From Hindupedia, the Hindu Encyclopedia

By Swami Harshananda

Vāmana is the fifth avatāra or incarnation of Lord Viṣṇu. The concept of Vāmana as Trivikrama is very ancient. It is found in the Vedas.[1] Iconographical works describe him as a short-statured brahmacāri[2] with two arms holding a chatra,[3] daṇḍa[4] and kamaṇḍalu.[5] He wears a kaupina[6] and has a śikhā[7] on his head. Several varieties of Vāmana, such as Dadhi-vāmana and Viśva-vāmana, are sometimes mentioned in some works of tantra. Vāmana also figures in the list of 24 aspects of Viṣṇu.


  1. Śaṭapatha Brāhmana 1.1.5
  2. Brahmacāri means Vedic student.
  3. Chatra means umbrella.
  4. Daṇḍa means staff.
  5. Kamaṇḍalu means water-pot.
  6. Kaupina means loin cloth.
  7. Śikhā means tuft of hair.
  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore