Getting To Know the Goddess of Good Fortune
- By Rev. Laurie Sue Brockway
This is my favorite time of year because the Goddess Lakshmi comes
alive during the Hindu holiday of Deepavali (or Diwali). Each year,
around the new moon in October or November, Hindu's celebrate the
Goddess of Fortune and invite her into their homes, attempting to
secure her favors for the year to come. This year it begins on
November 9 through November 12, with Deepavali day falling on
November 11, eve of the new moon.
I have long been an admirer of this amazing deity. Lakshmi is such a
special Goddess. She's magical, and practical. She is a living
Goddess, worshipped around the world. In these times of challenge, as
in all times of challenge, she can be a comfort and a healer; she
brings a sense of greater fortune even in the darkest moments. She is
a powerful cosmic connection; a divine female who looks like us, and
offers a sense of courage, of hope, of power.
As the Hindu Goddess of Good Fortune and Beauty, she represents and
is seen as the personification of abundance, prosperity, wealth, well-
being and harmony. She is actively worshiped daily by millions of
Hindus, and is popular with interfaith practitioners and followers of
Goddess spirituality, around the globe. Because of her popularity she
is considered a universal Goddess. Deepvali is her special holiday
because it is a holiday of lights, and represents a sweet, soulful
and prosperous time when people dress up and celebrate in the name of
the Goddess of Fortune.
On Deepavali eve, children often light off firecrackers and
sparklers, and in some parts of India, adults bang pots and pans to
scare off Lakshmi's dark sister, Alakshmi. Then women line their
windows and door ways with tiny lights that are offerings to Lakshmi,
to help her find her way to their abode.
On Deepvali Day Lakshmi is honored with Homan, Abishekam and Puja
worship services. Later that day the Sarada Puja to bless account
books for the year is offered, followed by a Lakshmi-Kubera Puja, to
Goddess of Fortune and The God of Wealth.
For two days, people participate in additional pujas and Annakut
Utsavam, where devotees bring sweets to the temple to lay at the feet
of the icons of Lakshmi and her beloved, Vishnu; or they make
offerings to the deities in their homes.
She brings good things to life
Lakshmi is a goddess who brings all good things to light and to life!
She has one of the most colorful creation myths of all the deities in
the Hindu pantheon. It is said Goddess Lakshmi was born, fully-grown,
on a pink lotus that rose from the milky sea. She was immediately be-
decked, be-jeweled and worshipped by the gods and sages. They prayed
that she would come to their abodes, and to their worlds, for they
believed that where Lakshmi is you will also find riches and
Three millennia later, long after her story was first told, she comes
alive in homes and temples everywhere. Believers trust that praying
to the Goddess of Fortune brings wealth, happiness and opportunity.
As the symbol of all things fortunate, she is a highly sought after
and beloved female deity.
Like many Hindu deities, she is often pictured as a beautiful Indian
woman with big dark eyes and with four arms. Clad in sari, in a form
that is very feminine and full, she sits or stands on her lotus
throne. She usually has two lotuses, in either of her back hands. Her
front arms offer blessings and what are known as "boons," or favors
from the Gods and Goddesses. Her ability to enhance our good fortune
is in life is symbolized by the gold coins seen pouring from her
hands, back into the ocean of life.
When you need help with finances, a job, success, happiness and love
Lakshmi is a Goddess you can turn to. It is the Hindu tradition to
first evoke the Lord of Obstacles, Ganesha, to clear the path to
success. Ganesha removes obstacles so Lakshmi can deliver fortune
into your life. In the Hindu tradition, there are many chants and
prayers to evoke Ganesha. Non-Hindus often use the simple call of
chanting his name three times: "Om Ganesha, Om Ganesha, Om Ganesha."
Lakshmi and Ganesha are cohorts, who often work side by side.
Frequently you will find their icons and pictures together &endash;
Lakshmi the beautiful feminine Goddess and Ganesh, the portly
Elephant headed God. Lakshmi's mate is the God Vishnu&emdash;known as
the Great Preserver, who comes to earth in the form of important
avatars, such as Krishna. Lakshmi reincarnates with him in all human
lifetimes and because of this She is also seen as a role model for
It is believed that those who pay attention to the Goddess of Good
Fortune every day develop a clear channel of communication with her.
You may also want to view this as simply focusing energy on that
which you are choosing to create in your life.
Lakshmi exists in a dimension far beyond our human struggles and
sadness. From where she sits on her Sacred Lotus, she can guide us to
greater fortune, deeper love relationships and more joy. She can
guide us from darkness, into the light. In fact, if you allow Lakshmi
to be present in your life, you just might find she elevates you to a
higher state of being and living. And in that state you will begin to
see that you can create anything!