Sri Ashta Lakshmi – God as Mother of Prosperity

By Swami Adhyatmananda

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Almighty Lord Sri Narayana or Mahavishnu is known for looking after the welfare and well being of the phenomenal world or the creation.  The power or energy of Sri Narayana is Sri Lakshmi.  Mother Lakshmi is always identified with the Lord, and hence they are known as Sri Lakshmi Narayana.  Mother Lakshmi is a mother of prosperity, peace and illumination.  Without Her grace one can’t have inner peace or perennial joy. 

Lakshmi is commonly known as Goddess of wealth.  Wealth is not only the money.  Tradition and values of life is also wealth.  Our family and progress is also wealth.  Our belongings such as land, properties, animals, grains, etc as well as virtues like patience, persistence, purity etc in the form of a character are nothing but our wealth and so also glory or victory.  Thus this eightfold  Sri  Lakshmi is known as Sri Ashta Lakshmi. 

Mother Lakshmi is the source and provider of the following enumerated well-known sixteen types of wealth and many more.  (1) Fame (2) Knowledge (3) Courage and Strength (4) Victory (5) Good Children (6) Valour (7) Gold and other gross properties (8) Grains in abundance (9) Happiness (10) Bliss (11) Intelligence (12) Beauty (13) Higher Aim, High Thinking and Higher Meditation too (14) Morality and Ethics (15) Good Health (16) Long Life.  Let us glance upon the glory of mother Ashta Lakshmi’s individual nature and forms. 

  1. Adi Lakshmi:  Mother Lakshmi resides with Lord Narayana in the Vaikuntha, the abode of Lord Narayana.  She is known as Ramaa, means bringing happiness to the 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.  Adi Lakshmi or Ramaa  Lakshmi serves Sri Narayana is symbolic of her serving the whole creation.  Though Sri Narayana is attended by innumerable devotees, still she personally loves to serve the Lord.  Actually mother Adi Lakshmi and Narayana are not two different entities but one only.  Many a place we see her form sitting in the lap of Sri Narayana.
  2. Dhanya Lakshmi:  Dhanya means grains.  This includes all kind of purified food containing all essential vitamins, minerals, protein, calcium, carbohytrade and so on.  With the grace of mother Dhanya Lakshmi one gets all essential nutrients grains,  fruits, vegetables and other foods.
  3. Dhairya Lakshmi:  This form of mother Lakshmi grants the boon of infinite courage and strength.  Those, who are in tune with infinite inner power, are always bound to have victory. Those who worship mother Dhairya Lakshmi they live and lead a life with tremendous patience and inner stability.
  4. Gaja Lakshmi:  In the holy book of Srimad Bhagavata the story of the churning of the ocean by Gods and demons is explained in detail.  Author, the Sage Vyasa writes that Lakshmi came out of the ocean during the churning of the ocean (Samudra Manthan).  So she is known as a daughter of the ocean. She came out of the ocean sitting on a full-bloomed lotus and also having lotus flowers in both hands with two elephants by her sides, holding a beautiful vessels filled with milk and pouring it over Sri Lakshmi.  Many a time we see Sri Lakshmi standing in the lotus and elephants are pouring nectar over her. During the festival of the lamps or the Deepavali along with Sri Lakshmi the Ganapati or the Elephant God also gets worshipped; that signifies the protection from evils as well as abundant grace and blessings for additional prosperities!
  5. Santan Lakshmi:  In the family life, the children are the greatest treasure. Those who worship this particular form of Sri Lakshmi, known as a Santan Lakshmi, are bestowed with the grace of mother Lakshmi and have wealth in the form of desirable children with good health & long life.
  6. Vijay Lakshmi:  Vijay is victory.  Vijay is to get success in all undertakings and all different facets of life. Some are strong physically but weak mentally while others are economically rich but poor in their attitude and cannot exert any influence. Vijay is to have all encompassing victory. Vijay is to rejoice glory of our real nature – Vijay is to conquer the lower nature. Vijay is the victory in external and internal wars and of course eternal wars! Hence those, with grace of mother Vijay Lakshmi, have victory everywhere, at all time, in all conditions. Victory to Vijay Lakshmi !!
  7. Dhana Lakshmi:  Dhana is wealth.  But as per Rigved’s Purush Shukta Dhana is not only a wealth in coins and currency.  Even Sun and moon, fire and stars, rains and nature, oceans and mountains, rivers and streams, all these are our wealth, so are the progeny, our inner will power, our character and our virtues. With the grace of mother Dhana Lakshmi we will get all these in abundance.
  8. Vidya Lakshmi: Vidya is education. Education is not mere studies to receive the degrees and diplomas certificates from the educational institutes or universities. Rev. Sri Gurudev Swami Sivanandaji Maharaj says:

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 “itis” that only can give immortality.  

Education, which cannot give peace to the soul or cannot give the knowledge of the Self and the inner satisfaction, is not education. Education, which cannot wipe the tears of others, known or unknown, is not education. Education is the understanding the situation and silence or art of living and leading the life that can make the life, the Life Divine, where the ultimate Goal of the life is the God-Realisation.

  Such Education can come only through discrimination and dispassion. One can have abundant amount of money, but if he does not know how to make good use of it, it will work to his disadvantage. If an alcoholic or a drug addict gets a big sum of money, it will only hasten his downward journey to destruction.  Vidya Lakshmi is the understanding and the knowledge to mold the ordinary life into the Divine Life.  A life of Service, a life of feeling for a fellow being, a life of charity and generosity, a life of purity, a life for seeking a soul within the soul and a life with an ultimate aim of the realisation of the ABSOLUTE is the only real education, which can come only with the grace of Vidya Lakshmi. 

Thus all these eightfold Sri Lakshmi is ultimately one single power only. That is Adishakti.

    The perennial and unchangeable, ever lasting, eternal truth or the absolute is this Supreme blessedness, the mother Adishakti. She is the origin. She is the light. She is the power, the wisdom and the strength. She is the Supreme Joy, peace, bliss and illumination.

    May Mother Adishakti’s and Sri Ashta Lakshmi’s grace be ever upon we all, to receive Her divine grace for being befitting servant of the mankind in Her cosmic kingdom. Om Shanti.

 

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