The oil painting that you see on this page depicts the beauteous Devi in a vivid red saree and a gold crown, with Her gorgeous black mane cascading down Her back. The jewels that encircle Her halo of pale gold match the ones studded densely onto Her crown. Around Her neck is a garland of fresh flowers, a devotional offering. She is ashtabhujadharini, the one possessed of (‘dharini’) eight (‘ashta’) arms (‘bhuja’). In each of those hands is a weapon or a divine implement.
The word simhavahini is a portmanteau of ‘simha’ (lion) and ‘vahini’ (rider). Nothing less than a lion suffices Her purpose, as sturdy and determined as She is. Note the brushstrokes that have gone into the mane and the revealed musculature of the creature, proof of the painter’s skill as well as shraddha. An aura of blue surrounds Devi Durga’s haloed head, which contrasts with the textured purple ink background of the composition.
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