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Indian Mythology Lakshmi

Balaji Temple and the story of marriage of Gods

Balaji Temple at Tirumala hills

Balaji temple is one of the well known temples of India. Unlike some of the other temples, this inspires awe and grandeur and sometimes known as the richest temple of India. This temple is situated on Tirumala hills.

The main temple of Tirumala Tirupati lies on the seventh hill called Venkatadri, which is why this holy Tirumala Temple is also called “The Temple Of Seven Hills”. Lord Sri Venkateswara,also known as Balaji and Govinda,is the presiding deity of this holy temple.

Today,if we go by the available statistics,about thirty to forty million pilgrims, from all over the world,visit this holy temple every year making Lord Sri Venkateswara the most worshiped Hindu God in the world and Tirumala the most visited place of worship.

Legends behind Balaji Temple

There are numeros legends associated with the manifestation of the Lord in Tirumala. According to one legend, the temple has a murti (deity) of Lord Venkateswara, which it is believed shall remain here for the entire duration of the present Kali yuga. There is an interesting story related to Lord Venkateshwara and Balaji Temple.

Lord Balaji

 

Why married couple visit this temple

Tirupati, the Home of Lord Venkateswara has long been the destination of many a newly wed couple. The temple is believed to have a particular signification for newly weds as it is believed to be place where Lord Venkateswara married Padmavathy.

Goddess Laxmi leaves Lord Vishnu

An interesting tale forms the backdrop to the temple. Quarrels are not unknown between happily wed couples and the divine ones are no different. Following a spat with Lord Vishnu, Goddess Lakshmi left her heavenly abode and came down to the earth. Here she stayed in a hermitage on the banks of the Godavari.

Lord Brahma and Lord Shiva tried to help

Missing his beloved, Lord Vishnu went to search of her and this search brought him to earth. Ultimately his quest brought him to the Seshadri hills where he stopped to rest in an anthill. Upset by the separation between Vishnu and Lakshmi, Lord Brahma and Lord Shiva decided to intervene. Taking the guise of a cow and a calf they went to live at the place of a Chola king.

The cowherd took them everyday to graze in the Seshadri hills where the cow would secretly visit the anthill where Vishnu was living without sustenance. Emptying her milk, the cow would then return to the palace.

The cowherd was angry as the cow never yielded any milk to him. He watched movements carefully and his explorations brought him to the anthill. In trying to ascertain what lay beneath the anthill, he struck it with an axe thus injuring Vishnu on the forehead.

Tirupati temple

Lord Vishnu is injured

In search of herbs to heal the wound, Lord Vishnu wandered far and wide. His wanderings brought him to the Shrine of Sri Varahaswamy – the third incarnation of Vishnu as a boar. Here, he sought permission to stay, but Varahaswamy wanted a rental to be paid; Vishnu pleaded that he was poor now and needed rent free accommodation. To reciprocate this gesture of goodwill, he said he would tell his devotees to worship Varahaswamy before they worshipped him. The contract sealed, Vishnu built a hermitage and lived there waited on by a devotee, Vakuladevi who looked after him like a mother. In a nearby kingdom ruled King Akasha Rajan.

Devi Padmavathy

Childless for many years, he had one day found a beautiful baby girl sleeping on a golden lotus in a golden box while ploughing the fields. He had named her Padmavathy. A beautiful and accomplished girl, Padmavathy had been granted a boon in her earlier birth that she would be married to Lord Vishnu. One day, Vishnu, who had been renamed Srinivasan by his devotee and foster mother Vakuladevi, went hunting in the forest. His wandering led him to a garden with a pond. Srinivasan was thirsty and tired. After drinking from the pond, he rested in the shade of a tree. Soon the soft singing of Padmavathy who was dancing in the garden with her companions roused him. He was stunned by her beauty and drawn to her. She too seemed to be drawn to him, but the angry attendants thinking him a mere hunter drove him away.

Depressed and unhappy he poured his troubles out to Vakuladevi. Now for the first time, he revealed to her who he really was and also told her the story of Padmavathy. In the meanwhile, Padmavathy was dreaming of Srinivasa. She had no idea who he really was and knew that her parents would never let her be married to a hunter.

Srinivasa urged Vakuladevi to approach Padmavathy’s father, Akasha Raja, with the marriage proposal. In the meanwhile he disguised himself as a soothsayer and went to the court of Akasha Raja. There, he assured Padmavathy that the hunter she had fallen in love with was no ordinary man but the Lord and told her that the worries would soon be over. Padmavathy too poured out her heart to her parents. At about the same time, Vakuladevi arrived with the marriage proposal. After consulting with the sages Akasha Raja accepted the proposal and invited Srinivasa to attend the wedding on Friday, the 10th day of Vaikasi.

Srinivasa now had arrangements to make. He sought a loan of one crore and 14 lakh coins of gold from Kubera and had Viswakarma, the divine architect create heavenly surroundings in the Seshadri hills.

The day of the wedding arrived, Lord Srinivasa was bathed in holy waters and dressed in jeweled ornaments befitting a royal bride groom. Then he set off in a procession for the court of Akasha Raja. There Padmavathy waited radiant in her beauty. Srinivasa was hailed with an arthi and led to the marriage hall. There the queen and King washed his feet while sage Vasishta chanted the Vedic mantras. Soon the wedding was over and it was time for Padmavathy to take leave of her parents.

Together, they lived for all eternity while Goddess Lakshmi, understanding the commitments of Lord Vishnu, chose to live in his heart forever.

Kalyan Utsav celebrated union of Lord Vishnu and Goddess Laxmi

Tirupati, today, stands as a special place, commemorating the marriage between the two. Everyday, a kalyana utsavam celebrates the divine union in a celebration that stretches to eternity. Even today, during the Brahmotsavam at the temple, turmeric, kumkum and a sari are sent from the temple to Tiruchanur, the abode of Padmavathy. In fact Tirupati is rarely visited without paying a visit to Tiruchanur.

In the light of this background, it has become the favored destination of many newly wed couples who pray for a happy wedding – a wedding like that of Srinivasa and Padmavathy.

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Indian Mythology Lakshmi

Vidya lakshmi – Ashta Lakshmi

In Hindu religion and mythology, Goddess Lakshmi has great importance. She has eight forms and called Ashta Lakshmi. Lakshmi,the hindu goddess of beauty, wealth and fertility has eight iconic manifestations. Know about Vidya Lakshmi here who symbolizes knowledge.

Vidya Lakshmi

Vidya means knowledge as well as education, not just degrees or diplomas from the university, but real all-round education.  Education is not mere studies, but divine education also. Serenity, Regularity, Absence of Vanity, Sincerity, Simplicity, Veracity, Equanimity, Fixity, Non-irritability, Adaptability Humility, Tenacity, Integrity, Nobility, Magnanimity, Charity, Generosity and Purity are the eighteen qualities imbibed through proper education that only can give immortality. Vidya Lakshmi is the understanding and the knowledge to mould the ordinary life into the Divine Life.

Vidya Lakshmi – The provider of knowledge

In this for the Mother is four-armed, in white garments, carries two lotuses, other two hands depicting abhaya mudra and varada mudra, similar to Goddess Saraswati.

Vidya-Lakshmi Prayer Song:

Pranatha Suresvari, Bhaarathi, Vaargavi,

Shokavinaashini, Rathnamaye, Manimaya

Bhooshitha Karnavibhooshana

Shanthisamaavrutha Haasyamukhe

Navanithi Dhaayini, Kalimala Haarini

Kaamyaphalapradha, Haasyayuthe Jaya

Jaya He, Madhusoodhana Kaamini

Vidhyaalakshmi, Paalayamaam ||

Ashta Lakshmi

There are eight forms of goddess, which symbolizes various aspects of human behaviour and fortune. Remembering them removes all obstacles from ones path and guides a human being towards well being. These forms are:

1. Aadi – (The Primeval Goddess) or Maha Lakshmi (The Great Goddess)
2. Dhana or Aishwarya (The Goddess of Prosperity and Wealth)
3. Dhaanya (Goddess of Food grains)
4. Gaja (The Elephant Goddess)
5. Santana (The Goddess of Progeny)
6. Veera/ Dhairya (The Goddess of Valor and Courage)
7. Vidya(The Goddess of Knowledge)
8. Vijaya/ Jaya  (The Goddess of Victory)

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Indian Mythology Lakshmi

Santana lakshmi – Ashta Lakshmi

In Hindu religion and mythology, Goddess Lakshmi has great importance. She has eight forms and called Ashta Lakshmi. She, the hindu goddess of beauty, wealth and fertility has eight iconic manifestations. Know about Sanatana Lakshmi here.

Santana Lakshmi

Her name she is bestower offsprings. One who worships Santana Lakshmi are bestowed with the wealth of good children possessing with good health and a long life.

This form of  Maa is depicted as six-armed, holding two pitchers, a sword, and a shield; the other two hands are engaged in abhaya mudra and most importantly, for holding a child on her lap. The child is seen holding a lotus.

Santana Lakshmi – Bestower of children

Santana-Lakshmi Prayer Song:

Ayi, Gaja Vaahini, Moohini, Chakrini,

Raagavivardhaini, Jnanamaye

Gunagavaaridhi, Lokayithai Shini

Sapthaswara Maya Gaanamathe, Sakala

Suraasura Dheva Muneeshvara

Maanavavandhitha Paadhayuthe, Jaya Jaya He,

Madhusoodhana Kaamini Santhaanalakshmi, Paalayamaam ||

Ashta Lakshmi

There are eight forms of goddess, which symbolizes various aspects of human behaviour and fortune. Remembering them removes all obstacles from ones path and guides a human being towards well being. These forms are:

1. Aadi – (The Primeval Goddess) or Maha Lakshmi (The Great Goddess)
2. Dhana or Aishwarya (The Goddess of Prosperity and Wealth)
3. Dhaanya (Goddess of Food grains)
4. Gaja (The Elephant Goddess)
5. Santana (The Goddess of Progeny)
6. Veera/ Dhairya (The Goddess of Valor and Courage)
7. Vidya(The Goddess of Knowledge)
8. Vijaya/ Jaya  (The Goddess of Victory)

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Indian Mythology Lakshmi

Dhairya lakshmi / Veera lakshmi – Ashta Lakshmi

In Hindu religion and mythology, Goddess Lakshmi has great importance. She has eight forms and called Ashta Lakshmi. Lakshmi,the hindu goddess of beauty, wealth and fertility has eight iconic manifestations. Know about Dhairya Lakshmi here which symbolizes perseverance and courage.

Dhairya or Veera Lakshmi

Dhairya means Courage and perseverance. This form of mother Lakshmi grants the boon of infinite courage and strength. She is  Bestower of valour in battles and courage and strength for overcoming difficulties in life. If  one has infinite inner courage , he is bound to be victorious.

Dhairya Lakshmi – perseverance or courage

In this form, Mother is Eight-armed carrying chakra, shankh, bow, arrow, trishul (or sword), gold bar or book , other two hands depicting abhaya mudra and varada mudra, she wears red sari. She symbolizes the brave aspect of a human being, which is sometimes required for success.

Ashta Lakshmi

There are eight forms of goddess, which symbolizes various aspects of human behaviour and fortune. Remembering them removes all obstacles from ones path and guides a human being towards well being. These forms are:

1. Aadi – (The Primeval Goddess) or Maha Lakshmi (The Great Goddess)
2. Dhana or Aishwarya (The Goddess of Prosperity and Wealth)
3. Dhaanya (Goddess of Food grains)
4. Gaja (The Elephant Goddess)
5. Santana (The Goddess of Progeny)
6. Veera/ Dhairya (The Goddess of Valor and Courage)
7. Vidya(The Goddess of Knowledge)
8. Vijaya/ Jaya  (The Goddess of Victory)

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Indian Mythology Lakshmi

Gaja Lakshmi – A form of Ashta Lakshmi

In Hindu religion and mythology, Goddess Lakshmi has great importance. She has eight forms and called Ashta Lakshmi. Lakshmi,the hindu goddess of beauty, wealth and fertility has eight iconic manifestations. Know about Gaja Lakshmi here which symbolizes prosperity.

Gaja Lakshmi

Gaja Lakshmi or Elephant Lakshmi is the giver of power and royal splendor.  It is believed that Gaja-Lakshmi helped Lord Indra regain his lost wealth from the depth of the ocean. She  is the bestower and protector of wealth, prosperity, grace, abundance and royalty. She emerged during churning of ocean along with elephants. Elephants  sprayed water on her like the ritual of consecration or ‘abhishek’. This act depicted the divine acknowledgement of Lakshmi’s powers and capacity to make the world rich and vibrant.

Gaja Lakshmi – The provider of wealth and prosperity

In this form Mother is  depicted seated on a lotus, flanked on both side by an elephant (gaja). She is shown as seated in padmasanayogic posture, and has four arms. In each of her upper pair of arms, she carries a lotus, and the lower hands are generally shown in abhay and varada mudra.

Importance of Gaja Lakshmi

Lakshmi’s association with elephants symbolize her royal or sovereign powers. Elephants are liked by Goddess Lakshmi since they have a royal, graceful presence and immense strength. They do not harbor enmity with other animals in the jungle and always have access to abundant food. Their sheer size keeps any potential enemies at bay. They walk with pomp,grandeur, and are naturally beautiful.

The King of Gods ‘Indra’ rides his royal and divine elephant ‘Airavata’. Indra is also the rain bearing God and his elephant symbolizes the rain bearing clouds. Together they nourish the crops on earth and depict fertility. Elephants are therefore, associated with Goddess Lakshmi, the Goddess of beauty and fertility.

Gaja Lakshmi prayer song

Jaya, Jaya, Dhurgathi, Naashini, Kaamini Sarva Phalapradha, Shaastramaye, Rathagajathuraga Padhaathi Samaavrutha Parijanamanditha Lokamathe, Hariharabhrahma Supoojitha Sevitha Thaapanivaarini, Paadhayute, Jaya Jaya He, Madhusoodhana Kaamini Shri Gajalakshmi, Paalayamaam ||

Ashta Lakshmi

There are eight forms of goddess, which symbolizes various aspects of human behaviour and fortune. Remembering them removes all obstacles from ones path and guides a human being towards well being. These forms are:

1. Aadi – (The Primeval Goddess) or Maha Lakshmi (The Great Goddess)
2. Dhana or Aishwarya (The Goddess of Prosperity and Wealth)
3. Dhaanya (Goddess of Food grains)
4. Gaja (The Elephant Goddess)
5. Santana (The Goddess of Progeny)
6. Veera/ Dhairya (The Goddess of Valor and Courage)
7. Vidya(The Goddess of Knowledge)
8. Vijaya/ Jaya  (The Goddess of Victory)

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Lakshmi

Aadi Lakshmi – Ashta Lakshmi

In Hindu religion and mythology, Goddess Lakshmi has great importance. She has eight forms and called Ashta Lakshmi. Lakshmi,the hindu goddess of beauty, wealth and fertility has eight iconic manifestations. Know about Aadi Lakshmi here.

Aadi Lakshmi

Primeval Lakshmi or Maha Lakshmi or Great Lakshmi is ancient form of Goddess and incarnation of Lakshmi as daughter of sage Bhrigu. She is often depicted as wife of Lord Vishnu. In this form mother is four-armed, carries a lotus and a white flag, other two hands depicting the Abhaya mudra and varada mudra. Aadi means the first one. In this form the Mother Goddess blesses an individual with Power and Respect and also blesses with recognition.

Aadi Lakshmi

Mother resides with Lord Narayana in the Vaikuntha, the abode of Lord Narayana. She is known as Ramaa, her name here means – she who brings happiness to mankind. She is also known as Indira (who holds lotus or purity in the hands or heart.) Divine Mother’s this form is normally seen serving Sri Narayana. Lord Narayana is omnipresent. Aadi Lakshmi or Ramaa serving Sri Narayana is symbolic of her serving the whole creation.

Though Sri Narayana is attended to, by innumerable devotees, still she personally loves to serve the Lord. Actually mother and Narayana are not two different entities but one only. In many depictions, we see her form sitting in the lap of Sri Narayana.

Ashta Lakshmi

There are eight forms of goddess, which symbolizes various aspects of human behaviour and fortune. Remembering them removes all obstacles from ones path and guides a human being towards well being. These forms are:

1. Aadi – (The Primeval Goddess) or Maha Lakshmi (The Great Goddess)
2. Dhana or Aishwarya (The Goddess of Prosperity and Wealth)
3. Dhaanya (Goddess of Food grains)
4. Gaja (The Elephant Goddess)
5. Santana (The Goddess of Progeny)
6. Veera/ Dhairya (The Goddess of Valor and Courage)
7. Vidya(The Goddess of Knowledge)
8. Vijaya/ Jaya  (The Goddess of Victory)

Categories
Indian Mythology Lakshmi

The story of Goddess Lakshmi

The story of Goddess Lakshmi

Lakshmi, The Hindu Goddess is Goddess of wealth, beauty and fertility.   Her four hands represents the four goal of human life , dharma, kama, artha and moksha.  She  is also called Sri or Thirumagal because she is endowed with six auspicious and divine qualities and also because she is source of strength even to Vishnu.

She is consort of Lord Vishnu. When Vishnu incarnated on earth as Ram and Krishna, she also took incarnation as Sita, Radha, Rukmini and Satyabhama.

Like Goddess Durga’s nine manifestations, She too has eight iconic manifestations.  The eight fold form of goddess is known as Ashta Lakshmi. It is believed that these eight fold forms fulfill human necessities and desire through their individual nature and manifestations.

Eight forms of Goddess Lakshmi

The eight forms of Lakshmi or Ashta lakshmi comprises of :

1. Aadi Lakshmi is ancient form of Goddess.

2. Dhana Lakshmi provider of money and gold.

3.. Dhanya lakshmi provider of agricultural wealth.

4. Gaja Lakshmi provider of animal wealth like cattle  and elephant.

5. Santana Lakshmi bestower of offsprings.

6. Veer Lakshmi   bestower of valor in battles and courage and strength for overcoming difficulties in life.

7. Vidya Lakshmi  the bestower of knowledge of arts and sciences.

8. Vijaya Lakshmi  bestower of victory, not only in battles but also in conquering hurdles in order to beget success.

Legends

Gods (sura) and demons (asura) were mortal at one time. Amrit, the divine nectar that grant immortality can be obtained by churning the kshirsagar (ocean of milk). The churning commenced with devas on one side and asura on the other side. Vishnu incarnated as Kurma, the tortoise, and a mountain was placed on the turtle as a churning pole. Vasuki, king of serpent was wrapped around the mountain to churn the ocean. According to Vishnu puran, Goddess Lakshmi came out of the ocean bearing lotus along with divine cow Kamdhenu, Varuni, the tree Parijat, the Apsaras, the Chandra and Dhanvantari with Amrita.  When she appeared she was given the option to go to devas or asura , she chose devas side and among all the deities she chose to be with Lord Vishnu.

According to Garuda purana, Linga purana and  Padma purana, she is considered to be daughter of sage Bhrigu and his wife Khayati, and was named Bhargavi.

Celebrations

Many Hindus worship Lakshmi on Diwali, the festival of light. This festival is considered as most important and joyous festival of the year. Sharad purnima is another occasion when Lakshmi is worshiped in Bengal and Odisha.

In Japan :

Goddess kishijoten, of Japan,is Goddess of beauty, fortune and prosperity, corresponds to Goddess Lakshmi.

In Tibet and Nepal:

Goddess Vasudha is closely analogous to Goddess Lakshmi.

The pronunciation is Lux-me like luxury not lacks-me, like something lacking. Though often depicted standing on lotus, pictures of Lakshmi, kept on altars  depict her seated comfortably because you want her to stay for a while.

Recommended Reading:

Seven unknown facts about Karna

Unknown fact about Draupadi – Why she had five husbands

When incarnation of Lord Vishnu could not defeat his bhakta

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Festival Indian Mythology Lakshmi

Diwali Celebrations

Diwali festival, the festival of lights

During the second part of the year, Indians celebrate a lot of important festivals with zeal and vigour. During this period, Navratra, Dusshera and Diwali are celebrated. Diwali is one of them, which holds a very auspicious place in Hindu festivals.

In most parts of India, Diwali is celebrated by performing worship of Goddess Lakshmi. This is a ritual performed on Diwali day (the third day) in order to seek divine blessings from the Goddess of Wealth, Lakshmi, who helps those who strive to achieve wealth. It consists of an elaborate ritual using grains, leaves, coins, and idols to prepare a ceremony.

Laxmi and Ganesh

During this ritual, one can invoke the Goddess by reciting the Vedic mantras or by thinking of her being showered with gold coins with two elephants standing one each side of her as you chant her name. Offerings are made and at the end, the aarti is performed quietly and a peaceful atmosphere should accompany the entire ritual.

Cleaning and decoration

On this occasion, lot of preparations take place prior to Lakshmi pooja. Every household is cleaned, this indicates to get rid yourself of any unnecessary elements in your environment. To welcome the Goddess, rangolis are created on the entrance of houses, small feet depicting Goddess’s feet are also painted.

 

Rangoli Patterns

Easy rangoli pattern for Diwali

Deepak, earthen pots

Diwali is nothing in absence of earthen pots of Diyas or Deepaks. Legend is that people of Ayodhya have lit earthen pots when Shri Ram returned along with his wife Sita, after slaying Ravana.

Earthen pots or Deepak on Diwali

Wear new clothes and jewels on the second and third days. If you are a woman, try to obtain a sari, the traditional Indian dress for women. If you’re a woman, wear an Indian blouse(known as sari) and top. Men normally wear kurthas, the national clothes for Indian men.

 

The Tradition of Gambling

The tradition of gambling on Diwali also has a legend behind it. It is believed that on this day, Goddess Parvati played dice with her husband Lord Shiva, and she decreed that whosoever gambled on Diwali night would prosper throughout the ensuing year. Diwali is associated with wealth and prosperity in many ways, and the festival of ‘Dhanteras’ (‘dhan’ = wealth; ‘teras’ = 13th) is celebrated two days before the festival of lights.

Lord Shiva and Parvati gambling on Diwali