Posted by : Shoumik Das Friday, October 18, 2013
Wish all my reader's a very Happy Lakhsmi Puja... From Our Hindu Terminal Team!
Lakshmi (Sanskrit: लक्ष्मी lakṣmī, Hindi pronunciation: [ˈləkʃmi]) is the Hindu Goddess of wealth, prosperity (both material and spiritual), fortune, and the embodiment of beauty. She is wife of Vishnu. Also known as Mahalakshmi, she is said to bring good luck and is believed to protect her devotees from all kinds of misery and money-related sorrows.Representations of Lakshmi are also found in Jain monuments.
Lakshmi is called Shree or Thirumagal because she is endowed with six auspicious and divine qualities, or Gunas, and also because she is the source of strength even to Vishnu. When Vishnu incarnated on the Earth as the avatars Rama and Krishna, Lakshmi took incarnation as his consort. Sita (Rama's wife), Radha (Krishna's lover), Rukmini and Satyabama are considered forms of Lakshmi.
Lakshmi is worshipped daily in Hindu homes and commercial establishments as the goddess of wealth. She is also worshipped as the consort of Vishnu in many temples. The festivals of Diwali and Kojagiri Purnima are celebrated in her honour.
In Bengal, Lakshmi is worshiped in autumn when the moon is full, the brightest night of the year. It is believed that she showers wealth on this night. She, along with her mount, the great white owl, descends to Earth and takes away the darkness of poverty, stagnation, anger, and laziness from our lives. Her vahana owl represents royalties, penetrating sight and intelligence. It serves as her mount over which she has full control. Lakshmi is also referred to as pranadayini("giver of vital life-sustaining energy") who can turn a dull thing full of life. In Durga Puja in Bengal, Lakshmi is considered to be a daughter of Durga along with her sister Saraswati and her brothers Ganesha and Karthikeya.
Lakshmi is depicted in a red costume, which represents continuous activity, or in a golden costume, representing fulfillment. She wears ornaments full of gold and a golden ruby-studded crown. Her hair is long, dark and wavy. Her complexion is golden, representing a boon-giver. She shows the abhaya mudra or the gyan mudra with her right hand and holds a potful of gold in her left arm and paddy sheaf in her left hand.
In the Sri Vaishnava philosophy, Sri (Lakshmi) is honored as the Iswarigm sarva bhootanam, i.e., the supreme goddess and not just the goddess of wealth.
With the harvest brought home, the farmers feel greatly satisfied with the yield. After six months of toil in the field, they fill the granaries with the blessings of Lakshmi. So, the whole month of Mrigashīrsha (December–January) is spent in worshiping the goddess. All the rituals connected with the festival Manabasa Gurubara or Lakshmi Puja are done by housewives. On each Thursday of the month, the houses are plastered with cow dung, and the floors are decorated with beautiful floral designs drawn with rice powder mixed with water, called jhoti. Footprints are painted from the doorstep to the place of worship, as if Lakshmi has entered the house. The roofs are decorated with flower garlands and festoons woven out of paddy stalks.
After a purification bath in the morning, the homemakers worship the goddess, not through an image, but significantly through paddy measures. Different rice cakes and Khiri (rice soup prepared with milk and sugar) are prepared in every household and are offered to the deity and then eaten by all.
In the evening, the Laxmi Puran, in which an interesting story is told, is read or recited. Once Shreeya, worshiped Lakshmi by observing this festival. Moved by her devotion, Lakshmi left her permanent abode, the temple that is inside the campus of the temple ofJagannatha, and visited Shreeya's house. When Balabhadra, the elder brother of Jagannatha, came to know about this, she was declared defiled and was not allowed to come back into the temple. Lakshmi was deeply hurt and went to her father, Sagara.
When Lakshmi went out of the temple, all wealth in the temple started vanishing. Later, Balabhadra and Jagannatha could not find food to sustain themselves. They came out of the temple in the attire of Brahmin beggars in search of food. Ultimately, They landed at the door of Lakshmi. Balabhadra apologised for the mistake, and all of them returned to the temple.
Gaja Lakshmi Puja is celebrated in the Sharad Purnima, the full-moon day in the Oriyamonth of Aswina(September–October). This autumn festival is one of the most popular and important festivals of Odisha.
The goddess of wealth is worshiped for one day and, in some places, it is celebrated for seven to ten days. The festival is religiously celebrated by the business community in Odisha. All over Odisha, richly decorated and beautifully made images of Gaja Lakshmi are installed. The festival instills a spirit of holiness and sanctity into the whole community, so much so that people of other faiths participate in it with abundant warmth and sincerity. In Odisha, this festival, also known as Kumar Purnima, falls on the full moon - Purnima. Girls and boys wear new clothes and generally have a good time with family and friends.
In the early morning, the girls, after their purification baths, wear new garments and make food offerings to the sun. They observe fasting for the day. In the evening, when the moon rises, they again make food offerings of a special variety and eat it after the rituals are over.
It is a festival of rejoicing for the girls; all of them sing and dance. The songs are of a special nature. They play a kind of game known as puchi and other country games.
There are innumerable slokas in praise of Mahalakshmi. Some of the most famous prayers for worshipping her are "Sri Mahalakshmi Ashtakam", "Sri Lakshmi Sahasaranama Sthothra" by Sanathkumara, "Sri Stuti" by Sri Vedantha Desikar, Sri Lakshmi Stuti By Indra, "Sri Kanakadhara Sthothra" by Sri Aadhi Shankaracharya, "Sri Chatussloki" by SriYamunacharya, "Sri Lakshmi Sloka" by Bhagavan Sri Hari Swamiji and Sri Sukta which is contained in the Vedas. The famous Lakshmi Gayathri Sloka, "Om Mahalakshmichae Vidmahe sri Vishnupathinichae Dhi-Mahi Thanno Lakshmi Prachodayat" is a prayer to Lakshmi contained in the Sri Sukta.
There is another famous prayer pronounced by the great sage Agastya: "Agastya Lakshmi Stotra". Although Mother Lakshmi is worshiped as the goddess of fortune, when she is worshiped with Narayana, the worshiper is blessed with not only wealth but also peace and prosperity. They can be worshiped in forms, such as Lakshmi Narayana, LakshmiNarasimha, Sita Rama, Radha Krishna, or Vithal Rukmini.
- Sanskrit: ॐ श्रीं ह्रीं क्लीं त्रिभुवन महालक्ष्म्यै अस्माकम् दारिद्र्य नाशय प्रचुर धन देहि देहि क्लीं ह्रीं श्रीं ॐ
- English transliteration: oṃ śrīṃ hrīṃ klīṃ tribhuvana mahālakṣmyai asmākam dāridrya nāśaya pracura dhana dehi dehi klīṃ hrīṃ śrīṃ oṃ
In many areas of India it is customary that, out of respect, when a person's foot accidentally touches money (which is considered as a manifestation of Lakshmi) or another person's leg, it will be followed by an apology in the form of a single hand gesture (Pranāma) with the right hand, where the offending person first touches the object with the finger tips and then the forehead and/or chest. This also counts for books and any written material, which are considered as a manifestation of the goddess of knowledgeSaraswati.
- Maruthathoor Sree Mahalakshmi Temple( Thiruvananthapuram,Neyyattinkara)
- Mahalakshmi Temple (Dahanu)
- Mohiniraj Laxmi Temple Newasa Dist Ahmednagar Maharastra
- Mahalaxmi Temple (Hedavde)
- Ashtalakshmi Kovil, Chennai
- Ashtalakshmi Temple, Hyderabad
- Mahalakshmi Temple, Kolhapur
- Mahalakshmi Temple, Mumbai
- Sri Mahalakshmi Temple, Goravanahalli near Bangalore
- Mahalakshmi Temple, Brazil
- Sri Mahalakshmi Temple, Eachanari, Coimbatore
- Mahalakshmi Temple, Jhansi
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