Lakshmi Maa Maa Lakshmi Maa Lakshmi or Laxmi is the Hindu goddess of wealth, prosperity (both material and spiritual), light, wisdom, fortune, fertility, generosity and courage; and the embodiment of beauty, grace and charm. Maa Laxmi also known as MahaLakshmi. Mahalakshmi is said to bring good luck. She is believed to protect her devotees from all kinds of misery and money-related sorrows. Lakshmi in Sanskrit is derived from its elemental form laks, meaning “to perceive or observe”.This is synonymous with laksya, meaning “aim” or “objective”. The Hindu Sacred Texts Vedas call Mahalakshmi as Lakshyayidhi Lakshmihi which means she is the one who has the object and aim of uplifting mankind. Goddess Mahalakshmi is called as Shri or Thirumagal (because she is endowed with six auspicious and divine qualities or Gunas and also because she is the source of strength even to Lord Narayana(Vishnu). She is the consort of Vishnu and married Rama (in her incarnation as Sita) and Krishna (as Radha and later Rukmini). In Hinduism Devas (gods) and asuras (demons) were both mortal at one time. Amrit, the divine nectar that would give immortality could only be obtained by churning the Kshirsagar (Ocean of Milk). The devas and asuras both sought immortality and decided to churn the Kshirsagar. With the devas on one side and the asuras on the other, the samudra manthan commenced. Vishnu incarnated as Kurma, the tortoise, on whom was placed a mountain as a churning pole, and Vasuki, the great venom-spewing serpent, was wrapped around it and used to churn the ocean. A host of divine celestial objects came up during the churning. Among these, importantly, was Goddess Lakshmi, the daughter of the king of the milky ocean. The last to come up was the Amrit. With this, the avatar of Kurma, the tortoise, ended. Vishnu then took up the form of a beautiful maiden to distract the asuras and gave immortality to the devas. Goddess Mahalakshmi has ever been in existence. Her appearance from samudra manthan is one of her main manifestation only. Goddess Mahalakshmi was also born to the great Sage Bhrigu and she is therefore also called as Bhargavi. Goddess Mahalkshmi is also the sister of the great Guru Sukracharya as well as the great planet Chandra. Each time Vishnu descends on earth as an avatar, He is accompanied by an avatar of Lakshmi. Lakshmi with Vishnu at Vaikuntha The moon (chandra) also appeared from the ocean during the churning, making it her brother. Alakshmi, the goddess of misfortune, is Lakshmi’s elder sister. According to the Vishnu Purana, Lakshmi is the daughter of Bhrigu and Khyaati and resided in Swarga, but, due to the curse of Durvasa, she left Swarga and made Ksheersagara her home. Maa MahaLakshmi, Devi Laxmi – Goddess of Wealth Mahalakshmi is the presiding Goddess of the Middle episode of Devi Mahatmya. Here, she is depicted as Devi in her universal form as Shakti. The manifestation of the Devi to kill Mahishasura is formed by the effulgences of all the gods. The Goddess is described as eighteen-armed, bearing a string of beads, battle axe, mace, arrow, thunderbolt, lotus, bow, water pot, cudgel, lance, sword, shield, conch, bell, wine cup, trident, noose and the discus sudarsana. She has a complexion of coral and is seated on a lotus. She is known as Ashta Dasa Bhuja Mahalakshmi. She is seen in two forms, Bhudevi and Sridevi, both either side of Sri Venkateshwara or Vishnu. Bhudevi is the representation and totality of the material world or energy, called the aparam Prakriti, in which She is called Mother Earth. Sridevi is the spiritual world or energy, called the Param Prakriti. Most people are mistaken that they are separate beings although they are one, Lakshmi. Devi Lakshmi is the power of Lord Vishnu. Mahalakshmi’s presence is also found on Lord Sri Venkateswara (at Tirumala) or Vishnu’s chest, at the heart. Lakshmi is the embodiment of love, from which devotion to God or Bhakti flows from. It is through Love/Bhakti or Lakshmi that the atma or soul is able to reach God or Vishnu. Lakshmi plays a special role as the mediator between her husband Lord Vishnu and his worldly devotees. While Vishnu is often conceived of as a stern, easily perturbed patriarch, Lakshmi represents a more soothing, warm and approachable mother figure who willingly intervenes in the lives of devotees on his behalf. Often, it is Lakshmi who acts as the advocate for the request of a given mortal. When asking Vishnu for grace or the forgiveness of sins, Hindus often approach him through the intermediary presence of Lakshmi. She is also the personification of the spiritual energy within us and the universe, called Kundalini. Also, she embodies the spiritual world, also known as Vaikunta, the abode of Lakshmi-Narayana or Vishnu, or what would be considered Heaven in Vaishnavism. She is also the divine qualities of God and the soul. Lakshmi is the embodiment of God’s superior spiritual feminine energy, or the Param Prakriti, which purifies, empowers and uplifts the individual. Hence, she is called the Goddess of Fortune. Due to her motherly feelings and being the consort of Narayan (Supreme Being), she is believed as the Mother of the Universe. Jai Maa Vaibhav Laxmi Maa Vaisbhav Lakshmi has many names. She is known to be very closely associated with the lotus, and her many epithets are connected to the flower, such as: Prakruti – Goddess Mahalakshmi is the very personification of nature, the centre of all, the manifested and the unmanifested. Vikruti – Goddess Mahalakshmi is the Multi-Faceted Nature, who assumes many forms, known by numerous names, yet is attributeless. Vidya - Goddess Mahalakshmi is the very personification of Wisdom. Padma – Lotus dweller * Kamala: lotus dweller * Padmapriya: One who likes lotuses * Padmamaladhara devi: One who wears a garland of lotuses * Padmamukhi: One whose face is as beautiful as a lotus * Padmakshi: One whose eyes are as beautiful as a lotus * Padmahasta: One who holds a lotus * Padmasundari: One who is as beautiful as a lotus * Vishnupriya: One who is the beloved of Vishnu * Ulkavahini: One who rides an owl Her other names include: Rama, Indira, Manushri, Chakrika, Kamalika, Lalima, Kalyani, Nandika, Rujula, Vaishnavi, Narayani, Bhargavi, Sridevi, Chanchala, Bhumi Devi, Jalaja, Madhavi, Sujata, and Aiswarya. She is also referred to as Jaganmaatha (“Mother of the Universe”) in Shri Mahalakshmi Ashtakam. Rama and Indira are popular. Goddess Mahalakshmi is also known to preside over 16 forms of worldly wealth excluding Ashta siddhis, gnana and imparting gnana. They are as follows: (1) Fame; (2) Knowledge; (3) Courage and Strength; (4) Victory; (5) Good Children; (6) Valor; (7) Gold, Gems and Other Valuables; (8) Grains in abundance; (9) Happiness; (10) Bliss; (11) Intelligence; (12) Beauty; (13) Higher Aim, High Thinking and Higher Meditation; (14) Morality and Ethics; (15) Good Health; (16) Long Life. Maa Mahalaxmi worshiped as in Eight forms named Ashta Lakshmi. Ashta Lakshmi, also spelled as Ashtalakshmi are a group of eight Hindu goddesses, who preside over eight sources of wealth and thus represent the powers of Shri-Lakshmi (The Hindu goddess of wealth). Thus, the ‘Ashta Lakshmi’ are considered secondary manifestations of the goddess Lakshmi. “Wealth” in the context of Ashta-Lakshmi means prosperity, good health, knowledge, strength, progeny, and power. The Ashta Lakshmi are always depicted and worshipped in a group in temples. Ashta Laxmi The Ashta Lakshmi listed as per the prayer Shri Ashta Lakshmi Stotram are: - * Adi Lakshmi or Maha Lakshmi : an ancient form of Lakshmi and incarnation of Lakshmi as daughter of sage Bhrigu. * Dhana Lakshmi : for money and gold. * Dhanya Lakshmi : Giver of agricultural wealth. * Gaja Lakshmi : Giver of animal wealth like cattle and elephants Swami Chidananda interprets Gaja Lakshmi as giver of power of royalty. According to Hindu mythology, Gaja Lakshmi brought back the wealth lost by Indra (king of demi-gods) from the ocean. Vasudha Narayanan intrepret the name as “one who is worshipped by elephants”. * Santana Lakshmi : Bestower of offspring. * Veera Lakshmi : Bestower of valour in battles and courage and strength for overcoming difficulties in life. * Vijaya Lakshmi or Jaya Lakshmi : Giver of victory, not only in battles but also over conquering hurdles in order to beget success. * Vidya Lakshmi : the bestower of knowledge of arts and sciences. In some Ashta Lakshmi lists, other forms of Lakshmi are included: * Aishwarya Lakshmi : “Goddess of riches” * Saubhagya Lakshmi : “Giver of prosperity in general.” * Rajya Lakshmi : “She who blesses rulers (with secular power)” * Vara Lakshmi : “The lady who bestows Beautiful Boons”.
Sunday, July 29, 2012
In a town, in South India, two farmer brothers, lived in their ancesteral house. The elder brother was blessed and was doing well in life, while the others lot was not so rosy, and he found it hard to make the ends meet. The Brothers were blessed with two daughters each, with time, they came to their marriageable age. Soon the elder brother's daughters were married well off while the younger brother's daughters did not find a ideal match. But as the days were getting on the younger brother, searched and got his daughters married to boys fit to his standards and stations. The youngest of the daughters called Rukmani, was a woman blessed with unparalleled beauty, delicately fair complexioned, doe eyed, docile and mannerred, she entered her husband's house and immediately took control of the household which everybody was happy to hand over to her. Slowly she managed and regulated the people and brought everything in a systematic order. Now everyone worked together, During the day when the menfolks away working in the fields the wives got together and went to the nearby forest to get Tendu leaves used to make hand rolled Beedees ( mini cigars) and rolled very high quality beedees which soon became famous all over the town. They had two square meals a day everyday, and enjoyed comforts they did not before Rukmani came. One day, as Rukmani was sitting, in the open inner-courtyard, cleaning the rice, suddenly a beautiful Gold Chain fell upon the rice heap, which she quickly picked up and hid it within the folds of her sari. After a while the kings announcer cameby, and announced, that the Queen had lost her Golden Necklace. Finders, who returns it in person, will suitably rewarded. Rukmani new the chain she had found, could belong to the Queen alone, and no one else. So she pondered and called the family together, and told them of the matter. Next day Rukmani along with her father-in-law and husband went to the Kings court and returned the necklace. Happily the King announced that he would give her anything her heart desired,only she had to ask for it. Rukmani then very humbly said, "Your majesty, on the comming Purnima (Full moon night) let not a single light burn in the entire kingdom, not even your own palace Sire. Only light will allowed to burn in my hut. Thats all l ask." King and his courtiers were taken aback, but having announced his gift, he ordered what Rukmani has asked. Returning home, she called the angry family together, and said. "My father, elder brothers, sisters and respected husband, I know you all are angry at me for asking such a silly request from the king, when we could have the riches of the seven worlds.But please bear with me and after the full moon night you all shall have blessings of Lakshmi Goddess on our house, forever. But you all will have to do what I say." Rukmani's father-in-law who knew her to be intelligent, ordered everyone to listen and do what she asked. "Not an Order, dear father, but a request. First we must apply white wash the house, pave the floor properly, shine all the brass utensils and clean the copper ones till they glitter like pure and burnished gold. Then on the full moon night father you, and appa (elderbrother) and Chechi (Sister-in-law) will stand the front door, and you brother, dear hushband and sister will stand at the rear enterance. I will be busy in performing worship. By midnight three ladies dressed in all the fineries come to the door, and demanding to enter the house, to which you must say, Okey we will allow you to enter our house but you must promise to forever stay in our house and never leaveit for a single moment. (this she said to her father-in-law) and turning to her husband, she continued, you will go the rear door and as soon the three beautiful ladies enter our house you will find three ladies dressed in old tattered saries, dirty and unkempt wanting to leave from the rear door. which you must not allow, when the insist then you must make them promise that they would not return to this house ever in there life time. and once they promise only then allow them to go saying go then and take all your belongings and go". So everybody got together and did what Rukmani directed and soon the hut began looking prosperous and brightly done up. The utensils glowed as if they belonged a gold merchant. On the night of the full moon, the entire kingdom was dark with not a single light burning anywhere, Soon at midnight, Goddess Lakshmi, in the company of her sister Prosperty and Good health, came to the doors of Rukmani's house, and demanded entry, the old man said then, "Mothers, we can allow you to enter the house only if you promise to stay in this house forever and never leave it for a moment." the three ladies willing promised, and they were allowed to enter, as soon as they entered, the three dirty unkempt ladies tried to run out of the rear door, but were stopped from doing so, till they promised never to return to the house even for a moment for the entire period of their life." the ladies quickly promised to do so, and the husband then said, "Ok you troublesome creatures, leave and take all your belonging with you. and never return." So hasitly, Poverty, ill-luck, and sickness left running out of the house in great speed. As soon Goddess Lakshmi entered the house, the entire house glowed with goodness, prosperity and good health. From following day, the conditions of Rukmani's house changed well being, seemed to glow out of each nook and corner of the house, soon their days of poverty hardship passed away. and they gained a very high place in the society. Rukmani glowed with pride and her family basked in its radiance.