For hundreds of years, tales of Lakshmi Pooja or Kanak Dhaara ave offered happiness and harmony to people of India. They were told and retold by older members of the family in cozy hearths and brought the impossible dream of prosperity into the hearts of the young and old alike.
There are many tales from Puranas and subsequently myths about Lakshmi, especially the churning of the ocean. The entire cosmos and the story of creation revolve around Devi and her grace. How she enchanted the demons and how the universe was saved with her help. The power of ‘Shakti’ not fathomable, it is the energy that protects, deeply spiritual and mystical. It is hard for the human mind to understand, because God and everything that is connected with God, cannot become an object of human understanding. Sometimes we think that we have understood but very soon a certain turn of events render us amazed and once again we start to contemplate on divine upsurge. This is devotion, this is our ultimate ‘seeking of knowledge’.
It is easier to relate to the female divine energy as she is mother incarnate. Lakshmi, the Goddess of wealth, She is the power and consort of the powerful- Vishnu, the preserver, she is the power of multiplicity. Sri or Lakshmi, depicted in the Vedas, as the Goddess of wealth and fortune, power and beauty. According to the Puranas, she was the incarnated daughter of the sage Bhrigu and his wife Khyati. She was later born out of Ksheer Sagar (ocean of milk) while being churned more popularly known as Samudra Manthan. Hence, her appellation, ‘Ksheera Samudra Raja Tanaya’. As consort of Vishnu, she is born as his spouse whenever he incarnates. When Vishnu appeared as Vamana, Parasurama, Rama, Krishna, she appeared as Padma or Kamala, Dharani, Sita and Rukmini. She is as inseparable from Vishnu as is Durga from Maheshwara. The inseparable element of speech from meaning or knowledge from intellect or good deeds from righteousness is symbolic in the image of Lakshmi- Vishnu. Vishnu represents the male energy and Lakshmi, all of which is female.
The particular image in which she stands on a lotus holding lotuses in each of her hands is a very radiating and enchanting energy and is called Padma or Kamala.
She is worshipped in various images; dark, pink, golden, yellow or white. What implies behind each of the colours is highly symbolical in its implication. If Lakshmi is pictured as dark in complexion, it is to show that she is the consort of Vishnu, the dark god.
When she is golden yellow, she is the source of infinite wealth. This is the most popular image of Maha lakshmi with the skin of gold. Mahalakshmi, an aspect of Durga, is shown with eight hands holding different items and each represents something.
When Lakshmi is worshiped in a temple, she is shown seated on a lotus throne, with four hands holding Padma(lotus), shankha( conch shell), amrita kalasha (pot of ambrosia) and bilva fruit( a kind of fruit). Her four hands signify her power to grant the (chatur vidha) four type of purusharthas (ends of human life), dharma (righteousness), artha (wealth), kama (bodily pleasures), moksha (beatitude). The bow and arrow, mace and discus are also added in the image of Maha Lakshmi. In the white, she represents the purest form of ‘prakriti’ (nature) from which the universe developed.
Lakshmi being the mother of wealth and strength persuade you to do the best in life with her blessings. Temples just for Lakshmi are rare, she is complete with Vishnu or Narayana just as He is ineffective without Her manifestation. Participate in Lakshmi Pooja or Kanakdhara Yagna and seek her divine blessings.
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