Goddess Laxmi (also written as Lakshmi) indicates wealth, prosperity and good fortune. She is the feminine consort of Lord Vishnu.
As Vishnu is the energy that sustains the Universe, it is but natural that his consort is the shakti, the ability or the energy that allows for maintenance of this Universe. After all, who can deny that we need money and good fortune to live and sustain ourselves. She is sometimes simply indicated by the word Sri and her Bija mantra, i.e. seed sound or seed mantra is Shrim (Shreem). Laxmi is one of the Goddess that form the prime Shakti trinity of Maha Laxmi.
As we all know wealth and fortune is not just about having money. We can be fortunate to have good food, good children, great knowledge and so on…
In all, there are eight such avenues by which a person could be blessed with prosperity and each of them are referred to as a form of Goddess Laxmi. A conglomerate of these eight Laxmi goddesses is called as the Ashta Laxmi (ashta means eight).
- As Adi Laxmi or Maha Laxmi she is believed to be the daughter of Sage Bhrigu (one of the key Sapta Rishis- seven great Vedic seers). She is considered as the first (adi) as well as the great (maha) one.
- As Dhana Laxmi, she is believed to be the energy of money or wealth (dhana).
- As Dhanya Laxmi, she is considered as the goddess of agricultural wealth and is believed to bestow grains (dhanya) and food/ nourishment to a person.
- As Gaja Laxmi, she is the giver of wealth from livestock as well as the giver of royal status and the power associated with it. Since, it is as Gaja Laxmi that the Goddess is believed to have brought back the lost wealth of Lord Indra (who is considered as the King of the Gods). She is believed to be worshipped by elephants (Gaja), that represent strength, intelligence and high status.
- As Santana Laxmi, she is the giver of progeny (santana). It is considered a great fortune to have able children and this form of Laxmi can bless a native with the fortune-wealth of good children.
- As Dhairya or Veera Laxmi, she can bless the native with Dhairya (courage) to overcome difficulties in life as well as Veera (valour) to face one’s challenges and life-battles.
- As Jaya or Vijaya Laxmi, she grants one the victory (jaya) over hurdles and obstacles in one’s life- to emerge as the winner (vijaya).
- As Vidya Laxmi, she bestows knowledge, wisdom and the key energy that indicates the various arts and sciences.
Since any kind of good fortune or wealth is depicted as Laxmi, we do find several other mentions of Laxmi such as:
- Aishwarya Lakshmi, one who gives Prosperity and Riches (aishwarya).
- Saubhagya Lakshmi, one who bestows good fortune (saubhagya) and overall prosperity.
- Rajya Lakshmi, one who blesses a native with secular power and a territory which they ‘rule’ over. This could be literal or figurative area (rajya) in which one enjoys absolute power and precedence.
- Vara Lakshmi, one who blesses and bestows boons (vara).
In today’s materialistic societies, we typically think of Ma Laxmi mainly as the giver of money and riches. It would be helpful to realize that true fortune is not just money but a combination of various aspects of Ashta Laxmi.
Learn about Iconic Symbolism of Ma Laxmi...