Ma Lakshmi

Shehjar e-magazine

Dharmic Short Stories Part-6
Ma Lakshmi
*KanyaLal Raina

Namaste children:

s we discussed at the beginning of this series, Lord Vishnu, the protector aspect of the Brahman requires energy and resources to fulfill the task of sustaining the creations. The energy and resourcefulness is symbolized as a Goddess, emphasizing the sacredness of the feminine aspect of creation. This fact reveals the due respect and recognition shown towards “femininity” in our religion from time immemorial.

Lakshmi is worshipped as the Goddess of wealth and prosperity, both material and spiritual. The word ''Lakshmi'' is derived from the Sanskrit word Laksme, meaning "goal." Lakshmi, therefore, represents the goal of life, which includes worldly as well as spiritual prosperity.

In Her images and pictures, Lakshmi is depicted in a female form with four arms and four hands. She wears pink clothes with a golden lining and is standing on a lotus. She has golden coins and lotuses in her hands. Two elephants are shown next to the Goddess. This symbolism conveys the following spiritual theme:
  • The four arms represent the four directions in space and thus symbolize omnipresence and omnipotence of the Goddess. The pink color symbolizes activity. The golden lining on Her pink dress denotes prosperity. The idea conveyed here is that the Goddess is always busy distributing wealth and prosperity to the devotees.

    • The lotus seat, which Lakshmi is standing upon, signifies that while living in this world, one should enjoy its wealth, but not become obsessed with it. Such living is analogous to a lotus that grows in water but is not wetted by water.

      • The four hands represent the four ends of human life:
        Dharma (righteousness)
        Kama (genuine desires)
        Artha (wealth)
        Moksha (liberation from birth and death).
      The back (upper) hands indicate the spiritual activities that lead to spiritual perfection. The lotus flowers held in both the upper hands convey the idea that if one performs all duties in the world in accordance with the divine rules, one will be able to attain liberation.

      The front (lower) hands signify activity in the physical world. The golden coins falling on the ground from the front left hand of Lakshmi illustrating that She provides wealth and prosperity to Her devotees. Her front right hand is shown bestowing blessings upon the devotees.

      The two elephants standing next to the Goddess symbolize ‘name and fame’ associated with worldly wealth. The idea conveyed here is that a true devotee should not earn wealth merely to acquire name and fame or only to satisfy his own material desires, but should share it with others in order to bring happiness to others in addition to himself. This frame of mind to share will be bestowed upon by Divine grace, if the devotee surrenders the name and fame to the goddess. Hence the elephants are shown to be showering the coins on to the Goddess.
      Some pictures show four elephants spraying water from golden vessels onto Goddess Lakshmi. The four elephants represent the four ends of human life as discussed above. The spraying of water denotes activity. The golden vessels denote wisdom and purity. The four elephants spraying water from the golden vessels on the Goddess illustrate the theme that continuous self-effort, in accordance with one's dharma and governed by wisdom and purity, leads to both material and spiritual prosperity.

      Goddess Lakshmi is regularly worshipped in home shrines and temples by Her devotees. A special worship is offered to Her annually on the auspicious day of Diwali, with religious rituals and colorful ceremonies specifically devoted to Her.

      Lakhmi’s form reveals that when a devotee dedicates the worldly possessions to the Divine, utilizes it to perform righteous actions for the overall betterment of all creations, governed by Divine wisdom, the end result would be nothing but a state of eternal bliss.

      *Kanayalal Raina is a Brampton based writer who contributes regularly to various Canadian publications. He is working as Executive Director at Canada Hindu Heritage Centre in Canada. An automobile Engineer and MBA (Mktg) by profession he is providing consultancy on Project Management, Financing and Marketing.

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      Thank you Kanyalal Ji. Your Dharmic Stories are great reading and very purposeful at the same time.
      Added By Arun Koul