Friends, days back while listening to a discourse on our great Indian epic – Ramayana, I came to know that Lord Rama fits in the category of Negroda Parimandala. I wished, to pen an article on the epic and was in search of a painting to support my article. During, the screening of paintings of Raja Ravi Varma, on our God and Goddesses, a surprising thought hit my head ‘why do, only, our Indian Male and Female Gods have extra two hands attached?’ Questions like, are they drawn only to carry God’s belongings? Or do our ancestors trying to pass the findings of invented/discovered to the next generation? Put me in action, to dig up information about what it meant. In the search, I got to know very interesting facts regarding the same in a] Leonardo Da Vinci painting and b] Stella Kramrisch’s book The Vishnudharmottara, which I would like to share with you all  –


The Vitruvian Man –

Before putting ourselves in Indian God’s hand, first let us ask – Leonardo Da Vinci, who lived from 1452-1519, an Italian painter, draftsman, sculptor, architect, engineer, and polymath meaning ‘Having Learned Much’, about his work “The Vitruvian Man”. The original name of the work is – ‘Le Proporzioni del Corpo Umano Secondo Vitruvio’ meaning ‘The proportions of the human body according to Vitruvius’. Da Vinci says he got inspired by the Roman Architect Vitruvius and got all the precise measurements of the human body from his document De Architectura (book 3). Little information about Vitruvius, I came to know, that he lived in the 1st century BC and is best known for his book, which covers subjects like mathematics, astronomy meteorology, construction, building material, and medicine.


The Vishnudharmottara – 

Now let us ask American pioneer Art Historian Stella Kramrisch*, who lived from 1896 – 1993, and was the leading specialist in Indian Art,  about her book ‘The Vishnudharmottara’ which got published in the year 1928. She says, with her extensive seven decades of research on Indian Art, that Vishnudhamottara Purana is a collection of Sanskrit verses and is a supplement or appendix to Vishnu Purana, which is one of the oldest and primary sacred Hindu texts. She also mentions that ‘Chitrasutra’ is that part of the Vishnudharmottara Purana that deals with the art of painting. The quoted conversation, in her book, that happens between sage Markandeya and King Vajra, regarding how to create the perfect representation of God and Goddesses, gives us the hint about the knowledge regards to painting our ancestors had and we can find detailed human body measurements at a minuscule level for both Male and females, in the chapter ‘Canon of Proportions’ from Page 23 to 28. After reading Kramrisch’s book, one can easily understand, that the mathematical calculation in Vishnudharmottara Purana is much more accurate and precise and not gender-biased when compared to Vitruvius’s De Architectura.


She also states Vishnudharmottara Purana has a vast array of subjects specializations in it, like –

  • Cosmology, Cosmogony & Astronomy
  • Geography
  • Astrology, Pacification of unfavorable Planets & Stars
  • Division of Time & Metrics
  • Genealogies of Kings and Sages
  • Manners and Customs
  • Penances
  • Duties of Vaishnava’s
  • Law and Politics
  • War Strategies-
  • Treatment of diseases of human beings and animals
  • Cuisine
  • Grammar, Rhetoric & Lexicography
  • Dramaturgy, Arts, Dance, Vocal and Instrumental music


According to Prof. David Pingree, 1933-2005, an American Historian of Mathematics in the Ancient World, the compilation of Vishnuharmottara Purana was likely completed by the 5th or 6th century CE.


Friends, hope you all might have understood, why our Indian God and Goddesses have extra two hands attached and Indians knew that anything perfect can be seen only in GODS.


Nyagrodha – A Fathom measured of the extended arms

Parimandala – Circle


Nyagrodhaparimandala   and   The Vitruvian Man – Who is first?


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