(virtue, finances, pleasure, liberation) - these are the four Purusharthas or
pursuits of a person, in Hinduism. Goddess Lakshmi’s four hands, the most
common attributes attached to her iconography, represent these four life goals.
It is well established that in the pursuit of any of the above-mentioned goals,
Ma Lakshmi’s Kripa (regards) is required by the devotee. Lakshmi is a provider
and protector of wealth- be it material, spiritual, mental, or emotional.
Though simply attached with the realm of money, Lakshmi is the embodiment of
richness in every aspect of human life. It is her blessings that can raise a
person from rags to riches. Thus, goddess Lakshmi is visualized as an exquisite
woman, appearing as the queen-mother of the entire universe.
life-size brass murti of goddess Lakshmi shows her seated on a marvellously real-looking
lotus flower, one of whose petals provide a footrest to her left leg. The
golden radiance of her form is a sculptural re-telling of her description in
the Sri Suktam, a Vedic hymn dedicated to the brilliance and powers of goddess
Lakshmi. Devi is seated majestically in the Lalitasana (posture of royal ease)
fitting her regal status. A jeweled crown with a golden and inscribed fiery
halo adorns her head. On her forehead is a pretty bindi (a coloured dot worn by
women in India), highlighting her shapely brows and animated eyes. Her long
tresses are beautifully designed to loosely frame her face before falling
freely on her back. Maa Lakshmi wears karnika (jewelled earrings) with little
trinkets in her ears and two gold necklaces. On her arms, Lakshmi wears
bajuband (armbands), on her wrists are bangles. Her sari with beautiful ethnic
border and small floral designs all over is held in place by an ornate
waistband. Devi wears Payal (anklets) and Bichiya (toe-rings) on her feet,
showing her status as an auspicious married woman, as per the Hindu culture.
Two of her hands hold half-bloomed lotus flowers in the Kappita (wood apple)
mudra, a hand gesture primarily related to her and goddess Saraswati. Her main
left hand is in the Varada mudra (gesture of bestowing boon) and her main right
hand is in the Abhaya mudra (gesture of fearlessness), both the palms
pleasingly decorated with auspicious motifs. From the magnetism in Devi’s
facial expressions to the soft folds of her sari, the artist has given this brass
murti a life-like appearance.
aura of Maa Lakshmi is only a part of her incomprehensible powers and might. As
the consort and Shakti of the preserver of the Universe Vishnu, she is the
provider of the means and the driving force within Vishnu. When called upon as
the earth-goddess, Lakshmi becomes the fertility of the fields, as the Sri
Sukta mentions- she is the ‘moist’ present in the ground, nourishing the crops.
Without her, no material or spiritual task can be fulfilled. Vishnu is the Lord
of the Universe, but without his Shakti, he will remain passive, in his cosmic
sleep. This is why, Lakshmi Tantra places her above Vishnu, as the axis of the
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