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Guest Lecture – Dr. Ravinder Reddy – Numinous Imagery on Arms and Armour of the Indian Subcontinent
June 27, 2019 @ 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
Numinous Imagery on Arms and Armour of the Indian Subcontinent
Dr. Ravinder Reddy
(Adjunct Professor of Psychiatry, Univ of California San Diego; Board Member, South Asian Arts Council of the San Diego Museum of Art)
Indian arms and armour are frequently adorned with auspicious and sacred imagery to induce shakti – divine power – to enter them, thus transforming functional objects into implements that hold within them the quality of numen – magical or divine power. In battle, empowered arms and armour serve to protect the warrior, and to assist in achieving victory in both physical and spiritual realms. In peacetime, these pluripotent symbols are aimed at warding off evil, and to attract luck and wealth. During rituals, often accompanied by dance, weapons served to recreate on earth the mythic battles between good and evil.
This presentation will survey the varieties of Hindu sacred images – Goddesses, Gods, Demigods, mythological beasts, symbols – that adorn arms and armour of the Indian subcontinent, and to explore the underlying reasons why these specific images may have been chosen amongst the vast pantheon of Indian sacred imagery.