"Antique Bronze Oil Lamp Figure Tibet Nepal Varahi"
A very rare antique bronze oil lamp in the form of Varahi holding an ovoid lamp bowl. Probably Nepalese, Eighteenth century or earlier.
Varahi is one of the Matrikas, a group of seven mother goddesses in the Hindu religion. With the head of a sow, Varahi is the shakti (feminine energy, or sometimes, consort) of Varaha, the boar Avatar of the god Vishnu. She is usually worshipped at night, using secretive Vamamarga Tantric practices. The Buddhist goddesses Vajravārāhī and Marichi are believed to have their origins from the Hindu goddess Varahi.
The boar-faced goddess who protects Newari (Nepalese) temples and buildings, Varahi or Barahi, refers to any of 4 sow deities who preside over Kathmandu Valley, Nepal. They guard the gates of the city-as-mandala.
Vajravarahi, red in colour, presides over the west and is believed to protect livestock especially. Nilavarahi, blue in colour, guards the east. The south is watched by white Swetavarahi [or, Sukarasya] at the southern gate while Dhumbarahi, who is grey, protects the north and defends the valley against cholera. They are also considered animal-headed dakinis.
Varahi is worshipped by all the three major schools of Hinduism: Shaktism (goddess worship); Shaivism (followers of the god Shiva); and Vaishnavism (devotion to Vishnu).
Date -Eighteenth century or earlier.
Condition - Extensive signs of use. There is burnt lamp oil residue on the underside of the lamp bowl. On Varahi's back there is rectangular incision which I can't explain, please see photos - perhaps a manufacturing fault?
Size - height 14.5cm / 5.7ins
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