Lakshmi – The Goddess of Beauty and Wealth
Lakshmi is a Hindu goddess who is regarded as the ultimate deity of wealth and beauty. She is believed to be one among the Tridevi. She is the consort and active vigor of VishnuVishnu
Vishnu is one of the Supreme Gods of Hindus and is a part of Hindu Trinity,.. and is considered as one of the supreme forms of Shakti. LakshmiLakshmi
Lakshmi is a Hindu goddess who is regarded as the ultimate deity of wealth... is also known by the name Shri, which is believed to be the holy prefix. Lakshmi is one of the deities whose texts and scriptures have been found coeval with prehistoric times by many archeologists all over the world. She is one of the most important goddesses of not only India but other countries like Nepal, Tibet, and Japan as well.
Lakshmi is depicted as a very beautiful woman clad in a red Sari A type of an Indian dresswith gold embroidery. The red color of the sari is believed to be the symbol of activeness and vigor, and the gold embroidery represents the wealth and prosperity the Goddess provides. She is decorated with many jewels, ornaments, flowers, garlands and a crown. She has four hands and holds two lotus flowers. She showers gold coins with her left hand and blesses her devotees with her right hand. The four hands of the goddess are believed to represent the four aspects of human life namely righteousness, desires, wealth, and salvation. This also represents the omnipresence of the goddess. She is mostly shown seated or standing on a lotus flower that is regarded as a symbol of purity. Her vehicle is an owl. She is generally accompanied by elephants sprinkling water and flowers on the goddess with their trunks. Some of the other depictions of Lakshmi show her with her consort Vishnu.
One of the most famous legends associated with Lakshmi is the churning of the great ocean. It is believed that Indra, the king of gods, had become very arrogant and proud because of his position. He left no occasion to show off his power and considered himself above all. One day, he went out of his kingdom on his favorite elephant Airavata. Airavata was a beautiful, four-tusked, special, white colored elephant that Indra was very proud of. On his way, he met sage Durvasa. Durvasa was a very powerful sage who had a great influence on all beings including gods and was known to get angry very quickly. And as such, everyone respected him and talked to him very carefully. Durvasa was carrying a garland of flowers which never withered away and had great fragrance. He thought of presenting the same to Indra. When Indra encountered Durvasa, intoxicated by his pride, he did not even greet the sage properly and treated him very casually, without much respect. This, however, did not infuriate Durvasa, and he gifted the garland to Indra. Indra, in a very careless manner, took the garland and put it on the head of Airavata. The fragrance of the flowers of the garland was so strong that the elephant could not bear it, and Airavata threw the garland down to the ground. This enraged Durvasa and his eyes became red filled with anger. Indra suddenly realized what the sage could do, and he immediately came down from his elephant and pleaded to Durvasa not to curse him. Durvasa told him that he had apologized only because he knew that he was about to get cursed. Durvasa told Indra that he needs to be taught a lesson, and he cursed that Indra and all the Devas would lose all of their powers and become exhausted. Indra apologized and pleaded to the sage to take away the curse but to no avail.
All of the Devas soon began to lose their powers and became exhausted. Indra became terrified and worried. At the same time, the Asuras attacked his kingdom, and there was nothing he could do about it as all the Devas including himself had become powerless. Everyone approached BrahmaBrahma
According to Hinduism, the whole creation is the work of Trimurti (the Hindu Trinity)... for help, but he told them to visit Vishnu instead. Upon visiting Vishnu, Indra narrated the whole story to him. Vishnu asked Brahma if he should forgive Indra, to which Brahma replied that he should be forgiven as he had learned his lesson. Vishnu then told them that they should perform churning of the great ocean and that a divine Shakti and a great nectar would help them. The nectar was called Amrit, and was believed to provide immortality and great power to whoever consumed it. During the SamudraManthan of the great ocean, the serpent king called vasuki He is one of the king serpents, given high privilege in Hindu mythology. He is depicted with a gem on his head. He is the snake of Lord Shiva and the brother of another snake named Manasa. He is the jewel of Shiva and sits around his neck. He was blessed by Shiva and thus given an important status. He was one of the main participants in the churning of the ocean. He was used as the churning rope and his one end was held by the demons and the other by Gods. His face was at the demons side and thus they were affected by his venom.
was used as a rope for the churning process. The Asuras and the Devas were churning the ocean by holding the ends of the snake. Both the parties were, in a way, involved in a tug of war to consume the nectar of immortality first. While the process was being carried out, some divine celestial objects came out of the ocean. At the same time, Lakshmi came out of it as well in her full power and beauty, covered with sparkling jewelry, gems, and crown. That is why she is often regarded as the daughter of the sea. Upon her coming, she had a choice to go either with the Devas or the Asuras. She chose to be with the Devas and blessed them and other beings of the world. She also chose Vishnu to be her consort as he was providing support, in the form of a tortoise, to the churning process. The blessings of the goddess and Amrit The term ‘Amrit’ is used for the water or nectar of immortality. The word was used in Rigveda for the nectar which is drunk by Gods to gain immortality. It was one of the outcomes of samudra manthan. There was a curse on gods by Durvasa because of which they started becoming mortal and then they needed this drink for immortality. Later on the water which is given as prasadam to devotees in the temples is also called Amrit as it is believed to be blessed by Gods. It is the holy water which is sweet-tasting. It is consumed in the name of the God.
restored the powers to the Devas and, eventually, they were victorious against the Asuras.
Some other legends state that she was the daughter of sage BhriguBhrigu
Bhrigu was one of the seven great sages known as Saptarishis and was created... and Khyati. She was a dweller of the heavens but due to a curse she had to leave her home and made the great ocean Ksheersagar as her new home. It was the same ocean in which SamudraManthan was performed and from which she finally came out.
Worship, Beliefs, and Significance
Lakshmi is worshiped with great devotion all over the world in many temples and homes. Diwali and Sharad Purnima are considered as two of the major festivals associated with the goddess. Devotees and worshipper offer lamps, flowers, incenses, sweets, fruits and prayers to the goddess. It is believed that the goddess blesses those who worship her with sincerity and purity with great wealth, prosperity, wisdom and joy in life. Lakshmi is believed to provide not only material but spiritual wealth as well. She is the provider of complete happiness that comprises wealth, health, and wisdom. It is a widely accepted belief that wealth comes to the house where Lakshmi resides. People install idols of the goddess in their homes, lockers and places of monetary interests to please the goddess and seek her blessings. In essence, Lakshmi signifies wealth, prosperity, and fortune.