She is both a protector and a bestower. She bestows upon deserving individuals based on their past karma and levels of devotion. She also shields from illness and adversity.
As a result, in Hinduism, worship of Lakshmi is regarded as a suitable remedy for the relief of suffering. Her regular worship, chanting of her names, and remembering her were thought to bring people good fortune and prosperity. The preservation of life on Earth is dependent on wealth. As a result, Lakshmi, as the goddess of wealth, rightfully fulfils her responsibilities as the nourisher, preserver, and provider.
Mahalakshmi is a manifestation of Mother Goddess or Shakti. Shreeor Lakshmi are her popular names. According to some, both were likely separate deities who were mistakenly identified as one at some point. The Vedas depict her as the goddess of various types of wealth. She incarnated several times, according to the Puranas. In her first incarnation, she was the daughter of Bhrigu and Khyati. Then she was born from the waters of the milky ocean as the gods and demons churned it in search of the elixir of life (amritam), and she was given to Vishnu as a companion and supporter of His Dharma.
When Mahavishnu takes human form on Earth, Lakshmi joins Him and contributes to the restoration of Dharma. Padma was her incarnation. When Vishnu took on the form of Vamana, Dharani took on the form of Parasurama, Sita took on the form of Rama, and Rukmini took on the form of Krishna.
Lakshmi is an etymological term that means fortune, prosperity, wealth, good luck, success, accomplishment, beauty, grace, charm, loveliness, splendor, lustre, royalty, sovereign power, auspiciousness, and other similar terms. All of these qualities are represented by Goddess Lakshmi. Sri, her other popular name, means wealth (siri), which in ancient times was represented by the abundance of food grains. Cere or Siri are likely the origins of the English word cereal.
Other related words include:
- "Lak," which means "forehead" or "ear of wild rice," and "Laksha," which means "to perceive, apprehend, see, mark, denote, characterise, and so on.
- The term "Lakshana" refers to a quality, mark, feature, or characteristic.
- "Lakshmi" (la+aksha+mi) may also refer to the dice game (aksha), which was very popular in ancient India, as evidenced by the Mahabharat. Because it is a game of chance, throwing the dice requires luck, good fortune, or the blessings of Lakshmi to win.
The etymology and meanings of the word Lakshmi are as quoted in Wikipedia and first mentioned in Monier Williams' Sanskrit-English Dictionary, which was compiled in British India in the nineteenth century.
Lakm is mentioned in the Rik Veda x, 71, 2 and Nirukta iv as a mark, sign, or token. Laksmi is mentioned in the Atharva Veda and Apasthambha Shrauta Suutra as representing both good and bad signs or an impending fortune or misfortune.
In the Atharva Veda, Lakshmi is used in conjunction with "p'uNyA," which means a good sign, good fortune, prosperity, success, or happiness. In the Mahabharata, Laksmi represents wealth, riches, beauty, happiness, loveliness, grace, charm, and splendour.
The noun Laksmi refers to the goddess of fortune and beauty (in subsequent Purana descriptions, she is frequently identified with r and regarded as the wife of Vishnu or Nryana).
According to Sir Monier Williams, "Religious Thought and Life in India," 45, 40-43, she arose from the foam of the ocean while it was being churned by the gods and demons for the extraction of Amrta (elixir). She appeared holding a lotus, which is why she is also known as Padm.
Another legend has Lakshmi appearing during the creation, floating over the waters and sitting on the expanded petals of a lotus flower. She is also known as the wife of Srya, Prajpati, Dattatreya, and Dharma, the mother of Kma, the sister or mother of Dhtr and Vidhtr, one of Vishnu's nine haktis, and a manifestation of Prakrti. She is also known as Dkshyan in the Bharatarama and St, Rma's wife, among many other legendary women of great purity and virtue.
Iconography and appearance
In most images and statues, she is seated on an open eight-petaled lotus flower, holding lotus flowers in two of her hands and the other two in abhaya (assurance) and varada (giving) mudras (gestures). Her skin tone in the photos ranges from dark to pink to golden yellow to white. He is frequently associated with water in her images and descriptions, implying that she is also associated with water. Two elephants stand on either side of her, their trunks raised, emptying pitchers of water. She is depicted in the company of Maha Vishnu at times and alone at others, showering gold coins on her devotees.
When she is with Vishnu, she is shown with two hands, and when she is alone, she is shown with four hands, each holding a lotus, a conch, a pot of nectar, and fruit. In some images, Durga is depicted with four additional hands, each holding a bow, an arrow, a mace, and a discussion. Samanya Lakshmi is her name when she is depicted with two hands. Varalakshmi is known when she is depicted with two lotuses in two hands and the other two in Abhaya and Varada gestures (mudras).
In some images, she is depicted alongside Ganapathi as a deity of good fortune and auspiciousness. Her vehicle is the legendary owl, which is considered unlucky if seen in the open or in houses. In the section on symbolism in Hinduism, we discussed the symbolism of the owl as the vehicle of goddess Lakshmi. The owl symbolises wisdom or intelligence on the one hand, and ill omen or bad luck on the other. It lives an unusual and solitary life, symbolising loneliness and fear. These are the common experiences of people who have a lot of money.
The goddess represents not only material wealth, but wealth in general, from food to fame and the richness of life. As a result, she has many facets that represent various types of wealth, richness, abundance, perfection, fulness, and enjoyment. According to Hindu tradition, there are eight forms of Lakshmi, collectively known as Ashtalakshmis (eight Lakshmis), each representing a different type of wealth. Adilakshmi (first), Dhanyalakshmi (crops), Dhairyalakshmi (courage), Gajalakshmi (elephants), Santanalakshmi (children), Vijayalakshmi (victory), Vidyalakshmi (education), and Dhanalakshmi (education) are their names and associated aspects (riches). Gajalakshmi is the most well-known of them. It could be because elephants played an important role in ancient wars and clearing forests for cultivation. They were an important part of the royal army, much like battle tanks are today, and denoted a king's might and chances of victory in battle. Chance and luck also favoured those who had an abundance of them. As a result, Goddess Lakshmi, as the source of elephant wealth, became known as Gaja Lakshmi. As a result, she became an associated deity of Lord Ganesha, the god with an elephant head.
The names of the eight Lakshmis are slightly different. The one below is considered the gold standard because it is also validated by the Ashta Lakshmi Stotram, which is one of her most popular prayers and is regularly chanted in many households.
Adi Lakshmi: She is the goddess of pleasant form, endowed with knowledge and virtue, who grants liberation to seers and sages, is worshipped by gods and celestial beings, and brings auspiciousness and rains. In the images, she is shown with four arms, two of which are holding a lotus and a white flag, while the other two are in abhaya and varada mudras (gestures).
Dhnya Lakshmi: She is the destroyer of impurities and adversity, filled with Vedic wisdom, born from the milky ocean, with an auspicious form, the giver of boons, and Madhusudhana's favourite. She is depicted as having eight arms, dressed in green, holding two lotuses, a mace, and other objects in her six hands, with the other two held in abhaya and varada mudras (gestures).
Dhairya Lakshmi: She is the source of courage, is worshipped by gods for the flowering of knowledge and wisdom, removes all forms of fear, is a refuge for sadhus and others, and embodies divine power. She is depicted in red garments with eight hands, six of which hold various weapons and the other two in abhaya and varada mudras.
Gaja Lakshmi: As the goddess of immense strength, she bestows upon worshippers the wealth of chariots, elephants, cavalry, and army for battle victory and aids them in destroying their foes' forts and achieving victory. She is also depicted in red garments, with four hands, two of which hold lotuses and the other two in abhaya and varada mudras.
Santana Lakshmi: In this aspect, she is the beautiful Mohini who bestows wealth of progeny upon worshippers for the welfare of the world and the upholding of virtue. In the images, she is depicted with six arms, two of which she holds two sacred pitchers (kalasas) in two, a sword and shield in two, a child seated in her lap in the fifth, and the world in the sixth, which she holds in the abhaya mudra.
Vijaya Lakshmi: She is the goddess of victory, who shows the right path, grants seekers knowledge and wisdom, grants worshippers victory in their endeavours, and bestows abundance of wealth on those who pray to her daily and extol her. She is depicted in red garments with eight arms, holding a disc, conch, sword, shield, lotus, and a noose in six of her hands while the other two are held in abhaya and varada mudras.
Vidya Lakshmi: In this aspect, she is the embodiment of knowledge and wisdom, worshipped by gods, adorned with precious stones, has a pleasant appearance, and destroys suffering by bestowing wealth of nine kinds on her worshippers and fulfilling their desires. In the images, she is dressed in white and has four arms. She carries lotuses in two of them, while the other two are held in abhaya and varada mudras.
Dhana Lakshmi: Six-armed and dressed in red, she carries a chakra (discus), a shankha (conch), a kalasha (water pitcher with mango leaves and a coconut on it) or an Amrita kumbha (a pitcher containing Amrita - the elixir of life), a bow-arrow, a lotus, and an arm in abhaya mudra with gold coins falling from it.
Dhanya Lakshmi: Eight-armed, dressed in green, carrying two lotuses, gada (mace), paddy crop, sugarcane, and bananas, with the other two hands in abhaya and varada mudras.
She is known by many different names. Padmavathi, Padmaja, Kamala, ShreeDevi, Neeraja, Narayani, Vaishnavi, Khshira Samudra, Saubhagya Lakshmi, Griha Lakshmi, Indra Lakshmi Raja Tanaya, Padmini, are some of her other popular names.
Alakshmi and Bhudevi are the polar opposites of Lakshmi. She is thought to be the goddess of adversity, suffering, and misfortune. She was also born during the churning of the oceans, but before Lakshmi appeared. As a result, she is referred to as Lakshmi's elder sister (Jyesta). In some versions, her husband is referred to as Dussaha, the unbearable, and in others as Kapila, a reference to the suffering and adversity that ascetics face during their austerities and penances. She is portrayed as an elderly woman holding a broom. Despite her negative connotations, she brings good fortune to those who pray to her and earn her favour.
Lakshmi, as a symbol, represents the materiality of creation and our reliance on material abundance. Her various colours in the images represent the various types of wealth found in creation. Her dark complexion also represents her connection to the earth and Vishnu. Her white skin symbolizes her purity (sattva). Her pink complexion represents her affinity for lotus and water, as well as her role as a caring mother.
Her four hands represent Brahman's four feet, as described in the Upanishads as the four-footed. They also represent the four directions, four kinds of blessings, and four goals in life. The pot of nectar she holds in one hand represents her ability to free people from pain and the cycle of births and deaths. She is associated with Vishnu, the preserver, because material wealth is necessary for the continuation of life on Earth, in order to perform obligatory duties, care for cattle and progeny, entertain guests, and serve those in need.
Vishnu requires material abundance in order to fulfil his various responsibilities and to preserve and protect creation. As a result, she is always in his company. Householders have similar responsibilities on the human plane. As a result, householders have a duty and obligation to earn wealth in order to keep dharma alive on Earth, and they have a greater need for wealth and the blessings of Goddess Lakshmi.
However, wealth does not appear on its own. Knowledge is the foundation of wealth and pleasure. Aside from wealth and knowledge, one also requires progeny. As a result, the three eternal aspects of Mother Goddess, knowledge, wealth, and procreation, as represented by Sarasvati, Lakshmi, and Parvati, are extremely important in Hindu culture. Lakshmi represents wealth in general, not just material wealth. As a result, she is also revered for her abundance of courage, knowledge, strength, victory, material wealth, progeny, education, and so on.
People seeking peace and prosperity worship Goddess Lakshmi in millions of homes, temples, and commercial establishments. According to the Vedic and Tantric traditions, she is worshipped both ritually and spiritually. People pay their respects to her by offering her prayers and food, chanting her various names, or meditating on her images. Worship of the eight Lakshmis (ashta-lakshmis) is also popular. Personal purity is given top priority in all forms of worship. Worshippers are expected to follow a strict code of conduct and to be completely pure in order to earn her grace.
It is customary for people to pray to her image, statue, or symbols and make offerings during such worship. They seek blessings by reciting special prayers (Lakshmi stuti) or chanting her names a hundred or thousand times. She is worshipped with mantras and yantras in tantric worship (mystic diagrams).
ShreeMahalakshmi Ashtakam, ShreeLakshmi Sahasaranama Sthothra ShreeStuti, ShreeLakshmi Stuti ShreeKanakadhara Sthothra by ShreeChatussloki ShreeLakshmi Sloka, and ShreeSukta are some of the important prayers addressed to Lakshmi during worship. Stotra of Agastya Lakshmi Most Hindus worship Lakshmi with great zeal during the Diwali festival. On this occasion, Indian businessmen, merchants, and traders traditionally open their annual accounts after worshipping her in their offices and business establishments.
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