Mahalakshmi who is the consort of Lord Vishnu appeared first during the ‘samudra manthan’ or the churning of the ocean episode. In this story, a curse of sage Durvasa had rendered all the Devas powerless. A desperate Devas sought the guidance of Lord Vishnu who advised them to churn the ocean of milk. This in turn will give them ‘Amrit’ drinking which will make them invincible again. On churning the ocean, goddess Lakshmi emerged from the ocean carrying a pot filled with ‘Amrit’. Mahalakshmi is usually associated as the goddess of wealth and seeking her blessing will make one prosperous in life. Lakshmi has eight different manifestations known as ‘Ashtalakshmi’ associated with a different type of wealth. They are:

1 ) Adilakshmi:  Adi means first, thus Adilakshmi is the original form of Lakshmi who emerged from the ocean. She is the granter of happiness and sometimes also known as Ramaa. This is the form of Lakshmi in which she is seen worshipping her husband Lord Vishnu. She is seen as having four arms with a lotus on one hand and a white flag on another hand, other two arms are in Abhaya mudra and Varada mudra.

2 ) Dhanyalakshmi: Dhanya in Sanskrit is food, thus Dhanyalakshmi is the one who grants us with food. She is also considered as the protector of agricultural wealth. She is usually seen as an eight-armed goddess, in green garments, carrying two lotuses, gada(mace), paddy crop, sugarcane and bananas. The other two hands are in Abhaya mudra and Varada mudra.

3 ) Dhanalakshmi :  Dhana is wealth or gold hence Dhanalakshmi is the giver of wealth in the form of materials. She is six-armed, carries a chakra(discus), shankha (conch), kalasha (water pitcher with mango leaves and a coconut on it) or Amrita kumbha (a pitcher containing Amrita – elixir of life), bow-arrow, a lotus and an arm in abhaya mudra with gold coins falling from it.

4 ) Santanalakshmi: Santanam is children, thus Santanalakshmi blesses one with children. She has six arms with two kalashas (water pitcher with mango leaves and a coconut on it), sword, shield, and a child on her lap, a hand in abhaya mudra and the other holding the child. The child is also seen as holding a lotus.

5 ) Gajalakshmi: Gajalakshmi is the Lakshmi who emerged from the ocean of milk. She is so called because two elephants (Gaja) on either side of her is seen pouring milk on her. She is the goddess of peace and prosperity. She is sighted as a four-armed goddess in red garments, carrying two lotuses on two hands with other two arms in abhaya mudra and varada mudra. She is also seen as surrounded by two elephants bathing her with water pots

6 ) Dhairyalakshmi: Dhairya in Sanskrit means courage, thus she gives courage to those who seeks her blessing. She is eight-armed, in red garments, carries chakra, shankh, bow, arrow, trishul (or sword), gold bar or book, other two hands in abhaya mudra and varada mudra.

7 ) Vijaya Lakshmi: Vijaya is victory, thus Vijayalakshmi grants a person victory in any venture he undertakes. She also has eight arms, wearing red garments, carries chakra, shankh, sword, shield, lotus, pasha, other two hands in abhaya mudra and varada mudra.

8 ) Aishwarya Lakshmi: Aishwaryam is prosperity. She is the one who bestows a person with prosperity. She is four-armed, in white garments, carries two lotuses, other two arms in abhaya mudra and varada mudra.


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07 Sep 2012

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