The concept of the ultimate oneness of all Existence manifested itself in the artistic imagery of Ardhanarishvara in the form of half Shiva and half Parvati. This is a state when all the opposites have dissolved into the Supreme Being. Such images of Vishnu and Lakshmi united into one body, are rarely found in India. It is possible that Vaishnavism, being a religion of devotion rather than tantra, did not particularly need this form for
Except for a few examples from Kashmir, all the available representations of Composite Lakshminarayan or Ardhalakshmihari, are from Nepal where it is known as Vasudeva Kamalaja. The form gained popularity only in Kashmir and in the reign of the Malla dynasty in Nepal in the early medieval period. It is possible that this form was introduced in Nepal from Kashmir where the images of Vaikuntha Chaturmurti were popular. Shabdakalpadruma records a dhyana from the Tantrasara, of what may be named Ardhalakshmihari though quite unlike the dhyana of Vaikuntha Kamalaja (a composite form of Vaikuntha and Lakshmi), it does not describe the ayudhas of Lakshmi.
Figurine religious object
14th century CE
25.4 (with tanon) x 12.4 x 6 cms.