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Sri: The Legend of Goddess Lakshmi
|by G. Venkatesh|
Sri, Thiru are the other names of Goddess Maha lakshmi.
The Goddess who grants all your wishes - this is the meaning of the term “sree”.
The one who is exquisitely beautiful – she is Goddess Mahalakshmi.
Goddess Mahalakshmi is therefore truly the Goddess of wealth.
Lord Balaji is also called Srinivas - Sri (Lakshmi), Nivas(Residence). As Goddess Laxmi resides in the heart of Lord Balaji, he is also called as Srinivas.
“Lakshmi” also means compassion.
Let us see the nomenclature location-wise.
Indralok – Sorkalakshmi
Kingdoms – Rajyalakshmi
Homes – Griha lakshmi
Patal (Nether world) – Nagalakshmi
Yagnas/Fire sacrifice rituals – Dakshnarupa
Moon – Chandrika
Sun - Kanthi
Lord Lakshmi always resides in a place that is free of clutter. Clutter results in abundance of negative energy. So, if you wish to have Goddess Lakshmi besides you, ensure that your home and office are neat and clean and devoid of any unwanted clutter.
Many years ago, the Devas churned the ocean to get the nectar of immortality. Kamadenu originated first. The Devas were very happy. Then, wine was generated. Following this, the pavazha malli (parijatha tree) was formed. The fragrance of its flowers had a terrific impact. Following this, beautiful apsaras who were also good-natured and noble appeared. Now was the turn of Moon (Chandran) to make his appearance. So enamoured was Lord Shiva of the Moon that he embraced him and gave him shelter in his head.
The next to give his appearance was the inimitable Lord Dhanvantri who appeared in white robes carrying with him the nectar. This pleased the Devas immensely.
Now was the turn of someone who appeared before the Devas in all her dazzling glory. Effulgent in appearance, Goddess Mahalakshmi appeared in the middle of the ocean, seated on a Lotus flower. This pleased the Devas to such an extent that they started reciting the Sri Suktham, a powerful hymn in favour of Goddess Lakshmi. All the Gandharvas bowed their head in obeisance to the Goddess. The Apsaras danced merrily to welcome Goddess Mahalakshmi.
All the sacred rivers led by the holy Ganges surrounded Goddess Mahalakshmi so that she could bathe in their water. Eight elephants surrounded the Goddess with golden kalashes in their trunks and performed her abhishekam.
The enamoured ocean king offered the Goddess a Lotus that would never wilt. The divine architect Vishwakarma appeared within no time anointing the Goddess with gold ornaments. Even as the Devas were watching the events with rapt attention, Goddess Mahalakshmi entered the heart of Lord Sriman Narayanamurthy. The Devas chorused on witnessing the splendid event. Both Lord Narayana and Goddess Lakshmi presented themselves before the Devas in all their glory. What a sight it was!
Lord Narayana took a beautiful form and fed the Devas with Nectar. The Devas relished the nectar. This was the time Lord Indra was waiting for. He started praying to Goddess Mahalakshmi for
* A good position (job/ employment)
* Precious gems
Praying to the 8 forms of Goddess Mahalakshmi, one can be assured of getting what one wants.
What can be done to ensure that Goddess Mahalakshmi never leaves you?
Goddess Mahalakshmi is present
• Wherever white pigeons reside.
• a home that has a beautiful woman who has the best of intentions
• where grains are stored like gold
• where the rice is as white as snow
• a home where the head always shares his food with others
• a home where people speak with lots of love, warmth and affection
• a home where people talk less and respect parents and elders
• a home where the occupants are not lazy, are active and are always immaculately attired.
• where a man who believes in charity resides
• a home where the head of the family holds control over his tongue and does not let anger/ rage get the better of him.
• a home where people are educated and humble.
• a home where people do not cause strife in other people’s lives
• a home where people are devoid of ego, are self less, believe in humanity.
• a home where a man of all virtues stays
• a home where people keep their body and mind clean
• a home where people eat to live and not live to eat
• a home where a man, when offered fragrant flowers, does not smell its fragrance but mentally offers it to me
• a home where a man does not think ill of other women or does not give in to fantasising about other women
Human beings are expected to have the following innate qualities
• Sense of sacrifice
• Truth in mind, tongue and action
• A pure heart, body and tongue
A man who accomplishes the objectives that he set forth to achieve is also dear to me - so says Goddess Mahalakshmi.
Sense of sacrifice
It is impossible that every man or woman has all the desired qualities. But Goddess prefers those who have a sense of sacrifice because this character trait helps him in developing humility and hence he/she will be charitable in their outlook.
Other places where Goddess Mahalakshmi resides
* Amla (Citrus) tree
* Cow dung
* Lotus flower
* White, clean clothes
Having an amla everyday is not only good for health, it also promotes pure thoughts in the mind. Remember Adi Shankara was offered an amla fruit and the woman who gave it to him was blessed with a shower of gold coins. You may have amla in any form – including pickle.
Cowdung is special to Goddess Mahalakshmi because Kamadenu (cow headed woman) was born during the churning of the ocean.As cows belong to the family of Kamadenu, cow dung is special to her.
Conch is like a brother for Goddess Mahalakshmi. New born babies are offered milk in a conch for precisely this reason. Along with milk, the child is also fed with the grace of Goddess Mahalakshmi. Please remember that conch is a natural material that occurred first in the ocean.
Lotus flower is something that Goddess Mahalakshmi is extremely fond of.
Those wearing spotless white clothes also receive the grace of Goddess Mahalakshmi.
Other places where Goddess Mahalakshmi resides
1. Heart of Lord Balaji
2. A blooming Lotus flower
3. The mid-interior portion of the conch
4. Cash Box
5. Homes that are always decorated and wear a perennial festive look
Goddess also resides in the body of a woman who is not only devoted to her husband, eats after he has finished his meal, loves her husband unconditionally
. Goddess is fond of those women who serve their husbands willingly.
An ideal woman
She has a cherubic face and is confident and bold. She will have a beautiful appearance which will radiate through her behaviour. She is someone who is patient, perseverant and obeys the wishes of her man. The home of a well dressed, well attired woman is where Goddess Lakshmi always resides.
A man should not step on
- coal from the grave yard
- Burnt ashes from a grave yard
- Udhi (Vibhuti)
- a Brahmin
- Cotton seed
- The foot prints of a Guru
Many of us are in the habit of washing our feet by rubbing each foot against the other. Even this is not correct. It is also not correct to take bath immediately after applying oil (only) on the hair. Men should follow practices of hygiene in their daily lives.
Wearing dirty clothes or torn clothes can invite financial turmoil. Men are advised to avoid an oil bath on Fridays or a perfumed bath on Amavasya days. Do not be greedy hankering after someone else’s wealth and do not ogle at women. Men are always advised to get up early in the morning.
Some other important actions by men that can cause a reduction in wealth at home
1. Entering a place other than the bathroom after a visit to the barber
2. Going to the home of a barber for a hair cut or shave.
3. Anyone who abuses a genuine astrologer.
4. Men who relish food prepared by killing animals.
5. Men who disrespect a gift that is offered to them.
What can be done to increase the wealth at home?
1. Let your home be fragrant with incense sticks and flowers
2. Keep your feet clean
3. Partaking of simple food
4. Sleeping with clothes on
Whenever we speak of Lord Vishnu, we always speak about Goddess Mahalakshmi as well. The two are inseparable even in thoughts. Can we think of Seetha without Ram or Ram without Seetha? Lord Vishnu is also called as Thirumal (Thiru- Lakshmi) – Thirumal is someone who is always associated with Goddess Mahalakshmi.
You might wonder the reason why Lord Venkateswara of Tirumala had to take a loan from Kubera. You have to note that the Lord had taken this loan for his marriage. How can he take wealth from his fiancé before marriage? It is often said that the Lord Venkateswara is still paying interest on the loan taken from Kubera. Why can he not pay off the loan now that he is married to Goddess Mahalakshmi? The reason is simple – he has taken the loan and only he has to pay for it. Is there not a lesson for all the men folk in this simple example?
Ravana, a great Shiva-bhakt (devotee of Shiva) and also recipient of the grace of Kubera, lost his wealth after he tried to separate Ram from Seetha. He cast his eyes on someone else’s wife and this caused his downfall. Even when we talk of Lord Ram’s sacrifice , can we forget the plight of Seeta maiyya in Ashok Van ? To extol the virtues of selflessness and sacrifice, Goddess Mahalakshmi was born as Seethalakshmi.
In the Vaman avtar of Lord Vishnu, he wasn’t accompanied by his consort.She chose to stay in Vaikunt. The Lord is meditating . Making good of this opportunity, Mahabali, the king of Asuras grabs the earth and the sky. Point to be noted : Mahabali was a great devotee of Lord Vishnu. Coincidentally, Lord Vishnu is also called as Mahavishnu (where Maha – represents Mahalakshmi).
King Mahabali’s arrogance defeated his devotion. To reform the King, the Lord Vishnu leads the life of an ascetic in the Vamana avatar.A reformed King Mahabali drives away the darkness and moves towards light.
As Lord Vishnu completes the Vaman avtar and returns home, like a devoted wife, the Goddess Mahalakshmi presses his feet. As Goddess Lakshmi did not accompany her husband during the Vaman avatar, she decides to accompany her husband when he is born as Lord Ram. Even if Lord Ram and Seetha maiyya wandered in the forests, is it not true that Seetha maiyya took on the additional load of getting imprisoned by Ravan ?
Let us look at the narasimha avtar of Lord Vishnu. Belligerent and aggressive, Lord Narasimha kills the demon Hiranyakashipu through an intelligent ploy. Lord Narasimha is full of “ugram” (rage) like a lion that is angry.
The rage of the Lord is so fierce that it is not subsided even after Hiranyakashipu is killed.
Lord Brahma is petrified of this form and starts chanting hymns.The Devas are afraid too. The hermits in the forest predict doom for the world if the Lord’s rage is not calmed down. At this point of time, the Goddess decides to face her husband as only the love of a wife can provide the balm necessary for cooling off the rage. Lord Brahma fervently prays to Goddess Mahalakshmi.
Without any fear, the Goddess approaches her husband even as others follow her. Lord Narasimha is now pacified. He looks at Goddess Mahalakshmi and melts. His rage is decimated. He looks at his consort benignly.
In Lord’s avtar as Krishna, Goddess Mahalakshmi is born as Rukmini. Here, observe carefully. The Goddess is grateful to her husband for not deserting her in both his avatars as Lord Ram and Lord Vishnu.This is the reason why she is so attached to her husband – the Jagatrakshaka – the one who protects the Universe – Lord Mahavishnu.
Lord Mahaveera’s mother was called Trishala. Even when Mahaveera was conceived in Trishala’s womb, Trishala had a vision of Gajalakshmi on a gold coin – the one who has two elephants by her side.
The 8 forms of Goddess Mahalakshmi are :
1. Adi Lakshmi – who promotes overall well being
2. Santana Lakshmi – who helps women achieve motherhood
3. Gaja Lakshmi – with elephants anointing her with milk and water, praying to Gaja Lakshmi is a sure fire prescription for boosting career prospects and business growth.
4. Dhana Lakshmi – the Goddess of Wealth
5. Dhanya Lakshmi – the one who fills your home with grains
6. Vijaya Lakshmi – the one who assures victory in all your efforts
7. Vidya Lakshmi – the one who represents the Goddess of Learning
8. Veera Lakshmi /Dhairya Lakshmi – the one who bestows courage and valour.
|More by : G. Venkatesh|
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