Tuesday, 24th April 2018
24 April 2018
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Goddess Lakshmi

Goddess Lakshmi

Lakshmi is the household goddess of most Hindu families, and a favorite of women. Although she is worshiped daily, the festive month of October is Lakshmi’s special month. Lakshmi Puja is celebrated on the full moon night of Kojagari Purnima

Goddess Lakshmi is the wife of Lord Vishnu. She is worshiped by all as she is the provider of wealth and purity. she is also a symbol of beauty fertility and auspiciousness. She protects her devotees from any money related problem and worries

Birth of goddess Lakshmi

Initially goddess Lakshmi was born as the daughter of sage Brighu and she married lord Vishnu.

Once sage Dhurvasa got a garland from a celestial dancer who had received it from the great goddess Adhiparasakthi for performing in front of her. Dhurvasa presented the garland to the god of heavens lord Indra. But Indra did not respect the sages gift and put the garland around the head of his elephant Airvatha. The elephant put the garland under his foot and crushed it. This enraged sage Dhurvasa and he cursed the gods as to they would lose all their wealth, power and strength.

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So goddess Lakshmi also left heaven and took abode in the depth of the ocean. Then heaven was attacked by the demons and the devas were chased away. Realizing their mistake the devas prayed to lord Vishnu. On his orders they churned the Parkadal ocean to get the divine nectar called “Amirth” which would give them back their strength and power.

When they were churning many precious things emerged from the ocean. Along with them was goddess Lakshmi who came out as a beautiful lady with a garland in her hand. She put that garland around lord Vishnu and he accepted her as his divine consort.

Marriage of goddess Lakshmi with lord Vishnu – Churning of the ocean

As mentioned above the gods lost their strength because of sage Dhurvasa’s curse and the demons took over heaven

The devas then prayed to lord Vishnu for help. The lord happy with their prayers agreed to help them. He told them that only if they drank the divine nectar they can get back their strength and power. That nectar could be got only by churning the ocean Parkadal

But that was a mighty task and it could be done only with great strength. The devas had lost all their strength because of the curse. So they asked lord Vishnu a way for churning the ocean.

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Lord Vishnu asked them to use mountain Mandara as their churner and snake Vasuki as the rope to turn the churner. Then the devas were bewildered because turning mount Mandara was not an easy thing even when they were full of strength. Now they are totally weak so they were wondering how to do that.

Lord Vishnu understanding their difficulty asked them to ask the help of the asuras because it was only with the strength of the asuras the mountain could be turned. The devas asked then will not the asuras also ask a portion fo the nectar for the work they had done. For that lord Vishnu told he will take care. He also warned the devas to catch the tail of snake Vasuki and not it’s head.

Indra then approached the asura king Bali. Bali agreed to help them if they were also given a portion fo the nectar.

Then they started churning the ocean. Mount Mandara was used as the churner and snake Vasuki as the rope. When the devas and the asuras carried the mountian from its place to the ocean it was so heavy that it toppled and crushed some of the devas and asuras. Then lord Vishnu appeared and sprinkled some holy water on them they were got back to life.

In the ocean the mountain kept sinking and could not be kept straight. The gods could not find a solid article for support. Again they prayed to lord Vishnu. Lord Vishnu took the form of a giant tortise and gave support to the mountain. Then using snake Vasuki as the rope they started churning.

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The gods held on to the tail end and the asuras to the head end by choice. As the churning started snake Vasuki spat out its poison in pain and this caused blisters in the asuras but they could do nothing as they had chose that spot out of choice

The first thing to emerge from the ocean after the churning was poison Halahal. The Halahal mushroomed into a huge cloud threatening to engulf the whole world. If the poison was not removed, the whole world would be suffocated.

Indra then prayed to lord Shiva to save them and the world from this poison. Shiva heard the prayers and came to their rescue immediately. He realized that if something was not done the Halahal would destroy the entire universe. He grabbed the entire poison in his palm and swallowed it in a gulp. He realized that he had put himself in danger, but that was the only way to save the universe.

Goddess Parvathi who was by the side of lord Shiva realized what the lord had done and arrested the poison in his throat so that it could neither come out nor go out from his throat. So till date if you see lord Shiva’s pictures you can see the poison as  blue colour in his throat and he is called Neelakanta

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Subsequently the Kamadhenu cow, Ucchashravas horse, Kalpavriksha tree etc. also came out of the ocean. These were shared by the Devas and the Asuras.

The next to come was the beautiful Goddess Lakshmi. She looked so beautiful that the Devas and the Asuras stopped churning and simply gazed at her.
Eager to get her attention, the Devas scrambled to get a chair for her to sit. The apsaras [dancing maidens] danced for the Goddess and in the end handed her a garland.
In those days, it was customary for a woman of marriageable age to choose her own husband. This was called as ‘swayamwara’.
All the Devas, Asuras and Gods [Even Lord Vishnu had come in his human form] were waiting for the Goddess to choose. Every God wondered who would be the lucky one.
Goddess Lakshmi saw all the assembled Devas, Asuras and Gods. She studied Dark God Vishnu with his beautiful twinkling eyes and mischievous smile.
She smiled once and garlanded Lord Vishnu, choosing him above all the others.
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The Gods cheered when they saw Goddess Lakshmi marry Lord Vishnu. She was the Goddess of Wealth and Prosperity and he was the Preserving God. They all sensed that she was the Goddess Supreme, who had manifested herself as Lakshmi to become Lord Vishnu’s wife – his power and his strength.
Thus with great pomp and show, Goddess Lakshmi married Lord Vishnu during the churning of the ocean.

The divine form of goddess Lakshmi

Generally, Lakshmi is portrayed as a beautiful lady with golden complexion, dressed in red color attire and adorned with precious jewels. Lakshmi has four hands representing the four ends of human life, Kama (desires), Artha (wealth), and Moksha (liberation) from the cycle of birth and death. She holds lotus bud in two of her hands, which stands for beauty, purity, spirituality and fertility. She sits on a fully blossomed lotus, a seat of divine truth.
She always wears gold embroidered red clothes. Red symbolizes activity and the golden lining indicates prosperity. Lakshmi is the active energy of Vishnu, and also appears as Lakshmi-Narayan – Lakshmi accompanying Vishnu.
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A cascades of gold coins are seen flowing from her hands, this represents her as goddess of  wealth. the one who blesses everyone with wealth.
Two elephants are often shown standing next to the goddess and spraying water. This denotes that ceaseless effort, in accordance with one’s dharma and governed by wisdom and purity, leads to both material and spiritual prosperity.
An owl is the vehicle for Maa Lakshmi. Owl sleeps through the day and keeps awake during night. This denotes that if you want to attain success, you must remain awake when others are sleeping.

Why  people pray to goddess Lakshmi

The importance attached to the presence of Lakshmi in every household makes her an essentially domestic deity. Householders worship Lakshmi for the well-being and prosperity of the family. Businessmen and women also regard her equally and offer her daily prayers.
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 sung.
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Lakshmi is the goddess of wealth, luxury, fertility, fortune, purity, beauty, power, generosity and auspiciousness. She is claimed to fulfill the promises of material, wealth and contentment.
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.

Festivals of goddess Lakshmi

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Temples of goddess Lakshmi

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Lakshmi Narayanan temple in delhi built by Birla

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Sripuram golden temple in Vellore

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Mahalakshmi temple Kohlapur Maharashtra

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Ashtalaskhmi temple Chennai

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lakshmi devi temple of doddagaddavalli karnataka india

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mahalakshmi temple bandivade goa

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Poomparai Maha Lakshmi Temple – Kodaikanal

Read about other gods here

goddess Saraswathi
16 forms of lord Ganesh
Shivas grace 1

 

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