Lakshmi, also called Laxmi, is the goddess of wealth,fortune, power, luxury, beauty, fertility, and auspiciousness. She holds the promise of material fulfillment and contentment. She is described as restless, whimsical yet maternal, with her arms raised to bless and to grant her blessings.
Shri is the sacred name of Lakshmi. Shri is written atop most documents and spoken before addressing a god, teacher holy man or any revered individual. The word evokes grace, affluence abundance, auspiciousness and authority. When the word is spoken or written an aura of holiness is established. Whatever follows is imbued with divine blessing. Just as the word
"Om" is associated with the mystical side of life, Shri is associated with the material side of existence.
Lakshmi represents the beautiful and bountiful aspect of nature. As Bhoodevi, the earth-goddess, she nurtures life; as Shreedevi, the goddess of fortune, she bestows power, pleasure and prosperity on those who deserve her grace. To realize her, one must respect the laws of life and appreciate the wonders of existence.
Laxmi is said to be swarna-hasta meaning golden-handed. As this name suggests the Goddess pours out riches to the community. Where there is Laxmi there is prosperity. Wealth here also includes moral and ethical values, the nobler aspects of life, the power of the mind and intellect. This kind of wealth has to be acquired by a seeker before his initiation into spiritual knowledge. That explains why Laxmi is worshipped before Saraswati during the devi-puja.
She is the possessor of great beauty and is depicted in standing as well as in the seated postures. She is however always seen on a lotus. In her hands
she holds two lotuses. In the avatarams of Lord Vishnu, Lakshmi also took varous forms to accompany him - Sita with Rama, Rukmini with Krishna.
Ashta Lakshmi are her eight forms which are the commonly worshipped
aspects. In each form, she bestows one form of wealth to her devotees. The Ashta Lakshmis are:
Aadi Lakshmi, Santhana Lakshmi, Gaja Lakshmi, Dhana Lakshmi,
Dhaanya Lakshmi, Vijaya Lakshmi, Veera Lakshmi, Aiswarya Lakshmi. Click here to visit the
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