One very common sight in most Hindu households is a painting or an idol of a graceful, elegant woman clad in a bright red saree with heavy gold ornaments. Seated on a lotus with royal white elephants beside her is the Goddess of riches that not only Hindus but also Buddhists and Jains worship- Devi Lakshmi.
Being one of the principal deities, she forms the Holy Trinity with Goddess Saraswati and Goddess Parvati who work together to provide the universe with knowledge, wisdom, wealth, prosperity, nourishment, fertility and other aspects that make life sustainable.
We as humans are heavily dependent on these elements for our growth. We cannot imagine life without food, shelter, clothing and more. Hence, it is but obvious that we worship wealth, riches and prosperity as a form of divine power whose blessings we need to keep growing as a species.
While Hindus, Buddhists, and Jains idolized their form of wealth as Goddess Lakshmi, different civilizations and cultures that existed in their time and some that continue to do so, have come up with their own representations of power.
For instance, Greeks worshipped Plutus as the God of wealth while Chinese worship Tsai Chen, and the Romans worshipped Venus as the Goddess of fertility, love, and prosperity.
The appearance of Goddess Lakshmi:
Centuries ago, the devas and asuras decided to come together on the advice of Lord Brahma to churn the Ocean of Nectar (Ksheera Sagar) to obtain amrut or the elixir of life. For this purpose, Mount Mandara was used as the fulcrum and Vasuki, the snake, as a rope tied to the mountain. Lord Vishnu took the form of a giant tortoise to balance the mountain on his back. Devas and Asuras held either side of the snake and the churning began.
As the ocean was being milked, many things appeared from the ocean before Amrut such as the moon, a deadly poison called Halahala, some herbs, fourteen ratnas (gems), some supernatural creatures such as Kamadhenu, Airavata, etc. and along with them emerged Goddess Lakshmi seated on a lotus.
She immediately chose Lord Vishnu to be her consort. Hence, Devi Lakshmi is considered the daughter of the sea and sister of the moon. Thus came into being the goddess of wealth and prosperity- Mahalakshmi.
Significance of Lakshmi Puja:
With the much-awaited festival Diwali just around the corner, Hindu households are being cleaned and decorated to welcome the Goddess Lakshmi.
During this five-day long celebration, the goddess is worshipped in all her grandeur with much devotion asking her to bless them with prosperity, wealth, riches and success.
Most business houses consider this time to be auspicious to close their financial accounts and to start new ventures and sign more deals.
On all these days, people light lamps and place diyas in and around their houses to welcome the goddess. Elaborate pujas are performed, and many sweet delicacies are offered to her.
This Diwali, bring home an idol or a painting of Devi Lakshmi to invoke her blessings into your place and life.
Check out our collection “The Invincible Shakti” for beautiful art pieces to choose from.