|Characteristics:||Wealth, Fortune, Courage and Fertility|
|Other Names:||Padma, Bhargavi, Sridevi, Aiswarya|
|Famous Prayers:||Sri Lakshmi Stuti, Sri Sukta, Agasti Lakshmi Strota|
|Vehicle (Vahana) / Mount:||Owl (Ulooka)|
|Mula Mantra:||Om Sri Maha Lakshmyai Namah|
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.
Lakshmi and her association with “Shri”
According to the Hindu mythology, the sacred name of Lakshmi is “Shri”. Whether in written or verbal form, “Shri” always suggests presence of goddess Lakshmi in it. “Shri” is written at the top of most of the documents. It is usually spoken before addressing a god, or any revered individual. The usage of “Shri” itself evokes grace, affluence, abundance, authority and auspiciousness. The word “Shri” is spoken or written, an aura of holiness is established. Sri is associated with the material side of life, just like the word “Om” is associated with the spiritual side of life.
Goddess Lakshmi – The Image
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.
Cascades of gold coins are seen flowing from her hands, illustrating that she blesses people with wealth. The constant effort of two elephants is often shown standing next to the goddess and spraying water. It denotes that, in accordance with one’s dharma when governed by wisdom and purity, leads to both material and spiritual prosperity. The personal charm of Lakshmi is considered par excellence. An aura of divine happiness, mental and spiritual satisfaction, and prosperity always exists around her.
Belief Regarding Goddess Lakshmi
It is believed that Lakshmi resides in a place where virtue, righteousness, truth and compassion prevail. Goddess Lakshmi is considered to stay at a clean place. Wealth is required to meet the basic needs of life. People worship Lakshmi for the well being and prosperity of the family. On the auspicious night of Diwali, Hindus worship Lakshmi ceremonially at home, pray for her blessings. It is believed that on this night the goddess herself visits the homes and replenishes the inhabitants with wealth.