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Treasures of Lakshmi: The Goddess who Gives

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Item Code: HAT679
Author: Edited By Namita Gokhale, Malashri Lal
Publisher: Penguin Books India Pvt. Ltd.
Language: English
Edition: 2024
ISBN: 9780143459866
Pages: 369
Other Details 8.5x5.5 inch
Weight 320 gm
Book Description
About The Book

The presence of Lakshmi sits constant and bright within the firmament of Hindu life and worship. The much-beloved goddess of abundance, fertility, beauty and fortune, Lakshmi has multiple names and incarnations. She has been omnipresent and ubiquitous, yet her narrative has undergone several transitions over eras of worship.

In her many manifestations, she is the symbol not only of material wealth but also of abundance, of family and community, of dharma and societal equilibrium. She represents the order, stability and harmony of the universe. She is, through her various forms and emanations, born of Prakriti (nature) and is the feminine incarnation of agriculture, husbandry and rich harvests. She resides symbolically in the lotus and is ever sumangal (auspicious) and subhaga (fortunate).

Who is Lakshmi, then, in our mythology, history, culture and social life? How has she transformed symbolically, and even etymologically? Treasures of Lakshmi carries thoughtfully compiled and rigorously researched perspectives on the origin and development of the narratives surrounding Shri Lakshmi. The essays and commentaries in this volume trace her presence through the Puranas, epics, Vedic texts and shlokas, and through the various forms and manifestations of Lakshmi across different parts of India.

These explorations restore to us a comprehensive picture of the goddess who presided over the beginnings of the cosmic creation and continues to be venerated as the benefactor of the most liberal definitions of prosperity.

About the Author

NAMITA GOKHALE is the author of twenty-three books including twelve works of fiction, and editor of numerous anthologies The Treasures of Lakshmi is the third book in the Goddess Trilogy that she has co-edited with Malashri Lal Gokhale's celebrated debut novel, Pare Dreams of Passion, was published in 1984. Her recent works of fiction include Jaipur Journals and The Blind Matriarch. Gokhale is co-founder and co-director of the Jaipur Literature Festival. She has received the Sahitya Akademi Award for 2021, the First Centenary National Award for Literature in 2017, the Nilimarani Sahitya Samman 2023 and numerous other awards.

MALASHRI LAL has been professor in the English Department, and former dean, University of Delhi. She has published seventeen books, including The Law of the Threshold: Women Writers in Indian English, Tagore and the Feminine, Chamba-Achamba: Women's Oral Narratives. She has co-edited three books with Namita Gokhale, In Search of Sita: Revisiting Mythology, Finding Radha The Quest for Love and Betrayed by Hope: A Play on the Life of Michael Madhusudan Dutt which received the Kalinga Fiction Award. Lal's latest book is Mandalas of Time: Poems (2023). She has received research and writing fellowships at Harvard University, Bellagio, and Newcastle. She is currently convener, English Advisory Board of the Sahitya Akademi. Among other recognitions, Lal has received the Maharani Gayatri Devi Award for Women's Excellence 2022.


EVERY MORNING IN Jaipur, I would wake up to the sight of the glowing whiteness of the Lakshmi Narayan temple set against the brooding brown hillock of Moti Doongri and its crumbling fort. The contrast was startling for many reasons. The feudal heritage of Rajasthan and its decay seemed symbolized by the ruins atop the hill, while ancient India's enduring mythology seemed reinterpreted once again in contemporary tones in the new 'Birla Mandir' erected in 1988. The inseparable pair, Lakshmi- Narayan, gracing the sanctum sanctorum, had several other intellectual traditions suggested in the images along the wall, those of Socrates, Zarathustra, Christ, Buddha and Confucius among others. Ganesh, the auspicious protector, adorned the toran at the main entrance, and the statues of the founders, Rukmani Devi Birla and Braj Mohan Birla, stood as devotees in an outer pavilion.

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