(Last Updated on : 08/09/2011)
Early History of Goddess Lakshmi depicts Goddess Lakshmi as an embodiment of royal qualities. It is believed that she was born as an outcome of austerities of Prajapati
. Her ten qualities are royal power, universal sovereignty, noble rank, power, holy lustre, kingdom, fortune, benevolence and beauty. Goddess Lakshmi has been described in sri sukta which is a hymn in praise of her. She is worshipped to bring fame and prosperity. She is considered to be bountiful and someone who gives in plenty. It is believed that she bestows gold, cattle and food on her worshipper.
According to the hymn she banishes her sister Alakshmi or misfortune who always appears in an inauspicious form. She is described as seated in a chariot that has the best horses and elephants. She is ornamented richly. She is radiant as gold and it is often said that she shines like a sun. In sri sukta she is described as very fertile. Here her son is Kardama that means mud. Her presence is confirmed to be apparent in the mysterious force of the earth. She is associated with growth and richness of moist.
Villages especially women worship her in the form of cow dung and this is enjoined in Nilamata Purana. This hymn also mentions two things that are associated with her consistently: elephant and lotus. She is seated on a lotus. In fact she has always been addressed as Padma. The lotus symbolizes vegetative growth. Lotus and Goddess Lakshmi represents fully developed blossoming of organic life. Lotus is suggestive of expanding and growing world imbued with vigorous fertile power. This is what has been revealed in Goddess Lakshmi
. She is considered as the nectar of creation that lends its distinctive flavour to the creation.
Lotus also refers to the spiritual power and beauty. Lotus is a symbol of perfection spiritually and authority. Lotus seat is a common motif in Hindu iconography. She suggests a state of refinement that transforms the material world. She is a combination of royal and priestly powers. The most enduring expression has been that of her being flanked by two elephants in the images of Gaja Lakshmi. The flanking showering elephants suggest royal authority and fertility. It is also considered that the image portray royal consecration. The elephants are shown standing on lotuses.