LAKSHMI – An abundance of WEALTH OF ALL SORTS
There are a couple of stories about how Goddess Lakshmi came to be. Here’s one of the more popular ones.
An old Sage, Durvasa, met Lord Indra, the King of the Gods, in his capital Amravati, and out of respect gave him a garland of flowers. Indra was distracted and casually put the garland on his elephant’s head and the elephant promptly threw it to the ground.
Insulted by this, the Sage told Indra that his ego and arrogance had gotten the better of him. He cursed his kingdom and said that he and the other gods would be ruined. And sure enough, in the days to come, the people of the kingdom lost their strength, their desires were uncontrollable, and they became greedy, distracted and corrupt. Taking advantage of the situation the Demons attacked and defeated the Gods of Amravati. In despair they went to churn the ocean to get Amrut that would make them immortal. The Goddess Lakshmi, seated on a lotus, rose from this churning, and came to the rescue! She chose the side of the gods, who then got their power and were victorious over the demons.
People worship Lakshmi for material fortune but also more importantly for spiritual wealth. And if this Goddess of Fortune thinks that you are too big-for-your-boots, she could get angry, which would not be good!
She is worshipped with the lotus flower, her best one, and sandalwood, nuts, and fruits. She is also plied with sweets made of jaggery, rice and coconut.
Her big day is during Diwali, when people perform the Lakshmi pooja to invite her into their house with diyas.
Written by: Pereena Lamba. Pereena is a freelance writer, editor and creative consultant. She is also co-author of Totally Mumbai.