Lakshmi (Sanskrit: लक्ष्मी
Hindi pronunciation: [ˈləkʃmi])
is the Hindu Goddess of wealth,
love, prosperity (both material and spiritual), fortune, and the embodiment of
beauty. She is the wife of Vishnu. Also known as
Mahalakshmi, she is said to bring good luck and is believed to
protect her devotees from all kinds of misery and money-related sorrows.
Representations of Lakshmi are also found in Jain monuments.
Lakshmi is called Shree 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 Vishnu. When Vishnu
incarnated on the Earth as the avatars Rama and Krishna, Lakshmi took
incarnation as his consort. Sita (Rama's wife), Radha (Krishna's lover),
Satyabama are considered forms of Lakshmi.
Lakshmi is worshipped daily in Hindu homes and commercial establishments as
the goddess of wealth. She is also worshipped as the consort of Vishnu in many
temples. The festivals of Diwali and Kojagiri Purnima are
celebrated in her honour.
As per Devi, the
Supreme power, is called Durga or Shakti. The abstract power has
been imagined by the Hindus as Durga Shakti. Both Lakshmi and Saraswati are forms of Durga or Shakti or Tridevi the
eternal consort power of Parabrahman the Trimurti. By the
help of the Supreme soul (Adi Purusha) to create the Supreme Power (Adi-shakti),
three other shapes have been created from the Supreme Power.
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 Prakriti. Most people are
mistaken that they are separate beings although they are one, that is, Lakshmi.
Lakshmi is the power of Vishnu.
Mahalakshmi's presence is also found on Sri Venkateswara (at Tirumala)
chest, at the heart. Lakshmi is the embodiment of love, from which devotion to
God or Bhakti
flows. 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
Vishnu and his worldly devotees. Lakshmi represents a more soothing, kind, warm
and approachable mother figure who willingly intervenes in the lives of
devotees. When asking Vishnu for grace or the forgiveness, the devotees often
approach Him through the intermediary presence of Lakshmi.
She is also the personification of the spiritual Fulfillment.
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, Param Prakriti, which purifies,
empowers and uplifts the individual. Hence, she is called the Goddess of
Fortune. She is believed to be the mother of the universe.
A manuscript depicting Samudra
Devas (gods) and asuras (demons) were
both mortal at one time, in Hinduism. Amrit, the divine nectar that
grants 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. The samudra manthan
commenced with the devas on one side and the asuras on the other. Vishnu incarnated as
Kurma, the tortoise, and a mountain was placed on the tortoise as a churning
pole. Vasuki, the
great venom-spewing serpent, was wrapped around the mountain and used to churn
the ocean. A host of divine celestial objects came up during the churning. Along
with them emerged the goddess Lakshmi. In some versions she is said to be the
daughter of Varuna, the sea god since she
emerged from the sea. According to Vishnu Purana she is said
to be the daughter of Bhrigu and Khyaati and resided in
Swarga, but left Swarga and made
Ksheersagara her home due to the curse of Durvasa and later emerged again
after the churning of the ocean. In some versions, after her emergence from the
sea, she accepted Vishnu as her consort while in some she was already Vishnu's
consort. The moon (chandra) also appeared from the
ocean during the churning, making it her brother.
The etymology and meanings of the word lakshmi is given in Monier
Williams' Sanskrit–English Dictionary compiled in the 19th century in British India.
- laksmIka meaning a mark, sign, or token is in Rik Veda x, 71, 2 and
Nirukta iv, 10.
- laksmi ( with or without pAp'I ) is a bad sign or an impending misfortune
referred to Atharva Veda and Apasthambha Shrauta Suutra.
- In older Sanskrit, it is usually used
with "p'uNyA" meaning a good sign, good fortune, prosperity, success, or
happiness in Atharva Veda.
- Laksmi personifies wealth, riches, beauty,happiness, loveliness, grace,
charm and splendour in Mahabharata.
- Laksmi as a noun is a goddess of fortune and beauty (frequently in the
later mythology identified with Śrī and regarded as the wife of Viṣṇu or
- According to Sir Monier Williams, "Religious thought and life in India", 45, 40-43
she sprang with other precious things from the foam of the ocean when churned
by the gods and demons for the recovery of the Amṛta. She
appeared with a lotus in her hand, whence she is also called Padmā.
- According to another legend, she appeared at the creation floating over
the water on the expanded petals of a lotus flower; she is also variously
regarded as wife of Sūrya, as wife of Prajā-pati, as wife of Dharma and mother
of Kāma, as sister or mother of Dhātṛ and
wife of Datt^atreya, as one of the nine Śaktis of Viṣṇu, as a
manifestation of Prakṛti, as
identified with Dākshāyaṇī
in Bharat^aŚrama, and with Sītā, wife of Rāma, and with other women.
Vishnu with Lakshmi (Lakshminarayana
) at Halebidu
Lakshmi in Sanskrit is derived from its
elemental form lakS, meaning "to perceive or observe".
This is synonymous with lakṣya, meaning "aim" or "objective". 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:
- 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
Her other names include:
- Vishnupriya: One who is the beloved of Vishnu
- Ulkavahini: One who rides an owl
Her other names include: Manushri, Chakrika, Kamalika, Aishwarya, Lalima,
Kalyani, Nandika, Rujula, Vaishnavi, Samruddhi, Narayani, Bhargavi, Sridevi, Chanchala,
Jalaja, Madhavi, Sujata, Shreya. She is also referred to as Jaganmaatha ("Mother
of the Universe") in Shri Mahalakshmi Ashtakam. Rama and Indira are popular.
Lakshmi is described as bestowing coins of prosperity and flanked by
elephants signifying her royal power. However, in some texts, she has an owl as
her vahana. Her
expression is always calm and loving. The lotus also symbolizes the fertile
growth of organic life, as the world is continually reborn on a lotus growing
out of Vishnu's navel.
Lakshmi is worshipped daily, but special focus is given in the month of
October. Her worship ceremonies include people offering food and sweets,
chanting her 108 names, prayers being repeated, and devotional songs being
A 1400-year-old rare granite sculpture of Lakshmi has been recovered at the
Waghama village along the Jehlum in Anantnag district of Jammu and Kashmir.
Main article: Ashta
Ashta Lakshmi (Sanskrit: अष्टलक्ष्मी,Aṣṭalakṣmī,
lit. "eight Lakshmis") are a group of eight secondary manifestations of Lakshmi,
who preside over eight sources of wealth and thus represent the powers of
Shri-Lakshmi. Actually, Mahalakshmi presides over eighteen forms of wealth, ten
of which are the eight great siddhis called AshtaSiddhis, the spiritual
knowledge or Gnana,
and teaching or imparting the spiritual knowledge to the entire world without
any class difference.
Mahalakshmi is also known to preside over 16 forms of worldly wealth
excluding Ashta siddhis, gnana and imparting gnana. They are as follows: Fame;
Knowledge; Courage and Strength; Victory; Good Children; Valor; Gold, Gems and
Other Valuables; Grains in abundance; Happiness; Bliss; Intelligence; Beauty;
Higher Aim, High Thinking and Higher Meditation; Morality and Ethics; Good
Health; Long Life.
|आदि लक्ष्मी (ఆదిలక్ష్మి; ಆದಿಲಕ್ಷ್ಮಿ)
||The First manifestation of Lakshmi|
|धान्य लक्ष्मी (ధాన్యలక్ష్మి; ಧಾನ್ಯಲಕ್ಷ್ಮಿ)
|धैर्य लक्ष्मी (ధైర్యలక్ష్మి; ಧೈರ್ಯಲಕ್ಷ್ಮಿ)
||Wealth of courage|
|गज लक्ष्मी (గజలక్ష్మి; ಗಜಲಕ್ಷ್ಮಿ)
||Elephants, symbols of wealth|
|सन्तान लक्ष्मी (సంతానలక్ష్మి; ಸಂತಾನಲಕ್ಷ್ಮಿ)
||Wealth of continuity, progeny|
|विजय लक्ष्मी (విజయలక్ష్మి; ವಿಜಯಲಕ್ಷ್ಮಿ)
||Wealth of victory|
|विद्या लक्ष्मी (విద్యాలక్ష్మి; ವಿದ್ಯಾಲಕ್ಷ್ಮಿ)
||Wealth of knowledge and education|
|धन लक्ष्मी (ధనలక్ష్మి; ಧನಲಕ್ಷ್ಮಿ)
The type of Ashta Lakshmis differ with every yuga and thus one would not find
uniformity in the names of Ashta lakshmis in Hindu sacred texts. There are more
than a crore
manifestations of Mahalakshmi; without her nothing in this world would survive
as she forms the basis of the entire gamut of creation. Without her grace, there
will be nothing to eat, no air to breathe, no progeny in continuation etc. At a
minor level, one cannot survive without monetary wealth in this wide world, if
one has not developed spiritualism. Even if one were to beg, one would not get
even a dime without the grace of Mahalakshmi. It is only through the grace of
Mahalakshmi that even the King of Gods, Devendra, gained wealth, when He
was cursed by the famous sage Dhurvasa for disrespecting the garland offered to
Mahalakshmi is said to exist in several other forms. The most famous amongst
them are Sridevi, Bhoodevi,
The famous Vaishnavite saint Aandaal, who was born in
Srivilliputhur in Tamil Nadu, about 5050 years ago, is an incarnation of
Mahalakshmi herself. Sridevi represents moveable assets, called Chanchala in
Sanskrit. Bhoodevi represents immoveable assets (Achanchala).
It is because of this that mountains in India are prefixed with Achanachala, for
example, Arunachala, Himachala etc. The term chanchala also denotes fickleness,
which is why people are not always wealthy. Everything in this world operates
only with the grace of Mahalakshmi.
In addition, according to the Kalki Purana, when Vishnu incarnates as Kalki, she will appear
as his wife in the form of Padma and give birth to two
Celebration in Hindu
Hindus worship Lakshmi the most on Diwali, the festival of lights.
According to tradition, people would put small oil lamps outside their homes on
Diwali in hopes Lakshmi will come to bless them.
The prefix Sri (also spelled Shri,
pronounced as shree) translates as "one who takes delight in". Therefore, Sri
Lakshmi, means wealth of any kind. Any thing that need be affluent gets the
auspicious prefix or suffix Lakshmi, or Sri, such as Rajya Lakshmi
(Wealth of Empire), Shanti Sri (Wealth of Peace), etc. In modern India, common
titles standing in for the English Mr. and Mrs. are Shri
(also Sri or Shree) and Shrimati (also Srimati or
Shreemati), as in Sri desai or Srimati shanti.
In Uttarakhand, after the
worship of the goddess on Diwali night, the shankha, or conch, is not blown.
This is because the shankha is also from the ocean like the goddess herself, so
it is given a day of rest.
Karaveera Nivasini Mahalakshmi, also known as Ambabai,
is the patron goddess of Kolhapur city, Maharashtra.
Lakshmi is worshiped in autumn when the moon is full, the brightest night
of the year. It is believed that she showers wealth on this night. She, along
with her mount, the great white owl, come into contact with our worlds and takes
away the darkness of poverty, stagnation, anger, and laziness from our lives.
Her vahana owl represents royalties, penetrating sight and intelligence. It
serves as her mount over which she has full control. Lakshmi is also referred to
as pranadayini("giver of vital life-sustaining energy") who can turn a dull
thing full of life. In the Sri Vaishnava philosophy, Sri (Lakshmi) is honored as
the Iswarigm sarva bhootanam, i.e., the supreme goddess and not just the
goddess of wealth.
Lakshmi is depicted in a red costume, which represents continuous activity,
or in a golden costume, representing fulfillment. She wears ornaments full of gold and a golden ruby-studded crown. Her hair is
long, dark and wavy. Her complexion is golden, representing a boon-giver. She
shows the abhaya
mudra or the gyan
mudra with her right hand and holds a potful of gold in her left arm and
paddy sheaf in her left hand.
sandalwood, vermilion, betel leaves &
nuts, fruits and various sweet preparations made from jaggery, rice and coconuts are
used for her ritual worship.
Apart from the autumnal celebration, Lakshmi, along with Alakshmi (her shadow
energy), is also worshipped during Diwali night in some Bengali communities.
Goddess Kali of Kalighat in Kolkata is
worshipped in Mahalakshmi form during
Observing a Lakshmi Brata/Puja on Thursdays or during full moon
days is quite popular. A string of poems called 'Panchali', narrating the
glories of the Goddess, is sung by women.
With the harvest brought home, the farmers feel greatly satisfied with the
yield. After six months of toil in the field, they fill the granaries with the
blessings of Lakshmi. So, the whole month of Mrigashīrsha
(December–January) is spent in worshiping the goddess. All the rituals connected
with the festival Manabasa Gurubara or Lakshmi Puja are done
by housewives. On each Thursday of the month, the houses are plastered with cow
dung, and the floors are decorated with beautiful floral designs drawn with rice
powder mixed with water, called jhoti.
Footprints are painted from the doorstep to the place of worship, as if Lakshmi
has entered the house. The roofs are decorated with flower garlands and festoons
woven out of paddy stalks.
After a purification bath in the morning, the homemakers worship the goddess,
not through an image, but significantly through paddy measures. Different rice
cakes and Khiri
(rice soup prepared with milk and sugar) are prepared in every household and are
offered to the deity and then eaten by all.
In the evening, the Laxmi Puran, in which an
interesting story is told, is read or recited. Once Shreeya, worshiped Lakshmi
by observing this festival. Moved by her devotion, Lakshmi left her permanent
abode, the temple that is inside the campus of the temple of Jagannatha, and visited
Shreeya's house. When Balabhadra, the elder brother
of Jagannatha, came to know about this, she was declared defiled and was not
allowed to come back into the temple. Lakshmi was deeply hurt and went to her
When Lakshmi went out of the temple, all wealth in the temple started
vanishing. Later, Balabhadra and Jagannatha could not find food to sustain
themselves. They came out of the temple in the attire of Brahmin beggars in
search of food. Ultimately, They landed at the door of Lakshmi. Balabhadra
apologised for the mistake, and all of them returned to the temple.
coin depicting Gaja
Lakshmi standing on a lotus
, 1st century
Gaja Lakshmi Puja is celebrated in the Sharad Purnima, the full-moon day in
the Oriya month of
Aswina(September–October). This autumn festival is one of the most
popular and important festivals of Odisha.
The goddess of wealth is worshiped for one day and, in some places, it is
celebrated for seven to ten days. The festival is religiously celebrated by the
business community in Odisha. All over Odisha, richly decorated and beautifully
made images of Gaja Lakshmi are installed. The festival instills a spirit of
holiness and sanctity into the whole community, so much so that people of other
faiths participate in it with abundant warmth and sincerity. In Odisha, this
festival, also known as Kumar Purnima, falls on the full moon - Purnima. Girls
and boys wear new clothes and generally have a good time with family and
In the early morning, the girls, after their purification baths, wear new
garments and make food offerings to the sun. They observe fasting for the day.
In the evening, when the moon rises, they again make food offerings of a special
variety and eat it after the rituals are over.
It is a festival of rejoicing for the girls; all of them sing and dance. The
songs are of a special nature. They play a kind of game known as puchi
and other country games.
Lakshmi is worshipped by Brahmins
There are innumerable slokas in praise of
Mahalakshmi. Some of the most famous prayers for worshipping her are "Sri
Mahalakshmi Ashtakam", "Sri Lakshmi Sahasaranama Sthothra" by Sanathkumara,
"Sri Stuti" by Sri Vedantha
Desikar, Sri Lakshmi Stuti By
Indra, "Sri Kanakadhara Sthothra" by Sri Aadhi Shankaracharya, "Sri
Chatussloki" by Sri Yamunacharya, "Sri Lakshmi
Sloka" by Bhagavan Sri Hari
Swamiji and Sri Sukta which is contained
in the Vedas. The famous Lakshmi Gayathri Sloka, "Om Mahalakshmichae Vidmahe sri
Vishnupathinichae Dhi-Mahi Thanno Lakshmi Prachodayat" is a prayer to Lakshmi
contained in the Sri Sukta.
There is another famous prayer pronounced by the great sage Agastya: "Agastya Lakshmi
Stotra". Although Mother Lakshmi is worshiped as the goddess of fortune,
when she is worshiped with Narayana, the worshiper is blessed with not only
wealth but also peace and prosperity. They can be worshiped in forms, such as
Lakshmi Narayana, Lakshmi Narasimha, Sita Rama, Radha Krishna, or Vithal Rukmini.
ॐ श्रीं ह्रीं क्लीं त्रिभुवन महालक्ष्म्यै अस्माकम् दारिद्र्य नाशय प्रचुर धन
देहि देहि क्लीं ह्रीं श्रीं ॐ
- English transliteration: oṃ Śrīṃ hrīṃ klīṃ tribhuvana mahālakṣmyai asmākam
dāridrya nāŚaya pracura dhana dehi dehi klīṃ hrīṃ Śrīṃ oṃ
Respect for moneyedit
In many areas of India it is customary that, out of respect, when a person's foot
accidentally touches money (which is considered as a manifestation of Lakshmi)
or another person's leg, it will be followed by an apology in the form of a
single hand gesture (Pranāma) with the right
hand, where the offending person first touches the object with the finger tips
and then the forehead and/or chest. This also counts for books and any written
material, which are considered as a manifestation of the goddess of knowledge Saraswati.
Temple (Mumbai- Virar-Hedavde)
Sree Mahalakshmi Temple( Thiruvananthapuram,Neyyattinkara)
- Mohiniraj Laxmi Temple Newasa Dist Ahmednagar Maharastra
- Ashtalakshmi Kovil,
Mahalakshmi Temple, Goravanahalli near Bangalore
- Mahalakshmi Temple, Brazil
- Sri Mahalakshmi Temple, Eachanari, Coimbatore
- Mahalakshmi Temple, Jhansi
- Vaishno Devi, katra
Das, Subhamoy. "Lakshmi: Goddess of Wealth & Beauty!".
Encyclopaedia of Hindu Gods and Goddesses; by Suresh
"Radha - Goddess Radha, Sri Radharani, Radha-Krishna,
Radhika". Festivalsinindia.net. Retrieved
Radha in Hinduism, the favourite mistress of the
god Krishna, and an incarnation of Lakshmi. In devotional religion she
represents the longing of the human soul for God: The Oxford Dictionary of
Phrase and Fable (2006); Elizabeth Knowles |
Essential Hinduism; by Steven Rosen (2006);
Pages 31 and 32 in Kinsley, David. Hindu Goddesses: Vision of the Divine Feminine in the Hindu
Religious Traditions. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1988.
Srimad Devi Bhagwata Purana
"The Tribune, Chandigarh, India - Jammu & Kashmir".
Kalki Purana - B. K. Chaturvedi - Google Books.
"Lakshmi(Laxmi) Mantra and Stotra | Astrology-Vastu-Mantra |
VEDIC RISHI". Vedicrishi.in. Retrieved
DeBruyn, Pippa; Bain, Keith; Venkatraman, Niloufer
India. pp. 76.
- Venkatadhvari, , (1904). Sri Lakshmi Sahasram. Chowkhamba Sanskrit Depot,
Benares. (in Sanskrit only)
- Hindu Goddesses: Vision of the Divine Feminine in the Hindu Religious
81-208-0379-5) by David Kinsley
- Lakshmi Puja and Thousand Names (ISBN
1-887472-84-3) by Swami Satyananda Saraswati
|Data Arrangement, Technical Arrangement & Graphics|
|♦ Master Murugan Chillayah - Silambam Academy|
|References ( Mahā Lakshmi )|