Shri Mahalakshmi (Laxmi) – the Goddess of Wealth

Goddess Lakshmi (Laxmi)is popularly known as the Goddess of Wealth and Prosperity. But prosperity here refers to both spiritual as well as material. She is also called Shri Mahalakshmi as she has six divine qualities or gunas of light, wisdom, fortune, fertility, generosity and courage and personifies beauty, grace and charm itself. She is the consort of Lord Vishnu, the protector, and is considered to be his superior spiritual feminine energy. The worship of Mahalakshmi is said to bring good luck and fortune as she is the one who purifies, empowers and uplifts the individual.

Shri Mahalakshmi-the goddess of wealth has always been in existence though she is said to be born in the samudra manthan or churning of Ksheersagar. She is also said to be born to the sage Bhrigu and is therefore also known as Bhargavi. Every time Lord Vishnu takes birth on earth as an avatar, Goddess Lakshmi also comes to earth as an avatar or reincarnation. Mahalakshmi is also the presiding Goddess in Devi Mahatmyam or Durga Saptashati consisting of 700 verses in praise of the Goddess Durga, an incarnation of Shakti or Power.

She is commonly depicted as sitting or standing on a full-bloomed lotus holding a lotus bud which represents beauty, purity and fertility. Her four hands imply the four ends of life–dharma, kama, artha and moksha which means righteousness, desires, wealth and freedom from the cycle of birth and death. Gold coins flow from her hands which is interpreted as those who worship her are showered with wealth. Two elephants spraying water on either side of Goddess Lakshmi stand for continuous effort guided by dharma, purity and wisdom will always lead to spiritual and material prosperity.

Shri Lakshmi is further considered to be the source of eight kinds of wealth and is worshiped in her eight secondary manifestations or incarnations. These are…
– Adi-Lakshmi, the primal mother goddess
– Dhanya-Lakshmi, the goddess of granary wealth or food
– Dhairya-Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth of courage
– Gaja-Lakshmi, the goddess of elephants, which denotes wealth of power and strength
– Santan-Lakshmi, the goddess of the wealth of progeny and continuity
– Vijaya-Lakshmi, the goddess for wealth of victory
– Vidya-Lakshmi, the goddess for wealth of knowledge and education
– Dhan-Lakshmi, the goddess of monetary wealth

Other than this more commonly known manifestations of Mahalakshmi are Aishwarya-Lakshmi, the goddess of prosperity, Bhagya-Lakshmi, the goddess of luck, Vaibhav-Lakshmi, the goddess of success, Vara-Lakshmi, one who gives boons, Saubhagya-Lakshmi, goddess of fortune, Rajya-Lakshmi, the goddess who blesses rulers. The list goes on as there are several regional interpretations of Goddess Lakshmi and one can even say that there are thousands of incarnations in which she is worshiped. She is the basis of all creation on earth and without her nothing would exist. In fact one will not get anything even if one goes begging without the grace of Shri Mahalakshmi. Lakshmi or wealth is also chanchala or fickle and therefore she does not stay at one place for long, hence Devi Mahalakshmi should be worshiped daily.

Though Shri Mahalakshmi is worshiped daily she is especially worshiped at Diwali, the festival lights which usually falls around end of October or beginning of November.

Lakshmi Gayatri Mantra

Mahalakshmi (Laxmi) Mantra
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SEbCUkVSajU&feature=endscreen&NR=1

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The Obstacle Remover – Shri Ganapati

Shri Ganapati or Shri Ganesh as he is also known, is widely known as the remover of obstacles. It is customary to invoke him before beginning any auspicious work and therefore is one of the most worshiped deity by Hindus. Other than this, Shri Ganapati is also the Lord of Budhi or intelligence and is also named Budhipriya. He is variously called Vighneshvara, Lord of obstacles who not only sets obstacles for those who need to be checked but also removes them.

Shri Ganapati is distinctive with a head of elephant though he has the body of a human. There are innumerable folklores as to how he got his elephant head. He is said to be the son of Parvati, Lord Shiva’s consort. She created him to guard the door while she was bathing. One of the most common stories is that Shiva beheaded him in anger when he refused to let Him go in and came between Him and Parvati. Later repenting for his deed he replaced it with an elephant’s head which was brought by his gana or squad. Shiva made him his squad’s leader or ‘pati’ which is why he is named Ganapati. He also granted that Shri Ganpati would be invoked before starting any work. Shri Ganesh has a brother Kartikeya, the Lord of War and there are several sibling rivalry stories about them too.

Shri Ganpati is also known as Ekdanta or having just one tusk. The story goes that he broke off his tusk himself to write when he was being dictated the Mahabharata. This is a symbol of supreme sacrifice made to complete the task given to him.Shri Ganapati is shown as having four hands and holds the broken tusk in his lower right hand and in the other he holds the rosary which implies that knowledge can be had with unrelenting, continuous effort. He holds a goad in his upper right hand with which he removes obstacles and the noose in the left hand imprisons all difficulties. His vahana or vehicle is the mouse which is said to denote his humbleness. Another view is that rats cause a lot of damage to crops and as an impediment remover Lord Ganapati rides it to control it. His elephant head symbolises wisdom while his trunk stands forOm, the symbol of the unknowable creator, God. He is usually offered Laddoos or round sweets along with other offerings.

Though Shri Ganapati is worshiped daily in most Indian household along with Shri Lakshmi, he is especially worshiped on Ganesh Chaturthi, which falls on the fourth day of the waxing moon. In addition to this he is always invoked before every ritual or the beginning of any enterprise. It is said that Shri Ganapati not only protects from adversity but also grants success and prosperity.

It is usual to recite the Mantra “Om Shri Ganeshaya Namah” before beginning anything, especially for success in education or before writing any text . Another Mantra which is chanted to invoke him is ” Om Gam Ganpataye Namah” especially for removal of obstacles in a journey or for the success of any new pursuit.

The following Youtube vedio is from the collection of LilaSakura
Watch Om Gum Ganapataye Namaha chanting in youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_h2rFVPCSPE

 

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