Goddess Lakshmi (Laxmi)

Goddess Lakshmi

Goddess Lakshmi means Good Luck to Hindus. She is the goddess of wealth and prosperity, both material and spiritual. Lakshmi is wife of Lord Vishnu. In her many incarnations she appears as the wife of Vishnu avtars. When Vishnu came as Rama she was Sita and when he came as Krishna , Lakshmi was Rukmani. As a female counterpart of Lord Vishnu, Mata Lakshmi is also called 'Shri' or "Sri", the female energy of the Supreme Being.

According to the legends, Lakshmi is the daughter of a great sage Bhrigu. Once, being disappeared with the gods, Bhrigu pronounced a curse on all celestial beings, which included his daughter. To escape from the curse, Lakshmi took refuge in the primeval ocean. When the gods and the demons churned the ocean to obtain the drink of immortality, Lakshmi apppeared from the waters as a beautiful woman in a lotus flower; hence she is also known as Padma or Kamala, meaning Lotus.

Lakshmi is seen as exceptionally beautiful, standing on a lotus with four hands, two of which hold lotus flowers, and the lower right offering blessings of fortune, and the lower left held in the upright mudra or posture of benediction or blessings. The lotus she carries in her hands represents that the realization of the Self is the supreme goal of life. Sometimes she may be holding a potted coconut in one hand, which is another representation of Lakshmi. She always wears a lotus garland, and is often seen with elephants on either side of her offering items such as garlands or pouring pots of water over her, which in turn may be presented by celestial maidens. When she stands beside Vishnu, her husband, she is generally shown with only two hands.

Lakshmi is one of the mother goddesses and is addressed as mata (mother) instead of just devi (goddess). Lakshmi is an extremely popular goddess. She is so well loved because of her kind nature. Goddess Lakshmi is worshipped by those who wish for wealth or those who wish to preserve their wealth. It is believed that Lakshmi (wealth) goes only to those houses which are clean and where the people are hardworking. It leaves places which are unclean or where the people are lazy.