A sandstone sculpture of Vaiṣṇavīfrom 12th century India. She is shown seating in Lalitāsana upon a vidyādhara with halo around her. She wears earrings, necklaces and a precious waistband, the upper arms are holding two gadā-s or clubs, the three left and the three right middle arms are holding chakra-s, while the lower arms hold a śāṅkha and display the varada mudrā.

Vaiṣṇavī, or the Shakti of Viṣṇu, is one of the saptamātṝkāh-s, sometimes appearing as one of the ashtamātṝkāh. The group of 7 or 8 goddesses who were designed from the power or Shakti of the gods, who would battle the asura-s and played a vital role in Shakta worship. Ashtamātṝkāh was more popular in North India and particularly Nepal, whereas the heptad of saptamātṝkāh was/is more prominent in South of India. According to some scholars evidence of the matrika-s can be found even in the Vedic period from inscriptions and recovered sculptures.

The Devīmāhātmyam says:
त्वं वैष्णवीशक्तिरनंतवीर्या
विश्वस्य बीजं परमासि माया।
सम्मोहितं देविसमस्त मेतत्-
त्त्वं वै प्रसन्ना भुवि मुक्तिहेतुः॥

You are the Vaiṣṇavī Shakti of infinite valor, you are the seed of the Universe and the primeval Maya. You have kept everything under an illusion (but) when you are gracious and pleased you became the cause of mukti, liberation.


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