Srivatsa means "beloved of Sri", where Sri refers to the goddess Lakshmi. It is a mark on the chest of Vishnu where his consort Sri Lakshmi resides. It is said that the tenth avatar of Vishnu, Kalki, will bear the Srivatsa mark on his chest. Srivatsa-vakshaah ("One who has Srivatsa on his chest") is a name of Vishnu mentioned in the Vishnu Sahasranam.
In Buddhism, the Srivatsa is said to be a feature of the tutelary deity (Sanskrit: ishtadevata; Tibetan: yidam) Manjusri the Youth (Skt: Manjusrikumarabhuta). Tibetan Buddhists depict the Srivatsa as a triangular swirl or an endless knot.
As a Jain symbol
In Jainism, it often marks the chest of the Tirthankara statue. It is one of the ashtamangala. It can look somewhat like a fleur-de-lis, an endless knot, a flower or diamond-shaped symbol.
In Sanskrit, gotra means family, race or lineage that are patriarchal groups. The Brahmin subcastes are grouped under various gotras. Srivatsa is a commonly used surname in Hindu names. Lord Parasurama an avatar of Vishnu was born in this Gotra. Sri-Vatsa is a gotra derived from the existing Vatsa gotra. Srivatsa gotra has 5 pravara rishis (sages): Bhargava, Chyavana, Apnavana, Aurava and Jamadagni; people of the Srivatsa or Vatsa gotra claim descent from these sages.
- Sarat Chandra Das (1902). Tibetan-English Dictionary with Sanskrit Synonyms. Calcutta, India: Bengal Secretariat Book Depot, p.69
- The Handbook of Tibetan Buddhist Symbols, p. PA11, at Google Books
- Alex Wayman, "Chanting the Names of Manjusri" 1985, p. 94
- "Internet Archive Wayback Machine". Web.archive.org. 2009-10-27. Retrieved 2012-03-10.
- Sutton, Nicholas (200). Religious doctrines in the Mahābhārata p.