You must have looked at the idols and pictures of the Hindu deities. However, one prominent thing that many non-Hindus and even Hindus wonder about is the reason for the multiple arms.
Almost every prominent God and Goddess in the Hindu religion are portrayed with multiple hands coming out of their torso, and some even have multiple heads. This might leave many perplexed and startled.
This article will delve deeply into why Hindu Gods and Goddesses are many armed or have multiple arms. So, keep on reading.
The Multiple Arms are an Element of Artistic Expression
One of the major reasons many Hindu Gods are armed is because it is artistic. The expression has always been a prominent element when it comes to Hinduism. From historical carvings, pictorial representations, cave drawings, and statues to artifacts and sculptures, you would find how Hinduism favors the art of expression.
These carvings and pictures represent Gods and Demigods doing everyday activities, their morals, and teachings in the most artistic ways.
Even the most mundane activities like eating are represented in a very artistic and intricate manner through these carvings and designs. Even our religious texts are one of the richest pieces of literature as they present the greatest epics and folklores.
That easily helps us to conclude that Hinduism is a religion that loves the art of expression. A key characteristic of Hindu literature and art is Portraying even the smallest details.
Therefore, we can easily conclude that even the many armed God and Goddess figures are rich artistic representations. It may not exactly mean that Hindu Gods have multiple hands and heads. Rather, it is an interesting and intriguing way of being artistic.
As the multiple arms of the Hindu Gods and Goddesses are an artistic representation, let’s get to what they might actually represent.
The Multiple Arms Represent Strength, Valor, and Godly Power
The multiple arms of the Hindu Gods and Goddesses that you see in sculptures and murals are not there for no reason. Suppose they are an element of artistic expression. In that case, they must represent some deep symbolic meanings that are not easily known or figured out. One of the many things that these multiple arms represent is strength.
Strength is one of the most prominent qualities of Gods and Goddesses. When it comes to Hinduism, Gods and Goddesses are the transcendental figures that have universal powers and are elevated to a supreme position.
Their supremacy is not without reason. After all, they are worshipped for being the all-knower and almighty. When these traits are so prominent and significant, it seems very normal to portray their strength through multiple arms.
The multiple arms of the Hindu Gods and Goddesses represent that these entities are not ordinary. They have a sort of generosity that’s incomparable, and multiple hands are just a way of expressing that.
The Multiple Hands Signify that Multiple Tasks can be Done at a Time
According to Hinduism, Gods are the ultimate creators, controllers, preservers, and destroyers. With that level of importance and power, it is only understandable that Gods and Goddesses are to be shown in the same manner.
Therefore, the way they are depicted or portrayed must provide justice to their power and prestige.
Therefore, multiple hands of Gods and Goddesses signify that Gods are the ultimate controllers of the universe. Their multiple hands signify that they handle the activities of the whole world with the help of their arms.
Their multiple arms are capable of carrying out various tasks at a time. Moreover, as mentioned before, Hinduism loves the art of expression and art itself. Therefore, many armed Gods and Goddesses are a perfect pictorial representation of the Hindu God’s enormous power.
The Multiple Arms Represent the Qualities that the Deity is Worshipped for
There are many Gods and Goddesses in the Hindu religion. Each one is worshiped and looked up to for certain qualities. Being the devotee of a certain God or Goddess, you look up to the qualities that they are worshipped for in the first place.
This makes them even more special. Even though many Hindus worship all the prominent Gods and Goddesses, they identify them by a specific trait or quality that is identical to them.
When it comes to the many armed traits, we can see it as a way of representing all the qualities of the deity. The multiple arms will then be holding various objects that signify different things. Or, the hands may make different mudras symbolic of various morals or characteristics that the deity is preaching.
For example, Goddess Saraswati is known for her virtues and knowledge. She is known to be the giver of knowledge to her devotees. Therefore, we can see her holding a book in one of her hands. That’s just a way of representing the quality that she is known for, in this case, knowledge.
Similarly, Goddess Lakshmi is known and worshipped as the Goddess of Wealth. She represents spirituality with the Lotus flower that she holds in one of her hands. And also, on the other hand, coins can be seen coming. As she is worshipped for wealth, the hand showering coins signify that trait of Goddess Lakshmi.
Lord Vishnu holds a conch in one of his hands, representing the universe’s sound; “OM.”
Therefore, the multiple hands portray or signify multiple characteristics and meanings. As Hinduism is a vast religion, the meanings of everything need to be figured out properly before making judgments and remarks.
Like in this article, we had a look at why the Hindu Gods and Goddesses have many arms. They hold artistic value and are also a great way of signifying the traits of the Gods and Goddesses and the values they represent.