Devi is an Indian Great Goddess. The name Devi literally means a ‘goddess’. This gives an explanation that she is a feminine deity. She is the tender and accessible mother and is usually approached as ‘Ma’. Basically, she is the Mother of the universe mostly known as Jaganmata. She presumes celestial proportions having ability to destroy evil and power over the creation and disbanding of the worlds.
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Myriads of names that demonstrate local mores and myths worship her. It is interesting to note that she is a single being although perceived to be numerous at the same time. This means that though she is one goddess, she can manifest herself in various ways. In addition, worshippers celebrate her through songs and poems in their praise and worship.
Devi takes different forms through which she manifests herself. Perhaps, this explains why she is a multiple being though one deity. She takes many forms because of different functions that are accredited to her. These different manifestations exhibit her strength and beauty. Besides, Devi is perceived in different ways due to chronological approach and religious functions she performs.
Some of her manifestations are indeed tremendous. For instance, she is first manifested as cosmic force whereby she destroys demonic powers that cause menace to world stability. She also creates, exterminates, and restructures the universe. The second form is dayini. Since she is gentle, this form is radiant and gentle in nature.
Many worshippers delight in this form because she is the cordial giver of boons, riches, luck, and achievement. The third manifestation is that she is seen as a heroine. Women are fond of this form because she usually descends on earth to provide stimulating models for them. The beauty of women in dressing is attributed to this manifestation.
She is also manifested as a local defender of vicinities, townships, and individual ethnic natives. As a defender, she is concerned with local matters only. In her fifth manifestation, Devi is seen as semi-divine force. She reveals herself through fertility spirits. In this manifestation, the worshippers looked at her for the purpose of fertility in their lives. Finally, she is also seen in the form of woman saints.
These saints are born on earth but gifted with profound spirituality and different worldly powers. It is imperative to note that these forms are represented in visual arts through paintings of vivid color. The visuals have appealing and attractive paintings which are able of expressing her beauty and strength through striking colors.
The visual representation that interests me most is the one which displays Virahi seated on a tiger. This is because it represents how Devi as a cosmic force is ready to step out to destroy any demonic force that can bring instability in the universe. In the poem, she is seen seated on a lion depicting the strength of destruction. The colors are striking and attractive according to her mission to reconstruct the universe.
The rich glowing colors have an impact to the message conveyed by the goddess. The message is clear after giving a close look at this visual representation. This is what draws me closer in this particular work.
The formal elements have contributed a lot towards the construction of this art work. As a matter of fact, I have obtained necessary information towards understanding the nonwestern culture.
It is quite an experience to know that a single deity can be manifested or represented in different forms in order to describe her functions in relationship to her worshippers. The visual arts have served their purpose by describing how Devi is a single being yet multiple at the same time.