Lakshmi is a Hindu goddess of wealth and good fortune.
Lakshmi is the goddess of wealth, fortune, power, luxury, beauty, fertility, and auspiciousness. She holds the promise of material fulfillment and contentment. She is described as restless, whimsical yet maternal, with her arms raised to bless and to grant.
Draped in red saree, bedecked with gold ornaments, seated on a lotus, pot in hand, flanked by white elephants, the image of Lakshmi adorns most Hindu homes and business establishments. To symbolize her many attributes, Lakshmi may appear in any of eight different forms, representing everything from knowledge to food grains.
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The Powers of Lakshmi
Lakshmi is the divine power that transforms dreams into reality.
She is Prakriti, the perfect creation: self-sustaining, self-contained Nature.
She is Maya, the delightful delusion, the dream-like expression of divinity that makes life comprehensible, hence worth living.
She is Shakti, energy, boundless and bountiful.
The Greeks had Core, the corn-goddess, who was known to Romans as Demeter. The Egyptians had Isis, Sumerians had Innana, Babylonians had Ishtar, Persians had Anahita and Vikings had Freia. Shri-Lakshmi is the Hindu form of the timeless mother-goddess who nurtures and nourishes all life.
In India, not only Hindus but also Buddhists and Jains adore Lakshmi. Buddhism and Jainism are primarily monastic orders that turned away from Vedic rituals and Brahmanical dogmas about 2,500 years ago. They, however, could not abandon this delightful goddess.
In the Buddhist Jatakas, there are tales of men and women who request the goddess Lakshmi to drive away from the goddess of misfortune, Kalakanni. Images of Kubera, the pot-bellied yaksha-king and treasurer of the gods, who is closely associated with Lakshmi, adorn most Buddhist shrines.