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Lakshmi - Goddess Of Wealth

Accumulation of wealth and fortune is desired by almost every person in this world. However this desire of becoming wealthy is not restricted to money. One can desire to become richer with the knowledge of self or by wisdom or having a rich spiritual life. In other words prosperity is something everyone wishes for. In Hindu Philosophy, there are Gods and Goddesses associated with every aspect of life and we worship them for our specific needs. E.g. Goddess Durga is the embodiment of Shakti and is worshipped for strength and courage. Similarly the Goddess of wealth and prosperity, Goddess Lakshmi is one of the most worshipped deities in Hindu families. She is the symbol of wealth and fortune. She is the part of the holy trinity along with Goddess Parvati and Saraswati. She is also the divine companion or consort of Lord Vishnu. As per the legends, Vishnu and Lakshmi also known as Purusha and Prakriti were the firstborn of primordial Sadashiv. Just like Shiv Shakti, Vishnu, and Lakshmi are inseparable and whenever Lord Vishnu descends on Earth as an Avatar, Goddess Lakshmi accompanies him. Goddess Lakshmi is depicted as a beautiful woman who is either sitting or standing like a yogin on a lotus pedestal. She is adorned with gold which depicts wealth. Her four hands depict Dharma (righteousness), Artha (Wealth), Kaama (Pleasure) and Moksha (Nirvana). These four aspects form an integral part of human life. There are different stories related to her birth. Let us discuss a few of them. In some versions it is mentioned that during the period of Samudra Manthan (mentioned in our previous post) Goddess Lakshmi was churned out along with other valuables from the ocean. The Gods and the Demons who were churning the ocean started to fight to possess her. This is when Lakshmi meets Vishnu and chooses him to be her eternal consort. In another scripture she is told to be the granddaughter of Daksha. She is born to Sage Bhrigu and Khyati (daughter of Daksha) and married to Vishnu. As per other texts it is believed that she first lived with the demons before the Gods acquired her. According to Bengali Hindu philosophy she is said to the daughter of Goddess Durga. Hence there are several versions in regards to her birth. However what remains constant is that she has been accepted as the abode of fortune and prosperity. Her presence is considered as a good luck and truly auspicious. Lakshmi refers to the fulfillment of goals (Goal means lakshya in Hindi). For mankind, 8 types of goals are necessary - Spiritual progress, food, knowledge, resources, progeny, abundance, patience, and success, hence there are 8 Lakshmis - Aadi Lakshmi, Dhaanya Lakshmi, Vidya Lakshmi, Dhana Lakshmi, Santana Lakshmi, Gaja Lakshmi, Dhairya Lakshmi, and Vijaya Lakshmi. Though the Goddess can be worshipped daily, Friday is considered to be the best day to worship Goddess Lakshmi and devotees can please her by undertaking fast and performing other rituals. October is the month for Goddess Lakshmi and many festivals like Dhanteras, Diwali, Lakshmi Puja are celebrated in her honor. Art Credit: DeviantArt

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