She has been known also as the goddess Sri who was the life partner of one of the eight Hindu gods, Vishnu. She embodied power, fertility, physical health and material prosperity.
Lakshmi’s Relationship with the Divine Masculine
Through examining the relationships that Lakshmi had with male deities, a deeper reflection of her energy emerges. She is depicted primarily and over thousands of years in myths and philosophical thought movements as the wife or consort of Vishnu. Through her relationship with Vishnu, we see the essential relationship of man and woman. The couple is often depicted holding each other, gazing into one another’s eyes and touching intimately often. The unity of Lakshmi and Vishnu is most clearly shown in images in which they are merged into one bisexual being, Vishnu creating the right half of the figure and Lakshmi the left. In an ancient Hindu text,
“Vishnu is speech and Lakshmi meaning; he is understanding, she is intellect; he is the creator, she is the creation; she is the earth, he is the support of the earth; she is a creeping vine, he is the tree to which she clings; he is one with all males, she is one with all females; he is love, and she is pleasure.”
Hindu imagery often brings together the symbolic aspects of nature with symbolic aspects of human existence. Through an examination of the symbolic imagery that surrounds Lakshmi in most depictions of her, we can begin to understand her energy in more depth.
Lakshmi is depicted wearing jewels and sitting on a lotus flower with coins falling from her hands into a vessel beneath her. The lotus that Lakshmi sits upon holds a dual meaning.
The lotus, first is a symbol of divine fertility and spiritual power in that, it is rooted in the mire and takes it’s strength from the primordial waters but is unstained by the muddy waters. Just as humans are first held in the waters of their mother’s womb, and come into life with wounds to heal, the lotus is held in the dark water of Mother Earth and then birthed into existence.
The lotus is a symbol to humanity of our ability to be born a human birth and have the ability to transcend our limitations and faults and raise our mind toward enlightenment.
The lotus, circular and symmetrical like a mandala, is also held as a symbol of the entire universe. The lotus gives birth to a goddess in human form.
The spiritual perfection of the lotus is a reflection of the spiritual perfection of the goddess that it has birthed. These symbols are depicted to help us each remember our own spiritual perfection.
For we are born from the same earth as the lotus flower, remembering our roots will help us as we learn to embrace the energy of the goddess, knowing that she is actually already a part of us.
Lakshmi is often shown with elephants flanking her side pouring water from their snouts. The elephants also hold several meanings. In ancient Hindu traditions, elephants had wings and flew above the sky. They were one with clouds and showered the earth with rain. Elephants also suggest royalty. Kings in India often traveled upon elephants in ceremonial processions and kept armies of them. Kings are also known as holding the energy of fertility and they believed to be responsible for the rain.
Lakshmi’s Primordial Roots
The essence of Lakshmi is repeatedly reported in early myths to have come from the primordial waters of the earth.
The primordial waters of the earth are waters that were described in ancient Indian traditions as the waters of all creation from which our world and it’s multitude of universes came from.
These waters sprung from the seed of God and birthed all of creation. Lakshmi was said to be a part of the primordial waters. She therefore holds at her core, this all powerful original universal energy.
On earth she is understood as containing the sap of existence. She says she creates herself through manifesting, occupies herself with activity to fuel this creation and dissolves herself as needed.
Our planet is made primarily of water, 70 percent in the ocean, the rest is water vapor and flowing through the earth’s communities, people, plants and animals. This water is in a constant cycle: it evaporates from the ocean, travels through the air, rains down on the land and then flows back to the ocean. Our bodies are also made up mostly of water. The water of the earth is known as the womb of Mother Earth, and inherently holds the feminine energy of the vessel of creation. All goddesses are thought to have emerged from this womb of Mother Earth, and many goddesses are specifically depicted as having some significant connection with water. Therefore, Lakshmi holds an aspect of this universal primordial energy from which everything emanates. Her abundant feminine energy is one that embodies power, fertility, physical health, material prosperity, good conduct, virtuous behavior, truth, activity and strength.
Our universe and our earth were created through a cosmic explosion of energy. This energy contained both masculine and feminine energy, divine and pure. The merging of this energy created a multitude of universes, their beauty and magnitude beyond our wildest dreams. It also created the planet we live upon. This energy also exists within us and is the seed of an abundant mindset.
In order for these energies to come alive within your life, you need to first bring attention to them and then tend to them. Take time to reflect on each of these qualities every day. A simple way to create a place in your life to reflect is to create an altar with a picture of Lakshmi and visual reminders of the qualities she embodies. Spend a few moments sitting or standing in silence with these images daily. As you tend to your altar and bring attention to these qualities, they have the opportunity to take root, grow and cultivate within you. For just as the energies of the Goddesses lie outside of us, each of us also holds each of the energies of the goddesses within us. We are all one, and contain small divine sparks of every part of the universe.
By reflecting on Lakshmi’s qualities you are not only calling on a divine power outside of yourself, but you are simultaneously awakening that same power that is lying dormant within you.
Sophia: Goddess of Wisdom, Bride of God.
The Encyclopedia of Tibetan symbols and motifs.
Hindu Goddesses: Visions of the Divine Feminine in the Hindu Religious Tradition.