The name Vishvarupa (viśva "whole", "universe" and rūpa "form", lit. "All-formed" or "Omniform") first appears as a name of Trisiras, the three-headed son of Tvastr, the Vedic creator-god who grants form to all beings. In the Rig Veda, he is described as to generate many forms and contain several forms in his womb. The epithet Vishvarupa is also used for other deities like Soma (Rig Veda), Prajapati (Atharva Veda), Rudra (Upanishad) and the abstract Brahman (Maitrayaniya Upanishad). The Atharva Veda uses the word with a various connotation. A bride is blessed with be Vishvarupa (all-formed) with glory and offspring.
Then, Vishvarupa is revealed in the Bhagavad Gita (2nd century BCE) and then the Puranas (1000 BCE - 500 CE) in connection to Vishnu-Krishna, however these literary sources do not detail the iconography of Vishvarupa. The Bhagavad Gita may be inspired by the description of Purusha as thousand-headed, thousand-eyed and thousand-footed or a cosmic Vishvakarma ("creator of the universe").
Vishvarupa is mentioned as Vishnu's avatar in Pañcaratra texts like the Satvata Samhita and the Ahirbudhnya Samhita (which mention 39 avatars) as well as the Vishnudharmottara Purana, that mentions 14 avatars. ✨🙏✨ Art by #luminokaya 🕉
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