Laxmi Mata or Mahalakshmi is the Hindu Goddess of wealth and prosperity, good luck, love and beauty, the lotus flower and fertility.
She is the consort of Lord Vishnu. When Lord Vishnu incarnated on earth as the avatars of Deity Rama and Krishna, Mata Lakshmi incarnated as Sita (Rama’s wife) and as Radha (Krishna’s lover).
Rukmini and Satyabama are also believed to be the forms of Goddess Lakshmi.
Deity Laxmi Mata is worshipped in Hindu homes and commercial establishments as the Goddess of wealth. The festivals of Diwali and Kojagiri Purnima are celebrated in her honour.
The people who wish to acquire or to preserve wealth worship Goddess Lakshmi. It is believed that Deity Lakshmi goes only to those houses which are clean and where the people are hardworking.
The word ‘Lakshmi’ is derived from the Sanskrit word “Lakshya”, which means ‘aim’ or ‘goal’.
MahaLakshmi is known by many names. She is believed to be very closely related with the lotus, and her many epithets are connected to the flower, such as:
• Padma (Another name for lotus)
• Kamala (Another name for lotus)
• Padmapriya (As She likes lotuses)
• Padmamaladhara devi (As She wears a garland of lotuses)
• Padmamukhi (As Her face is as beautiful as lotus)
• Padmakshi (As Her eyes are as beautiful as lotus)
• Padmahasta (As She holds a lotus)
• Padmasundari (As She is as beautiful as lotus)
Her other names include:
• Vishnupriya (As She is the beloved of Lord Vishnu)
• Ulkavahini (As She rides an owl)
• Bhargavi (As She is the incarnation of the daughter of Sage Bhrigu)
• Sridevi (Being the Goddess of wealth)
• Chanchala (As She is fickle and does not stay at one place)
• Bhumi Devi (Being the Goddess of Earth)
• Indira (Being a beautiful goddess)
• Rama devi/Vaishnavi (Being the wife of Lord Vishnu)
• Jalaja (As She is born from sea)
• Aiswarya (Being Wealthy)
• Roma (Being the wife of Lord Hari)
• Jaganmaatha (Being the mother of the universe)
• Shri or Thirumagal (Because she is endowed with six auspicious and divine qualities, or Gunas, and also because she is the source of strength even to Lord Vishnu)
Mainly eight types of wealth are associated with Deity Lakshmi. They are:
1) Adi Lakshmi (The main goddess)
2) Dhanya Lakshmi (Granary wealth)
3) Dhairya Lakshmi (Wealth of courage)
4) Gaja Lakshmi (Elephants, symbols of wealth)
5) Santana Lakshmi (Wealth of progeny)
6) Vijaya Lakshmi (Wealth of victory)
7) Vidya Lakshmi (Wealth of knowledge)
8) Dhana Lakshmi (Monetary wealth)
Sri Lakshmi appears in golden complexion, with four hands, sitting or standing on a full-bloomed flower lotus and holding a lotus bud, that stands for beauty, purity and fertility. Her four hands symbolizes the four ends of human life: “Dharma” or righteousness, “Kama” or desires, “Artha” or wealth, and “Moksha” or freedom from the cycle of birth and death.
The cascades of gold coins are seen flowing from Her hands, representing that those who worship Her, gain wealth. She is always seen in gold embroidered red clothes as red depicts activity and the golden lining indicates prosperity. Goddess Lakshmi is the active energy of Lord Vishnu, and also appears as Lakshmi-Narayan – Lakshmi accompanying Vishnu.
Two elephants are also seen standing next to Lakshmi Mata and spraying water. This symbolizes that ceaseless effort, in accordance with one’s dharma and governed by wisdom and purity, leads to both material and spiritual prosperity.
An owl is known as the vehicle of Goddess Lakshmi. Though while travelling with Lord Vishnu She travels on an Eagle. Her carriers also symbolizes something unique. An owl is blind during the day and a rich person who lacks the right intellect cannot see beyond his affluence. Eagle represents wisdom. Whenever She travels without Lord Vishnu the person whom She visits is made symbolically sightless.
As a female counterpart of Lord Vishnu, Devi Laxmi Mata is also called ‘Shri’, the female energy of the Supreme Being. She is the deity of prosperity, wealth, purity, generosity, and the embodiment of beauty, grace and charm.
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