimes continued to be used as an honorary title.

The statue represents the three Gods of the Hindu 'trimurti': Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. These Gods are together responsible for the creation, preservation and destruction of the universe. Vishnu, the preserver, is shown in the centre, depicted with four arms. On either side is Brahma, the creator, and Shiva, the destroyer. In Hindu belief, Vishnu has had nine reincarnations, and will reincarnate a tenth time near the end of the world. Shiva's role is to destroy so that the world can be recreated and improved in a continuous cycle.

Museum object number REDMG : 1959.214.1

See related topic: World Collection: Belief

'Who is Vishnu?', an article in the BBC Religions series.

'Who is Shiva?', an article in the BBC Religions series.

'Who is Brahma?', an article in the BBC Religions series.