Lakshmi

Lakshmi (/ˈlʌkʃmi/Sanskrit:लक्ष्मी, IAST:lakṣhmī) is the Goddess who leads to one’s goal (lakshya in Sanskrit), hence Her name Lakshmi. For mankind, 8 types of goals are necessary – Spiritual enlightenment, food, knowledge, resources, progeny, abundance, patience and success, hence there are 8 or Ashta Lakshmis – Aadi Lakshmi, Dhaanya Lakshmi, Vidya Lakshmi, Dhana Lakshmi, Santaana Lakshmi, Gaja Lakshmi, Dhairya Lakshmi and Vijaya Lakshmi. First mentioned in the Śrī Sūkta of the Rigveda.[3] Sri, a honorific term for Lakshmi, represents the material world of the earthly realm as the mother goddess, referred to as Prithvi Mata, and known by her twin identities as Bhu Devi, and sridevi (She is having another form along with these two called as Nila Devi). She is the wife of Vishnu, one of the principal deities of Hinduism and the Supreme Being in the Vaishnavism Tradition.[2] With Parvati and Saraswati, she forms Tridevi, the holy trinity.Lakshmi is also an important deity in Jainism and found in Jain temples.[4][5]Lakshmi has also been a Goddess of abundance and fortune for Buddhists, and was represented on the oldest surviving stupas and cave temples of Buddhism.[6][7] In Buddhist sects of TibetNepal and Southeast Asia, Lakshmi Goddess Vasudhara mirrors the characteristics and attributes of the Hindu Goddess Lakshmi with minor iconographic differences.[8]

Lakshmi is also called Sri[1] or Thirumagal because she is endowed with six auspicious and divine qualities, or gunas, and is the divine energy/Shakti of Vishnu. In Hindu religion, she was pleased and churned out from the churning of the primordial ocean (Samudra manthan) and she chose Vishnu as her eternal consort.[9] As mentioned in Vishnu Purana, when Vishnu descended on the Earth as the avatars Rama and Krishna, Lakshmi descended as  Sita and Radha and Rukmini[10] .[11] [12]

Lakshmi is depicted in Indian art as an elegantly dressed, prosperity-showering golden-coloured woman with an owl as her vehicle, signifying the importance of economic activity in maintenance of life, her ability to move, work and prevail in confusing darkness.[13] She typically stands or sits like a yogin on a lotus pedestal and holds a lotus in her hand, symbolizing fortune, self-knowledge and spiritual liberation.[9][14] Her iconography shows her with four hands, which represent the four goals of human life considered important to the Hindu way of life: dharmakāmaartha and moksha.[15][16] She is often depicted as part of the trinity (Tridevi) consisting of Saraswati, Lakshmi and Parvati. She is also considered as the daughter of Durga in Bengali Hindu culture.

Archaeological discoveries and ancient coins suggest the recognition and reverence for Lakshmi by the 1st millennium BCE.[17][18] Lakshmi’s iconography and statues have also been found in Hindu temples throughout Southeast Asia, estimated to be from the second half of the 1st millennium CE.[19][20] The festivals of Diwali and Sharad Purnima (Kojagiri Purnima) are celebrated in her honor.[21]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *