On the auspicious occasion of Laxmipoojan, let us try and learn about Laxmi and why and how to worship the GODESS OF PROSPERITY...!
Lakshmi is the Hindu goddess of wealth, prosperity (both material and spiritual), light, wisdom, fortune, fertility, generosity and courage; and the embodiment of beauty, grace and charm. Also called Mahalakshmi, she is said to bring good luck, and is believed to protect her devotees from all kinds of misery and money-related sorrows. Lakshmi in Sanskrit is derived from its elemental form lakS, meaning "to perceive or observe". This is synonymous with lakṣya, meaning "aim" or "objective". The Hindu sacred texts, the Vedas call Mahalakshmi as Lakshyayidhi Lakshmihi which means she is the one who has the object and aim of uplifting mankind.
In Hinduism, Devas (gods) and asuras (demons) were both mortal at one time. Amrit, the divine nectar that would grant immortality, could be obtained only by churning the Kshirsagar (Ocean of Milk). The devas and asuras both sought immortality and decided to churn the Kshirsagar. With the devas on one side and the asuras on the other, the samudra-manthan commenced. Vishnu incarnated as Kurma, the tortoise, on whom was placed a mountain as a churning pole; Vasuki, the great venom-spewing serpent, was wrapped around it and used to churn the ocean. A host of divine celestial objects came up during the churning. Among these, was the goddess Lakshmi, the daughter of the king of the milky ocean. The last to come up was the amrit. With this, the avatar of Kurma, the tortoise, ended. Vishnu then took up the form of a beautiful maiden to distract the asuras and gave immortality to the devas.
Mahalakshmi has always existed. Her appearance from samudra manthan is her main manifestation only. Mahalakshmi was also born to the great sage Bhrigu, and she is therefore also called Bhargavi. Mahalakshmi is also the sister of the great guru Sukracharya as well as the great planet Chandra. Each time Vishnu descends on earth as an avatar, He is accompanied by an avatar of Lakshmi. The moon (chandra) also appeared from the ocean during the churning, making it her brother. Alakshmi, the goddess of misfortune, is Lakshmi's elder sister.
Lakshmi has many names. She is known to be very closely associated with the lotus, and her many epithets are connected to the flower, such as:
Prakruti - Mahalakshmi is the very personification of nature, the centre of all, the manifested and the unmanifested.
Vikruti - Mahalakshmi is the multi-faceted Nature, who assumes many forms, known by numerous names, yet is attributeless.
Vidya - Mahalakshmi is the very personification of Wisdom.
Padma: lotus dweller
Mahalakshmi is also known to preside over 16 forms of worldly wealth excluding Ashta siddhis, gnana and imparting gnana. They are as follows: (1) Fame; (2) Knowledge; (3) Courage and Strength; (4) Victory; (5) Good Children; (6) Valor; (7) Gold, Gems and Other Valuables; (8) Grains in abundance; (9) Happiness; (10) Bliss; (11) Intelligence; (12) Beauty; (13) Higher Aim, High Thinking and Higher Meditation; (14) Morality and Ethics; (15) Good Health; (16) Long Life.
आदि लक्ष्मी Ādi Lakṣmī The First manifestation of Lakshmi
धान्य लक्ष्मी Dhānya Lakṣmī Granary wealth
धैर्य लक्ष्मी Dhairya Lakṣmī Wealth of courage
गज लक्ष्मी Gaja Lakṣmī Elephants, symbols of wealth
सन्तान लक्ष्मी Santāna Lakṣmī Wealth of continuity, progeny
विजय लक्ष्मी Vijaya Lakṣmī Wealth of victory
विद्या लक्ष्मी Vidyā Lakṣmī Wealth of knowledge and education
धन लक्ष्मी Dhana Lakṣmī Monetary wealth
So now, as we are a little more aware about Laxmi and HER incarnations, let us get into the worship wholeheartedly...!
Stay tuned and seek overall P-R-O-S-P-E-R-I-T-Y...!