It is said of Devi Durga that She rules from the Lion Throne
Hence our statements: “We Bow Before The Lion Throne”, “We Serve The Lion Throne”.
And, of course, from the Lalita Sahasranama [The Thousand-Names (Sahasra-Nama) of The Goddess]:
श्री महाराज्ञी , श्रीमत् सिंहासनेश्वरी , भुवनेश्वरी, देवी दुर्गा
Sri MahaRajni , Srimat SinhAsanEshvari , BhuvanEshwari, Devi Durga
Greatest Queen, Glorious / Radiant Lion-Throne-Empress , Worlds-Empress, Goddess Durga
Now it is easy to presume that there is conceptual resonancy between this and the more usual way we behold Durga seated upon a Lion – Her Vahana [‘Vehicle’ / ‘Steed’], Dawon (often depicted as a Lion, or a Tiger, or both).
Yet I think that there is quite some power in this more ‘stationary’ sit-uation. After all, while it is true that Devi upon a Mount is ultra-mobile – capable of going anywhere with incredible alacrity … the Enthroned Devi is She About Whom All Else Turns.
And given ‘relativity’ – well, we are all simply moving relative to Her.
Which is the appropriate disposition.
Not always asking “Gods, can You come here to me” (although there is definite cause for that, and righteous ways to do so) – but also (and in preference) asking “Gods, how may I come to You“
She Is, we may say, the Mountain [‘Parvati’, indeed – and also an Axis Mundi saliency] that we must go to. Even as, upon occasion, Faith is enough to ‘Move Mountains’ to come down to us in the opposite direction.
Or come down upon our enemies with the full force of a mountain-moving in landslide formation.
With that in mind, it is perhaps intriguing to note that the particular Lion representation we behold here bears a Vaishnava tilaka.
It is therefore recalling the fearsome and formidable Narasimha Avatara of Sri Vishnu.
Of course, what few know – is that more archaic texts also are quite pointed in their leonine imagery for Rudra also … and, as it happens, for Vak Devi likewise. Each of these Deities appearing (or, at least, being described as) Lions in the Vedic canon.
So while this particular Lion is evidently intended to resonate with the Vaishnava mythology and iconography – there is not a monopoly on such for them.
But, you know – that is in many ways less important for us. It would be to get tangled up discussing the Throne rather than focusing upon the Throne’s Most Mighty Occupant.
Hail to Her !
The Divine Empress Of All The Worlds (And Beyond) !
Jai Mata Di !