Hindu Goddess of Good Fortune and Beauty
Since I began writing girl talk the thing I’ve enjoyed the most has been researching different information to include, with Lakshmi, the amount was overwhelming and incredibly interesting.
Lakshmi was born , fully-grown, on a pink lotus that rose from the sea. She appeared bearing gifts and was so strikingly beautiful that all of the Gods wanted her as their wife. She chose to be with the sun god, Vishnu, and it is said that she was thereafter reborn to remain his companion in each of his lives. In addition to wanting Lakshmi as a wife, she was also immediately given offerings, and jewels and the gods and sages prayed for her to come to their homes, and worlds, because it was believed that where Lakshmi is you will find riches and fulfillment.
Lakshmi’s name is derived from the Sanskrit word Laksya, I also found it spelled as Laksme, but the translation meaning goal or aim is the same for either spelling. In researching her I also found that there are 108 other names she is also known by and on her holy days all 108 names are recited to honor her.
Lakshmi is always pictured, with four arms and hands. She wears red clothes with a gold lining, and is standing or sitting on a lotus. She has golden coins and lotuses in her hands. In addition elephants, most often two but sometimes as many as four, are always pictured with her. These specific symbols actually convey a specific spiritual theme, as follows:
The four arms represent the four directions in space and symbolize the omnipresence and omnipotence of the Goddess. The color red symbolizes activity. The golden lining, or embroidery, represent prosperity. This is meant to convey that she is always busy distributing wealth and prosperity to her devotees. The lotus upon which she sits or stands, signifies that while living in this world, one should enjoy its wealth, but not become obsessed by it. To live this way is like a lotus that grows in the water, but is never wetted by it.
The four hands represent the four ends of human life: dharma (righteousness), kama (genuine desires), artha (wealth), and moksha (liberation from birth and death). The front hands represent the activity in the physical world and the back hands indicate the spiritual activities that lead to spiritual perfection.
A lotus in the back right hand conveys the idea that one must perform all duties in the world in accordance with dharma, which leads to moksha, or liberation, symbolized by the lotus in the rear left hand. The golden coins from the front left hand shows she provides wealth and prosperity to her devotees and the front right is bestowing blessings.
With regard to the number of elephants pictured, two symbolize the name and fame associated with wealth although the idea is that one should not require wealth merely to acquire name and fame, or for material reasons it should be shared with others in order to bring happiness to them as well as himself. When there are four elephants spraying water from golden vessels onto Lakshmi, the four elephants again represent the four ends of human life. The spraying water indicates activity and the golden vessels indicate wisdom and purity. The message it is meant to convey is that with continuous self effort in accordance with dharma, and governed by wisdom and purity, leads to material and spiritual prosperity.
Another interesting finding is that Lakshmi and Ganesh are cohorts, who often work together. Ganesh is known as a remover of obstacles so ideally one would invoke them together, Ganesh to clear the path for Lakshmi to assist. Although he is not her mate, Ganesh adores Lakshmi, and is always happy to assist her.
It is believed if a person honors Lakshmi daily you can develop a channel of communication with her. I also found reference made to the fact that she loves singing, chanting, bells and so on.
In India there are multiple holidays devoted to Lakshmi. The special annual day of worship for her is known as Diwali which is marked with religious rituals, as well as colorful ceremonies dedicated to her.
Friday is the best day to work with Lakshmi. Unlike other Goddesses that have items associated with them, or that represent them, my research found that for Lakshmi there are offerings which are given, among these are fruit, flowers, any type of sweets, money, yogurt and honey. Sandalwood incense is also used. In spite of her association with elephants her animal representation is the owl.
When a request of prosperity or abundance is made of Lakshmi, it is her way to not only provide abundance or prosperity of material things, but provide them in a way that brings abundance to the soul as well. She is also most helpful to work with in bringing improvement or enlightenment to ones spirit as well.
If you are interested in learning more about Lakshmi the amount of information that can be found about her is truly amazing, there are so many more things that I found interesting they could never be contained in a format of this type.
Let it just be said that where abundance, prosperity and beauty are needed the sweet natured Lakshmi will surely answer. Give her thanks, and hold her dear and she will not leave you in need.