Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Navratri Special - Goddess Lakshmi - Compasssion and Movement - By Srikant Bawgikar

Navratri Special

Lakshmi is the second form of the Goddess worshipped from the 4th to the sixth day during the 9 day Navratri festival.

Where the first three days are spent in physically cleansing onself of bodily flaws and toxicity and acquring physical illuminance so necessary for commiting actions, the second phase is one that is spent on utilising the fruits of the first phase in serving our fellow humans.

Compassion and Sharing

That's the underlying mantra or mindset to be acquired or worked for during this phase .. Three days may seem to be a microcosm in time to acquire the gift of mindset, but the idea is to make one experience at least the effect of it even if ever so small ...

When the mind is single mindedly fixed on understanding and then ingraining in oneself the sentiment of sharing, even a glimpse of it would ignite in one the single minded desire to acquire it ...

The powers acquired in the first three days of worshipping Kali are to expended for the good of society .. or ones spiritual progress, for in sharing we gain much more than if we were to selfishly hoard it.The tenth day after Navratri is called Dussehra, on which number of fairs are organized throughout the northern India, burning effigies of Ravana.It is also called “Vijayadashmi” as this day marks the victory of Lord Rama over Ravana. VijayaDashami is considered to be an auspicious day for the Indian householder, on which he/she worships, protects and preserves 'Shakti' (power). According to Scriptures, by worshipping the 'Shakti' on these nine-days the householders attain the threefold power i.e. physical, mental and spiritual, which helps them progress in their life without any difficulty.

Goddess Lakshmi There is a metaphorical significance attached to the image of Lakshmi as the consort of Vishnu ..

One of the names of Vishnu is "Nara" which is also used for denoting water
And "Ayan" refers to residence ...

Vishnu's name Narayan thus denotes one who resides in Water Lakshmi is also referred to as residing in Rice - rather grains of rice ..
And we all know that rice is cooked in the presence of water ... The fire required for cooking it is the effort...

In other words, only when one makes the effort and sweats it (releasing water via perspiring) that one can attract Lakshmi (wealth and abundance)

The message is simple -

hard work has no substitute for abundance ..

The appearance of goddess Lakshmi is related to an ancient story. Durvasa the short-tempered sage once presented Indra, the king of the gods (devas) with a garland of flowers which would never wilt. Indra gave this garland to his elephant Airavata. Sage Durvasa saw the elephant trampling the divine garland and cursed Indra, for he had shown disrespect to the sage. The sage cursed Indra that he and all the gods would lose their power because it had made them so proud and vain.

Due to the curse, the demons vanquished the gods out of the heavens.

The defeated gods then went to seek refuge to the Creator Lord Brahma who asked them to churn the ocean of milk, Ksheersagar, to obtain the nectar of immortality. The gods then went to Lord Vishnu, to seek his assistance. Lord Vishnu took the Avatar Kurma (Tortoise) and supported the Manthara Parvata (mountain) as a churning rod, while the king of the serpents, Vasuki, became the churning rope. The gods and the demons (under the leadership of the pious and wise King Bali Chakravarti) both helped each other in churning the ocean of milk.

Amongst the host of divine gifts which appeared from the ocean, goddess Lakshmi appeared and then chose Shri Vishnu as her consort, as only He had the power to control Maya (illusion).

Because of this, Lakshmi is also called the daughter of the sea; since the moon also appeared from the ocean during the churning, the moon is called her brother. Alakshmi, the goddess of misfortune, is Lakshmi's older sister.
She is said to have also arisen from the sea of milk.

According to the Vishnu Purana, Lakshmi is the daughter of Bhrigu and Khyaati and resided in Swarga but due to the curse of Durvasa, she left Swarga and made Ksheersagara her home.

The reappearance of Lakshmi after Samudra manthan and her marriage to Vishnu thereafter, remain the same. Laxmi is the power and Maya of Lord Vishnu. In some places She is seen in two forms, Bhudevi and Sridevi, both either side of Vishnu. Bhudevi is the fertility form in which She is Mother Earth. Sridevi is the wealth and knowledge of Her which is seen with Narayan. Most people are mistaken that they are separate beings although they are one, Laxmi.

Celebration in Hindu societyHindus worship Lakshmi the most on Diwali, the festival of lights. According to tradition people would put small oil lamps outside their homes on Diwali and hope Lakshmi will come to bless them.

The prefix Sri (also spelled as Shri, pronounced as shree) renders as 'one who takes delight in Sri' Lakshmi, meaning wealth, wealth of any kind.

Primarily eight kinds of wealth are established, associated with goddess Lakshmi.

They are:

1) Ādi Lakṣmī [The main goddess] 2) Dhānya Lakṣmī [Granary wealth] 3) Dhairya Lakṣmī [Wealth of courage] 4) Gaja Lakṣmī [Elephants, symbols of wealth] 5) Santāna Lakṣmī [Wealth of progeny] 6) Vijaya Lakṣmī [Wealth of victory] 7) Vidyā Lakṣmī [Wealth of knowledge] 8) Dhana Lakṣmī [Monetary wealth]

Any thing that need be affluent gets the auspicious prefix or suffix 'Lakshmi', or 'Sri' like Rajya Lakshmi (Wealth of Empire), Shanti Sri (Wealth of Peace), etc.

In modern India, common titles standing in for the English Mr. and Mrs. are Shri (also Sri or Shree) and Shrimati (also Srimati or Shreemati), as in "Sri Gupta" or "Srimati Mangeshkar".

Goddess Lakshmi is worshipped by those who wish to acquire or to preserve wealth. It is believed that Lakshmi (wealth) goes only to those houses which are clean and where the people are hardworking.

She does not visit the places which are unclean/dirty or where the people are lazy.

In Uttarakhand, after the worship of the goddess on Diwali night, the Shankh or Conch is not blown. This is because the shank is also from the ocean like the goddess herself, so it is given a day of rest.

Laxmi is the patron goddess of Kolhapur city, Maharashtra.

Lakshmi is also known by the name "Chanchala" meaning one who is fickle which is again a misnomer and misunderstanding of a great concept

Its said that Lakshmi doesn't stay (remain stable) at any one place .. One never knows when she'll just get bored and get up and leave ..

If one were to study the history of money and how it came into being, one comes across metal as a medium of exchange that gave way to coins ... in different shapes and ultimately stabilised in the round one

It denoted a key concept of economics

That money must circulate inorder to increase

A stagnant water body decays and harbours disease while a flowing water body (river) is not only fresh in itself but also fertilises all the lands that it passes through (even if it is not the river of that soil)

” Then there are two other symbols that we see.With Her hand
She gives.

If you open one door the air won’t come in. You have to open the other door.
She must give.

So people think what they have to give, but they give the worst they have, just like the waste paper basket. “O, this is useless so I can give to this friend”. All friends are used as waste paper baskets.

Whatever is the worst is given. How can you touch your depth like this?

Whatever is the best, you should give. If you are free to give then you should give the best. ….. we are very ego oriented, we understand what will give joy to us.

We don’t understand what will give joy to others and when we understand this then the joy reflects on us thousand times more.
This river ultimately merges into the ocean where it experiences tranquility ...

Compassion and sharing is what keeps your abundance and prosperity moving and multiplying, ultimately increasing it ..

When you share, you bond with another heart .. The joy of giving multiplies your happiness and inspires one to give ever more resulting in more coming your way ...

you are suddenly prosperous and popular and liked by everyone

Vishnu also represents compassion and Love for one's fellow beings and all of creation ... and only a compassionate force is the ideal receptacle of the favours of the Goddess who represents wealth and abundance

The Heart of Vishnu is the seat of Divine compassion and discriminationIt does not dole out favours indiscriminately but with an awakened mind

and thus it is that in the Heart of Shri Hari Vishnu, residesLakshmi,secure in the knowledge that her powers and abundance will find their optimum and ideal purpose in creation ...

And where Vishnu (Hard work, compassion and discrimination ) is, can Lakshmi (Wealth and abundance and prosperity) be far behind??
Something that the Goddess is asking you to consider and think over .... Will you do that and more importantly, once you do, will you ACT on it ??

May the Goddess bless you and your family with the abundance of character, wealth and positive mindset



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