In the Hindu tradition, divinity is not transcendent or immutable; gods come to earth, and men, even demons, can attain godhood through willingness and penance. The gods take forms on earth to live and love and fight, and even die here. They appear to our comprehension as forms (avatars) of their divine nature. The gods represented in this section are Rama, Krishna, and Shiva.

Rama and Krishna are avatars of the god Vishnu. They are approachable and understandable from human experience. Even Shiva, the mystic Lord of the Yogis, has a life on earth. The apparent proliferation of gods is only an appearance. The gods are many, but the gods are also one; and each is supreme, for each is all.

In the concluding group of pictures in this section, the anthropomorphic images of the gods are set aside in favor of imagery that reflects concepts beyond rational comprehension.

The flying chariot as large as a city (Pushpaka Vimana)
Panjab Hills, Mandi
Opaque watercolor and gold on paper, ca. 1650
17 1/8 in. x 13 7/32 in. (43.5 cm x 33.6 cm)

Edwin Binney 3rd Collection