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evolution of the gandabherunda

Evolution of the Gandabherunda

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Published in the "Quarterly Journal of Mythic Society", Bangalore.  

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Evolution of the Gandaberunda


For a proper description of the evolution of the Gandaberunda which is the Royal Insignia in Mysore, we have to go back to tradition in the first instance. Vishnu became incarnate as Narasimha to destroy the demon Hiranyakasipu and to rescue his devotee Prahlada and the mad fury of Vishnu threatened the destruction of the Universe. Siva assumed the form of a Sarabha which was the terror of the lion. Thereupon tradition proceeds, Vishnu immediately took the form of Gandaberunda which is superior to Sarabha and lives on its flesh. 

It is this Gandaberunda or the double headed eagle which forms the Royal Insignia or the Coat-of-Arms in Mysore. Coming to the Vedas we find that the winged disc and the tree of life are recognised as indicating the spread of Aryan culture in the Near East. Frankfort from a study of the North Syrian designs has argued that the winged sun-disc of the Egyptian Winged Sun-Disc (Egyptian) monuments was the most impressive of symbols of the Egyptian empire in the second millennium B.C., and that it was combined with the Indo-European conception of a pillar supporting the sky - the sky being pictorially represented by means of the outstretched wings supported on one or two pillars and surmounted by a disc. There was also the Mesopotamian sun-standard, where the sun was represented by a pole with a star (?) 


The pillar was also connected with the "Asherah" or "sacred tree"(1). Therefore this motif in the Mitannian glyptic was a synthetic product of Egyptian, Mesopotamian and Aryan cultures. He quotes Holmberg(2), to show that Rig-Veda and Atharva Veda mention the cosmic pillar which separates heaven and earth and supports the first, a motive which

1. Frankfort. Cylinder Seals, p. 277.

2.  Holmberg. "Barem des Lebens ", Annales Acad. Scientiarum Fennica tom 16 p. 5.

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Gandabherunda Motifs from other cultures

Gandabherunda Motifs from other cultures

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