Lakshmi: the goddess of wealth
Śrī or Lakshmi is the goddess of fortune and wealth. She is the power and consort of Vishnu, the preserver. Lakshmi is depicted as the goddess of wealth, fortune, power and beauty in the Vedas. Lakshmi is said to be svarṇa hasta (one having golden hands), which means she pours out riches. Lakshmi is usually described as enchantingly beautiful and standing on a lotus, holding lotuses in each of her two hands and wearing a lotus garland. Owing to her association with the flower she is also called Padmā or Kamalā.
Interesting facts about Lakshmi
Lakshmi was born out of the ocean of milk at the time of its churning.
As the consort of Vishnu, Lakshmi is born as his spouse whenever he incarnates. Thus, when he appeared as Vāmana, Parśurāma, Rāma and Krishna, she appeared as Padmā, Dharaṇī, Sītā and Rukmiṇī.
Lakshmi has a sister Alakshmi (also known at Jyeshtha) who is the opposite of Lakshmi.
According to one legend the churning of the ocean was taken up by the gods to retrieve Lakshmi who has dissolved into the ocean of milk.
After emerging from the ocean, many gifts were bestowed on Lakshmi. Among the gifts, was the Vaijayantī mala which she used to put around the neck of Vishnu whom she chose as her spouse.
Lakshmi is described as a fickle and fleeting companion and one who is difficult to be with. In fact, she is seen as attracted to Vishnu because he himself took so many forms, thus managing to retain her attention (Mahalakshmi, 2009).
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