From Hindupedia, the Hindu Encyclopedia

By Swami Harshananda

Vaiṣṇavi is listed among the Saptamātṛkās.[1] She is the śakti[2] of Lord Viṣṇu. In the Durgāsaptaśatī[3] she is described as an emanation, one of the seven of Durgā. She is identical in form with Viṣṇu. She is dark in complexion and wears yellow silken robes and a vanamālā[4] also. She has four hands holding:

  1. Cakra - discus
  2. Śaṅkha - conch
  3. Gada - mace
  4. Padma - lotus

Sometimes she is shown with six hands, the last two showing the gestures of abhaya[5] and varada.[6] She also holds śankh[7] gada[8] and padma.[9] Sometimes she is shown with six hands. She rides on the Garuḍa, the famous vulture-mount of Viṣṇu.


  1. Saptamātṛkās means the Seven Mothers.
  2. Śakti is the power-goddess.
  3. Durgāsaptaśatī 8.18
  4. Vanamālā means garland of wild flowers.
  5. Abhaya means protection from fear.
  6. Varada means giving boons.
  7. Śankh means conch.
  8. Gada means mace.
  9. Padma means lotus.
  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore