Sunday, October 3, 2010

Lakshmi Goddess of Wealth and Prosperity

Many Hindu families have Lakshmi as their household Goddess as she is the goddess of wealth and prosperity both in material and spiritual realms.  Lakshmi is derived from the Sanskrit word “Laksya” and means “aim” or “goal”.  Even though she is worshipped daily, the month of October is very festive as this is a special month.  Laksmi Puja is celebrated on the full moon night of Kojagari Purnima.  The Kajagari Purnima is a harvest festival.

Lakshmi is a very beautiful goddess with a golden complexion, four hands and either sitting or standing on a full-bloomed lotus or holding a lotus bud.  The four hands represent the four ends of human life – dharma (righteousness), karma (desires), artha (wealth) and moksha (liberation).

It is not uncommon to see gold coins cascading from her hands which suggests that any who worship her may gain wealth.  Lakshmi is always in beautiful gold embroidered red clothes; red symbolizes activity and gold symbolizes prosperity.  You may also see Lakshi with elephants on either side of her spraying water.  This symbolizes that through one’s dharma and guided by their wisdom and purity will lead them to material and spiritual prosperity.

On your altar place a nice red scarf and then a piece of gold material on top of that to represent Lakshmi. Place one Red candle on the left side and one Gold candle on the right.  In front of the candles place an earthen pitcher with five leaves, a betel nut, a flower, a coin, and some rice grains.  Place a small plate on top of the pitcher and place some more rice grains on top of that.  Then sprinkle turmeric in the shape of a lotus on top of the rice grains. Place either a statue of Lakshmi over the turmeric or a picture of Lakshmi holding coins on your alter. Place a statute of Ganesha to the southwest of Lakshmi on the cloth. Lay books that relate to your occupation with the idol.  Invoke Lakshmi with Vedric mantras, offer flowers to Lakshmi.  With a mixture of milk, ghee, honey and sugar in a flower blossom sprinkle on Lakshmi.  Light some sandalwood incense and make an offering of fruits, rice, coriander and cumin seeds and finish with a restful Aarti and small bell but do not clap hands.

May you and your home be blessed with wealth and prosperity.

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