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Miniature painting on antique postcard A_001

by Indian Artisan


A delightful painting of a hand with many religious symbols on a recycled antique postcard.

The hand symbol, or Humsa has a special position in India's rich culture and has become one of their most sacred symbols. The five fingers in the hand of Hinduism represent the five elements of nature and the five energy centers of our body (chakra) and the power of the enlightened being. It is intended to ward off evil, specifically the evil eye, by deflecting the malign force downward into the earth, as a lightning rod diverts electricity.

This design shows some sacred symbols including:

  • The right-hand swastika is one of the 108 symbols of the Hindu god Vishnu as well as a symbol of the sun and of the Hindu sun god, Surya.
  • The trisula or trident is the emblem of the god Shiva. The weapon symbolizes empire and the irresistible force of transcendental reality.
  • The Chandra or moon, ruler of the watery realms and of emotion, testing place of migrating souls.
  • The Nag, or snake is a powerful symbol in Indian Mythology and Hinduism. The snake is worshipped by people across the country. Some of these mythical snakes are considered to be protectors, while others are thought of as destroyers.

The date on the card is unclear but the letter on the reverse can be easily read - if you can read Hindi.

Read more about Humsa in Indian culture here

This is a unique artwork from Rajasthan, India. It measures 14 x 9cm.