Acrylic on Canvas, 2000
30 x 42 cm
Collection of Suman Ratna Dhakhwa
The deity known as Goddess Vaiṣṇavī holds a significant position among the Aśtamātrikā goddesses, representing the embodiment of divine feminine power within the context of Vaiṣṇavism. Vaiṣṇavism constitutes a prominent sect within the Hindu religious tradition, characterized by its emphasis on the veneration of Lord Viṣṇu as the preeminent divine entity.
The emergence of Goddess Vaiṣṇavī is attributed to the manifestation of diverse divine entities’ powers. Within certain cultural and religious customs, she is seen as the progeny of Lord Vishnu and his consort Lakṣmī, thereby embodying the amalgamation of their heavenly energies. She is also considered to embody the divine force of Lord Viṣṇu, symbolizing his capacity for preservation and benevolence.
Within the Śākta tradition, it is seen that the Aśtamātrikā goddesses manifest distinct qualities and energies. The deity known as Goddess Vaiṣṇavī embodies a range of virtues including compassion, nurturance, protection, and preservation. The invocation of her worship is frequently undertaken to solicit safeguarding against potential harm, fostering a state of concord, and pursuing the perpetuation of favorable energies inside an individual’s existence.
The etymology of the name “Vaiṣṇavī” can be traced back to its root term “Vaiṣṇav,” denoting an adherent of Vaiṣṇavism, a religious tradition focused on the veneration of Lord Viṣṇu. The name “Vaiṣṇavī” can be translated as “pertaining to Viṣṇu” or “associated with Viṣṇu.” The name denotes the strong affiliation between the goddess Vaiṣṇavī and Lord Viṣṇu, as well as the embodiment of his characteristics and forces.
The artwork depicts Vaiṣṇavī mounted on her celestial vehicle, Garuḍa, as they soar through the composition, showcasing the artist’s skillful incorporation of diverse materials to convey a sense of dynamic motion and velocity. The energy emanating from the goddess is effectively depicted by the atmospheric presence of vivid, multi-colored flames that impeccably capture the full spectrum of hues found in the sky. The artist has effectively conveyed the fundamental spirit of traditional painting by strategically positioning the Candra (moon) and the Surya (sun). The Garuḍa is depicted in the act of grasping serpents with his claws while in flight with a goddess.