Lakshmi

Goddess Lakshmi, lakṣmī – is Shakti and part of Tridevi, others being Saraswathi and Parvathi  Mahalakshmi-goodess-of-prosperity

 Lakshmi goddess of wealth, fortune, and prosperity (both material and spiritual). She is the wife and active energy of Lord Vishnu.

Mantra: “Om Hrim Shri Lakshmibhyo Namaha”

                “Om Namo Lakshmi Narayanaya”

PRAYERS:

Sri Mahalakshmi Ashtakam, Sri Lakshmi Sahasaranama Stotra (by Sanathkumara), Sri Lakshmi Stuti (by Indra), Sri Kanakadhara Stotra (by Sri Aadhi Shankaracharya) and Sri Sukta, which is contained in the Vedas.

Sri Sukta contains the Lakshmi Gayatri Mantra (Om Shree Mahaalakshmyai ca vidmahe Vishnu patnyai ca dheemahi tanno Lakshmi prachodayat Om).

Lakshmi is worshipped to seek both material and spiritual wealth.

FACTS/LEGEND

  • Lakshmi’s four arms represent – dharma (pursuit of ethical, moral life), artha (pursuit of wealth, means of life), kāma (pursuit of love, emotional fulfillment), and moksha (pursuit of self-knowledge, liberation). These are symbolic of the four goals of human life considered important to the Hindu way of life
  • Its respect to address spomeone with Sri in hindu culture
  • Lakshmi is also called Sri or Thirumagal because she is endowed with six auspicious and divine strength even to Vishnu.
  • When Vishnu descended on the Earth as the avatars Rama and Krishna, Lakshmi descended as his respective consorts: Sita (Rama’s wife) and Rukmini (Krishna’s wife).
  • The marriage and relationship between Lakshmi and Vishnu as wife and husband is “the paradigm for rituals and ceremonies for the bride and groom in Hindu weddings.”
  • Lakshmi is worshiped as the goddess of wealth, fortune and as the consort in Vishnu temples.
  • The festivals of Diwali and Sharad Purnima are celebrated in her honor.
  • Śrī is described as the beautiful, resplendent and trembling woman at her birth with immense energy and powers.
  • Lakshmi grants – Food for Agni, Soma gets kingly authority, Varuna gets imperial authority, Mitra acquires martial energy, Indra gets force, Brihaspati gets priestly authority, Savitri acquires dominion, Pushan gets splendor, Sarasvati takes nourishment and Tvashtri gets forms.
  • She emerges during the creation of universe, floating over the water on the expanded petals of a lotus flower; she is also variously regarded as the wife of Dharma, the mother of Kāma, the sister or mother of Dhātṛ and Vidhātṛ, the wife of Dattatreya, one of the nine Śaktis of Viṣhṇu, a manifestation of Prakṛti as identified with Dākshāyaṇī in Bharataśrama, and as Sītā, the wife of Rāma. 10-Mahalakshmi-goddess-of-prosperity
  • Lakshmi personifies wealth, riches, beauty, happiness, loveliness, grace, charm and splendor.
  • Lakshmi springs with other precious things from the foam of the ocean of milk when it is churned by the gods and demons for the recovery of the Amṛita.
  • She appeared with a lotus in her hand, and so she is also called Padmā.
  • Lakshmi is derived from the root word lakṣ and lakṣa, meaning “to perceive, observe, know, understand” and “goal, aim, objective” respectively. These roots give Lakshmi the symbolism: know and understand your goal. A related term is lakṣaṇa, which means “sign, target, aim, symbol, attribute, quality, lucky mark, auspicious opportunity.”
  • Lakshmi’s is either sitting or standing on a lotus and typically carrying a lotus in one or two hands. The lotus represents reality, consciousness, karma (work, deed), purity and beauty regardless of the good or bad circumstances in which its grows.
  • Good and prosperity can bloom and not be affected by evil in one’s surrounding.
  • Lakshmi is shown with one or two elephants and occasionally with an owl. Elephants symbolize work, activity, and strength, as well as water, rain, and fertility for abundant prosperity. The owl signifies the patient striving to observe, see, and discover knowledge particularly when surrounded by darkness. a symbolic reminder to refrain from blindness and greed after knowledge and wealth has been acquired.
  • Lakshmi pours wealth out from one of her hands symbolizes wealth manifested through Lakshmi means both material as well as spiritual wealth. Her face and open hands are in a mudra that signify compassion, giving, or daana (charity).
  • Lakshmi typically wears a red dress embroidered with golden threads, symbolism for beauty and wealth. She, the goddess of wealth and prosperity, is often represented with her husband Vishnu, the god who maintains human life filled with justice and peace.
  • Vishnu known by name Srinivasa due to Lakshmi residing on his left side of the chest.

Various names of gods/goddesses is due to numerous  qualities they possess and attributed.

We call our children kanna, munna, munni, venna, bujji, lali, leela etc. even when they have one assumed name. We call then with passion and unconditional pure love. Although not related but we believe children are innocent, pure and equal to god in Hinduism.

Calling by a name is with due respect, devotion and love to get connected with them. Bhakti or devotion has no limits, no set of process and praying lord is seeking lords blessings

Lakshmi has numerous names, and numerous ancient Stotram and Sutras of Hinduism recite her various names. She is very closely associated with the lotus, and her many epithets are connected to the flower, such as:

  • Padma: Lotus-dweller
  • Kamala: Lotus-dweller
  • Padmapriya: One who likes lotuses
  • Padmamaladhara devi: One who wears a garland of lotuses
  • Padmamukhi: One whose face is as beautiful as a lotus
  • Padmakshi: One whose eyes are as beautiful as a lotus
  • Padmahasta: One who holds a lotus
  • Padmasundari: One who is as beautiful as a lotus
  • Sri: Goddess Sri Lakshmi, Opulence
  • Srija: Jatika of goddess Lakshmi
  • Jagadishwari: Supreme Mother who rules the universe
  • Vishnupriya: One who is the beloved of Vishnu
  • Ulkavahini: One who rides an owl

Her other names include: Ambika, Manushri, Mohini, Chakrika, Kamalika, Aishwarya, Lalima, Indira, Kalyani, Nandika, Nandini, Rujula, Vaishnavi, Samruddhi, Narayani, Bhargavi, Sridevi, Chanchala, Jalaja, Madhavi, Sujata, Shreya, Maheshwari, Madhu, Madhavi, Paramaa, Janamodini, Tripura, Tulasi, Ketaki, Malati, Vidhya, Trilochana, Tilottama, Subha, Chandika, Devi, Kriyalakshmi, Viroopa, Vani, Gayatri, Savitri, Apara or Aparajita, Aparna, Aruna, Akhila, Bala, Tara, Kuhu, Poornima, Aditi, Anumati, Avashyaa, Sita, Taruni, Jyotsna, Jyoti, Nimeshika, Atibha, Ishaani and Smriti.

All women are declared to be embodiments, emanation of Lakshmi, example from Sri Kamala Stotram

Every woman is an embodiment of you.
You exist as little girls in their childhood,
As young women in their youth,
And as elderly women in their old age.

Manifestations and aspects

Lakshmi is seen in two forms, Bhudevi and Sridevi, both at the sides of Sri Venkateshwara or Vishnu. Bhudevi is the representation and totality of the material world or energy, called the aparam Prakriti, in which she is called Mother Earth. Sridevi is the spiritual world or energy called the Prakriti. Lakshmi is the power of Vishnu.

Inside temples, Lakshmi is often shown together with Vishnu. Lakshmi plays a special role as the mediator between her husband Vishnu and his worldly devotees. When asking Vishnu for grace or forgiveness, the devotees often approach Him through the intermediary presence of Lakshmi. She is also the personification of the spiritual fulfillment. Lakshmi embodies the spiritual world, also known as Vaikuntam, the abode of Lakshmi-Narayana or Vishnu, or what would be considered heaven in Vaishnavism.

Secondary manifestations

Ashta Lakshmi is a group of 8 secondary manifestations of Lakshmi. The Ashta Lakshmis preside over eight sources of wealth and thus represent the eight powers of Shri Lakshmi.12-mahalakshmi-ashta-lakshmi

1 Ādi Lakṣmī Wealth of power
2 Dhānya Lakṣmī Granary wealth
3 Veera Lakṣmī Wealth of courage
4 Gaja Lakṣmī Wealth of rains, and food.
5 Santāna Lakṣmī Wealth of continuity, progeny
6 Vijaya Lakṣmī Wealth of victory
7 Aishwarya Lakṣmī Wealth of knowledge and education
8 Dhana Lakṣmī Monetary wealth

 

  • Another saying – Lakshmi is said to have been born as the daughter of the divine sage Bhrigu and his wife Khyaati and was named “Bhargavi.”
  • According to the Vishnu Purana, the universe was created when the Devas (good) and Asuras (evil) churn the cosmic ocean of milk (Ksheera Sagara). Lakshmi came out of the ocean bearing lotus, along with the divine cow Kamadhenu, Varuni, the tree Parijat, the Apsaras, the Chandra (the moon), and Dhanvantari with Amrita (nectar of immortality). When she appeared, she had a choice to go to Devas or the Asuras. She chose Devas’ side; and among thirty deities, she chose to be with Vishnu.

DIWALI – Festival of lights

Lakshmi is worshiped on Diwali, the festival of lights. It is celebrated in autumn, typically October or November every year. The festival spiritually signifies the victory of light over darkness, knowledge over ignorance, good over evil, and hope over despair.happy-diwali-festival-of-lights

Before Diwali night, people clean, renovate and decorate their homes and offices. On Diwali night, Hindus dress up in new clothes or their best outfits, light up diyas (lamps and candles) inside and outside their home, and participate in family puja (prayers) typically to Lakshmi. After puja, fireworks follow, then a family feast including mithai (sweets), and an exchange of gifts between family members and close friends. Diwali also marks a major shopping period, since Lakshmi connotes auspiciousness, wealth, and prosperity. This festival dedicated to Lakshmi is considered by Hindus to be one of the most important and joyous festivals of the year.

Sharad Purnima (Asvin month – September/October) – Gaja Lakshmi Puja is celebrated. This is also called Kojaagari Purnima or Kumar Purnima, is a harvest festival marking the end of monsoon season.

  • There is a traditional celebration of the moon called the ‘Kaumudi celebration’, Kaumudi meaning moonlight. On Sharad Purnima night, goddess Lakshmi is thanked and worshiped for the harvests.

Source: Garuda Purana, Linga Purana and Padma Purana, Vishnu Purana, Wikipedia and Lalitha Sahasranam, Devi Bhagavatham and Devi Mahatyam.

 Pray goddess Lakshmi and get blessed.

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