Lakṣmī


Lakṣmī

▪ Hindu deity
also spelled  Lakshmi,  also called  Śrī,  
 Hindu goddess of wealth and good fortune. The wife of Vishnu, she is said to have taken different forms in order to be with him in each of his incarnations. Thus when he was the dwarf Vāmana, she appeared from a lotus and was known as Padmā, or Kamalā; when he was the ax-wielding Paraśurāma, the destroyer of the warrior caste, she was his wife Dharaṇī; when he was King Rāma, she was his queen Sītā. In the most widely received account of Lakṣmī's birth, she rose from the churning of the milky ocean, seated on a lotus and holding another blossom in her hand. (See also churning of the milky ocean.) Controversy arose between the gods and demons over possession of her.

      Lakṣmī is often represented in sculpture seated on a lotus, full-breasted, broad-hipped, beneficently smiling, and sometimes being anointed by a pair of elephants. Her vehicle is the white owl. She continues to be worshiped by modern Hindus, particularly in the home (every Friday) and on regular festival days throughout the year. She is greatly revered by members of the Jainist faith.

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Universalium. 2010.

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