I bow before the God Vishnu,
Who is personification of peace,
Who sleeps on his folded arms,
Who has a lotus on his belly,
Who is the God of gods,
Who is the basis of earth,
Who is similar to the sky,
Who is of the colour of the cloud,
Who has beautiful limbs,
Who is the consort of Lakshmi,
Who has lotus like eyes,
Who is seen by saints through thought,
Who kills all worries and fears,
And who is the lord of all the worlds.
It is true to say that I live in a Goddess-centric world. I create content about Goddess, chant and pray to Goddess, talk to Goddess, have businesses dedicated to Goddess, and I am surrounded by Goddess (more than 100) in my home. There are a few male deities that I have deep relationships and adoration for: Ganesha and the male Orishas like Eleggua, Obatala, and Chango. There are some that hang out and have my affection: Shiva, Krishna, Buddha; but, truly, it is about 99.8% Goddess which is why the arrival of the Hindu God Vishnu at the turn of the year was quite a surprise. The fact that he rolled into town, so to speak, so forcefully, was an even greater surprise.
At the beginning of every calendar New Year, I crack out a new journal and go through a whole new year process that can take several weeks. (See Sacred Space 2016) One of my much-anticipated parts of the process is choosing a new mantra for the upcoming year. It is a synchronistic process that I allow to unfold organically that may be triggered through music, content in books, or deity alignment. For 2016, my mantra for the year was chosen due to the influence of my power word for the year – Liberation.
I contemplated Liberation. I set intentions and goals around my personal liberation for 2016 and then I started researching mantras. Om Namo Bhagate Vasudevaya was the one that felt good and was specifically for liberation. So began my 2016 mantra practice. I also researched malas that would align with this mantra and happened upon the vaijayanti malas. An ebay purchase later, vaijayanti mala in hand, the mantra practice began.
As all this was unfolding with the mantra, the mala, and Vishnu’s arrival, I also ran across a marvelous (really marvelous) online course about the Goddess Lakshmi guided by Elle North. I signed up – how could I not honor that synchronicity? I am treasuring this journey with Elle and Lakshmi and really sinking into the experience. This course is highly recommended – for more information check out A 40 Day Mantra Journey – Lakshmi.
“Salutations to the Indweller who is omnipresent, omnipotent, immortal, and divine.
This mantra frees our minds and spirits from negative patterns in this life. Regular and consistent practice of this mantra gives us a complete spiritual freedom: it frees us from the cycle of rebirth and helps us realize ourselves as a manifestation of transcendent divinity. Deva Premal and Miten
Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya is also considered to be the Supreme Mantra of Vishnu and is also used for one of Vishnu’s avatars, Krishna. The vaijayanti mala is made from seeds from the mythical flower offered to Vishnu and Krishna and literally means “garland of victory”. The seed is said to come from the forest of Braj where the God and Goddess eternally make love. This is the mala that Krishna made for Radha and that Ram (another avatar of Vishnu) made for Sita. Also considered “vaijayanti” are flowers used for the garlands of worship like and canna lilies.
The vaijayanti mala is made up of white seeds and the typical “guru bead” is a large rudraksha seed, also known as a tear of Shiva. These malas balance all of the doshas within the body, bring victory, and are used for attraction. As well, Vaijayanthi is the feminine living entity embodied within these seeds. She represents absolute leadership and peaceful cooperativity – Glory through Strength absolute (wiki). My personal experience was an immediate desire to wear the mala all the time. It made me feel safe, secure, and centered with the added benefit of inviting Vishnu more fully into my heart and world view. The heart and core belief healing was a bonus.
This is the long way of introducing Vishnu and my burgeoning love affair with him. I love the gentle strength of Vishnu. In meditation and chanting with this mantra and with him, my heart continues to unfold through his power. He protects and lifts me up. Lakshmi’s familiar presence is there with him always and dissolves my fear and hesitation. Vishnu is working with me in healing my past relationships and the core belief that I attract men that are destructive. For this alone, I love Vishnu.
Vishnu is the sustainer, the preserver. His name means “all-pervading”, he is a protector God, and one of the trimurti, the three central Gods in the Hindu pantheon. One of his four tools is the lotus and represents the source of his power, Lakshmi. Vishnu is peaceful, compassionate, and merciful; Buddha is counted as one of his incarnations/avatars. Other familiar incarnations/avatars (there are ten in all) are: Narasimha (man-lion), Parashurama (warrior-priest), Rama (prince), and Krishna (cow-herd).
Vishnu is the consort of my beloved Shakti Goddess, Lakshmi. She is beauty, abundance, prosperity, and so much more. Her grace and light powers the sun that is Vishnu. Her luster of life invigorates us and propels us forward in joy and happiness, bringing those blessings to Vishnu, the Gods, and humanity. Sri Lakshmi is every form and expression of goodness in the Universe and if she were to turn her gorgeous face from us, the world would die. Through the grace, love, and power of Lakshmi, Vishnu’s powers, purity, and compassion are enhanced. He is whole only through her partnership and Shakti power.
One of the traditions for a Lakshmi altar is to always have an image of Vishnu present, because without him, she (and her blessings) will not stay. For many years, I had a tiny 1.5 inch Vishnu on my Lakshmi altar. In gratitude for his presence and to honor my Lakshmi further, I got a Vishnu that was her size (pictured above). Handsome devil, isn’t he?
Exploration of this divine partnership is serving to inform and elevate my understanding of Shakti and Goddess. I am so blessed with the arrival of Vishnu and deep parts of my relationship stories are being healed and reclaimed. Recently, I was having a tough day around my marriage and separation. My heart hurt and I felt despair that the grief from those years would never go away. I sat and looked at Vishnu and Lakshmi through tears. A whisper came into my head, a male voice, and he said, “I am the sustainer. I offer you protection and heart healing. When you cannot bear these things, allow me to carry them for you.”
Talk about an offer that I cannot refuse.
The adventure continues and I will be writing more about Vishnu upcoming.
The February Goddess Full Moon Group is the Goddess Radha – Shakti for Krishna who is one of Vishnu’s avatars.
Resources for Lakshmi and Vishnu:
- Vaijayanti Mala from MotherHouse Goddess Shop
- Lotus Seed Mala for Lakshmi
- Search Lakshmi blessing kits and ritual tools on MotherHouse Goddess Shop
I am currently working on a Lakshmi and Vishnu mala with my creative partner Ampl Creations that should be available in February.
- Invoking Lakshmi the Goddess of Wealth in Song and Ceremony by Constantina Rhodes
- Lakshmi the Goddess of Wealth and Fortune – an Introduction by Devdutt Pattanaik
- 7 Secrets of Vishnu by Devdutt Pattanaik
- Awakening Shakti – the Transformative Power of the Goddesses of Yoga by Sally Kempton
- Shakti Mantras – Tapping into the Great Goddess Energy Within by Thomas Ashley-Farrand
- Shakti – Realm of the Divine Mother by Vanamali
- Hindu Gods and Goddesses Card Deck by Mandala Publishing