(Last Updated on : 08/09/2011)
Later history of Goddess Lakshmi
shows her close association with Lord Vishnu. Some ancient texts link her with God Soma
. She had attended the royal sacrifice of Soma. This demonstrates the fact that in her presence royal authority is guaranteed. Soma is the lord of plants and is identified with fertile sap that is the cause of vegetative growth. Both the deities complement as well as strengthen each other as symbols of sap of existence.
According to some other texts Lakshmi is considered as the wife of Dharma
. She and some other Goddesses were given in to marriage by her father Daksha. Here the fact is emphasized that by performing dharma one can attain prosperity.
There are several myths that associate Lakshmi with Lord Indra
. Lakshmi appear as the embodiment of royal authority, whose presence is essential for wielding of royal power and creating prosperity.
Again several myths say that she was persuaded to leave one ruler for another. For instance she was told to live with the demons Bali
. Under her presence they rule the kingdoms effectively. The society operates smoothly, lands are fertile. When she leaves the demon loses his lustre. Along with the Goddess some other good qualities of Prahlada like good conduct; virtuous behaviour and strength are lost. He loses his royal might. Myths associated with demon Bali are also similar. Bali's bravery attracts Lakshmi. Under her presence he rules the three worlds. Her presence ensures a king more than ruling power. Goddess Lakshmi and Lord Indra are an example of a divine pair: female earth Goddess and a male sky God. The combination generates the fertility that is required throughout the life.
Some traditions associate Goddess Lakshmi with Kubera
who is the lord of Yakshas. He is the guardian of earth's treasures in form of gems. Either of them is associated with wealth. Yaksha generally plays the role of fertility therefore Goddess Lakshmi is associated with Yaksha.
According to myths Goddess Lakshmi is associated with Vishnu in the context of churning of milk ocean by Gods and demons. At some point Lakshmi's origin was related to this mythological event. When Lord Indra insults her she disappears from the three worlds. In her absence all generosity ceases, planets lose their brilliance, gods lose their strength and the fire loses its heat. The world becomes dull. On her return the vitality is also restored. It is believed that many Goddesses had come up and Lakshmi was one of them. This is considered as her main manifestation.
She was born to the great sage Bhrigu
and Khyaati therefore also known as Bhargavi. She is the sister of the great guru Shukracharya as well as the planet Chandra. Each time when Lord Vishnu descends on earth as an incarnation he is accompanied by an avatar of Lakshmi. Lakshmi resided in Swarga, however due to Durvasa's curse she left heaven and made Ksheersagara her home.
She is shown in a subdued manner in various images. She is shown having two arms instead of having four arms. Proper social relations and traditional social values attract her. She herself is a model of social decorum. While being associated with Vishnu she provides a picture of marital contentment, domestic order and beneficial interdependence between male and female.