--> Skip to main content

Why Do Idols of Certain Hindu Gods Have Big Eyes?

You must have noticed that murtis (idols) of Shrinathji and Jagannath having big eyes. Several murtis (pindis) of Mother Goddess Shakti also have eyes that are not proportionate to the main idol. So why do idols of certain Hindu Gods have big eyes?

Vedas (especially Upanishads) teach us about self-realization through contemplation. A person realizes that he/she is the supreme truth through wisdom, knowledge, and contemplation. But common man was not able to digest this form of worship. He needed a form. Thus Puranas, which were composed several years after the Vedas, gave importance to the concept of murti worship. External worship became more important.

Puranas gave murti form to that Supreme Truth. Murtis came into being depending on the way in which devotees wanted to see God. Thus we have big eyes for certain murtis worshipped in Hindu temples.

Big eyes symbolically represent the all-seeing Supreme Truth. The God with the big eyes sees everything. Nothing escapes the gaze of God. This same truth is said in the Upanishads but in it, there is no independent murti or idol. All creation is That Supreme Truth.

Big eyes also mean that if you perform Adharma (sin or evil deeds) the all-pervading God is a witness to the Adharma. You are answerable for your actions and you cannot escape punishment in the next world.

Big eyes instill fear in those devotees who are doing evil deeds. Some change out of fear and walk on the path of Dharma.

To a tormented devotee, the big eyes are a consolation that God is witnessing everything and God will not let the devotee suffer for long. Justice will soon follow.

Next time when you see, big eyes on murtis of Hindu Gods know that it symbolically represents the eternal witness.