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Lakshmi (Sanskrit: लक्ष्मी lakṣmī, Hindi pronunciation: [ˈləkʃmi], Tamil: லட்சுமி latchumi, Telugu: లక్ష్మి, Lakshmi) is the Hindu goddess of wealth, prosperity (both material and spiritual), light, wisdom, fortune, fertility, generosity and courage; and the embodiment of beauty, grace and charm. Representations of Lakshmi are also found in Jain monuments. Also called Mahalakshmi, She is said to bring good luck, and is believed to protect Her devotees from all kinds of misery and money-related sorrows.
Lakshmi in Sanskrit is derived from its elemental form lakS, meaning "to perceive or observe". This is synonymous with lakṣya, meaning "aim" or "objective". The Hindu sacred texts, the Vedas call Mahalakshmi as Lakshyayidhi Lakshmihi which means She is the one who has the object and aim of uplifting mankind.
Mahalakshmi is called Shri or Thirumagal (திருமகள் in Tamil; శ్రీ మహా లక్ష్మి in Telugu) because She is endowed with six auspicious and divine qualities, or Gunas, and also because She is the source of strength even to Lord Narayana. She is the consort of Vishnu and married Rama (in Her incarnation as Sita) and Krishna (as Radha and later Rukmini). All the wives of Krishna were forms of Lakshmi.
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.
Evolution and legends
In Hinduism, Devas (gods) and asuras (demons) were both mortal at one time. Amrit, the divine nectar that would grant immortality, could be obtained only by churning the Kshirsagar (Ocean of Milk). The devas and asuras both sought immortality and decided to churn the Kshirsagar. With the devas on one side and the asuras on the other, the samudra manthan commenced. Vishnu incarnated as Kurma, the tortoise, on whom was placed a mountain as a churning pole; Vasuki, the great venom-spewing serpent, was wrapped around it and used to churn the ocean. A host of divine celestial objects came up during the churning. Among these, was the goddess Lakshmi, the daughter of the king of the milky ocean. The last to come up was the amrit. With this, the avatar of Kurma, the tortoise, ended. Vishnu then took up the form of a beautiful maiden to distract the asuras and gave immortality to the devas.
Mahalakshmi has always existed. Her appearance from samudra manthan is Her main manifestation only. Mahalakshmi was also born to the great sage Bhrigu, and She is therefore also called Bhargavi. Mahalkshmi is also the sister of the great guru Sukracharya as well as the great planet Chandra. Each time Vishnu descends on earth as an avatar, He is accompanied by an avatar of Lakshmi.
The moon (chandra) also appeared from the ocean during the churning, making it Her brother. Alakshmi, the goddess of misfortune, is Lakshmi's elder sister. According to the Vishnu Purana, Lakshmi is the daughter of Bhrigu and Khyaati and resided in Swarga, but, due to the curse of Durvasa, She left Swarga and made Ksheersagara her home.
The etymology and meanings of the word lakshmi is given in Monier Williams' Sanskrit–English Dictionary compiled in the 19th century in British India.
1.laksmIka meaning a mark, sign, or token is in Rik Veda x, 71, 2 and Nirukta iv, 10.
2.laksmi ( with or without pAp'I ) is a bad sign or an impending misfortune referred to Atharva Veda and Apasthambha Shrauta Suutra.
3.In older Sanskrit, it is usually used with "p'uNyA" meaning a good sign, good fortune, prosperity, success, or happiness in Atharva Veda.
4.Laksmi personifies wealth, riches, beauty, loveliness, grace, charm, splendour, and lustre in Mahabharata.
5.Laksmi as a noun is a goddess of fortune and beauty (frequently in the later mythology identified with Śrī and regarded as the wife of Viṣṇu or Nārāyaṇa).
6.According to Sir Monier Williams, "Religious thought and life in India", 45, 40-43 she sprang with other precious things from the foam of the ocean when churned by the gods and demons for the recovery of the Amṛta. She appeared with a lotus in her hand, whence she is also called Padmā.
7.According to another legend, She appeared at the creation floating over the water on the expanded petals of a lotus flower; She is also variously regarded as wife of Sūrya, as wife of Prajā-pati, as wife of Dharma and mother of Kāma, as sister or mother of Dhātṛ and Vidhātṛ, as wife of Datt^atreya, as one of the nine Śaktis of Viṣṇu, as a manifestation of Prakṛti, as identified with Dākshāyaṇī in Bharat^aśrama, and with Sītā, wife of Rāma, and with other women.
Explanation of Mahalakshmi
Mahalakshmi is the presiding Goddess of the Middle episode of Devi Mahatmya. Here, She is depicted as Devi in Her universal form as Shakti. The manifestation of the Devi to kill Mahishasura is formed by the effulgences of all the gods. The Goddess is described as eighteen-armed, bearing a string of beads, battle axe, mace, arrow, thunderbolt, lotus, bow, water pot, cudgel, lance, sword, shield, conch, bell, wine cup, trident, noose and the discus sudarsana. She has a complexion of coral and is seated on a lotus. She is known as Ashta Dasa Bhuja Mahalakshmi.
She is seen in two forms, Bhudevi and Sridevi, both either side of Sri Venkateshwara or Vishnu. Bhudevi is the representation and totality of the material world or energy, called the aparam Prakriti, in which She is called Mother Earth. Sridevi is the spiritual world or energy, called the Param Prakriti. Most people are mistaken that they are separate beings although they are one, Lakshmi. Lakshmi is the power of Lord Vishnu.
Mahalakshmi's presence is also found on Lord Sri Venkateswara (at Tirumala) or Vishnu's chest, at the heart. Lakshmi is the embodiment of love, from which devotion to God or Bhakti flows from. It is through Love/Bhakti or Lakshmi that the atma or soul is able to reach God or Vishnu. Lakshmi plays a special role as the mediator between Her husband Lord Vishnu and His worldly devotees. While Vishnu is often conceived of as a stern, easily perturbed patriarch, Lakshmi represents a more soothing, warm and approachable mother figure who willingly intervenes in the lives of devotees on His behalf. Often, it is Lakshmi who acts as the advocate for the request of a given mortal. When asking Vishnu for grace or the forgiveness of sins, Hindus often approach Him through the intermediary presence of Lakshmi. She is also the personification of the spiritual energy, called Kundalini, within us and the universe. Also, She embodies the spiritual world, also known as Vaikunta, the abode of Lakshmi-Narayana or Vishnu, or what would be considered Heaven in Vaishnavism. She is also the divine qualities of God and the soul. Lakshmi is the embodiment of God's superior spiritual feminine energy, or the Param Prakriti, which purifies, empowers and uplifts the individual. Hence, she is called the Goddess of Fortune. Due to her motherly feelings and being the consort of Narayan (Supreme Being), She is believed as the Mother of the Universe.
Lakshmi has many names. She is known to be very closely associated with the lotus, and Her many epithets are connected to the flower, such as:
Prakruti - Mahalakshmi is the very personification of nature, the centre of all, the manifested and the unmanifested.
Vikruti - Mahalakshmi is the multi-faceted Nature, who assumes many forms, known by numerous names, yet is attributeless.
Vidya - Mahalakshmi is the very personification of Wisdom.
Padma: lotus dweller
Kamala: lotus dweller
Padmapriya: One who likes lotuses
Padmamaladhara devi: One who wears a garland of lotuses
Padmamukhi: One whose face is as beautiful as a lotus
Padmakshi: One whose eyes are as beautiful as a lotus
Padmahasta: One who holds a lotus
Padmasundari: One who is as beautiful as a lotus
Vishnupriya: One who is the beloved of Vishnu
Ulkavahini: One who rides an owl
Her other names include: Rama, Indira, Manushri, Chakrika, Kamalika, Lalima, Kalyani, Nandika, Rujula, Vaishnavi, Narayani, Bhargavi, Sridevi, Chanchala, Bhumi Devi, Jalaja, Madhavi, Sujata, Shreya and Aiswarya. She is also referred to as Jaganmaatha ("Mother of the Universe") in Shri Mahalakshmi Ashtakam. Rama and Indira are popular.
Lakshmi ou Laxmi é uma divindade do hinduísmo, esposa do deus Vishnu, o sustentador do universo na religião hindu. É personificação da beleza, da fartura, da generosidade e principalmente da riqueza e da fortuna. A deusa é sempre invocada para amor, fartura, riqueza e poder. É o principal símbolo da potência feminina, sendo reconhecida por sua eterna juventude e formosura.
Pode ser vista sentada sobre uma flor de lótus, ou segurando flores de lótus nas mãos, e um cântaro que jorra moedas de ouro.
Geralmente atribui-se a Lakshmi o símbolo da suástica, que representa vitória e sucesso. Apadma é o nome dado a Lakshmi, quando representada sem o lótus, ao sair do Oceano.
Foi ela que deu a Indra, o Rei dos Deuses, o soma (ou sangue do conhecimento) do seu próprio corpo para que ele produzisse a ilusão do parto e se tornasse o Rei dos Devas.
REENCARNAÇÕES DA DEUSA
A Deusa-Mãe Lakshmi é consultada pela população hindu, buscando algum tipo de riqueza. Há oito modalidades de se adorar Lakshmi, levando em conta o resultado desejado. A imagem abaixo também ilustra as oito reencarnações da Deusa Lakshmi:
Ela protege toda a Riqueza da Família, principalmente as crianças.
Ela surge como Rainha Universal com seus dois elefantes que atendem todas as preces e orações..
Só Ela encerra a totalidade do conhecimento, tanto material quanto espiritual.
É Ela que alimenta o mundo nos concedendo a Riqueza da boa colheita dos grãos.
Ela é a Mãe Divina e fonte de todo o poder de Vishnu.
É Ela que nos concede a vitória sobre obstáculos e problemas (vitória também no trabalho e aspectos legais)
Ela é a doadora do todo tipo de riqueza
Veera lakhsmi ou Dhairyalakshmi
É Ela que nos dá força e coragem para enfrentarmos qualquer sacrifício.
Mahesh Elkunchwar (born October 9, 1939) is an Indian playwright with more than 15 plays to his name, in addition to his theoretical writings, critical works, and his active work in India's Middle Cinema as actor and screenwriter.
Born to a Brahmin family in Parwa, Maharashtra and raised outside of Indian urban centers, Elkunchwar has experimented with many forms of dramatic expression, ranging from the realistic to symbolic, expressionist to absurd. Having influenced modern Indian theatre for more than three decades, Elkunchwar emerged onto the national theatre scene with his play Sultan in 1967. A number of commercial hits followed such as Holi (1969), Raktapushpa (1971), Party (1972), Virasat (1982), and Atamkatha (1987). Elkunchwar's plays are written in the Indian language that is spoken by some seventy-five million people called Marathi. The plays have been subsequently translated into multiple Indian and Western languages (including English, French and German).
Elkunchwar's plays have gained national and international critical attention, and his growing body of work has become part of India's post-colonial theatrical canon. He has been honored in India with the Homi Bhabha Fellowship (1976-78), the Sangeet Natak Akademi annual award for best playwright (given by the National Academy of the Performing Arts, 1989), Nandika (1989), Maharashta Gaurav (1990), the Maharashtra Foundation Award (1997), the Sahitya Akademi Award (given by the National Academy of Letters, 2002), and the Saraswathi Samman, one of India's highest literary awards (2003), and internationally with the Brittingham Fellowship (2005).
Complete list of plays by Mahesh Elkunchwar:
Rudravarsha (The Savage Year, 1966
Sultan (one act), 1967
Zumbar (one act), 1967
Eka Mhatarachya Khoon (An Old Man's Murder, one act), 1968
Kaifiyat (one act), 1967
Ek Osad Gaon (one act), 1969
Yatanaghar (The Chamber of Anguish), 1970
Vasanakand (The Episode of Lust), 1972
Wada Chirebandi (Old Stone Mansion), 1985
Pratibimb (Reflection), 1987
Atmakatha (Autobiography), 1988
Magna Talyakathi (The Pond), 1991
Yuganta (The End of an Age)
Wasansi Jeernani (Tattered Clothes), 1995
Dharmaputra (Godson), 1998
Eka Natachya Mrityu (An Actor Exits), 2005
photo: SANJIB GANGULY