Meet a Goddess: Lakshmi

Each of the three Gods in the trinity also has a female counterpart/wife/consort. Lakshmi is the wife of Vishnu. It is said that she is his strength and when Vishnu takes a body as an avatar, that Lakshmi becomes his consort on earth as well and that she is both  Sita and Radha.

You can often recognize Lakshmi in pictures by the gold coins pouring from her hands. She is the goddess of wealth, both material wealth and spiritual wealth. The lotus that she sits or stands on is a famous symbol of being in the world but not tainted by it. A lotus floats over water but its petals do not become wet. It stays clean even in dirty water. This symbol being associated with Lakshmi is a reminder to enjoy the wealth of the world but not become consumed by it.

She is one of the deities who is worshiped during Diwali, the New Year.

From Wikipedia:

Lakshmi is the embodiment of love, from which devotion to God or Bhakti flows. It is through Love/Bhakti or Lakshmi that the atma or soul is able to reach God or Vishnu. Lakshmi plays a special role as the mediator between her husband Lord Vishnu and His worldly devotees. While Vishnu is often conceived of as a stern, easily perturbed patriarch, Lakshmi represents a more soothing, warm and approachable mother figure who willingly intervenes in the lives of devotees on His behalf.

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About Ambaa

Ambaa is an American woman of European ancestry who is also a practicing Hindu. She is fascinated with questions of philosophy, culture, and the meaning of life. Join her in the journey to explore how a non-Indian convert to Hinduism experiences her religion.

  • Drekfletch

    I’ve also seen the lotus emphasized as rooted in the mud to describe the contamination side of the metaphor.

    • Ambaa

      Good point, I may have glossed over that symbolism too quickly!

      • Drekfletch

        lol You are describing the Gods in 3 or 4 paragraphs. Gloss is inevitable.

        • Ambaa

          True, true. And I’m happy to have people fill in more details! :)

  • Tim Kavi

    Great job! Thank you for sharing this. :-)

  • seeker

    One of Lakshmi’s mantras is my favorite: Om Sri Maha Lakshmiya swaha. My android definitely isn’t Hindu–it changed Maha to Omaha twice:-)