Goddess Lakshmi

Goddess Lakshmi is the consort and shakti, or potency, of Lord Vishnu. Lakshmi is the goddess of fortune, wealth, power, and loveliness. Wealth means not only money but also the higher values and qualities of life.

Lakshmi is seen as exceptionally beautiful, standing (or sometimes sitting) on a lotus with four hands, two of which hold lotus flowers, the lower right offering blessings of fortune, and the lower left held in the upright posture of benediction or blessings. The lotuses she carries in her hands represent that the realization of the self is the supreme goal of life. They also indicate the various worlds and living beings in different states of development or evolution. Sometimes she may be holding a potted coconut in one hand, which is another representation of Lakshmi. In some depictions of Lakshmi, she is seen riding an owl (uluka in Sanskrit).

However, when she is in the company of Lord Vishnu, she can be seen with either two or four hands. Her four hands indicate the four main blessings of human existence, namely;

  1. dharma (acts of righteousness and duty),
  2. artha (wealth),
  3. kama (sensual pleasures), and
  4. moksha (final liberation).

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. Her complexion is often dark, white, pink, or golden yellow.

  1. The dark complexion represents her connection with Lord Vishnu.
  2. The golden yellow complexion represents her as the source of all fortune and wealth.
  3. The white complexion is the highest mode of nature from which the universe has sprung.
  4. The pinkish complexion represents her mood of mercy or compassion toward all creatures since she is also the mother of all beings.

Occasionally you can see her in a temple of her own, rather than accompanying Lord Vishnu. When this is the case, she is seen sitting on a lotus throne with her four hands holding a Padma (lotus), shankha (conch shell), amritakalasha (pot of nectar), and a bilva fruit.

  1. The pot of nectar indicates the blessings of immortality.
  2. The fruit that she holds represents the results of our labors or actions, which come from her blessings.
    • When such fruit is coconut, it indicates that she is the source of the three levels of creation, namely the gross, subtle, and imperceptible.
    • If it is a pomegranate, it means that all the worlds are under her influence, which she is beyond.
    • And if the fruit is the bilva, which is healthy but not very appetizing, then it means the blessings of moksha, liberation.

When she is shown with eight hands, she also holds a bow, arrow, mace, and disc. However, this is actually an aspect of Durga as Mahalakshmi.

Names of Goddess Lakshmi

Various names of Goddess Lakshmi and their meaning is tabulated below;

IndiraPowerful one
JaladhijaMother of the world
ChalnchalaFickle or never staying in one place for long. This signifies that fortune or wealth often does not stay with anyone for a long duration.

As the spouse of Lord Vishnu, she appears whenever he does in each of his appearances. They are inseparable.

Avatar of VishnuAvatar of Lakshmi
VamanaPadma or Kamala
KrishnaQueen Rukmini

Ashta Lakshmi

Ashta Lakshmi (Sanskrit: अष्टलक्ष्मी) is a group of eight manifestations of Goddess Lakshmi, the Hindu goddess of wealth and good fortune. These forms are;

  1. Adi Lakshmi
  2. Dhana Lakshmi
  3. Dhanya Lakshmi
  4. Gaja Lakshmi
  5. Santana Lakshmi
  6. Veera/Dhairya Lakshmi
  7. Jaya/Vijaya Lakshmi
  8. Vidhya Lakshmi

Why Hindu

We, a group of youths born into Hindu families, were raised in the rich culture of Vedic Sanatan Dharma, embracing its cultures and traditions. Post-graduation, recognizing the immense value of our Sanatan Dharma for humanity, we initiated the "Why Hindu" project. With guidance from our elders, we aim to create awareness about Hindu Dharma, delve into Vedic scripture, explore Vedic mantras, and elucidate the significance of festivals. Through this endeavor, we strive to share the profound teachings of our heritage, fostering understanding and appreciation for the timeless principles of Sanatan Dharma.

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