Vaishnavi, Vaiṣṇāvī, Vaiṣṇavī: 17 definitions

Introduction

Introduction:

Vaishnavi means something in Buddhism, Pali, Hinduism, Sanskrit, Marathi. If you want to know the exact meaning, history, etymology or English translation of this term then check out the descriptions on this page. Add your comment or reference to a book if you want to contribute to this summary article.

The Sanskrit terms Vaiṣṇāvī and Vaiṣṇavī can be transliterated into English as Vaisnavi or Vaishnavi, using the IAST transliteration scheme (?).

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In Hinduism

Shaktism (Shakta philosophy)

[«previous next»] — Vaishnavi in Shaktism glossary
Source: Wisdom Library: Śāktism

1) Vaiṣṇavī (वैष्णवी) refers to the second of the eight Aṣṭamātṛkā (mother Goddesses) of Kathmandu city, locally known as Nay Ajimā. Her location is Pacalī.

2) Vaiṣṇavī (वैष्णवी):—Name of one of the sixty-four mātṛs to be worshipped during Āvaraṇapūjā (“Worship of the Circuit of Goddesses”, or “Durgā’s Retinue”), according to the Durgāpūjātattva. They should be worshipped with either the five upācāras or perfume and flowers.

Her mantra is as follows:

ॐ वैष्णव्यै नमः
oṃ vaiṣṇavyai namaḥ.

Source: Sreenivasarao's blog: Saptamatrka (part 4)

Vaishnavi refers to one of the seven mother-like goddesses (Matrika).—The Matrikas emerge as shaktis from out of the bodies of the gods: Vaishnavi from Vishnu. The order of the Saptamatrka usually begins with Brahmi symbolizing creation. Then, Vaishnavi provides the created world with symmetry, beauty and order. The most important significance of Saptamatrka symbolism is the implication of the cyclical universal time and its cessation. In the standard versions, Vaishnavi the preserver occupies the central position flanked by three goddesses on each side.

The Bhavanopanishad (9) recognizes Matrikas as eight types of un-favourable dispositions, such as: desire, anger, greed, delusion, pride, jealousy, demerit and merit. Tantra-raja-tantra (36; 15-16) expands on that and identifies Vaishnavi with power to fascinate and delude (moha).

According to Khadgamala (vamachara) tradition of Sri Vidya, the eight Matrkas are located along the wall (four at the doors and four at the corners) guarding the city (Tripura) on all eight directions: Vaishnavi on the South.

Source: Kamakoti Mandali: The Yoginis of Narasimha Vyuha

Vaiṣṇavī (वैष्णवी) is the name of a Mātṛkā-Śakti created by Mahārudra in order to control the plague of demons created by Andhakāsura.—Accordingly, Andhaka-Asura tried to kidnap Umā (Devī Pārvatī), and was fiercely attacked by Mahārudra who shot arrows at him from his mahāpināka. when the arrows pierced the body of Andhakāsura, drops of blood fell to earth and from those drops, thousands of Andhakas arose. To control this plague of demons, Mahārudra created Mātṛkā-Śaktis [viz., Vaiṣṇavī] and ordered them to drink the blood of the demons and drain them dry.

Source: Kamakoti Mandali: Nrisimha matrika-mandala

Vaiṣṇavī (वैष्णवी) refers to one of the various Mātṛkā-Śaktis created by Rudra in order to destroy the clones that spawned from Andhaka’s body.—Accordingly, [...] Andhakāsura attempted to abduct Girājanandinī (Pārvatī) and thus ensued a fierce battle between Andhakāsura and the great Rudra, the Lord of Umā. Like raktabīja, every drop of blood that fell from the body of Andhaka created another Asura like him and in no time, the entire world was filled with Andhakas. To destroy the growing number of Andhakas, Rudra created innumerable Mātṛkā-Śaktis [viz., Vaiṣṇavī]. These Śaktis of immense power at once began to drink every drop of blood that flowed from the body of Andhaka, but they could still not effectively contain the emergence of more and more demons.

Shaktism book cover
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Shakta (शाक्त, śākta) or Shaktism (śāktism) represents a tradition of Hinduism where the Goddess (Devi) is revered and worshipped. Shakta literature includes a range of scriptures, including various Agamas and Tantras, although its roots may be traced back to the Vedas.

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Ayurveda (science of life)

[«previous next»] — Vaishnavi in Ayurveda glossary
Source: Wisdom Library: Āyurveda and botany

Vaiṣṇavī (वैष्णवी) is another name for Tulasī, which is a Sanskrit word referring to Ocimum tenuiflorum (holy basil), from the Lamiaceae family. It is classified as a medicinal plant in the system of Āyurveda (science of Indian medicine) and is used throughout literature such as the Suśrutasaṃhita and the Carakasaṃhitā. The synonym was identified in the Rājanighaṇṭu (verses 10.148-149), which is a 13th century medicinal thesaurus.

Source: WorldCat: Rāj nighaṇṭu

Vaiṣṇavī (वैष्णवी) is another name for Śatāvarī, a medicinal plant identified with Asparagus racemosus Willed. (or “buttermilk root”) from the Asparagaceae family of flowering plants, according to verse 4.116-119 of the 13th-century Raj Nighantu or Rājanighaṇṭu. The fourth chapter (śatāhvādi-varga) of this book enumerates eighty varieties of small plants (pṛthu-kṣupa). Together with the names Vaiṣṇavī and Śatāvarī, there are a total of thirty-two Sanskrit synonyms identified for this plant.

Ayurveda book cover
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Āyurveda (आयुर्वेद, ayurveda) is a branch of Indian science dealing with medicine, herbalism, taxology, anatomy, surgery, alchemy and related topics. Traditional practice of Āyurveda in ancient India dates back to at least the first millenium BC. Literature is commonly written in Sanskrit using various poetic metres.

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Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

[«previous next»] — Vaishnavi in Purana glossary
Source: Wisdom Library: Varāha-purāṇa

Vaiṣṇavī (वैष्णवी) is the form of Trikalā having a red body representing the energy of Viṣṇu, according to the Varāhapurāṇa chapter 90. Trikalā is the name of a Goddess born from the combined looks of Brahmā, Viṣṇu and Maheśvara (Śiva).

The Varāhapurāṇa is categorised as a Mahāpurāṇa, and was originally composed of 24,000 metrical verses, possibly originating from before the 10th century. It is composed of two parts and Sūta is the main narrator.

Source: Wisdom Library: The Matsya-purāṇa

Vaiṣṇavī (वैष्णवी) is the name of a mind-born ‘divine mother’ (mātṛ), created for the purpose of drinking the blood of the Andhaka demons, according to the Matsya-purāṇa 179.8. The Andhaka demons spawned out of every drop of blood spilled from the original Andhakāsura (Andhaka-demon). According to the Matsya-purāṇa 179.35, “Most terrible they (e.g., Vaiṣṇavī) all drank the blood of those Andhakas and become exceedingly satiated.”

The Matsyapurāṇa is categorised as a Mahāpurāṇa, and was originally composed of 20,000 metrical verses, dating from the 1st-millennium BCE. The narrator is Matsya, one of the ten major avatars of Viṣṇu.

Source: archive.org: Shiva Purana - English Translation

Vaiṣṇavī (वैष्णवी) refers to one of the “nine Durgās” (Navadurgā), participating in Vīrabhadra campaign against Dakṣa, according to the Śivapurāṇa 2.2.33. Accordingly, as Brahmā narrated to Nārada:—“Mahākālī went ahead for the destruction of Dakṣa accompanied by nine Durgās [viz., Vaiṣṇavī]. Eager in executing the command of Śiva, they accompanied the marching heroes—Ḍākinī, Śākinī, Bhūtas, Pramathas, Guhyakas, Kūṣmāṇḍas, Parpaṭas, Caṭakas, Brahma-Rākṣasas, Bhairavas and Kṣetrapālas and set out quickly for the destruction of Dakṣa’s sacrifice”.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index

1a) Vaiṣṇavī (वैष्णवी).—A name of Yogamāyā;1 Sātvikī śakti;2 a mind-born mother;3 makes the sun shine radiant.4

  • 1) Bhāgavata-purāṇa X. 2. 11.
  • 2) Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa IV. 19. 7; 36. 58; 44. 111; Viṣṇu-purāṇa II. 11. 14.
  • 3) Matsya-purāṇa 179. 11.
  • 4) Viṣṇu-purāṇa II. 11. 20.

1b) A goddess among the mātṛs; Icon of, after the manner of Viṣṇu; Garuḍa is the riding animal; four hands in the varada pose.*

  • * Matsya-purāṇa 13. 52; 261. 28.
Purana book cover
context information

The Purana (पुराण, purāṇas) refers to Sanskrit literature preserving ancient India’s vast cultural history, including historical legends, religious ceremonies, various arts and sciences. The eighteen mahapuranas total over 400,000 shlokas (metrical couplets) and date to at least several centuries BCE.

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Shilpashastra (iconography)

Source: Sreenivasarao's blog: Saptamatrka (part 4) (shilpa)

Vaishnavi refers to the second Matrka and is the shakthi of Vishnu. She is seated upon a lotus, under a Raja-vriksha, the great tree. She is dark in complexion. She has a lovely face, pretty eyes and wears a bright yellow garment. Her head is adorned with kirita-makuta. She is richly decorated with ornaments generally worn by Vishnu. She wears the Vanamala, the characteristic garland of Vishnu. The emblem on her banner as well as her vahana is the Garuda. When depicted with four arms, she carries in one of her hands the chakra and in the corresponding left hand the shankha; her two other hands are held in the Abhaya and the Varada mudra. (Devi-Purana and Purvakaranagama).

The Vishnudharmottara states that like Brahmani, Vaishnavi also has six hands; the right hands are characterized by the gada, padma and abhaya and the left ones by shankha, chakra and varada.

Source: Shodhganga: The significance of the mūla-beras (śilpa)

Vaiṣṇavī or Vaiṇavi is the name of one of the Aṣṭaśakti, or “eight powers” as found depicted in the Meenakshi Temple in Madurai (or Madura), which represents a sacred place for the worship of The Goddess (Devī).—The entrance on the eastern side of the temple leads to the Aṣṭaśakti-maṇḍapa. On the left there are four śakti (powers) [viz., Vaiṣṇavī]. Vaiṇavi/Vaiṣṇavi is represented standing in samapāda-sthānaka with four hands. The upper two hands are in the kartarīmukha-hasta holding the conch in the left and the discus in the right. The lower right hand is in abhaya (patāka) and the lower left hand is in varada (patāka inverted).

Shilpashastra book cover
context information

Shilpashastra (शिल्पशास्त्र, śilpaśāstra) represents the ancient Indian science (shastra) of creative arts (shilpa) such as sculpture, iconography and painting. Closely related to Vastushastra (architecture), they often share the same literature.

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In Buddhism

Tibetan Buddhism (Vajrayana or tantric Buddhism)

Source: Wisdom Library: Tibetan Buddhism

Vaiṣṇavī (वैष्णवी) refers to one of the various Mātṛs and Mahāmātṛs mentioned as attending the teachings in the 6th century Mañjuśrīmūlakalpa: one of the largest Kriyā Tantras devoted to Mañjuśrī (the Bodhisattva of wisdom) representing an encyclopedia of knowledge primarily concerned with ritualistic elements in Buddhism. The teachings in this text originate from Mañjuśrī and were taught to and by Buddha Śākyamuni in the presence of a large audience (including Vaiṣṇavī).

Source: Google Books: An Esoteric Exposition of the Bardo Thodol Part A

Vaiṣṇāvī (वैष्णावी):—One of the six Īśvarī performing the rites of pacification.—The second of the carnivores, the bluish-white weasel-headed Vaisṇāvī, holding a wheel, directs the manasic prāṇas from the Stomach centre. Because manas is subservient to the Watery disposition of the Solar Plexus, but in time must come to fully control it, so the comparatively diminutive weasel is implicated. The mental element fused with the emotions and desire produces the cunning, deceit or craftiness implied by this animal, juxtaposed to the more forcefully aggressive leopard.

The weasel represents the relative extent of manasic control that most people have over their emotions. The relatively diminutive Aetheric little finger of the top hand is implicated. The wheel held by Vaisṇāvī relates to the ability of manas to sort out the forms of emotionality and to appropriately direct them.

The counterpart of this pair is Raudrī..

Source: academia.edu: The Structure and Meanings of the Heruka Maṇḍala

Vaiṣṇavī (वैष्णवी) refers to the Ḍākinī of the southern gate in the Medinīcakra, according to the 10th century Ḍākārṇava chapter 15. Accordingly, the medinīcakra refers to one of the three divisions of the dharma-puṭa (‘dharma layer’), situated in the Herukamaṇḍala. The four gate Ḍākinīs [viz., Vaiṣṇavī] each has the same physical feature as the four Ḍākinīs starting with Lāmā.

Tibetan Buddhism book cover
context information

Tibetan Buddhism includes schools such as Nyingma, Kadampa, Kagyu and Gelug. Their primary canon of literature is divided in two broad categories: The Kangyur, which consists of Buddha’s words, and the Tengyur, which includes commentaries from various sources. Esotericism and tantra techniques (vajrayāna) are collected indepently.

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Languages of India and abroad

Marathi-English dictionary

[«previous next»] — Vaishnavi in Marathi glossary
Source: DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary

vaiṣṇavī (वैष्णवी).—a (vaiṣṇava) Relating to a vaiṣṇava or follower of viṣṇu.

context information

Marathi is an Indo-European language having over 70 million native speakers people in (predominantly) Maharashtra India. Marathi, like many other Indo-Aryan languages, evolved from early forms of Prakrit, which itself is a subset of Sanskrit, one of the most ancient languages of the world.

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Sanskrit dictionary

[«previous next»] — Vaishnavi in Sanskrit glossary
Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Monier-Williams Sanskrit-English Dictionary

1) Vaiṣṇavī (वैष्णवी):—[from vaiṣṇava] f. [patronymic] [from] viṣṇu, [Mahābhārata]

2) [v.s. ...] a female worshipper of Viṣṇu, [Pañcarātra]

3) [v.s. ...] the personified Śakti of Viṣṇu (regarded as one of the Mātṛs, and identified with Durgā and Manasā), [Mahābhārata; Rājataraṅgiṇī] etc.

4) [v.s. ...] Asparagus Racemosus, [cf. Lexicographers, esp. such as amarasiṃha, halāyudha, hemacandra, etc.]

5) [v.s. ...] Ocymum Sanctum, [cf. Lexicographers, esp. such as amarasiṃha, halāyudha, hemacandra, etc.]

6) [v.s. ...] Clitoria Ternatea, [cf. Lexicographers, esp. such as amarasiṃha, halāyudha, hemacandra, etc.]

7) [v.s. ...] (in music) a [particular] Mūrchanā, [Saṃgīta-sārasaṃgraha]

context information

Sanskrit, also spelled संस्कृतम् (saṃskṛtam), is an ancient language of India commonly seen as the grandmother of the Indo-European language family (even English!). Closely allied with Prakrit and Pali, Sanskrit is more exhaustive in both grammar and terms and has the most extensive collection of literature in the world, greatly surpassing its sister-languages Greek and Latin.

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