“Lakshmi is the Hindu Goddess Who Governs All form[s] of Wealth and Success and the Paths, Means and Results of all forms of Prosperity. Mother Lakshmi is often depicted in several colors: Pink, Gold and White. When Lakshmi’s skin color is Pink, She is the Divine Mother. When Her skin is Gold, She is the Universal Shakti and when Her skin is white, She is Mother Earth… Lakshmi Devi is the Goddess of Health and Beauty. Sri Lakshmi embodies Sublime Beauty, Siddhi, Peace, Strength, Balance, Auspiciousness, Opulence and Wisdom. Because Lakshmi possesses all of these good and noble qualities, She embodies infinite wealth ~ symbolizing that good and noble qualities are the only wealth we can keep..” — www.vishvarupa.com
The Goddess Lakshmi
India’s spiritual tradition has been steeped in Mother Goddess worship from early times. The Mother Goddess Lakshmi is addressed as “mata,” or mother, instead of simply “devi,” or goddess. A household Goddess, Lakshmi represents good fortune to the Hindu people. ‘Lakshmi’ is derived from the Sanskrit word “Laksya”, meaning ‘aim’ or ‘goal’, as she is the goddess of wealth and prosperity in this world and in the spiritual realm.
She is the consort of Vishnu and also married his incarnations. As a female version of Lord Vishnu, Lakshmi is also called ‘Shri’, the female energy of the Supreme Being. She is said to be the goddess of prosperity, wealth, purity, and generosity, and to be the embodiment of beauty, grace, charm, light, wisdom, the lotus flower, fortune, luck, courage and fertility. She is a beautiful female version of Santa Clause, bearing gifts and kindness for children. She is considered the Mother of the Universe.
Lakshmi is always portrayed as a beautiful woman with a glowing complexion and four hands. She either stands or sits on a lotus in full-bloom, and holds a lotus bud representing beauty, purity and fertility. Her hands point to the four ends of human life: dharma (righteousness), kama (desires), artha (wealth), and moksha (liberation) from the cycle of birth and death. Her gold-embellished red clothing represents prosperity coupled with industry/activity. Coins flow in an endless stream down her garments from her open palms indicating her ability to confer wealth upon devotees. At the time of the blooming of the lotus, an abundance of good and noble qualities manifest. This is Lakshmi’s blessing or diksha.
Her image is usually surrounded by elephants, usually two, though sometimes one or four. They are depicted spraying, or anointing The Goddess, with water, indicating that unfailing work and dedication–within the constraints of each soul’s karma and in accordance with their dharma–leads to material and spiritual prosperity when wisdom and purity rules supreme.
Churning of the Milky Ocean
In this ancient Hindu legend, Lakshmi vacated the world of the gods to inhabit the Milky Ocean due to Indra, the warrior god’s, arrogance. Lakshmi was the one to confer success and fortune upon the gods in their world, and they were bereft without Her. This also affected our world. It became darker and people became greedy and forgot to worship the gods, so demons took control.
Indra sought Vishnu’s help in fighting the demons. Vishnu advised Indra to churn the Milky Ocean in order to uncover the elixir of immortality and the Goddess Lakshmi.
After over a thousand years of churning (some stories say)–in which Vishnu not only tricked demons to help him use Mount Madura as a churning stick and the giant serpent, Vasuki, as a rope (wound around the mountain with which the gods and demons used in a tug-of-war to create a spiraling, churning action), but also turned into a turtle to hold the submerging mountain afloat on his back– the two prizes rose to the surface.
Lakshmi once again entered the world of the gods and helped them to defeat the demons. She then chose the god that she felt was most worthy of her qualities—Vishnu. Good fortune and success will be bestowed by Lakshmi upon those who work hard and seek help sincerely, and it will be taken from those who become arrogant.
The Mahalakshmi Diksha Experience
I received the Mahalakshmi Diksha in Pune, India at Pranashakty’s Advanced Jothi Body of Light Retreat. There we were blessed with the fully-manifested presence of Lakshmi who gave Pranashakty Acharayas the immeasurable gift of the ability to pass diksha (the passing on of the Mahalakshmi divine energy) to others –see Advanced Retreat, December 2010 – The Form of Bliss in Pranashakty’s December newsletter. I began to offer this diksha as a New Year’s gift to everyone in my small community.
At the Maha-Lakshmi (maha = great) Diksha event I held in Nelson, British Columbia, Canada on January 14th, 2011, we began with a puja (devotional ceremony) to the Mother Goddess Lakshmi.
We began this ceremony, in the Hindu tradition, with a mantra/call to Lord Ganesha, the bliss-filled elephant-headed God who is the remover of obstacles, the dispeller of problems, the instiller of good qualities, and the one who confers peace, immortality and liberation. He is also worshipped as the God of wisdom, wealth, health, celibacy, fertility and happiness. He is called Vinayaka and also Ganapathi. Vinayaka points to the fact that Ganesh is in total mastery of himself. Ganapathi refers to Him being the Lord of the Ganas, a class of divine entities, and also to his powerful intellect stemming from a pure and sacred mind.
Then, we started chanting and praying to Mahalakshmi, to the Mother Goddess, and the diksha was given to each person individually. One recipient described a huge rush of powerful energy moving through her body while sitting in meditation after the diksha. This was a similar experience to surges of energy she has felt when receiving Jothi healings from Pranashakty.
Another dikisha recipient, who suffers from epilepsy, described feeling the energy building during the puja ceremony to the point that while sitting and chanting the mantra, her body began to shake and she began to feel a knot of energy in the right side of her head and neck (where she usually experiences epileptic symptoms). Just at the point where this feeling was becoming an overwhelming painful pressure, I placed my palms on her hands to pass the diksha. The Mahalakshmi energy rushed into her from The Mother and aided her… she felt the pressure release in a powerful flow out and down her body, out the souls of her feet, relieving her from her suffering. In the days following she has experienced many good cleansing symptoms, and these after-effects take hold of her physically and then leave her body.
One woman described a beautiful blue colour that appeared to her in her 3rd eye when I stepped in front of her to give diksha and pass Mother Lakshmi’s energy to her. She had been faithfully chanting the mantra “Om Mahalakshmi Namaha,” but as soon as the diksha transference was initiated, the mantra left her head and she was immersed in another consciousness… becoming one with the flow of Mahalakshmi energy. Later, the mantra came to her again as she came back to conscious awareness.
We closed the Mahalakshmi Puja and Diksha with a final prayer, bows of gratitude, and chanting of the Mahalakshmi mantra 108 times. There was a soft, beautiful glow in the room. Everyone received a sprinkling of blessed water from the altar, was anointed with the powerful Mahalakshmi Mangala Shakti oil, and took blessed fruit home with them to share with their family and friends.
Mother Lakshmi has brought many beautiful blessings into my own life…. the ability to share her gift with others, a new and loved job, and most importantly, a heightened sense of the limitless, timeless and continual flow of beauty, peace and prosperity flowing into all my daily dealings. Om Mahalakshmi Namaha.
Sri Jothi Veeram Ma,
Acharya, Pranashakty International