(Last Updated on : 21/01/2011)
Goddess Lakshmi is popularly called the Goddess of prosperity and everybody wants to keep her pleased in order to have lot of wealth and peace. According to Hindu Mythology Owl is her carrier. However while travelling with Lord Vishnu she travels on an Eagle. However her carriers does symbolise something unique. An owl is blind during the day and a rich person who lacks the right intellect cannot see beyond his affluence. Eagle represents wisdom. Whenever she travels without Lord Vishnu the person whom she visits is made symbolically sightless. Hindus consider Goddess Lakshmi as good fortune. The word "Lakshmi" is originated from the Sanskrit word "Laksya", that means aim.
The Devas were in a race against the Asuras to obtain the nectar of immortality. Lord Vishnu was on earth as Kurma, a tortoise during that point of time. The gods decided to churn the oceans for the amrit. They created to churn the serpent Vasuki around Mount Mandara. Kurma dived to the ocean floor and balanced Mount Mandara on his back. In the grip of Kurma's cosmic clutch, the mountain could not sink into the ocean bed. The gods churned and received the Nectar of Immortality from Lakshmi Devi and then fourteen treasures came to their hands. Lakshmi chose Lord Vishnu as her Consort. Vishnu carried Lakshmi from the ocean into his heaven. Each time Vishnu descends on earth as an avatar an avatar of Lakshmi accompanies him.
Goddess Lakshmi is worshipped daily in many Hindu households. The month of October is specially meant for her and Lakshmi Puja is celebrated on the full moon night of 'Kojagari Purnima'. Goddess Lakshmi is depicted as a beautiful woman having four hands, sitting or standing on a full-blossomed lotus and holding a lotus bud in hand. The lotus flower symbolizes beauty, purity and fertility while her four arms represents 'Dharma', 'Kama', 'Artha' and 'Moksha
'. The deity is also accompanied by two elephants, which are shown standing next to her and spraying water on her that symbolizes constant effort ruled by wisdom and purity which leads to material and spiritual success.
In some other deities Lakshmi appear as two forms, Bhudevi and Sridevi, standing on either sides of Vishnu. These two goddesses are not separate beings but two forms of same power. Bhudevi is the fertility form in which she is the mother earth while Sridevi is the goddess of wealth and knowledge. As Lakshmi came out of the sea, she is also called daughter of the sea. Since moon also emerged from the churning of ocean, he is called Lakshmi's brother. Alakshmi who is considered as the goddess of misfortune, is Lakshmi's elder sister. According to legends of Vishnu Purana
, Lakshmi is the daughter of Bhrigu and Khyaati and lived in Swarga.