Beautiful Murti of Vaishno Devi, from Nepal.
[as posted by the excellent Kala Kshetram]
Now, ‘Vaishno Devi’ is rather more well-known in the context of the expansive eponymous temple-complex to Her located in Jammu; indeed, a large photograph of that site adorns the backdrop to my own Mandir’s Durga Shrine.
However, there are other Vaishno Devi Temples – and we are unsurprised that such a beautiful exemplar for Her should be found amidst the ‘Goddess Country’ of Nepal.
In terms of the meaning of Vaishno Devi – as one might surmise, ‘Vaishnavi’, ‘Vishnu’ is indeed pertinent.
There are two ways to interpret this purport.
The one that is frequently cited features the Devi being incarnated, in part, to encounter Lord Rama (i.e. the Vishnu Avatar) … and then again to encounter Lord Kalki (again, a Vishnu Avatar) – at the appropriate and apocalyptic (in the sense of an ‘unveiling’) point in time to marry Him. There are some layers to this particular mythic cycle that we may return to elaborate upon further at some other time.
However, on another level, we would also draw attention to the more linguistic meaning for ‘Vishnu’ – ‘Universal’, ‘All-Pervading’.
In this sense, Vaishno may be understood as bringing together a similarly pervasive set of energies.
These are stated to be (Maha) Saraswati, (Maha) Lakshmi, and (Maha) Kali (another perspective states Parvati).
There are several further points of interest to both the theology and the iconography on display here … however we shall, perhaps, leave the pertinent of these for another time.
Jai Mata Di !