Red Macchindranath (Avalokiteshvara)

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Red Macchindrath(Matsyendranath) is the god of rain worshiped by both Hindus and Buddhists in Nepal. Hindus regard him as an incarnation of Shiva, while Buddhists regard him as an incarnation of Avalokiteśvara. Mostly recognized as Red Macchindranāth (or Bunga Dyah) in Nepal, it has one of the oldest Macchindranath temples, that lies in the southern part of the Patan Durbar Square.

Although, in early 10th century, he was a saint and yogi in a number of Buddhist and Hindu traditions. His name 'Macchindranath' translates 'Lord of the Fishes'.

Painting Description:
This painting of Macchindranath, is a buddhist Avalokiteshvara representation. Here, His left hand holds the stalk of the lotus. The right hand, opening outward, is lowered in a gesture of granting favors, which also indicates his readiness to help. Draped over his left shoulder is the skin of a wild deer renowned for its compassionate nature.

Size: 25cm x 35cm

In Hinduism, He is associated with kaula shaivism, founder of the natha sampradaya and hatha yoga, having received the teachings from Shiva. He is also one of the eighty-four mahasiddhas and considered the guru of Gorakshanath, another important figure in early hatha yoga.

According to legends, Matsyendra was born in an inauspicious time. Out of fear, his parents threw him into the ocean. A fish swallowed the child, and he stayed inside the fish for many years. When, the fish swam to the bottom of the ocean where Shiva was disclosing the secrets of yoga to his wife, Parvati. Now knowing secrets of yoga, he began practicing yoga sadhana inside the fish's belly. After twelve years he finally emerged as an enlightened Siddha. This is often given as the origin of his name 'Lord of the Fishes' or 'He Whose Lord is the Lord of the Fishes'.