Goddess Lakshmi is the Goddess of wealth and prosperity. People invoke Her Blessings to attain wealth. Wealth or money is essential because we aspire for material comforts which can be attained only if one has money. Goddess Lakshmi fervently worshipped on occasion of Diwali is often depicted as holding a pot which showers gold coins. But does worshipping Goddess Lakshmi mean that you are asking for shower of gold coins?
We need to understand Goddess Lakshmi in some detail. The mystical meaning of the word Lakshmi in Sanskrit is: to know your goal. It comes from the root word lakṣ (लक्ष्) which means to know and lakṣa(लक्ष) which means goal/objective. We can then think of Goddess Lakshmi as that divine energy that helps you understand and reach towards your true goals. Goddess Lakshmi is the eternal consort of Narayana, who represents the supreme state of self –realization. Therefore, the primary role of Goddess Lakshmi is only to take the devotee towards the goal of self-realization.
Goddess Lakshmi symbolizes Sattvic principles. She is shown draped in a red saree, adorned with gold ornaments, seated or standing on a lotus and flanked by elephants. She has four hands, which represent the four goals of human life which are Moral Duty (Dharma), Love (Kama), Prosperity (Arth) and Liberation (Moksh). Lakshmi sitting atop a lotus flower that blossoms in murky waters signifies that one can has to rise above negativities and vices that seek to pull you down, with higher qualities of purity and serenity. The elephants watering Her Resplendent Self, denote the washing away of memories and sins and being completely pure in the present moment. Goddess Lakshmi denotes that Shakti or energy of the Divine that assist you in achieving your pure desires, which are without any greed, or reference of past and future, and completely rooted in the present moment.
Goddess Lakshmi is worshipped in her eight manifestations as Ashtalakshmi. She presides over eight aspects, realisation of which take you towards your supreme goal of self-realisation. These 8 aspects are your true nature that must be realised. These are prosperity, nurturing, support, progeny, courage, power, knowledge and spiritual awakening.
Eight Manifestations of Goddess Lakshmi:
Dhana Lakshmi: Dhana means money. Dhana Laxmi is the Goddess of wealth. She is draped in red garments and one of her hands showers gold coins.
Dhanya Lakshmi: Dhanya means grain. Dhanya Lakshmi is the Goddess of agricultural wealth. She is draped in green garments and She holds in some of her arms a banana, paddy crop and sugarcane.
Gaja Lakshmi: Gaja means elephant. Gaja Lakshmi is the Goddess of animal wealth which includes cattle and animals like elephant that depict power of royalty. She is draped in red garments and surrounded by two elephants bathing Her with water pots.
Santana Lakshmi: Santana means progeny. Santana Lakshmi is the Goddess of fertility and progeny. She grants children to maintain generations. She is depicted holding a child.
Dhairya Lakshmi: Veera Lakshmi or Dhairya Lakshmi is the goddess who bestows valour during battles and courage to overcome challenges in everyday life. She is depicted carrying weapons like chakra, bow, arrow and sword in some of her many hands.
Vijaya Lakshmi: Vijaya Lakshmi is the one who grants victories in battles and success in overcoming hurdles.
Vidya Lakshmi: Vidya means knowledge. Vidya Lakshmi is the Goddess who is the provider of knowledge.
Adi/Maha Lakshmi: Adi Lakshmi is the first manifestation of Lakshmi and is the Shakti behind all existence. She is the one who bestows spiritual liberation or Moksha.
Worshipping Goddess Lakshmi helps you reach your goals in a wholesome way with Her Eight Manifestations. Money alone cannot be your goal. Money is only one of the 8 aspects of Her that assist you towards your goal of realizing support, nurturing and abundance; creativity; power and courage; knowledge and wisdom; and finally, your own divinity. By Her blessings, you walk on the path of true life purpose with Sattvic qualities.
Material well-being is a consequence of your being on your true mission in life, and not a mission or goal itself.