Viśvarūpa (Visvarupa) is the cosmic vision of Krishna revealed to Arjuna in the Bhagavad-Gita
before the Mahabharata war. Elements of this vision are traceable to very ancient Indian
concepts of integration and disintegration such as Prajapati and Purusa. The word
Viśvarūpa consists of two components, visva-and-rupa. Visva means "the universe"
and rupa means "form, the shape of anything". Viśvarūpa as a concept means
"all forms", "universal form". "He Who Has The Form of the
Universe". These meanings of Viśvarūpa exist in the Rgveda and other
literature of later periods. This project is aimed at offering an interactive content
exploration system to support the study of Indian art by offering a database of selected
images of Viśvarūpa Krishna.
T.S. MAXWELL is Professor
and Director of the Department of Oriental Art History, University of Bonn. He studied at
the Universities of London and Oxford. He is a Fellow of the Royal Asiatic Society. He was
formerly Assistant Director of the Ashmolean Museum and lecturer at the Indian Institute,
Oxford University. His books, Viśvarūpa, Eastern Approaches - Essays on Asian Art and
Archaeology, and The Gods of Asia - Image, Text, and Meaning, were published by
Oxford University Press. Professor Maxwell is Director of the SEACHART Research Programme
in South East Asia, and of the CHENAB-SUTLEJ Research Project in the Western Himalayas.
Viśvarūpa ICONOGRAPHIC TRADITIONS
North Indian Images of Viśvarūpa
5th - 13th Centuries CE
Reports of Professor T. S. Maxwell
Viśvarūpa by Prof. T. S. Maxwell
by Oxford University Press,