Text & Images Of Goddess Laxmi
Laxmi is the consort of Lord Vishnu. Vishnu represents the power
of maintenance. In order to manifest this power Vishnu must necessarily
possess wealth. Even in the world a person who is in charge of maintenance
needs wealth. A pauper cannot maintain anything. Vishnu is the maintainer
of the entire universe. Hence he is married to the Goddess of wealth.
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.
Wealth however does not come to a person by merely begging at the
feet of Laxmi. Worship of Laxmi, these days has become mere solicitation
of material wealth. Man does not realise that when he runs after wealth
it moves away from him. The way to command wealth is to leave it alone
and to seek the higher values of life. This idea is well- brought out in
the allegory of the churning of the milky ocean. The ocean of milk represents
a pure (sattwic) mind. When man contemplates with a pure mind on the higher
ideals of life he evolves spiritually. By gradual evolution he reaches
the goal of perfection. A man of perfection gains everything in the world.
He commands peace, power and prosperity. Wealth is at his feet. This is
the way to gain wealth to win over Laxmi. Laxmi emerging by the churning
of the milky ocean symbolises this truth.
Laxmi is described as being seated on the lotus. She holds a lotus
in her hand. This is a common symbol amongst most of the Hindu gods and
goddesses. It only means they are well-rooted in the supreme Reality. By
holding a lotus in their hands they only point out to mankind that the
goal of their existence is Realisation of the inner wealth.
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